Several weeks ago, I wrote on this blog about the Linux distros that people should try. I wasn’t far off on my assessment when I read this article by Digital Trends. As you can see, I stuck with the tried-and-true distros that are popular, as well as distros which represented the major Linux branches, and distros which people generally consider as very solid. As you can see, you can’t go wrong with Debian, Fedora, Centos, and Ubuntu. You throw in Mint, one the most popular distros nowadays, and you have a very good list.
DistroWatch.com has a list of Linux distros and ranks them based on popularity. Currently, Mint is the distro of choice for many Linux users followed by Ubuntu and Debian. There are hundreds of distros available and you can’t possibly use or play around with all of them. Most of these distros are just offshoots of the more popular distros. If I were to narrow it down to just a few distros, I would go with these magnificent seven.
- Mint – since it’s popular desktop. It’s based on Ubuntu.
- Ubuntu – it’s my current favorite Linux server.
- Debian – since Ubuntu and numerous others are based on Debian.
- Fedora – it’s based on Redhat.
- Centos – it’s basically Redhat without the support.
- FreeBSD – Unix-like OS based BSD.
- Slackware – it’s been around for a very long time.
I saw a couple of great articles lauding about the latest CentOS 5.6 distribution. It mentions that CentOS is a good alternative to Red Hat for smaller companies who may not need the support. It’s also free.
CentOS is of course based on Red Hat and is a favorite OS of many hosting companies. Hostgator runs on CentOS. So, this blog is actually powered by CentOS. Who would have thunk it?
So, I decided to download the latest CentOS 5.6 distro overnight. I’m now in the process of installing CentOS in VirtualBox on my desktop. I will write a follow up article reviewing CentOS 5.6.
By now, you’ve heard of Linux. But, have you tried it? If you haven’t, you should give it a try. You might be missing out on something. If not, just do it for educational purposes. Most Linux distros today, come with a trial CD that you can test drive on your system without ever installing Linux in your hard drive.
Here’s a list of Linux distros that is worth a try.
1. Ubuntu – it’s by far the most popular Linux distribution in the planet. Tons of people use it. There’s good reason why it’s popular. It’s relatively easy to use. It has a solid and stable distribution with a vibrant user community to boot. Ubuntu release cycle is one reason why this distro is committed to innovation.
2. Fedora – You’ve heard of Redhat. Fedora is Redhat’s cousin or brother. In any case, the distro has come a long way since its inception. If you want to learn about Redhat, Fedora is a great stepping stone. Fedora is a distro you want, if you want to learn about RPM packaging.
3. OpenSuse – If you want a polished desktop environment in both and KDE environment, you should try OpenSuse. It consistently receives high marks in its desktop environments. Yast is an excellent graphical system administration utility that’s worth a look.
There are hundreds of distros worth mentioning. Debian, Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo and CentOS comes to mind.
Finally, here’s a list of the top 10 distributions from Distrowatch.com.
It’s the perfect server? Ok, I had a problem with the title. However, it’s an excellent article if you want to create a web server with all the services you want similar to what hosting companies run on their servers. CentOS certainly is not my first choice since I prefer running Red Hat or Ubuntu Server. CentOS is definitely worth a look.
The perfect server runs on the following services: Web Server: Apache 2.0.x with PHP 4.3.9, mod_ruby, mod_python, Database Server: MySQL 4.1, Mail Server: Postfix, DNS Server: BIND9 (chrooted!), FTP Server: proftpd, POP3/IMAP server: dovecot, and Webalizer for web site statistics.
If you want to learn how to install these services, read the article.