[clug] Distro advice for server

Arafangion thestar at fussycoder.id.au
Tue Jun 6 08:27:27 GMT 2006

Chris Smart wrote:

>Dear fellow CLUG mailing list'ers,
>I am after some advice as to what distro to run on my server that has been
>sitting ever so patiently under my desk for the last 6 months. Can you help?
>Here are some details that might affect the distro choice:
>1) It is a dual opteron machine with 8GB ram etc, h/w raid 6 controller
>(areca 1220 pci express) and lots of hdd space.. I want to run vserver on
>it, so that I can give virtual servers to various people. It has a tyan
>"lights out" card, but I think this is non-distro specific.
>2) I want to run in 64bit, but be able execute 32bit if needed.
>3) It will be mail / web / CMS / DNS / rsync / vserver / subversion etc type
>4) I guess I want some sort of "hardened" type security on it, not sure if
>SELinux is the way to go (or perhaps RSBAC, grsecurity and PaX etc), nor how
>"easy" it is to configure on the various distros. (Do people bother with
>this sort of thing?)
>I have been playing with Ubuntu but confess I'm an Ubuntu noob.
>The distros that cross my mind are:
>RedHat EL
>Fedora Core
>Debian Unstable (no AMD64 on Sarge)
>Ubuntu Server
>Gentoo (custom built and managed)
I am a Debian person, so I would naturally recommend Debian, however I
am not sure what Debian is currently like in the 64-bit arena.  Just a
comment: Debian Unstable is a high-maintanance distro, and I will never
recommend it. (I currently maintain a number of Debian Sarge systems,
and I love it).
There does appear to be an unofficial Debian Sarge for the AMD64, but I
have never used it: http://www.debian.org/ports/amd64/

According to the FAQ there, " The first planned official Debian release
of 64bit userland for AMD64 will be Etch (Sarge+1).", which appears
promising.  If you do choose Debian, I would choose either the unoffical
sarge, or the official etch (If available).

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