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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

Which Linux distro for a cloud server instance?

 6:15 am on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just ordered a cloud server instance.

Lots of images available. They've got Fedora, CentOS, redHat, debian... and others I've never heard of

I think I'll choose Fedora 14 (Laughlin).

I've got a different server running Fedora and I like that it comes with YUM and all the repo's I need for all the little fancy modules I'm running

Sound good?



 7:08 am on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Fedora is primarily a desktop distro and its reputation of stability is not as good as RHEL, Debian etc.

If you like/know Red Hat tools I would go with CentOS (assumming you do not want to pay for RHEL license), unless you really need more up to date packages.

If CentOS is not up to date enough what about Debian Squeeze? Technically in testing but very close to release. Then there is the server version of the latest Ubuntu.


 9:09 am on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

The look and feel of Fedora, RedHat and CentOS on the command line level is almost the same. They all have the yum command. Packages on RedHat and CentOS may be a bit older in version, but they are good maintained and very stable. Fedora has also a very short update and security fix cycle, much shorter than the expected life span of your hardware. That is less than ideal for a server environment where you need security fixes and often can't afford upgrading to a new version in between. I would therefore go with one of the other three distro's.

Debian is different on the command line level than Fedora. Except for the available technical support, Centos and RedHat are virtually identical. My advice would therefore be Centos.


 1:35 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

If CentOS has the right versions of the required "little fancy modules", then go for that instead of unstable Fedora - CentOS is Red Hat-based so it will be familiar if you already know your way around Fedora.

The issue with Fedora is its short lifespan - 6-month releases and very little support for older versions puts you on a frequent upgrade treadmill. CentOS is stable for as long as the equivalent RHEL version.

Personally I would choose Debian because I'm most familiar with Debian's tools and setup - I've used RHEL but I know it less.


 5:51 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

ok.. another one of the servers I use at work is CentOS, so I'm about equally familiar with that. Which is to say, just a step or two beyond n00b

Last night, I ploughed ahead with a Fedora image, but it won't take much to wipe it clean & start over with a CentOS image.

One problem I had with the CentOS at work was installing ganglia - yum couldn't do it because the repo didn't have it available. One of my reasons for firing up this new server is to have access to some of the extras like ganglia and memcached, and PECL stuff which are a PITA to install on my current host

I have not yet learned how to fiddle with yum repositories to get exotic ingredients for my server soup


 7:39 pm on Jan 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ganglia and memcache are provided in the EPEL repositories [wiki.centos.org...]


 12:22 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've trashed the old image (Fedora) and started over with CentOS.

httpd, php, mysqld are all set up & running.

This is what I was afraid of:

# yum install memcached
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* addons: centos.mirrors.tds.net
* base: mirror.anl.gov
* extras: updates.interworx.info
* updates: yum.singlehop.com
Setting up Install Process
No package memcached available.
Nothing to do

So.. how do I set up these EPEL thingamabobs?

in my /etc/yum there's a folder named pluginconf.d
and in there is a file named fastestmirror.conf

nothing in that file looks familiar nor useful


 12:24 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

there are some useful looking bits in /etc/yum.repos.d/


 12:44 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

This repo has made efforts not to replace system packages. In some cases it has endeavored to directly address CentOS compatibility but has expressly denied inter-repository compatability as a goal. It may not mix well with other 3rd party repos. So, make SURE you are using the Priorities yum plugin if you are using EPEL ... especially if you mix its packages with those from other 3rd party repos. It should also be noted that, while EPEL may not overwrite distro packages, it may have conflicts with the CentOS extras repo which is enabled by default.

<sarcasm>fills me with confidence</sarcasm>

Instructions that tell me to make SURE (in caps no less) to do something I have no clue what it even means


 12:53 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm obsessed with using yum because it's so easy. I could grab the source and do that whole "make" thing, which I've only done twice before (once was to install kannel, the other time was memcached)

I'll also need ImageMagick ...

so far I haven't found any good tutorials. They all tend to sound like the intimidating pile of non-advice quoted above ^^


 12:58 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

# yum install rrdtool ganglia ganglia-gmetad ganglia-gmond ganglia-web
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* addons: centos.mirrors.tds.net
* base: mirror.anl.gov
* extras: updates.interworx.info
* updates: yum.singlehop.com
Setting up Install Process
No package rrdtool available.
No package ganglia available.
No package ganglia-gmetad available.
No package ganglia-gmond available.
No package ganglia-web available.
Nothing to do


 1:46 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

Your setup is currently only loading the [addons], [base], [extras] and [updates] repositories.

Did you add an epel.repo file to /etc/yum.repos.d?
As far as I know, the minimum contents of that file should read:
name=Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 5 - $basearch


 2:58 am on Jan 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

that almost worked,
but the file /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL did not exist...

I found a reference to that file, here:


which links to this :

So, I created a file /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL and pasted that key into it.


I did have to remove the version of rrdtool that was installed by EPEL and replace it with a different one:
# yum remove rrdtool
# yum install rrdtool-1.2.27-3.el5.x86_64

once that was in, the rest was a breeze...
# yum install ganglia ganglia-gmetad ganglia-gmond ganglia-web

THANK YOU lammert!
I owe you one!

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