Søren Lund (slu) wrote,
Søren Lund

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You can leave your hat on

I've been using Red Hat Linux for more than six years now. We have a server and two workstations at home: the server runs version 7.3 and the workstations version 9.

But version 7.3 reached its end of life, i.e. Red Hat will no longer support it. And version 9 will soon reach its end of life.

There will be no more (cost)free versions of Red Hat, only Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be available. Instead Red Hat sponsors the Fedora Project, which in essence is the same as Red Hat Linux 9. The Fedora Linux will be bleeding edge technology, but has no support.

As I cannot continue running unsupported systems, I have to migrate to something else. I cannot afford an enterprise version, and as the name suggests, it is meant for enterprise use. On the other hand do not want bleeding edge technology on my server, so Fedora Linux is not an option here.

I've narrowed my search of a replacement to four choices:
  • OpenBSD is very secure, as all source code is audited.
  • FreeBSD has a very fast TCP/IP stack and some unique security features, e.g. jails.
  • Debian GNU/Linux has a very good system for installing packages, called apt. It makes maintenance a breeze.
  • Gentoo Linux which you build yourself. Instead of installing binary packages, you get the source code and build it. It is all automated, and the result is high performance, and no broken dependencies.

Well, Gentoo is, just like Fedora, bleeding edge. So no Gentoo for my server, but perhaps for the workstations.

Of the three remaining I've chosen Debian, for three reasons:
  1. It got a Linux kernel, which I'm used to.
  2. I like the idea of easy maintenance very very much (and as my server isn't mission-critical or contains sensitive data, I can live with the slightly lower security).
  3. Debian is developed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which I prefer to the BSD license.

I downloaded the seven Debian CD images yesterday, and burned the CD's today. I hope to begin installing soon... (Oh, and by the way, Debian uses a great system called jigdo, which speeds up downloading I managed to get more than 2.3 GB in about 2 hours).

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