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Old 02-28-2011, 06:00 AM
Jason Hsu
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

I can't comment on other distros as servers, as my experience at the server level has so far been with a minimal command-line only Debian Stable installation. (When I'm given the option of installing packages for the graphical desktop, web server, mail server, etc., I don't select any of them.)

I tried this minimal Debian installation on the desktop in the past and didn't like it. But at the server level, I really appreciate the minimalism. As I have found from trying to upgrade Lenny to Squeeze, certain things about certain packages change. Thus, the more packages you have installed, the more difficult is, because you multiply your chances of running into problems. Given that most companies and organizations need their servers running 24/7/365, it makes sense to use the most stable OS possible for the server. Debian is known for stability in the Linux world, and the Stable branch is stable even by Debian standards. The server doesn't require as many applications as the desktop, so I don't mind a bare-bones Debian installation at the server level. Given concerns about security at the server level, a bare-bones installation seems better, as more applications mean the potential for more security holes.

Given all this, what are the reasons for using the other server operating systems? WHY WHY WHY are there Windows servers out there? I know that Windows has only a small percentage of the server market, but given its inferior stability and security, why is it used at all? At least when a desktop has downtime, only one person is affected. When a server is down, the whole organization/company is affected.

Why do people use Ubuntu on the server given that Debian is more stable? Why do people use RedHat given that it has proprietary features in it? (While it's not Windows, it sounds like a step in the wrong direction.) I've heard that CentOS is MUCH more difficult to upgrade than Debian, so why do people use CentOS on the server?

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:29 AM
Eero Volotinen
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

> Why do people use Ubuntu on the server given that Debian is more stable? *Why do people use RedHat given that it has proprietary features in it? *(While it's not Windows, it sounds like a step in the wrong direction.) *I've heard that CentOS is

RHEL is supported seven to ten years on each release. It is also
commercially supported by big vendors like Oracle ..



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Old 02-28-2011, 09:55 AM
Klistvud
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

Dne, 28. 02. 2011 08:00:14 je Jason Hsu napisal(a):

Given all this, what are the reasons for using the other server
operating systems? WHY WHY WHY are there Windows servers out there?
I know that Windows has only a small percentage of the server market,
but given its inferior stability and security, why is it used at all?


Because, without realizing it, people are usually their own worst
enemy. Short-sightedness rules. We're human, after all. Everybody is,
or has been, short-sighted in some particular realm of life. Really
smart people have never been the majority, and they probably never will
be. There is, however, one point of solace in that: luckily for us,
they mostly inflict damage on themselves, the poor sods. In the end, it
just comes back to bite *them* much more than us, and, as a result, it
makes them think. Sometimes, it even makes them amend their ways. Which
is not bad.


Why do people use Ubuntu on the server given that Debian is more
stable? Why do people use RedHat given that it has proprietary
features in it? (While it's not Windows, it sounds like a step in
the wrong direction.) I've heard that CentOS is MUCH more difficult
to upgrade than Debian, so why do people use CentOS on the server?


GNU/Linux is about freedom. Which includes freedom of choice. I suppose
not all system administrators have the exact same goals in mind when
setting up their servers. Perhaps that's the reason?


In addition, each of the distros you mention have their own niche
ecosystems. Specifically, RedHat is probably the greatest GNU/Linux
success story in the corporate market, in that it proves that a free
software company can prosper in a capitalist market. It proves that
GNU/Linux is not just some "commie fad" for leftist weirdos. Proving
that is no minor thing.


As to Ubuntu specifically, many Debian developers are tightly
intertwined with the Ubuntu crowd. Don't you think it was time we
started looking at Ubuntu with a more sympathetic, condescending eye?
In my view, Debian should take pride in Ubuntu and in everything Ubuntu
has achieved. It is, after all, one of many Debian's children. Agreed,
a slightly obese and retarded one, but a child nonetheless. And can a
mother not love her child -- even if it's an "enfant terrible" gone
slightly astray?


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Klistvud
http://bufferoverflow.tiddlyspot.com
Certifiable Loonix User #481801 Please reply to the list, not to
me.



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Old 02-28-2011, 01:13 PM
Curt Howland
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

> From: Klistvud <quotations@aliceadsl.fr>
> Because, without realizing it, people are usually their own worst =20
> enemy. Short-sightedness rules.

One of the reasons democracy is such an awful form of government.

It works in a voluntary organization, and the Debian project
demonstrates that admirably.

> Agreed, =20
> a slightly obese and retarded one, but a child nonetheless. And can a =20
> mother not love her child -- even if it's an "enfant terrible" gone =20
> slightly astray?

Many who try Ubuntu later learn about Debian who would otherwise not
know of it. That and sending bug-fixes upstream, I believe fulfills
all the requirements a parent could reasonably demand.

Now if Unity would work under VirtualBox, I could give it a good going
over. But NoooOOOooo....

