[NCLUG] Suggestions for a distro change

Kevin Fenzi kevin at scrye.com
Tue Apr 7 11:02:24 MDT 2009

On Tue, 07 Apr 2009 08:29:42 -0600
"Kevin H. Olson" <k.h.olson at att.net> wrote:

> Hello All,
>   For a number of years, I've used Fedora as the distribution for 
> several servers that we maintain at work. I've always been pretty
> happy with it, but recently Fedora seems to have really pulled
> everything together and they are actually pushing releases out the
> door every six months, and archiving the older versions.

yeah, this has always been the case, but I guess people are noticing it
more these days for some reason. ;) 

>   The result is now that over 8 machines we have 4 different
> releases, ranging from Core 4 to Release 8. Every upgrade is unique,
> as some package or another doesn't want to upgrade, or Fedora didn't
> package the "latest" of an update in the Release (e.g., moving from 7
> to 8 was on one machine was difficult because in Release 7 there was
> an update to the Kernel, but Release 8 had an older version, so it
> was necessary to run down on the net a fc8 release of the kernel
> later than the one already running on the machine).

If you do the upgrade via dvd/cd you shouldn't run into this issue. 
If you are doing yum upgrades there are some tips/tricks you need to do
for various releases: 

Also note that the further behind you get the more issues you may have.
If you don't mind just making sure you upgrade every 6months or year
problems should be lessened. ;) 

>   With the rapid obsolescence of releases, I am concerned about
> security patches. It is not that the older releases in anyway fail
> us, it is just that they stop receiving any update support.

Correct. They get no updates at all, not security, not anything. 
>   Therefore, I am looking for suggestions on replacing the
> distribution. I've been debating CentOS, as it seems to have a
> longer, stable life. However, I have to admit I'm not that familiar
> with the other distributions. I've read the basic stuff, and I think,
> for example, that Ubuntu is not appropriate since these are not
> desktop machines.

As others have mentioned Ubuntu LTS might be a good fit. 
CentOS should work nicely as well. 

You might install both and test them out and see which one you like

>   So, I turn to the collective wisdom of the group: what would be a
> good distribution and why?

I think it's difficult for us to really answer, as we don't know your
exact needs. I think doing some test installs and playing with them
would be a good exersize. ;) 

You may also want to setup one of each and get feedback from your
users/other admins as well (if any). 

>   Your advice is greatly appreciated.
> Kevin

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