[SASAG] Linux Server Distro Recommendations

Chris Finley cfinley at u.washington.edu
Wed Aug 5 13:28:48 PDT 2009

I have managed Debian servers - small shop stuff - for about 9 years and 
love them. They are low maintenance and super-stable. Some of this 
reliability can be attributed Debian's package policy. Existing packages 
receive updates to fix security issues, but the stable version will not 
get updates adding new features. I have never had an update break a 
server. That being said, there are times when you need the latest 
features of an application. You can find these packages in backport 
repositories (such as http://backports.org). Backports will allow you to 
update the application automatically, but do not have the incredible 
dedication of the Debian security team.

Ubuntu is a great option for workstations. This is recommendation for 
Debian, not a vote against any other distro.


Atom Powers wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 10:29 AM, Ski Kacoroski<kacoroski at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On the downside, it does tend to lag behind other distros in terms of
>> newer software so sometimes I have to compile my own software packages
>> or, more often, figure out the correctly Debian perl packages to install
>> to support a vendor's or open source package that I want to use.  A
>> recent example is the OpenLdap servers I just built up.  The Debian
>> packaged version was far enough behind that I decided to compile form
>> source and it took a few hours to get all the correct Debian pieces in
>> place to support the compile (e.g. TLS libraries, etc.).  I find it
>> better to use the Debian pieces where possible rather than compiling
>> everything from scratch because then I get security updates.
> This is a concern.
> If the packages are behind, how do you deal with security updates?
> There are also many times, OpenLDAP 2.4 for example, where a
> point-release has major new functionality that I need; if I can't get
> a /maintained/ package for the software I need then it doesn't matter
> how "good" the OS is.

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