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Thread: Why CentOS?

  1. #1
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    Why CentOS?

    guys,

    Why do you(or do not) prefer centOS over other Linux flavors like ubuntu or fedora as a hosting server.

    I think centOS is less stable as compared to other versions and also the support for centOS is limited.
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    Really? I find CentOS to be the exact opposite, stable and plenty of support. All of our servers run CentOS 5.3 (x64) and we have had a great experience with it. Have you had problems with CentOS?

  3. #3
    CentOS is more stable than other distributions. It works like RedHat enterprise. I am running it since last one year without any stability issues.

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    CentOS works great so why chose something else?
    Masses of support.
    cPanel and everything else works great with it...
    need I say more?
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    The only way I would dislike CentOS, is if it ran over one of my pets. However I would still use it because its solid, reliable and has plenty of support. I would almost go as far as to say its a hosting industry standard. At least its widely used due to its rock solidness.

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    Not saying that this is a valid reason, but a lot of corporate America runs RH Enterprise. Being that I do contract work for a fortune 500 company and if they run RH Enterprise, which CentOS is basically copy of the OS, then I will follow what the big dogs use for their hosting needs on the free version of course CentOS.
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    By default, CentOS is pretty restrictive in its package selection and slow in the updates to new packages because it literally is a repackage of RHEL, and RHEL is slow and steady for reliability sake.

    You might have to develop custom packages left and right because the OS doesn't come with them, and paid RedHat support is worse than useless,
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    Quote Originally Posted by allennbb View Post
    By default, CentOS is pretty restrictive in its package selection and slow in the updates to new packages because it literally is a repackage of RHEL, and RHEL is slow and steady for reliability sake.

    You might have to develop custom packages left and right because the OS doesn't come with them, and paid RedHat support is worse than useless,
    So you run Ubuntu on your servers? or something else?

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    Buying Playstations colocating them with Yellowdog. jk :p
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTrike View Post
    So you run Ubuntu on your servers? or something else?
    I would go for Debian instead of Ubuntu. I am not saying Ubuntu is not good as a server OS, but Debian seems to undergo a lotmore testing and is less buggy than Ubuntu
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    Installing Oracle on RedHat is just as much more pain than installing it on Debian, and you won't get any useful help from Oracle either (proprietary software support is near-universally worthless in my experience).

    The only benefit to running CentOS is if you are more comfortable working in that environment and have your processes and tools tuned that way.
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    Redhat has clearly defined product lifecycles that you can depend on. this is key for developers and is the main reason that they tend to stick to RH/CentOS like glue.

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    Simply put; each to their own.

    All Linux flavours (that are in development still and regularly updated) are each as good as each other.

    You'll get people that swear by Debian, Gentoo, Fedora as well. CentOS is definitely the most favorable by many though and I can see why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by allennbb View Post
    I would go for Debian instead of Ubuntu. I am not saying Ubuntu is not good as a server OS, but Debian seems to undergo a lotmore testing and is less buggy than Ubuntu
    So you don't run either of them? What exactly do you run. I am just curious to know where the experience comes from, and where you have ran into problems.

  15. #15
    Centos more reliable and pretty
    i use it from long time all servers we have
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    Odd, as the others I have found CentOS very stable and even as a non-Linux expert I've found support and software easy to find.

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    After using *nix operating systems for 10 years I have come to prefer Debian, Ubuntu, and FreeBSD. They are simply well engineered operating systems you can depend on. Plus RPMs irritate me.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by allennbb View Post
    guys,

    Why do you(or do not) prefer centOS over other Linux flavors like ubuntu or fedora as a hosting server.

    I think centOS is less stable as compared to other versions and also the support for centOS is limited.
    you've got be to trolling there, or smoking some good weed!

    centos is certainly more stable than ubuntu or fedora, they have 6 month release cycles, centos has what 5 years?!

    centos has the most support of any linux distro as its essentially rhel, and you can buy commercial support if you want.

    although personally i'm leaning towards ubuntu lts for my servers as centos 5.3 is getting way old now, at least 8.04.3 has a modern kernel and packages.

    i just bought an intel motherboard whose nic (e1000e) didn't even work on centos 5.3 or fedora11 for that matter! ubuntu 8.04 works fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by allennbb View Post
    Installing Oracle on RedHat is just as much more pain than installing it on Debian, and you won't get any useful help from Oracle either (proprietary software support is near-universally worthless in my experience).

