[svlug] Which linux distro for production ?

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Sat Dec 18 01:06:59 PST 2004

On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 18:16:29 -0800
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> > If you want the latest, you've just the live CD.

> Well, not necessarily.  When last I checked (after the 9.1 release,
> which is now one revision out of date), the following was true:
> Immediately following each release, the very newest software was
> available only in retail boxed sets:  Professional Edition, Personal

They make available the LiveCD quite shortly if not immediately after
the release of the newest release.
I never tried to install from LiveCD and than upgrade to semi-Pro via
yast/apt. But I've the feeling it is not that comfortable.

> One cannot (lawfully) upgrade a hard-drive-installed SUSE Live CD
> Edition installation via apt-get to Professional Edition, because
> quite a number of third-party packages made available in the retail
> boxed sets are never posted for public download (as their owners do
> not permit such posting).

Right. I never used those packages "consciously(?)" so I forgot them.
They used to mix free and non free in the CD set so to make hard to
make copies legally.
yast is now GPLed and I've heard unofficial rumours they were going to
shuffle packages to make easier to copy the CD set.

> And by the way, I'm pretty sure you'd be better off using SUSE's
> native package-acquisition tool (whose name eludes me) than the SUSE
> packaging of Conectiva's apt-rpm port.

why? I had a couple of resolvable problems on desktops mainly for
stupidity on my part. Otherwise I had a good experience with apt4rpm.

> > I haven't heard about distro based on XXXX that are good
> > replacements for servers.
> Where XXXX = Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I'd say Centos, Scientific
> Linux, or one of the Lineox offerings would be good bets.  (Some
> people purport to like Fedora Core for that; I wish them good luck
> and look forward to hearing details as they emerge.)


> Where XXXX = Debian, I find the answer to be:  Debian.  ;->

> I operate my own servers with apt-get "pinning" used to set the
> default development track to "testing", but with optional access to
> packages in the "unstable" track.  Works for Me.<tm>

pinning seems to be the magic word.
I'd exchange a pgsql course with an advanced Debian administration
course at my LUG ;)

> > I tried Gentoo, I think 1.5 years ago, and my butt is still
> > burning.

> It's not my cup of tea, but it's well thought out and eminently
> maintainable and reasonable as a server platform.

I consider it interesting on many aspects, but when I tried it it had
some drawback that I'm not willing to risk to have for a while (QA).
Furthermore it doesn't seem to fit to what I do. If I had 10 similar
boxes to maintain I could consider it. But compiling all night for one
server is a PITA. It is true I won't have to compile X, KDE and OO on
a server, but it is still takes several hours compiling to have a
server up and running.
Furthermore I'd prefer to avoid to have gcc and such on a machine that
shouldn't use them. On the other side it has some very nice tools and
it is neat.

> > Compared to FreeBSD, Debian offers me the chance to have an up to
> > date desktop with support for fancy HW on sid, and a stable a
> > server (even if not as up to date as I would like). 
> You seem to among the "Don't use sid/unstable for servers" people. 
> I have a different view, as noted.  (I would recommend it only for
> seasoned Debian users, though.)

I seem to know I'm not a seasoned Debian user.
I never saw a discussion about pinning and the art of mixing Debian on
a mailing list. I got the idea it is something you learn *just* from
Furthermore while I think it meets the target, keeping the balance
requires much more attention, not just know-how. Having several boxes
to manage make worth to be careful on one and then deploy on others,
having 1 or 2 boxes make it a PITA.
OK... just unsupported opinions. What about first hand experience?

More information about the svlug mailing list