We have been using Ubuntu in our testing phases of our server and hope to stay with it. Since we already have a lot of stuff installed, it would be cool if we can just copy the image over to the server
These are the stuff we will be using on our server:
Postfix, tls, pop, imap, pop3 NOT sendmail
squid http caching server
Nagios (network monitoring tool)
cfengine2 (network administration configuration tool)
punjab (http poll/binding proxy for jabber)
Twisted project (needed by punjab --- network libraries for python)
Zope Interface (needed by twisted --- python component manager)
libming (a swf converesion tool)
With your budget you definitely have no problem finding a server. Not alot of hosts support Ubuntu but if you request it, I am sure they won't have a problem installing it for you as it is a linux based OS.
As everyone mentioned, contact the provider you are interested in. I would say the majority of them wouldn't have a problem burning it for you and then installing it.
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Ubuntu's targets are desktops and it is based on Debian Linux. Ive seen one amazing thing developed on Debian because of the large variety of software available as .deb packages, easy to install and mentain.
Debian has one of the biggest community around, so I would go with it. however you are free to stick with Ubuntu
please, bear with me. tell me when I'm wrong, I'm not doing it on purpose
While Ubuntu is really nice for workstation computers, since it is directed at making the install easy and fast for newbies to linux, I'm not sure why you want it for your dedicated?
You may want to look into Debian if you like apt-get, or freebsd.
I'm not a linux guru by any stretch but I do know Ubuntu is aimed towards a home workstation environment and not for the stability needed for a dedicated server.
Ubuntu is just debian re-packaged and is fine in a server enviroment just like debian etch (testing). I run debian on all my workstations, and freebsd on my servers. I have one server that has ubuntu, its just a glorified debian. And you can LAMP it within 15 minutes: