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I am basically a casual Linux user, an able web developer, and a guy who always wants to try something new. I've experienced with commercial web hostings, their names will be omitted from this thread :)

I came across the ad for Linode the other day and to be frank I am interested in its features. I have just ended one of my hosting plan (after 2 years) and I am planning to play around with a test Linux server in house before going to Linode and purchase a service.

So my question is, which distro to pick among those available? Maybe my understanding is wrong but they seems not very up to the most recent releases, actually, not even close... Say, for instance, you can have a Ubuntu server version 7.10... that's 3 years back, right?

I think this is probably for resources consumption reasons, but if I were to pick one, which one should I choose from? Any good reasons behind?

Ubuntu 7.10
Arch Linux 2007.08
CentOS 5.0
Debian 4.0
Gentoo 2007.0
Mandrake 9.1
Slackware 12.0
Fedore Core 6

I would use this site half for hosting my blog and other materials, half for experiments like coding in C, PHP, Ruby, NodeJS, etc...

Thanks for the answers in advance.

share|improve this question
Are you going by the screenshot of the distro manager to say which distro's they support? Their FAQ has a more up to date list. – dunxd Nov 22 '10 at 12:04
@dunxd: you got the right guess... I didn't take a look at the FAQ page, the distro manager link is so obvious, but it seems it leads me to the wrong direction this time:) – Michael Mao Nov 23 '10 at 2:28
I looked there first too :-) – dunxd Nov 23 '10 at 12:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

CentOS and Ubuntu both have fairly good documentation for the newbie server admin, and pretty straightforward update/install mechanisms (yum and apt). CentOS is based on Red Hat, so is good practice in case you end up working for a business using commercial Linux distribution, which would likely be Red Hat, but Ubuntu is also quite popular in the enterprise, and is based on Debian.

That isn't to say there is anything wrong with the other distros, and you would learn much from running any of them. But I reckon CentOS or Ubuntu would give the quickest return on the investment of time and effort.

share|improve this answer

linnode offer at least 10.04. I know this as i'm running it on my linnode. Its a Long term support release of ubuntu which means it's more server focused than the 6 monthly releases.

As i understand it they'll also install a custom image if you provide one, and overall i can highly recommend their customer service - been very good the few times i've need them.

edit: they also offer ubuntu 10.10, fedora 14, and centos 5.5. So all the current releases.

share|improve this answer

Indeed, all the distro's you've listed are very old. Maybe they've just not updated the content on their site recently - contact them and ask.

My personal preference would probably be for Centos, Mandrake or Fedora. I find that Ubuntu is increasingly different from Unix in the organization of the system, and the (small) number of Ubuntu boxes I look after frequently get stuffed by automatic updates. OTOH I've not had any problems with Centos / Fedora upgrades - although I've run across a few problems with trying to add functionality (e.g. PHP sqlite support on Centos/RHEL) where its not available as part of the standard repos. Last time I used Mandrake I found it to be similar to Centos/Fedora in terms of support.

share|improve this answer
Mandrake or Fedora for a server?? – thomasrutter Apr 5 '11 at 5:06

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