[opensource] Selecting a Linux server distro?

Shaun Brady brady.1345 at osu.edu
Sun Jan 18 22:40:19 EST 2009

Glad you asked.   http://packages.debian.org/lenny/gcc

Debian runs in three tracks.   Stable, Testing, and Unstable.   I 
generally equate Testing to the stability of Fedora or the like. 
Granted, Stable is old, but so is software that has been bug tested for 
years.   It's up to the user to pick and choose.   The power comes from 
the ability to mix and match.  You can run a stable system, but pick 
from testing the things you need high numbers on.   apt figures out the 
deps for you.   It's a VERY versatile system..

Timothy Normand Miller wrote:
> Thanks for the help.  I'll look into that.  Maybe my information is out 
> of date, but I had come to understand that Debian tends do have a lot of 
> older stuff for the sake of stability.  I'd like a lot of newer stuff.  
> In particularly, I want to have gcc 4.3.x so I can use the -march=core2 
> flag, for instance.
> On Jan 18, 2009, at 10:23 PM, Shaun Brady wrote:
>> I'd definitely recommend Debian.  Ubuntu has done wonders for desktop 
>> distros, but it has to tip it's hat Debian.  Debian created the 
>> god-send that is apt.  Debian net install defaults to bare bones no 
>> X.  I think running Ubuntu "Server" just seems like Debian to me.  I 
>> can't speak for the kernel internals (don't know 'em off hand) but you 
>> could always custom compile, which there are Debian packages to make 
>> your own, AND keep dpkg aware of them.   Let me know if you have any 
>> questions in this regard, but that's my $.02
>> SB
>> Timothy Normand Miller wrote:
>>> Hey, all.
>>> I have a question about Linux server distros.  I have a quad core box 
>>> here at my house that I use to do heavy computing, file serving, and 
>>> a few other things that are best to run on a stationary system.  
>>> Right now, I'm running Gentoo, but while it's good for customizing a 
>>> stripped-down system, keeping it up to date is turning out to be more 
>>> of a pain than I had anticipated.  So I'm looking for a new OS to 
>>> install.  Aaron suggested that I might get some good advice by asking 
>>> on the list.
>>> I'm looking at Ubuntu Server to start with.  Interesting differences 
>>> from the desktop are that (I think) it doesn't start X11 by default, 
>>> so you don't have that resource consumption when you don't need it, 
>>> the userspace preemption timer is 100Hz instead of 250 or 1000, the 
>>> use the deadline I/O scheduler instead of CFQ, and in-kernel 
>>> preemption is turned off.  I can see how these things may be useful 
>>> for maintaining higher throughput under some circumstances.
>>> Interestingly, RHEL doesn't do all the same.  For instance, they use 
>>> CFQ instead of deadline.  Most of my workloads are not disk bound, 
>>> but one of them has a data set that is 11 gigs.  I have 8 gigs of 
>>> RAM.  I mmap the file into memory, so as I'm processing, pages that 
>>> are not in memory get faulted in as needed, evicting others.  
>>> Maintaining a small memory footprint of system services and low I/O 
>>> latency are important for this job.  I also want to minimize CPU 
>>> overhead of system services.
>>> I like using Ubuntu on the desktop.  I especially like apt-get and 
>>> how it automatically manages dependencies, and downloads packages 
>>> from the net.  While I'm pretty sure that Fedora and CentOS do 
>>> something equivalent with yum, I've found that RHEL appears to be 
>>> crippled in this regard.
>>> I know nothing about SuSE, Mandriva, or anything else, but I'm not 
>>> entirely opposed.  I'm also not entirely opposed to running a BSD, 
>>> although I'm even more unfamiliar with those.
>>> Can anyone help me with this decision?  I'd like to be able to 
>>> basically just install and go, configure things like SAMBA with a 
>>> minimal amount of effort, install packages with apt-get, and upgrade 
>>> rarely but effortlessly.  I almost never sit at the console, although 
>>> a graphical console (1280x1024 on the monitor gives me 160x64 text) 
>>> is nice when I have to.  I want to have to start X11 on only the most 
>>> rare occasions.  Mostly, I just login with ssh and use gnu screen for 
>>> multiple virtual terminals.  Sometimes, I'll run an X11 app on the 
>>> server, with the X protocol directed over the ssh link to wherever 
>>> I'm working from.
>>> Thanks!
>>> Timothy Normand Miller
>>> millerti at cse.ohio-state.edu
>>> http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~millerti
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Opensource mailing list
>>> Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
>>> http://mail.cse.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/opensource
> Timothy Normand Miller
> millerti at cse.ohio-state.edu
> http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~millerti

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