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I am building out a new Wordpress server for a web developer redesigning my companies website. I originally decided to go with CentOS due to stability. However it appears based on the versions of MySQL and PHP recommended by Wordpress are not readily available on CentOS. I have figured out a hacky way to get the recommended versions through the remi repo but ran into some conflicts with mysql / mysqlnd.

To run WordPress your host just needs a couple of things:
PHP version 5.2.4 or greater (recommended: PHP 5.4 or greater)
MySQL version 5.0 or greater (recommended: MySQL 5.5 or greater)

Given this is Ubuntu the better choice? Also if only older versions of Apache, phpMyAdmin, MySQL, and PHP are available for CentOS wouldn't that also increase the security risk?

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    Use CentOS 7, not CentOS 6. – Michael Hampton May 8 '15 at 18:53
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    If security is a concern, a hosted and supported Wordpress environment from a reputable vendor may be better. There's a LOT of exploits in both the base code and the various modules that need to be kept on top of. – Hyppy May 8 '15 at 18:55
  • That's a good point. Are newer versions of Apache / PHP / MySQL available for 7 over 6.6? Also my company is not going to go with hosted they will only run in-house due to previous bad experiences with hosted companies. – Chris Smith May 8 '15 at 19:04
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It doesn't really matter which distro you choose to use, as long as it's still supported (if it's not in EOL state).

If you choose Ubuntu, remember to select LTS release (Long Term Support) , which has 5 years support. Regular releases offer only 9 month worth of updates, after which you are forced to do a major upgrade (Similar to Fedora - which is RHEL/CentOS testbed distro).

When choosing CentOS, it doesn't really matter will you use version 7.x or 6.x. Sure, 6.x has older version of packages, but from the security standpoint - it doesn't really matter because the way RHEL/CentOS are developed - API/ABI and versions are locked, but all the security and some of the usability patches are constantly backported. Also, CentOS 6.x offers php53 packages which offer php 5.3.x version.

If you're only concern is security, then be sure to update wordpress regularly and to apply all the security practices for Wordpress installations.

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  • Starting with 13.04, non-LTS Ubuntu releases only get 9 months of updates, not 18. – Michael Hampton May 8 '15 at 20:05
  • I ended up going with CentOS 7. It had Apache 2.4.6 which has some good security features 2.2 does not have available. The MariaDB and PHP versions available from the standard repos meet the recommended minimums for Wordpress. – Chris Smith May 11 '15 at 17:54

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