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I currently have a redundant machine running a version of Mitel SME Server V5 which I've never used before. In fact I have no previous experience with any flavour of unix but would like to get some.

I would like to get Trac and SVN (or GIT) installed for my development team to start using. I have some experience with Trac and SVN but I've not installed them before.

What distribution of unix should I use? What newbie mistakes am I bound to make?

How should I integrate the new machine into our existing windows (W2K8) network?

Which is easier to maintain SVN or GIT? Are than any default settings that need changing to make them run better?

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2 Answers

I've set up Trac systems mostly on Debian/Ubuntu servers and it pretty much just works. Trac can with svn, git and mercurial with relative ease -- the latter two require plugins. It's all pretty well documented on the Trac wiki.

A lot of Unix newbie mistakes center around file permissions and ownership, but the apt-get installer on Debian/Ubuntu takes care of most of these issues. A RedHat server installation should be equally painless.

Integrating the machine on your network is mostly a matter of what kind of access you want to provide. All of my Trac servers have Internet access via https and ssh. This makes everything simple for anyone who wants to work remotely.

As far as maintenance between svn and git? It's really a non-issue once you've got your repository installed. I'm partial to distributed source code control systems, so given your choices I would pick git.

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Linux Distro - Any popular Linux distro will be fine for you. However I would consider aiming more for a server-centric distro like CentOS instead of a more desktop/workstation-centric distro like Fedora. This is because Fedora is on the bleeding edge of Linux distros. It has a lot of new features that are being updated all the time. While this is fun and cool, it requires maintenance to keep it updated (which any sysop will tell you is impractical for a server). Going with a distro like CentOS will ensure that you are running a solid distribution that does not need constant updates and maintenance in the long run. In any case, most Linux distros offer LiveCD's nowadays, which will allow you to boot them up and try them out without installing anything.

Trac (or alternatives?) - While Trac is practically an industry standard, don't be afraid to look for alternatives. I've personally had a hard time getting Trac installed on some systems. One alternative I've been wanting to try out but have not yet is Mantis Bug Tracker.

SVN vs Git - Either one is good and neither is difficult to setup. And once they are setup they require little to no maintenance.

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