curious as to how debian (lenny) and ubuntu (Hardy) differ in their server versions?
This is an open question I know, but if there are general differences or major areas that one can point out to me that would be great.
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There are some things round google for this...Debian has a slower cycle because of testing etc which can lead to a more stable system of course...
Some mentions here
Hope that helps a little
As some of the previous posters have mentioned Debian Stable has a much longer release cycle then then Ubuntu does.
Why you should care about this -
Running Debian Stable will typically lead to much fewer updates to be installed. Limiting the amount of production system changes.
The longer release cycle of Debian will typically lead to a more stable production system once you reach the desired configuration.
Why you instead might want to run Ubuntu -
Your technical needs change rapidly and you require the latest and greatest packages from your OS vendor.
Particular packages needed are not directly supported by Debian and they are in Ubuntu and you feel more comfortable with someone else handling packaging, distribution, etc...
You prefer the Ubuntu GUI way of doing things.
At the end of the day its going to come down to personal preference. I prefer Debian but I've been running it since the second release and I'm familiar with how to get things done / fix common problems. I like Ubuntu on the desktop for ease of use.
Just my 2 cents. Since this was open ended I hope you find it useful.
You mention Ubuntu Hardy - which is one version old,
and not an LTS release.
Ubuntu has a 6 month release cycle, so so it generally has packages that are alot more up to date than Debian.
The LTS releases, which have a 2 year release cycle, I think, would compare better with Debian. These tend to have much more stable packages, but they go out of date fairly quickly - if you need the latest releases of anything you run. They are both well maintained, however, and so you won't be lacking anything in security. Up until now I don't think there has been much of a difference between Ubuntu server and Debian - if you don't run a GUI. If you do run a GUI on your server, the Ubuntu GUI tools do seem to be nicer.
The next Ubuntu release (10.04) will be an LTS release, and I think if there are to be differences, they might begin to show up this release cycle. Keep an eye out for developments around April, 2010.
On a server I wouldn't use the non-LTS Ubuntu, simply because it means upgrading every 6 months, which can be quite disruptive in an environment that needs to remain stable.