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I'm planning to build a web server to host my web site but I'm not sure which distro should I use. I have Fedora and it works for me as a charm but is Fedora OK as a web server or should I choose Ubuntu server edition?

What do you think guys?

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8 Answers

Personally, I'd say it depends entirely on which OS you are most familiar with.

Couple of comments though:

1) Fedora release cycle is a bit crazy, means you're living on the bleeding edge all the time. Also means that before you know it a newer release has come out and it is time to do a complete OS upgrade. Less than ideal for a production environment and I would avoid it for this reason alone.

2) CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux - much longer support life cycle. Typically, 7 years. Often much more mature (read: stable) software in use. A little bit limited in the software which comes prepackaged by the vendor which means you're not always going to have the latest and greatest software easily available.

3) Debian - Rock solid, reasonable life cycle. Mature software. Much, much larger selection of software packages available. Choice of debian linux zealots everywhere :)

4) Ubuntu - Similar to Debian just slightly newer (read: immature of sometimes less stable) software available. Good life cycle, especially when using LTS.

All that in mind, I'd go with 3 myself. But that's just cause I like Debian :)

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My recommendation here would be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Ubuntu server may serve you better, and you may want to try it out on a test box. However, if Fedora is working for you, and you understand and like it (which it appears you do), it will work quite well for you.

One of the beautiful things about Linux is that it is what you make it. The real differences between most distributions is how they package the extras. At the end of the day, it may make some difference, but probably not enough that you would notice. Better to go with something you enjoy using so you can focus on the actual task at hand (building a website in this case).

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I always choose for CentOS as it's very stable and it's a gratis version of enterprise-like Linux like Red Hat Linux. also haven't found a server control panel that has no support for it.

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I would second this, I've used fedora before and dropped it in favour of centos after getting a bit sick of the constant updates etc, its a server so use something a but more tried and tested............. –  seanl Dec 8 '09 at 10:14
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I believe Debian or Ubuntu will be a good choice.

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Totally tough question to answer, due to the wide range of opinions on what 'best' is.

I think you'd be well served by Debian, or Centos. They're boring, stable, and far away from the bleeding edge, which is exactly what you're looking for in a server distro. Leave the shiny distros for the desktop, where they belong.

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i totally agree for thanks for making me laugh –  WojonsTech Oct 13 '11 at 23:08
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It really depends on the nature of your application. Generally speaking, I would recommend sticking with Fedora because of their excellent package management and release cycle.

If you choose an OS with a good history of package management, adding additional servers becomes that much easier.

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But the downside of Fedora is a painfully short support cycle. –  emgee Dec 8 '09 at 1:46
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Fedora has always updates and patches. Should I install two Fedora boxes and install any new updates on one of them and check for a while if everything is OK and then perform the update on the second box? After all some update needs to restart the pc. Do you agree with me guys?

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You can do this, but first you should understand the reason for the frequent updates & patches. Fedora is primarily an ongoing development release that is used to test packages that will eventually be included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is literally used to work out the bugs and issues, which is why it has such a short support life, many releases, and frequent updates. For a server, these are not desirable qualities. If you really like Fedora, then take a look at Centos. It is based on the source of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and is very stable, with very long support time. –  Joe Internet Dec 8 '09 at 4:12
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Depends on what you need, but if Fedora is doing the job acceptably then IMHO there isn't enough of a benefit to warrant a reinstall.

If you must reinstall, CentOS is a nice stable choice as long as you don't require a recent version of Python (it uses Python 2.4 and if you want newer versions you need to install them side by side).

I recently migrated my own webserver from CentOS to OpenSuSE (needed Python 2.6, didn't want to screw around with parallel Python installs). YaST is nice, and provides a very minimal learning curve and it's got some other nice tools (eg. cnf. Why hasn't anyone else done this). You've got zypper (yum equivalent) if you prefer to do things by the command line.

But in terms of how it functions after it's been fully setup - not much difference.

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