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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

What linux distro
Your recomendations.

 10:19 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

I currently run suse 8.0 and perhaps it is just me but I find there is quite a learning curv when using this OS. I intend to use my linux box as a test server running apache with perl, php etc installed. I am not to bothered about having a bloated os, in fact I just want one that is functuanal and easy to use.

What distro would you recomend?



 10:36 am on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you want it as a desktop - then try RedHat (especially if you don't care about bloated os). If you want to use it as a test server - then check out FreeBSD, it's much easier to learn and maintain than any linux distro I've come across.


 12:55 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Gentoo all the way here. It does take time to set up, however. Should you opt for Stage 1 install (15MB) your OS is compiled from scratch on your box, for your box. Dependency hell is pretty much solved through their emerge utility and what you get in the end is a fast, reliable machine with the most recent software releases. Fast connection is almost mandatory, at least for the initial setup. That and a CPU ready to run at 100% for about 14 hrs to compile your system. :)


 2:39 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm deffinitely a Debian fan. Practically anything you want to install is as easy as 'apt-get install program-name', and I find long-term maintainence of a Debian system much simpler than the equivalent tasks on other distros. On the other hand, Debian doesn't have the easiest installation routine I've ever used, though (1) I think it makes up for that afterwards, (2) It's still easier than FreeBSD to install and (3) maybe the new debian installer works? Haven't tried it myself yet. As for compiling your own packages, well, there's always apt-build if that's the way you want to go.


 5:42 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)


You mentioned you wanted to use the Linux box as a test
server. I would use the distro your real production
server uses. I would also use the exact versions of
software on the test server as was on the production
server. At least for the major software packages like
Apache, PHP, Perl, databases used, etc.

To me, maching up on software is much more important on a
test server than personal preferences for one distro over
another. After all, the point of a test server is to
see what stuff would look like or behave like in production.

If you haven't gotten a production server yet, and are
likely to get an account with a webhost, know that Red Hat
7.X is the most common Linux distro you are likely to see
offered. Many host also offer FreeBSD 4.X.

Best wishes,



 6:16 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I would use the distro your real production
server uses. I would also use the exact versions of
software on the test server as was on the production
server. <<

I agree, This way you know exactly where to find everything. It also allows you to update the test server with patches or version upgrades prior to making changes to the real server. Once done on the test server you can use the same config files if needed.


 6:35 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I agree. However, there are other Linux server options besides RedHat. If you are going to have a dedicated server it would be worth the work (hunting down Debian friendly hosting company) to set up a Debian server.

>learning curve
Well, IMO RedHat and SuSE are going to be easier to administer for a completely green person -- someone who is use to pointing and clicking their way around.

I am not sure if Redhat is any easier to use than Suse.


 7:09 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

I haven't heard anyone mention Mandrake. What are your opinions on using Mandrake in this capacity?


 8:01 pm on Jan 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

My experiences with Mandrake haven't been all that great. A few years ago, I was quite impressed with their installation system as compared to RedHat and Debian, which I work with much more often. However, in subsequent installations, I've had more trouble with Mandrake installations doing things that are just flat-out *weird* than I have had successful Mandrake installs. I've also yet to have a positive interaction with a Mandrake system that had been installed for a while and needed an update or a configuration change.

You mileage may vary - I don't know what caused those problems, so it might not have been Mandrake's fault. I have also worked with Mandrake less than I have with Debian, RedHat, and FreeBSD, all of which I have supported as part of my employment at one time or another. (NB, the *BSD people often have an understandable pet pieve about people mistaking the BSDs for Linux distributions. They are not Linux, and each has it's own separate kernel. They are perfectly good *nix-like operating systems with a lot of simmilarity to the younger Linux environment.)


 3:22 am on Jan 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

thanks for all your great feedback.

so far I have decided to get back into the suse books and learn. I also decided to givr the box it's self a makeover, hew HD, more ram and a linux friendly modem.

I hear what littleman was saying and agree that suse is probably one of the easier versions to use. The main problem I have been having was due to the fact that the box was connecting to the net through another computer rinning win xp. In theory it realy should be the other way with the liuux system directoy connected. I think the learning curv was brought on by having to think backwards because all the reading I have been doing was on the asumption that the box was net connected.

Right now in just instaling my new toys and will hope to have an apache running by later on tonight.

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