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I need to install a new dedicated nginx server. The expected traffic hitting this would be around 400-500 req/second. We have varnish server and apache servers in the background to serve the request and would be using nginx as load balancer primarily (We dont want all traffic to hit varnish directly)

One of the initial problems I have is to choose the distro. Which one do you suggest?

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The answer depends on your processor - Is it a 64 bit capable processor?

The advantages of 64 bit processor (and hence 64 bit OS) will allow you to access beyond 4 GB of memory.

The possible disadvantage is looking at specific libraries 32 bit vs 64 bit for your app. Nginx - varnish - and apache are all mainstream programs but perhaps some other library might not be compiled with 64 bit support. (Minimal possibility but something to always think about)

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What if I am using only 4GB ram / less than 4GB RAM. which one do I prefer. I will test my application on both but assuming it works on both 32 and 64 bits. –  Sparsh Gupta Dec 22 '10 at 0:28
    
@Sparsh If you are seriously RAM constrained (like, less than 512MB) 32-bit will provide some improvements. Otherwise, it's a 64-bit world right now. –  sysadmin1138 Dec 22 '10 at 0:31
    
Thanks. Well I will surely put 2GB RAM and might put 4GB and ready to put a lot more if needed. I guess 64bit it is then. Thanks again –  Sparsh Gupta Dec 22 '10 at 0:33
    
unix.stackexchange.com/questions/4511/… -- may also be possibly related post to your question. –  Jeremy Hajek Dec 22 '10 at 3:32

The 64-bit flavor of whichever distro you're more comfortable with. The differences between the two are not significant, so pick the one you know better and go with it.

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Thanks. I have worked a lot on ubuntu but since this will be a production server with main focus on response times and efficiency, I want to use the better of the two distro for the current task. I assume debian isnt very different from ubuntu and shouldn't be a big challenge to get around it. –  Sparsh Gupta Dec 22 '10 at 0:27

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