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I'm trying to build a reliable and stable server for running jsp application in an Intranet, and I would like to mantain the maximum available resources for the server. I'm considering to use a Linux distro without GUI, running only MySQL, Tomcat and a firewall.

Could you suggest me a good Linux distro to do it? Am I in a good way? Thanks!

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closed as primarily opinion-based by masegaloeh, mdpc, HopelessN00b Mar 29 '15 at 5:58

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As @Khaled said, any of the leading distributions will have tomcat in their repositories, and will have 1-step text based commands to install and configure a running tomcat.

During installation from DVD/CD of the main Linux distributions, you are offered the option to select a base-server only package set, which will give you package management tools, openssh, some system services and the various shell and kernel packages - but no X-windows, desktop, or gui applications. Login is then via text on the console or remote secure shell only.

There are a few decisions/choices to make to select a distibution, if you have a green field...

  1. Typically, the leading distributions are either running rpm/yum based package management (fedora, CentOS, suse) or dpkg/apt (ubuntu, debian) so if you are familiar with those tools, then pick one from the correct group.

  2. Then to consider whether you are looking for a stable long term support version of Linux, or whether you want cutting edge features. For example fedora repositories contain version 7 of tomcat, whereas CentOS 6.2 is still on tomcat 6. As you mention reliable and stable as a requirement I would elect for LTS ubuntu, or CentOS 6.2 - but this is Linux we are talking about, its all reliable and stable ;-)

  3. OpenJDK vs SUN HotSpot. Typically the Linux distros ship with OpenJDK configured, however you might have a need to run the Sun HotSpot JVM. I personally found it easier to swap JVM on ubuntu, however I am comparing to an ealier version of CentOS 5.7, but you should check if you are getting away from the basic packages. (If you don't know why you might want to swap out the JVM, the its almost certain this won't effect you, so ignore this and step on)

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That's really good considerations. I'll try maybe Ubuntu. Thanks! – darth_alexious Jan 24 '12 at 13:36

Any Linux distribution should work for you (unless it has only a GUI-version). I think the best one will be the one you are most-comfortable with.

Some distribution prompts you to choose between GUI-based and text-based during installations while others like ubuntu comes in two different releases: desktop release with GUI and server release without GUI.

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Thanks! I'll pick one of the most complete (in shipped services). – darth_alexious Jan 24 '12 at 13:38
Even a GUI-based Linux installation should have a runlevel 3. – Nils Mar 10 '12 at 22:09

I would argue that not every distro works equally nor "good".

Redhat for instance, as per my system admin, tomcat6 (8 years behind) is the only version "blessed". Right now I am at odds with my server admins because I want our code to run on something newer and more capable of dealing with issues I am facing, and they want to stick to redhat blessed packages.

As for the question, it should have been what distro is best/good for tomcat X, as each version of tomcat like each version of say Internet Explorer, are unique in many ways. A lot has changed in the past 8 years, and while security patches have been applied, tomcat 6 is out of date. 7 is only 4 years old (Good history and time for bug fixes, but new enough to take advantages of new ideas and technology), and 8 is new, maybe too new for some.

So for answering the question redhat is not a distro I would call good for tomcat, if I find the best I will post an update.

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