[SASAG] Linux Server Distro Recommendations

Rich Alderson sage at alderson.users.panix.com
Wed Aug 5 13:10:23 PDT 2009

> Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 10:07:18 -0700
> From: Atom Powers <atom.powers at gmail.com>

> I'm a BSD guy but I have come to realize that the rest of the world is
> mostly Linux. Not really a problem, except that some vendors' software
> required Linux. (Linux compatibility mode doesn't always work.)

> My question to y'all is: Which Linux distro currently provides the
> most functionality with the smallest footprint. Specifically I'm
> looking for something that resembles FreeBSD; something with a small
> "base" install and good package management that doesn't install
> packages too deeply into the OS. Most of the distros I've looked at
> are either too strict with packages (RedHat/CentOS) or install
> packages into the system directories and allow them to auto-start
> without any security configuration (Ubuntu).

> What do you use, and why?

I use Slackware precisely because of its resemblance to BSD-style Unix[1] in
terms of administration, package maintenance (tarballs only), and the like.
Yes, it can be loaded up with everything anyone ever thought might be a good
idea, but it can also be made lean and mean quite easily.  (For example, we
need very few services on the back end of a LAN-based emulator for 1970s
disks in our museum.)

For that project, we started with Debian, then tried Ubuntu, then FreeBSD.
At a PPoE, I moved from RH3 to RH4 to RH5, as well as SuSE 6 & 7.

Slackware was the best move I've made in a long time.

Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Server Engineer
Vulcan, Inc.
505 5th Avenue S, Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104

mailto:RichA at vulcan.com
(206) 342-2239
(206) 465-2916 cell


[1] As in SunOS 3 & 4, Ultrix-32, and Pyramid's OS.  I belong in a museum, too.

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