    The only benefit to running CentOS is if you are more comfortable working in that environment and have your processes and tools tuned that way.
    that's rubbish too, oracle on redhat is the only oracle-supported distro, hell oracle even have their own rhel rebuild - like centos!

  19. #19
    Think ops concern is the lack of enough package updates. Making him/her think that centos is not stable/reliable.

    The late iterations of ubuntu is slight better than before. I remember one time I dist-upgrade 6.06 and X just stopped functioning due to module issues.

    I swear by debian. Like someone said... rpm annoys me.

    Like someone else said too.... each to their own. Use whatever works best and comfortable for you. If you want bleeding edge apps, give arch or gentoo a try.

  20. #20
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    Definately running an OS you are comfortable with is the key. I have a lot of experience with Debian and Ubuntu and some with FreeBSD. Each has their pros and cons. Like I said before Debian, Ubuntu and FreeBSD are all very well designed and engineered operating systems. Very stable and solid. I have been using Debian for 7 or 8 years now and for 5 of those years I managed a data center where all our internal servers were Debian. The servers were Redhat 9 before I came to manage the data center. Now I use Debian, Ubuntu and FreeBSD depending on what purpose the server will be used for. Debian is always a solid choice though.

    All the best.

  21. #21
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    I personally have servers running CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian. My favorite machines to work with are the Debian/Ubuntu ones simply because I love how the Debian system is laid out / what it has to offer. That being said there's absolutely nothing wrong with CentOS - as mentioned previously it's essentially RHEL.

    The only downfall to Debian is the packages in the repository are slow to update.
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by allennbb View Post
    guys,

    Why do you(or do not) prefer centOS over other Linux flavors like ubuntu or fedora as a hosting server.

    I think centOS is less stable as compared to other versions and also the support for centOS is limited.
    There are primaraly 2 leading Linux distros, Red Hat and Debian. Before the flames come, I know there are more but don't feel like comparing them all.


    1. CentOS is binary compatible with RH. CentOS only has images changed and re-compiles. Because RH is found in more enterprise environments, there is better commercial driver support that may not be found in non RH distros.
    2. Fedora is a testing platform for Red Hat and should never, ever, did I say never be used in a production environment where money is at stake. Consider it Beta.
    3. Ubuntu is pretty much Debian and is about as stable as Debian but with a few ease of use features such as great howto's.
    4. There is a large amount of community support for any of the mentioned distros. Additionally, you can find commercial support for any of them as well but it will cost.


    The choice of distro is a personal one but in the end, picking one comes down to which one does the job. I have a mix of Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and Windows servers in my environment, all stable and running well with each distro chosen for specific needs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlxsystems View Post
    Definately running an OS you are comfortable with is the key. I have a lot of experience with Debian and Ubuntu and some with FreeBSD. Each has their pros and cons. Like I said before Debian, Ubuntu and FreeBSD are all very well designed and engineered operating systems. Very stable and solid. I have been using Debian for 7 or 8 years now and for 5 of those years I managed a data center where all our internal servers were Debian. The servers were Redhat 9 before I came to manage the data center. Now I use Debian, Ubuntu and FreeBSD depending on what purpose the server will be used for. Debian is always a solid choice though.
    Until the next Guy comes along and says "I want Red Hat."
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  24. #24
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    I thought linux just works. But i see this nagging comments like which is the best. I would choose Fedora or centos.

