OS wars are always very one sided. I use FreeBSD because it fitws my needs. I'm sure others will agree, and others will disagree. The only real answer to this question is 'the one that works best for your needs'
I really like Solaris 10...it's feature-rich, fast (no more Slowlaris jokes apply on 1-2 CPU boxes, and the new "FireEngine" TCP/IP stack just flies), very secure, rock solid, and now offered free of charge.
Right now I'm running FreeBSD on Intel boxes, Debian on Sparc machines (FreeBSD has issues with Sun Ultra 2 SCSI controllers and Ultra 5 IDE controllers -- don't know why).
FreeBSD is just "unix" the way "unix" ought to be. Documentation is wonderful, the system layout is straightforward and easy to understand, you have as much control over the system as you like, and generally, it really doesn't suck.
Debian is a close contender though -- may even be better in my opinion. Run Stable and you'll be running old versions of software (though that might change this month), but you can trust "apt-get update && apt-get upgrade" to suck down and install all your security patches without futzing with the system. There's a lot to be said for that.
Now, though, I'm moving to a real colo host. As part of the process I'll be moving to H-Sphere for server and account management (I've had enough of doing it from the command line, thanks), and CentOS 3.4 seems like the perferred solution there. Redhat isn't bad -- it'll work fine.
I think the secret isn't in choosing the best distribution, it's in really knowing the OS you're running and maintaining it well. You'd be hard pressed to "prove" the "best" option among RHEL, CentOS, FreeBSD, Debian, Solaris, Suse, and Slackware. All of 'em are "more than good enough," and the differences aren't enough in most cases to make up for your inexperience or preferences.
We run CentOS on all of our colo (and dedicated) servers. Nothing out there beats CentOS for the Linux server market IMO. Why do we use it? We use it because it has a huge community of developers and a lot of support, and there's always someone in their IRC Channel (irc.freenode.net #CentOS) to answer any support questions you have. We also use it because of the availability of updates and the ongoing support/maintenance of the project.
Freebsd for my own use, but I'll support anything. Of the linsux distros debian is rather nice. I've not played with gentoo so cant comment there, I dislike all the rh based stuff, but as others have said, whatever you are most comfortable with, know best, and works is always good
FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Because that's what I learned on and haven't had the need to deploy anything else. I've used debian, CentOS, RedHat, etc; but those are usually temporary installs until one of the BSD's catches up, or I finally get things squared away (say for instance, Java)
All you guys running FreeBSD, let me ask a question, since I'm a Fedora guy myself - what's the upgrade path for FreeBSD? I mean, how often is it updated and what's the process for applying fixes and such?
nadtz - you run OSX on servers, or just workstations?
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Originally posted by [email protected] All you guys running FreeBSD, let me ask a question, since I'm a Fedora guy myself - what's the upgrade path for FreeBSD? I mean, how often is it updated and what's the process for applying fixes and such?
Been running 4.8 for a long while now without a hitch. never needed to upgrade.
I have upgraded FreeBSD 5.2.1 to 5.3 though. Upgrading is usually painless and only a couple of commands actually. You just need to be sure to read the UPDATING file, it can save you. Upgrading means recompiling the kernel and 'world' from source though and it can take at least 30 minutes to 'make world'.
I have only been running a private dyndns.org subdomain site for 4 years off my home DSL but just bought 3 real domain names and an old server-class box. Prior to 4 years ago I ran a linux firewall/router/http server for home use only.
I used Slackware in the early days ('94) and then Red Hat for a while. I didn't really like Red Hat.
The past several years I've used Debian stable, and except for the packages growing whiskers I really like it for the sensible layout and the ease of configuration with apt and dpkg while still allowing me to edit config files by hand without my worrying about whether it'll break the Debian config. (My box has been a multipurpose toy, so sometimes the older packages made it difficult to get a newer piece of software running; for a real server this probably wouldn't have been as much an issue.)
I'm going to put FreeBSD on my 'new' server to run my 3 domains from home and possibly later from a colo DC. I've heard that it's more stable enough times that I believe it. I've used it briefly a couple of times and my only beefs were with my unfamiliarity and the non-GNU userland with a different feel. Both problems are easily fixble. I liked ports from the little bit I used it.
I'd almost go Debian on the 'new' server but one of the CMS packages I want to try out so far (Drupal) needs a newer PHP than Woody has.
I first was looking at dedicated servers and noticed that Debian wasn't a popular offering but CentOS was. I downloaded and installed it on a home box for tryouts. I still don't like Red Hat; the provided config tools mess up the config files and don't seem tolerant of hand-editing, but next I may try ignoring them and using only Webmin (which I haven't tried before). At this point I'm thinking I'll end up going colo self-managed anyway, so I can pick whatever OS I want. Unless FreeBSD disappoints me I plan to stick with it.
FreeBSD question: On a clean new FreeBSD install, is there any reason not to use the latest release? Is there increased stability or maturity in the 4.x line or older 5.x point release that's worth installing instead?
Sorry for the double post, but it wouldn't let me edit my first post after 15 minutes.
I found some good FreeBSD 4.x/5.x vs. CentOS info in the thread linked below. They seem to say that 4.x is more secure and proven but would go with 5.x anyway. Someone mentioned smp and 5; my 'new' box is dual-proc, so that may be a deciding factor for me.
Also, when I say I installed CentOS I installed CentOS 4.0. I'm getting the impression 3.3 and/or 3.4 are more common with dedicated hosts. I also learned that CentOS 4.0 is the first with SELinux, and separately from grsecurity's site I learned that SELinux and grsecurity don't go together.
Sorry, I can't post links yet, but here's the thread: showthread.php?s=&threadid=402456
Another vote for FreeBSD here. All but 2 of our work servers are FreeBSD and my personal server is as well. The 2 non-FreeBSD boxes are Solaris, which I do not like at all. Solaris is missing some executables I depend on (like locate) and there are flags missing from the rest (like grep). I've never really had the chance to give any Linux distro's a fair go, but that's because FreeBSD has never let me down, and usually exceeds my expectations.
Verrrryy nice, if you ask me. But, if I have PC servers, they are usually FreeBSD or CentOS.
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Originally posted by BigMoneyJim FreeBSD question: On a clean new FreeBSD install, is there any reason not to use the latest release? Is there increased stability or maturity in the 4.x line or older 5.x point release that's worth installing instead?
The FreeBSD 4 line is stable and proven technology. FreeBSD 5 is newer, and as such should perform better on SMP systems.
For quite a while, FreeBSD 4.x and FreeBSD 5.x were both coming out with releases simultaneously, but with the release of FreeBSD 5.4, the 5.x branch is now considered stable enough for production use. FreeBSD 4.11 will still be supported for quite some time.
I use Linux for web servers. Supports more hardware than FreeBSD, although not as "clean". I use OpenBSD for routers/firewalls. I use Mac OS X (ala, Darwin) for desktop
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