Which Linux? or Solarix 2.6 x86 ?

Gerald Heinig heinig at hdz-ima.rwth-aachen.de
Fri Jun 19 15:18:56 GMT 1998

Christian Barth wrote:

> Hello!
> Currently we are planning the new server for our lab. It will be a
> PC-based system serving files, printers, mail, .. to two workstations
> (sparc clons with SunOS 4.1.3 and Solaris 2.4) and about 20 PC's
> mainly with NT4SP3, but there are also some DOS / WfW3.11 PC's left.
> We are planning to set up a Samba PDC. (Thanks for your good work!)
> Now there is the question of the OS for our new server. Basically we
> have to choose between Linux and Solarix 2.6 x86. If we decide for
> Linux we have to choose a distribution, ...
> (Currently we are using Slackware-Linux to get cheap X-Terminals)

Why don't you use one of the SPARC clones as a server? Those sort of
machines are usually rather well built and generally have fewer hardware
problems than a PC system (at least in our experience...). As far as I'm
concerned, using a SPARC clone as server would be the only major argument
for Solaris, and since you're not planning on doing that, I'd use either
Linux or FreeBSD.

>  What would you prefer?

*Personally*, FreeBSD. This is a purely religious point, however, so please,
no flames. I'd be just as happy with Linux...The reason for this choice lies
in my hitherto *excellent* experience of Linux/FreeBSD technical support: if
you ever have a problem with the system itself, there's ALWAYS someone who
knows what's wrong. The Linux hacker/guru community is enormous and
expanding by the day and is unconstrained by issues of time, company policy
and license terms. In other words, someone will always help you, and very
often it will be the best help you can get: from the developer himself (as
is the case with Samba).

>  What things have to be taken care of?

One issue that springs to mind is disk space: we use disk quotas for our
system, to prevent one user overflowing the filesystem. That is incidentally
one point that speaks for Solaris: I *know* disk quotas work under Solaris.
If you're planning on using quotas, check whether they're reliable under

>  What has to be avoided?

Putting the coffee machine next to the keyboard. Computers don't like
coffee.... :-) :-)

>  Any comments?

As long as you don't go out and buy NT server, I'll stay polite. :-) :-)

Good luck & have fun.


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