I am looking for a Server oriented distro that we can expect have decent support but also offer as much as possible some of the latest features that KVM might offer.

I am leaning towards Ubuntu LTS 10.04, because well it's LTS and more bleeding edge, but I find Ubuntu not serious enough in terms of support (I say this a heavy Ubuntu user). Given that Centos 6 is not out yet, I am not sure if going Centos 5 would be the best option in terms of getting more features from KVM.

Any other distro you would recommend that could meet the criteria of long term support? (At least 4 years)


Debian 'squeeze' was released on 6th February and includes kvm/qemu 0.12.5, libvirt 0.8.3, virt-manager 0.8.4, making it the most recent stable release and carrying the most recent relevant software of the three (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS).

The next LTS release of ubuntu is due in 12.04. The last estimate for CentOS 6 I heard was 6 months after RHAS 6, which would mean 1-2 months time, but I've no idea how accurate that is.

I would therefore pick Debian 'squeeze' or RHAS 6, if you are prepared to pay. You will then want to backport newer KVM/libvirt/virt-manager versions in the future, if you are determined to sacrifice stability for features. RHAS will most likely backport the major ones into their product, and support it. Debian will most likely provide recent versions of the software in their backports repository.

  • 1
    I just checked Squeeze and it looks good. But I haven't been able to find what will be the life cycle of that release. I suppose at least 3 years, given what I've seen for other Debian releases on Wikipedia.
    – elventear
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:41
  • 1
    Stable is supposed to get a new release every two years and the Security Team supports old-stable for at least a year, so yeah roughly three years.
    – user62491
    Sep 4 '11 at 7:31

If you've already chosen to use KVM, surely using RHEL/CentOS is the best as Redhat owns it?

  • RHEL is not an option. Centos could be, since that is what we will running in the virtual instances, but how mature is KVM on Centos 5? RHEL introduced it as a preview feature and Centos 6 is taking for ever to come out.
    – elventear
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:24
  • It should be as mature as KVM on RHEL 5. It seems perhaps the "best distro" isn't the question you should be asking then :D
    – Coops
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:29
  • But my question is how mature it is on RHEL 5, given that it was a preview feature. I think I am asking for what would be recommended to get as much bleeding edge as possible, but in distro that could be considered stable.
    – elventear
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:39
  • Regarding RHEL5 I am not wondering about stability as much as KVM features and the libvirt interface? Should be it be comparable as whatever has been released later? Or would it miss some features?
    – elventear
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:45
  • 2
    KVM was preview on 5.3, RHEL is currently at 5.6.x, and kvm is long since become a production feature.
    – dyasny
    Mar 16 '11 at 14:34

RHEL is the obvious choice, especially since KVM is being primarily developed for it, and tested on it. If you want the latest and greatest, then Fedora, but that would not provide the LTS you're after.


As of today, I would chose Fedora 23 Server.

  • 1
    I would stay on F22 until this bug is fixed. Otherwise, I agree. All of my KVM hypervisors are currently running Fedora 22. Nov 19 '15 at 19:51

You could try scientific linux as the version 6 is already out (clone of RHEL6).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.