What's your favorite Linux distribution on the server and the desktop, and why is it?

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23 Answers 23

Ubuntu, because it is easy and straightforward.

Gentoo, because it is sooo much fun.

  • I was coming into this thread thinking I would have to say the same. But you nailed it. – Strozykowski Apr 30 '09 at 11:06
  • Beat me to it, dead on. – chills42 Apr 30 '09 at 12:19


  • Clean and basic, especially for server usage
  • Widely supported, which results in a big community of users behind it
  • Great packaging system
  • Large library of compatible software repositories
  • 2
    ...and because I settled on it ages ago and am too lazy to re-evaluate the choice... – dmckee Apr 30 '09 at 13:36
  • For those who didn't know, Ubuntu is based on the Debian distro. Most of the time, Debian packages can be used in Ubuntu as well. ubuntu.com/community/ubuntustory/debian – Spoike Apr 30 '09 at 21:58
  • 2
    Ubuntu is a mystical, ancient African word that means "I can't install Debian". +1 for Debian vs. Ubuntu (although I admit to being guilty of installing Ubuntu on occasion...) ;) – Avery Payne Jun 9 '09 at 23:58

Arch Linux or Gentoo simply because they are sooo easy to customise, and I don't need CentOS/RHEL-like support.

Gentoo, because it's always bleeding edge and you learn a lot of stuff by compiling your own distro.

  • it's not that bleeding edge (the stable branch tend to be wayyyyy behind because the amount of combinason possible with gentoo explode compared to other ditro) but +1 for the learning stuff :) – Frederic Morin Apr 30 '09 at 19:18

Arch Linux No frills, no flashy stuff. All the control and flexibility of a source-based distro like Gentoo, without all the hassle.

Bleeding edge repositories, great community.

Centos for stability - tracks Redhat enterprise, no nasty problems for us in 3 years.

CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible.

  • Back when I tried it out, I had issues with CentOS blowing up on kernel updates (on Dell hardware). Is that no longer an issue? – Brian Knoblauch May 1 '09 at 15:38
  • No experience with Dell, but recent kernels gave no problems on our Intel boards. – gimel May 1 '09 at 15:41
  • We're using cheaper Dell servers, we have CentOS on all of them running Xen kernel, no problems - actually moved to it because of issues with Ubuntu. – David Hicks May 1 '09 at 18:45

On the desktop I use Ubuntu because it goes well with my notebook. On the server I work with Debian and Gentoo (legacy from work). Debian seems pretty stable so I will go with that for my favourite server distro. Also, I like FreeBSD and have worked with it for some time.

Debian for me.

It is (so far) the most stable distribution and provides the best (IMHO) package management system.

If you need anything else that is not part of standard Debian, then have a look at the many derived distributions. A noteworthy one (IMHO again) if you prefer to be up to date is Sidux.

APT based.

Debian and Ubuntu are recent weapons of choice.

That package management system is built like a tank.

I like SuSE and have been using it for years for servers.

Ubuntu and Knoppix. Because they are userfriendly for a windows user. The graphics is awesome.

CentOS on the server. Ubuntu on the desktop.

The one that people around me are using. I find the advantage of sharing config, tips and experience is huge.

Slackware followed by Gentoo. You'll learn Linux, not just be able to use it.

Ubuntu on the desktop. 8.10/9.04 are great.

I just tried XP as a VMware guest on 9.04, and it is cool ! No more dual boot required.

Ubuntu is great! Easy to set up and use. Although for quite a few of my servers we use Red Hat Enterprise RHEL (CENTOS paid version) because of the inclusion of SELinux and the added security it provides.

For the desktop I would have to say it's the new version 9 of Ubuntu that I am currently using to break my current record of staying away from Windows for the longest amount of time which is currently 1 day :(.

For the server I like to use a clean Debian install and build up from their adding the packages I need for each build.

I suggest Fedora(FC 10) for a Development Environment as well as Server Environment. As it has yum to download and install the packages such as PHP, Mysql , PHPMyAdmin and lot more. It will automatically installed and we are ready to start work on.

  • Debian has aptitude and apt are there advantages? – Thomaschaaf May 1 '09 at 17:32
  • I use Fedora (currently 10) on all my desktops, and I love it. But I would never, ever run critical infrastructure on Fedora. That's what CentOS / RHEL are for. Fedora can simply not guarantee secure and stable software because its goal is to be a forerunner, to closely track new and (as of yet) unproven software. On a server you want stable, proven software. – Mihai Limbăşan May 2 '09 at 6:32
  • Forgot to mention - of course CentOS / RHEL also use yum. – Mihai Limbăşan May 2 '09 at 6:33

Arch Linux for upgrade ease - there are no releases, just newer packages that, when stable, are released into the package repository.

CentOS for servers - all the benefits of Red Hat, none of the cost.

I've used almost every Red Hat/Fedora release since Red Hat 4.0 I think, then one day I thought about giving Ubuntu a try... haven't gone back yet.

The major point in the decision? Ubuntu still comes on a single 650 MB CD, opposed to a 4 GB DVD...

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