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Best Linux Distro for basic web server? - SOLVED

embrikembrik Registered User
edited May 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm setting up a VMWare web server to host a single site (Running on an ESX server). It's gonna be running some Perl scripts and not much else. It'll be very basic. Any suggestions for a distro (preferably ready to use to host a single site)?

It doesn't need to have a GUI, but it'd be nice. (I'm fairly proficient w/ the shell). Also, if it's set up for FTP as well, that'd be cool.

"Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
embrik on


  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    For any server-type system running non-bleeding-edge software, I like Debian Stable, primarily for its package management system and general robustness. After an 'apt-get update' to refresh the local package DB, installing new software is just a matter of saying 'apt-get install <package>', and all dependencies are handled automatically. Keeping up with security patches or new versions is easy too, just 'apt-get upgrade'. You can easily add a GUI on top of the shell install, or leave it CLI-only. I usually opt for no GUI on servers because it's one less thing to patch.

    I hear the Suse package management system is also quite good, but I haven't used it personally and I've had no reason to move away from Debian. One thing that may come up is if you're trying to do something that requires code not yet in the Debian Stable tree. Sometimes you'll want to add some plugin or tool that Debian has, but it's only in Testing or Unstable. You can mix code from the different repositories with package pinning, but it's a bit of a pain, and might warrant looking at other distros that are a but quicker to update. I actually like Debian's slow pace of moving code from Testing to Stable though; if it's in Stable, it's extremely unlikely to cause major problems. If you're just doing basic web and FTP stuff, it's extremely unlikely you'll run into any problem that requires you to pull code from Testing/Unstable.

    If security is a big concern, you may want to consider one of the BSD flavors. Debian security is really quite good, but BSD is generally slightly better. If your web server is internal-only, or sits behind a firewall and only has exposure on web traffic ports it's probably not an issue.

    vonPoonBurGer on
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  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'm going to second Debian. I was a long time Slackware user, but eventually moved to Debian when I got to the point that constant tinkering and downloading source to build with non-vanilla options didn't provide as much reward as having it all just work. I haven't looked back since making the switch. That's not to say anything bad about Slackware, of course, it's just more of a tinkerer's distro or an "I need something extremely specific which no pre-built packages are going to do" type distro.

    The only time I have come across any problems with the slow pace of development is with the occasional Perl module where the version in apt aren't up to date and don't include some feature that I need. That's still not a big deal since installing the newer one (or ones as the case sometimes is when that newer module also requires newer versions of other modules) from CPAN is easy.

    Jimmy King on
  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Debian it is, thanks guys, the install is in progress!

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
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