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    For a hosting company , they not only looking for OS. It need some additional softwares too, like control panels , monitoring tools , server managers . Basically Cenots support all these features . This is one of the reasons too
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    Especially for webhosting purposes CentOS is the way to go!
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  27. #27
    Centos is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and considering this it is the best alternative as it is free . Also, CentOs is much more stable ..and it is supported much longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave - Just199 View Post
    Redhat has clearly defined product lifecycles that you can depend on. this is key for developers and is the main reason that they tend to stick to RH/CentOS like glue.
    They also clearly defines that it's not possible to upgrade from one version to another, which is *very bad*. In that way, upgrades in Debian are painless, and this is one of the reasons to choose it. Also, so many packages are just MISSING form CentOS. We had to take care and build some RPMs by ourself to be able to write our control panel port to CentOS (free software in GPL / LGPL). This is really annoying, especially when it's very basic packages like courier that are missing.

    The number of packages in Debian is like 20 000. Compare this to the poor 9000 packages in CentOS...

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sej7278 View Post
    i just bought an intel motherboard whose nic (e1000e) didn't even work on centos 5.3 or fedora11 for that matter! ubuntu 8.04 works fine.
    I used to have the e1000e NIC problem with CentOS 4.x but not with CentOS 5.x - weird. Is it not detecting the NIC at all?
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  30. #30
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    Hi,

    About e1000e, you have to tell the exact model you are talking about. There are more than one model of e1000e. If you are using a 82574L, then it's only supported with kernel 2.6.27. If you want to use it with kernel 2.6.26, like in Debian Lenny, then you have to patch the kernel with the 2 patches that I have attached to this post. Note that the patches have been forwarded to the Debian kernel team, so there's a good chance that it will be included in Lenny 5.0.3.

    Thomas

    Edit: seems that wht doesn't like patch files...
    Last edited by gplhost; 08-25-2009 at 02:24 PM. Reason: forgot attachement
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katatonic View Post
    Simply put; each to their own.

    All Linux flavours (that are in development still and regularly updated) are each as good as each other.
    that is not even close to being correct - so you're saying RHEL is just as good as DSL? You've got to be kidding....

    Quote Originally Posted by Katatonic View Post
    You'll get people that swear by Debian, Gentoo, Fedora as well. CentOS is definitely the most favorable by many though and I can see why.
    I suspect that the majority of people use CentOS for one reason only - all the control panel software is written for it.

    What does cPanel suggest you use? CentOS

    What does HyperVM require? CentOS. Same with Virtuozzo.

    What about DirectAdmin? they suggest CentOS.

    And Plesk? CentOS/RHEL again is suggested!

    It doesn't take very long to see why CentOS is so popular.....If Debian (my preference) got this much attention then it would be the most popular too.

    I will say this though: I personally hate CentOS. It is impossible to upgrade and is easily broken with dependency hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by gplhost View Post
    They also clearly defines that it's not possible to upgrade from one version to another, which is *very bad*. In that way, upgrades in Debian are painless, and this is one of the reasons to choose it. Also, so many packages are just MISSING from CentOS.

    The number of packages in Debian is like 20 000. Compare this to the poor 9000 packages in CentOS...
    I couldn't agree more
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    Because all of that listed software is written with CentOS in mind. That is a pretty good reason for using it, at least you would think so?

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by ramnet View Post
    I suspect that the majority of people use CentOS for one reason only - all the control panel software is written for it.
    I cannot agree completely with this statement. Control panel usage is dwarfed by the enterprise environment and Red Hat is the leader in the enterprise which is why it CentOS (binary compatible with RH) has more support in the other markets. Traditionally hardware vendors made RH drivers and possibly a source driver for other distros. This is changing as non RH distros gain popularity in datacenters but I suspect there will always be better support for RH because people always follow the money and those who use RH tend to have more money.

    Quote Originally Posted by ramnet View Post
    It doesn't take very long to see why CentOS is so popular.....If Debian (my preference) got this much attention then it would be the most popular .
    Debian is a great piece of work and does an excellent job. It does not get the attention it deserves for the reason stated above. The enterprise environment spends huge amounts of money on infrastructure and the OS is but one part. RH is a commercial product, Debian is not. Make Debian a commercial product and I am sure it will receive more attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by ramnet View Post
    I will say this though: I personally hate CentOS. It is impossible to upgrade and is easily broken with dependency hell.
    That is a pretty bold statement. Hate is such a strong word. I agree, Debian is easier to upgrade between releases, a huge plus for Debian. RH, CentOS can do it but it's not easy and may not succeed. I have never had a dependency issue on a properly managed system. I have however had issues on both Debian and RH if not properly configured.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramnet View Post
    I suspect that the majority of people use CentOS for one reason only - all the control panel software is written for it.
    If I may temper this one: all *COMMERCIAL* control panel software. Go open source, and it's the total opposite way.

    Make Debian a commercial product and I am sure it will receive more attention.
    Make Debian commercial, and then everybody working on it leaves. Again, please read this, on which EVERY Debian developer have to agree: http://www.debian.org/social_contract Also, commercial Debian is called Ubuntu, and it's full of bugs and issues.

    That is a pretty bold statement. Hate is such a strong word.
    It's not a bold statement. There's a very easy way to check for it. Install a CentOS 5.0, then do a yum upgrade. While it's doing the upgrade of the kernel, interrupt it with CONTROL - C. Badaboum... All your RPM db is broken. This can never happen with Debian, the only big issues would be with bad packages with wrong pre-depends. I know, because one day I did the mistake myself when working on a Debian package.

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  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by gplhost View Post
    Make Debian commercial, and then everybody working on it leaves. Again, please read this, on which EVERY Debian developer have to agree: http://www.debian.org/social_contract Also, commercial Debian is called Ubuntu, and it's full of bugs and issues.
    That does not change my point. It actually re-enforces it. I did not say Debian would go commercial, just that if it wants to be taken seriously by corporate America, it needs to.

    Why would the enterprise embrace something without warranties, support, certifications, guarantees, sla's and all the other demands corporate America has. Additionally, hardware vendors focus on who is purchasing most of their hardware and spending the most money.

    http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner...-debian-n.html

    "We see Debian as the system administrators choice," Shuttleworth said during a conference call announcing Jaunty. "And we see Ubuntu as bringing a level of corporate identity and backing to that platform which makes it acceptable and palatable in a large scale organizational environments."
    So yes, Ubuntu is trying to go commercial but it is backed by a venture that is pumping insane amount of money into it to do so. But because of Ubuntu efforts, I am sure we will see more support commercial product support for Debian based distros.

    Quote Originally Posted by gplhost View Post
    There's a very easy way to check for it. Install a CentOS 5.0, then do a yum upgrade. While it's doing the upgrade of the kernel, interrupt it with CONTROL - C. Badaboum... All your RPM db is broken. This can never happen with Debian, the only big issues would be with bad packages with wrong pre-depends. I know, because one day I did the mistake myself when working on a Debian package.
    So, what you are saying is you want to do something to intentionally break a process. Nothing is perfect and just because apt handles things differently than rpm's does not mean one is better than the other, just different. Just like you wouldn't stick a fork in a light socket and call it broken, don't hit ctrl-c when updating your kernel and all will be well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zendzipr View Post
    That does not change my point. It actually re-enforces it. I did not say Debian would go commercial, just that if it wants to be taken seriously by corporate America, it needs to.

    Why would the enterprise embrace something without warranties, support, certifications, guarantees, sla's and all the other demands corporate America has. Additionally, hardware vendors focus on who is purchasing most of their hardware and spending the most money.

    http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner...-debian-n.html
    We were talking about what's BEST, not what is the most popular. If you are talking about what's most popular, then Windows is the one.

