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Looking For A Good Server Distro
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Thread: Looking For A Good Server Distro

  1. #1
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    Looking For A Good Server Distro

    Hi all! I've been out of the Linux loop for a couple of months now because I managed to score a shiny new iMac, but I want to turn my old PC into a server for my home. The main things I want to use it for is as a web server viewable to the outside world, ftp server, file server to the other computers in the house, and I might want to do other things with it in the future with it to such as proxy etc. Has anyone had any experience with a server dedicated distro? If so, can anyone recommend it to me? Although I do respect the terminal, I do prefer to have a GUI to set up things, and one important feature is remote desktop because it wont have a monitor set up on it all the time.

    I was thinking Ubuntu 9.04 desktop version, because it comes with the GUI (gnome) unlike the server edition. Any comments or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Administrator Advisor peter's Avatar
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    Try Fedora too. It will do pretty much the same.

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  3. #3
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    Try CENT OS also

  4. #4
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    yeah I hear CentOS is quite good, is there decent gui for configuring things like samba, etc?

  5. #5
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    I decided to go with Ubuntu, and managed to get it going with a LAMPP server within an hour. It's great, fast too!

  6. #6

    Best Server in Linux Flavors

    Quote Originally Posted by beezlebubsbum View Post
    Hi all! I've been out of the Linux loop for a couple of months now because I managed to score a shiny new iMac, but I want to turn my old PC into a server for my home. The main things I want to use it for is as a web server viewable to the outside world, ftp server, file server to the other computers in the house, and I might want to do other things with it in the future with it to such as proxy etc. Has anyone had any experience with a server dedicated distro? If so, can anyone recommend it to me? Although I do respect the terminal, I do prefer to have a GUI to set up things, and one important feature is remote desktop because it wont have a monitor set up on it all the time.

    I was thinking Ubuntu 9.04 desktop version, because it comes with the GUI (gnome) unlike the server edition. Any comments or suggestions?
    [ANSWER=mabradford: I would recommend Ubuntu 8.04 LTS for a straightup without a GUI version. And it's Debian so you know it's right. It's got updates for a few more years and that means good security as well. You have lots of support and it's frozen so there won't be any bleeding edge holes opened up with any updates...hopefully. If you need a GUI - put XFCE on it so as to have a much smaller footprint of programs loaded or use Webmin. I use it on a box and I know it's solid and easy to use with command line - which forces you to learn Linux! I would say go for 9.04 but I'm not sure if it is to a frozen LTS yet.

    2ndly - My next choice would be Novell's OpenSuSE 11.1 (SLES if you can afford it). It's a super solid flavor and comes with a pretty much perfected Virtual Machine -- which I doubt you'll run on an older machine. Xen and VMware don't run on just any CPU to the fullest capacity. It'll load - but, that's about the end of it. But, you can't go wrong with openSuSE 11.1 as a server of all sorts otherwise...but, I find it needs at least 3 Gigs of RAM for doing much Virtual Machine work...along with at least a AthlonXP CPU...which we know you won't be running on an old machine...so forget I said anything. If you machine is too old - then use openSuSE 10.3 with KDE3.5xx or GNOME (which is great also with Suce)...GNOME loads less crap than does KDE. With KDE you'll get so much crap you'll just hate it...but, 10.3 is a solid server as well as a great desktop. I use SLED 11 myself and I paid for my services...my support for the cause. Oh - and XEN is already set to pretty much load any Windows products - desktop or servers - that you want to run in a Virtual server domain. Also does Solaris, other Linux flavors and UNIX. I've only ran Linux and Windows in virtual domains - and they run extremely fast and Windows takes about 10 minutes to load, setup and run and Linux takes about a half hour.

    3rdly - I wouldn't use Fedora, Mandriva, Knoppix, CentOS and the reasons are due largely to the service or help they might or usually MIGHT NOT give you - even if you pay...and Mandriva has too many problems with the URPMI for my tolerance level. I expect stuff to work - and Mandriva's URPMI is done in such a way you can expect it to break.
    ANSWER END/

  7. #7
    ...and too - on Linux flavors for use as servers - CentOS is about the slowest of all...I'm not sure why? I always thought that Linux was Linux because of it being a kernel == but, somehow in downbranding Redhat to CentOS they've found a way to put the brakes on. CentOS is a good solid server though -- just slow.

  8. #8
    ...and to add just a little more info for newbies - LTS means that things won't change all the time -- so if you do have something broke - it won't get fixed anytime soon but, when you are using a OS for servers - you don't need fantastic graphic cards and stuff of the sort. Of course - if you feel you need them - then use them...but, LTS versions are usually solid before they become LTS (Long Term Support) and they get left alone to just do the serving. If there is a real problem - then the Ubuntu team will help you out. For the most part though - breaks are usually due to fantastic expectations on laptops, extreme graphics and such. For a server - run headless if you can. Ubuntu is a super headless server system. Servers serve 90 percent of the time -- and don't need GUI's all that much. Everything you do is usually with a commandline anyhow or through a webpage setup.

  9. #9
    Advisor beezlebubsbum's Avatar
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    thanks man, nice post. yeah, I am getting my head around using ssh for doing all of my administration on the server, seems to be going alright so far

  10. #10
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    Great start and good solution

    Thanks team

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