[opensource] New Distro
dmcenn at po-box.mcgill.ca
Wed Sep 27 00:52:46 EDT 2006
It is very hard to answer your questions without additional
information. In particular, what functionality is the most important
for you? What problems are you having with the older Mandrake that make
it unsuitable? Some of the issues I ran into when I last had to make a
decision about what Linux server to install...
Any custom packages that are only available for a particular
distribution? If you need software that only installs on Fedora/RH, you
need Fedora/RH. (This occurs with Stanford's computer music software
How important are guis for handling day to day tasks? Some people
disdain them, but they can really be a time saver especially when
switching from one distribution to another where some conf files change
locations and syntax.
Paying for automated updates? Some systems (ie. Mandriva) require you
to pay a fee before you can automate the update process. Others require
you to write your own scripts. Others build this into the administrator
interface (I think...). Especially if you have more than one server and
not much time - this can make or break a distro.
Ease of Installation? Not as much an issue now as it used to be, but
some systems still give more hand-holding than others.
Memory Usage? Some distros are difficult to pare down to a bare bones
system capable of running on older equipment and the culprit is usually
memory hogging base packages. For instance, Ubuntu requires at least
128MB before it can even install (256MB in graphical mode). Check
Ultimately, the distro you want depends greatly on what you intend to do
with it. That being said, if you can tolerate Debian and the software
you want is available on it, it is always a good choice. Ubuntu is a
packaged Debian, so if it meets your needs it will be more
user-friendly. Red Hat is the standard enterprise distribution in the
US. Suse is the same in Europe. I'm out of date on much of the
details, so you'll need to do a bit of research yourself, but any of
these distros would be a decent choice. I used to use Mandrake (now
Mandriva) but the inconvenience of a lack of available packages, lack of
free automated updates, and its desktop focus makes it difficult to
recommend as a server anymore.
> I need to migrate some systems running (an old version of) Mandrake
> Linux to something else (anything else!).
> I've been considering CentOS, and possibly Ubuntu, but I'm wondering
> what other people in other University departments are running, and
> whether or not they're satisfied.
> PS. I'm not going to administer something crazy like Gentoo or
> Slackware on 5 or 6 different machines because I simply don't care
> enough to devote that kind of time.
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