    Quote Originally Posted by zendzipr View Post
    So yes, Ubuntu is trying to go commercial but it is backed by a venture that is pumping insane amount of money into it to do so. But because of Ubuntu efforts, I am sure we will see more support commercial product support for Debian based distros.
    Yet, the only thing they succeeded with all this money, is create an operating system that is really buggy compared to Debian. The reason is very simple: it's based on SID, they import packages from it, but don't really care if there are issues sent to the bug tracker. The result is a distribution with bugs not fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by zendzipr View Post
    So, what you are saying is you want to do something to intentionally break a process. Nothing is perfect and just because apt handles things differently than rpm's does not mean one is better than the other, just different. Just like you wouldn't stick a fork in a light socket and call it broken, don't hit ctrl-c when updating your kernel and all will be well.
    No, you don't get it. I did break the process of installing the kernel, because it FAILED (there was another issue). So I thought I would just CONTROL - C, fix the issue, then continue the upgrade. I had no choice here, the virtual CDROM was freezing everything... There are MANY cases where this can happen, saying that issues never happen is just plain stupid, and I guess that you wont risk yourself saying this. In the same way, you can't tell me "do not hit CONTROL - C" because at some point, I will need to do it. Now, the fact that RPM is incapable of handling the case of someone hitting CONTROL - C is a reason good enough to say that it's by far, less superior to dpkg.

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by gplhost View Post
    We were talking about what's BEST, not what is the most popular. If you are talking about what's most popular, then Windows is the one.



    Yet, the only thing they succeeded with all this money, is create an operating system that is really buggy compared to Debian. The reason is very simple: it's based on SID, they import packages from it, but don't really care if there are issues sent to the bug tracker. The result is a distribution with bugs not fixed.



    No, you don't get it. I did break the process of installing the kernel, because it FAILED (there was another issue). So I thought I would just CONTROL - C, fix the issue, then continue the upgrade. I had no choice here, the virtual CDROM was freezing everything... There are MANY cases where this can happen, saying that issues never happen is just plain stupid, and I guess that you wont risk yourself saying this. In the same way, you can't tell me "do not hit CONTROL - C" because at some point, I will need to do it. Now, the fact that RPM is incapable of handling the case of someone hitting CONTROL - C is a reason good enough to say that it's by far, less superior to dpkg.

    Thomas
    hit ctrl-C when dpkg is running and it will get just as messed up. I admin several Debian servers for a client and can verify that fact.

    Besides, if the install FAILED, as you say, it would have kicked you back to the prompt and there is no need to ctrl-C there.

    Just because you think you are right, does not make it so
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    Quote Originally Posted by larwilliams View Post
    hit ctrl-C when dpkg is running and it will get just as messed up. I admin several Debian servers for a client and can verify that fact.
    It seems you really don't know dpkg. If the install fails, then you just do apt-get -f install, and it will try again. All setup scripts of all packages are supposed to be able to be started as many time as you wish without issue. If that is not the case, then you can file a bug against the package, because it is considered as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by larwilliams View Post
    Besides, if the install FAILED, as you say, it would have kicked you back to the prompt and there is no need to ctrl-C there.
    How do you know what issue I had??? The issue, as I said, was because of the virtual CDROM of my server that was generating a conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by larwilliams View Post
    Just because you think you are right, does not make it so
    Well, why would this apply (only) to myself? Do you think this kind of statement helps people understand each other? Please don't be so prompt to criticize the persons, fight the arguments instead, otherwise you will appear as a brainless troller, and people will start giving you godwin points. At the very least, you don't appear smarter to the crowd reading you here.

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  39. #39
    Comparison of Ubuntu & Debian, GO!

    Seriously though, I dunno what the diff is besides ubuntu having a user friendly interface. I don't use either that much.

  40. #40
    Join Date
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    The difference is that Ubuntu is based on Debian. At some point, the people from Ubuntu imports all software from SID (the development version of Debian), and often, without having a look at the bug tracker. The issues this type of development creates are numerous, and Ubuntu is full of so many issues that are not acceptable in the eyes of Debian. Also, Debian enforces strong policies and quality for the packages, which is not people form Ubuntu are doing.

    Often, I read people saying that they like Ubuntu because they got newer versions of many packages. I don't believe this is an argument good enough. If you do need a specific version, it's most of the time very easy to just backport a package from SID (which means taking the source package, and recompiling it). Tools in Debian make it very easy to do so. For example, I'm running pidgin 2.6.1 from getdeb as there was serious issues with the previous versions.

    All together, if you can bare the bugs for a Desktop, I don't think you can for a server.

    I hope that helps you understand a bit more.

    Thomas
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