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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Both Debian and CentOS are good choices for a server OS.
We use both in my workplace.  We don't install a desktop.
It is not required and it is a waste of resources.

Debian is a good fit for developers, as there
is a great breadth of packages, and often more recent.

CentOS is easier to manage as an Apache server - the way
Debian does it with dozens of little files to enable is harder for
someone with Redhat background to master.

The bonus with CentOS/Redhat is long support lifecycle.  You can
install it and keep it running for up to 10 years, with updates.
Debian does not do that, however it provides for good upgrade
support in situ, and this is generally safe to do with relatively
little downtime.

The downside of CentOS/Redhat is the packages like open source DB
or PHP will be older than what many applications want, and you'll need
to work with 3rd party repositories such as Webtatic to get the versions
you want.  That's fine, except it introduces a new variable.  We've run
into a situation where we want to install a new server identical to
the production version and the repository no longer carries the version
of PHP it once did.  It's free, so there are no guarantees they want
to continue patching older versions for security issues, backports, etc.
On the other hand, Redhat has people who are paid to do the backports,
so even with older PHP it is being maintained, and that gets passed on to
CentOS packages.

To get into a specific, CentOS 7.5 provides php 5.4 currently, which is fairly old,
while the current release of Debian 9.6 provides php 7.0.

We generally gravitate to CentOS when the application is relatively boring
like a CMS that is widely used.  When the application requires exotic packages
that are not available in CentOS, like a bunch of perl modules (e.g. netdisco)
then we tend to go with Debian.  The reasoning is we want the whole thing
updated for security without after thoughts, and stuff installed by cpan
under CentOS will be installed once and forgotten.

In my mind it is all about best fit for the job.  You try not to carry
a bias into the selection just so you can slap more stickers onto

On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 6:51 AM Alessandro Baggi <alessandro.baggi@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi list,
I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for server
needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame. I'm
evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will give
your experiences about this topic.

At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very old
software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then recompiled
on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new software from
source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in the last year. I
like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my knowledge.

Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported by
software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working out
of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user choose
Centos with the perception that things work better because all is
"followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more secure
and unfailing.

This is not necessarely true. I think that is the sysadmin that make
things safer, secure and unfailing. Sure that a stable and reliable OS
take his part but when big blue take this game I'm not so sure about
centos future. What if someone will choose to drop centos project? Maybe
this is premature but from this "Why not choose a stable and community
piloted distro where user needs are first purpose?"

I used Debian in the past on several server for a big company without
any problems but now are several years that I use centos on server and
workstation and today I lost my debian knowledge about stability on
server usage.

Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos
and other server distro?

Thanks in advance.