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For a webserver serving just static files (lighttpd or nginx) which is better, 32 or 64 bits?

Which OS is preferable? Centos 5 or Ubuntu 10.04?

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migrated from Feb 24 '11 at 1:38

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Ubuntu seems a little more straightforward since I don't believe CentOS has it in their yum repo's yet. I may be wrong though as of today... Also, it probably doesn't matter a ton whether it's 32/64. 64 has a larger memory footprint, and you're probably not going to hit a CPU threshold before you hit a memory threshold, so perhaps 32 might be a good choice. Again, just a comment and not answer so perhaps someone else would have a better answer. – jpea Feb 24 '11 at 1:33
I find it odd that people are still hanging on to 32-bit platforms. While there might be tiny benefits to handing on to the old technology, at worst it will limit you some day, at best you'll get so little performance benefit that you'll never notice the difference. – Chris S Feb 24 '11 at 1:50

32-bit versions are slightly more memory efficient than 64-bit versions, but probably not enough to notice and will fall out of maintenance sooner than 64-bit kinds. For OS chose whatever you're most comfortable with.

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It just might make a difference on say a VPS with very limited specs, where everything needs to be as compact and efficient as possible. – John Gardeniers Feb 24 '11 at 3:50
@JohnGardeniers Indeed, that's the one spot it WOULD make a difference! – sysadmin1138 Feb 24 '11 at 6:37

Question is very vague - how big a dataset is it serving? How many concurrent connections? What are the constraints ? (memory, performance, stability, security, cost....).

A consideration for your choice of operating system should be the availability of skills to support it. Indeed in choosing between different distributions of the same OS, its probably the biggest consideration. Note that this encompasses both your skills as the primary admin, the skills/availabilty of the distributor to update security patches which are easy to manage, and the availability of support from the distributor / third parties.

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