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Re: Linux Distribution Recomendation
From: "Brian Whitehead" <bwhitehead () whiteheadconsulting com>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 00:56:14 -0600

Honestly this is kind of a loaded question.  There are several good
distributions and all of them depend on personal preferences.  I personally
prefer Debian, but I primarily use Red Hat ES at work.  The only reason I
stuck with Red Hat at work was because of place in the industry.  More
software and hardware vendors support it and certify their products against
it.  Every distribution has its good and bad and it takes playing with each to
find the one you like.  I've used just about all of the well know
distributions and have some opinions about them.  A lot of distributions are
simply just customized versions of one of the mainstream distributions like
RedHat or Debian.  These are some pros and cons to some of the more popular

Red Hat -
Pros: Ease of use, industry standard, commercial support
Cons: commercial support isn't that great (ie.. just because you're paying
doesn't mean they're going to solve your problem), they are starting to smell
a little like Microsoft with their licensing. Only the Fedora version is free
now, you have to pay for the RedHat versions now.

Debian -
Pros: Very stable and secure, one of the largest selections of applications,
very easy to update and upgrade with 'apt'
Cons: Always a little behind and very slow to release new versions (they still
use the 2.2 kernel by default although 2.4 is available)

SuSE -
Pros: Industry standard in Germany, now owned by Novell, probably the second
or third industry standard in the U.S., a lot of vendors are starting to
support and certify their products on it, one of the better distributions for
supporting a lot of different hardware.
Cons: Things are a little different if you're used to Red Hat.  It's great to
have aliases and functions, but you'll never see your environment variables by
typing 'set' because a gazillion lines of aliases and functions fly by.  (Just
one of my annoyances with SuSE), some other minor bugs with dependencies.

Mandrake -
Pros:  Dumbed down for the new users with lots and lots of eye candy.  Comes
with every options under the sun.
Cons:  Dumbed down for the new users with lots and lots of eye candy.  Comes
with every options under the sun.  Some of the customizations are annoying and
make an experienced Linux person look like a newbie trying to figure out what
they've done.

It primarily depends on the purpose of the system as to which I would
recommend.  If this is going to be a production system that you are going to
need support and want applications that are certified to run on it then Red
Hat will probably be the best solution, although not my favorite.

If you want a good stable secure system that can be stripped down or have
everything and be easy to manage, check out Debian.

Brian W.

Kareem Mahgoub (kareem () thewayout net) wrote:

Hello list,
I would like to have recommendation for a Linux Distribution satisfying the
a- Secure enough for Buisness applications ( i.e. Mail Server)
b- Kind of Easy to manage and use.
c- Available Updates maintained by the production company.
Any help will be very much appreciated
Best Regards,
Kareem Mahgoub

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