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Currently I am using Fedora 12/13 for web application (LAMP) development. Would serious users of LAMP consider any other flavor.

Usage is for my laptop.

If you require more info, pls request, just wrote what I am looking for

Thanks Jean

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Just to be clear : Fedora is totally unsuitable as a public server. It's a bleeding-edge, desktop oriented, low security distro, without any long term support. The closest equivalent is CentOS, but any server stable distro will do. –  wazoox May 12 '10 at 13:24

6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I would recommend you try to use whatever is going to be used when the application goes into production. From my experience that is probably going to be CentOS if it hasn't been decided yet.

For the most part though, if the application is put together intelligently and doesn't need to be closely tied to the system it like won't matter. You will probably have an easier time getting the modules you need installed in Ubuntu than you would CentOS.

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+1: CentOS is the logical progression from Fedora, and one of the most secure "free as in beer" linux distros. –  Satanicpuppy May 10 '10 at 13:26
    
"You will probably have an easier time getting the modules you need installed in Ubuntu." .... eh? evidence to support this assertion? -1 –  Ophidian May 10 '10 at 13:26
    
Ophidian: Trivial, but for lots of stuff I have found I need to go search for repos to add beyond the default that comes with a CentOS install (If I want to use a package). Ubuntu seems to have a package for everything. –  Kyle Brandt May 10 '10 at 13:44
    
Centos is not necessarily the logic progression from Fedora. In fact is is likely to be a regression as Fedora typically has more recent software than CentOS/Redhat. I.e. there is a real possibility that you may find your Centos host does nto ahve the same libraries/modules/app versions as Fedora. I sys admin at a University and this is a real problem for us as we run RHEL, but the faculties often get students to write them software, and the student develop on fedora and find their apps won't work on our standard RHEL servers. –  Jason Tan May 10 '10 at 13:47
    
Kyle: A partial misinterpretation on my part. I thought you were referring to Ubuntu in comparison to Fedora (the OP's current distro). I still think some expansion on the matter would be helpful for clarity. –  Ophidian May 10 '10 at 13:52

I would say Ubuntu 10.04, as I like their philosophy. Choosing such a popular distribution comes basically with two things to consider. Firstly, such a popular product is very well tested and things are as they are by a good reason. You get a lot of things in a good design without the need of knowing all the details. That is the good thing. Secondly, a popular product is also a popular aim for attacks. You need to keep it updated.

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+1 Ubuntu server. Very widely available and is not as extreme as debian for stability. Sometimes it's good to have later updates. –  JavaRocky May 10 '10 at 12:01

For development purposes, the best choice is to stick to what you're used to. For production it's entirely different, and I certainly wouldn't advice you to use such a bleeding edge distro, but CentOS, Debian stable or similarly "ultra stable" distributions.

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How about fedora 12/13. Well 13 is beta to stable. This is for a fresh install on a new laptop. I also am looking to do http.conf changes, which should work the same way, when I upload the files to my server –  Jean May 10 '10 at 10:33
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I'm a Debian person myself, but I would also include Ubuntu LTS in that list of stable distros. Each release has security support for at least 5 years. –  thomasrutter May 10 '10 at 14:17

I would probably choose OpenBSD, because i find it very concise and well designed, but as as a matter of fact going with what you're the most familiar with, is certainly the best option regarding your question. By the way i think Kyle Brandt mad a good point considering the 'use what's going to be put in prod' but if you have the choice, and if they are letting you choose then you have a force of proposal.

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The general guidance is always "use what you're used to" as pretty much any Linux distro can be customized for your need. Fedora is an excellently put together distro and is very developer-friendly in my experience. It tends to focus on providing the latest software innovations in the Free Software world, which at times can make it a little rough around the edges in usability (nothing drastic, it just doesn't hold your hand quite as much). This is the typical trade-off between Ubuntu and Fedora; most things below that level are a matter of personal taste.

You almost certainly want to target your production deployment environment at some level. I strongly recommend at the very least creating an integration environment, outside of your development environment, that mirrors the production set up. Running the same Linux version as production (so you're using the same component versions) is certainly worth considering, but you may find it to be missing too many other desktop niceties. Most people prefer not to deploy servers running Fedora because it carries a very short 6 month release cycle for new versions and drops updates support for previous versions after a little over a year. This leads to a lot of churn and work upgrading the server operating system constantly.

However, Fedora is an excellent distro to use if you're going to be deploying to Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS. Fedora acts as the upstream project for these distros, so packages will be named similarly (often identically) and best practices for configuration are also very similar.

The mostly equivalent relationships for other common server distros are Ubuntu's relationship to Debian (somewhat reversed since Debian is the more server-oriented distro but also the upstream for Ubuntu) and openSUSE's relationship to SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell).

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I need a 15 reputation to vote up –  Jean May 11 '10 at 8:13

I have been running a LAMP stack on Debian for a couple of years for a medium sized .com. A couple of advantages that I have found in Debian is the superb package manager, aptitude. You can install and update the software via packages, which makes it less of a hassle to be running the latest, most secure version of the software. Also, a huge advantage is that the stability of the Debian platform is nearly unmatched by even other flavors of linux, thanks to the Debian dev team's insistence on never releasing until the software is ready. Finally, there is the great way in which they implemented apache2. This seems trivial, but there are a2en a2dis utilities that allow for easily adding and removing modules and virtualhosts.
You'll find most of these advantages in Ubuntu, but I've experienced issues in upgrading the OS to the next version that I don't run into when using Debian proper.

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