Curt-
http://anarchic-order.blogspot.com/


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On 02/28/2011 01:06 AM, Jason D. Clinton wrote:
> We think that we are making the right decisions and that, hopefully,
> you'll finally be able to put a GNOME computer in front of a normal
> person and not have them run away kicking and screaming. Maybe 3.0
> won't quite be there yet but we're on the right path, anyway.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by that Gnome has not been
presentable/usable to/by normal people?

If you are wondering why Desktop on Linux regardless of what that is and
what's it called has not reached it potential yet the answer to that is
very simple it is not available in stores for that novice end user aka
normal user as an option on the hardware to purchase and the necessary
funds for successful marketing campaign.

Normal users aren't capable of installing their own operating system
they buy hardware with them preinstalled :-)

For several release cycles I've successfully "migrated" many novice end
users from other OS to Fedora and the Gnome desktop environment and I'm
not only talking about the regular novice end user but the toughest
crowd of them all old people.

Once they got over the mental block and the learning curve which comes
strictly with the switch to a new environment and happens regardless of
other OS and or if they are switching between other *DE that exist on
GNU/Linux which by the way they will experience with the move from Gnome
2 to Gnome 3 they have effectively become happy Gnome users and up to
this point in time none of them have wanted to switch back to their
previous OS and in my books that's what I call a good usability experience.

There are 4 things I have noticed "normal" users all have common issue
they complain about.

1. The "Other" in GDM.

This confuses them and to be honest does not belong on a home desktop
installation which will have max 4 account given the highly unlikely
scenario that family with 2 children are sharing the same computer and
each of the family members have separated accounts on that computer. (
It should be hidden for the end user, admins can always enable it for
large instalments which are authenticating against ldap or some other
central account system ).

2. The constant rearrangement/change in usability.

This presented it self when end users had just learned the menu layout
in Application, Places and System and then the Gnome Desktop team
decided to tidy/clean the menu layout which resulted in the end users to
re-familiarize themselves with that structure.

That particular problem already has been eliminated in Gnome 3 with the
removal of menus and the introduction of "Application" the "Favourite
bar" which I believe will become huge success amongst novice end users
that use limited set of application ( web browser,email application.
photo application along
with office application ).

3. Adding/removing applications

This end users experience is currently being worked on by Gnome Developers.
( I'm talking about here add/remove applications )

It has been a huge success with end users double clicking a file which
they did not have an application to open it with that the package
manager offers to install an application that does open those files for
them.

4. Workspaces

They never used it and have accidental switched to the second workspace
and thought they have lost what they were currently working on.

I propose that you default to Workspaces "Off" and add the ability to
enable them in "My account" or "System settings" for those that actually
use it like myself.

After doing fresh RC2 alpha install this morning and updating, the usage
experience went from good to worse I now have huge application icons in
"Applications" and weird scroll down bar probably as a result of that.
(Resolution Bug? )

I propose a change into that behaviour into a more modern one remove the
"Favourites bar ( users can still add application to it by right
clicking and choose add to favourites ) " and implement swipe left/right
or arrow left righ or move mouse to the left and right edge of the
screen to switch between categories and or set of applications as
opposed to some scroll down experience at least should look into how
they are resolving that in smartphone/tablet PC and adapt a similar
behaviour.

I also propose that when a user logs in he logs directly into
"Activites" since he cant do anything in the current logged in scenario
( eliminates the step having to click activites to start working ).

You might want to at least default adding "Files" to the favourites bar
unless there is something else suppose to replace "Computer" and "Users
Home"

It would be good to know if and how you are going to replace that usage?

I also propose that you expose various Gnome tweaking settings in the
"Administrator" accounts to keep the experienced/advanced users happy
that should work as a fairly good compromise between novice users and
experienced/advanced users.

You do realize that the experienced/advanced users are the only one
capable of installing Gnome on their computer and start using it right :-)

JBG
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:36 PM
Tom H
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM, Curt Howland <Howland@priss.com> wrote:
>
> Now if Unity would work under VirtualBox, I could give it a good going
> over. But NoooOOOooo....

https://launchpad.net/~unity-2d-team/+archive/unity-2d-daily


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Old 02-28-2011, 01:37 PM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

On Lu, 28 feb 11, 09:13:16, Curt Howland wrote:
> > From: Klistvud <quotations@aliceadsl.fr>
> > Because, without realizing it, people are usually their own worst =20
> > enemy. Short-sightedness rules.
>
> One of the reasons democracy is such an awful form of government.
>
> It works in a voluntary organization, and the Debian project
> demonstrates that admirably.

AFAICT, most of the time the Debian Project works as a do-ocracy and/or
a meritocracy.

Regards,
Andrei
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 PM
"Dr. Ed Morbius"
 
Default Debian vs. other firewall/server operating systems

on 01:00 Mon 28 Feb, Jason Hsu (jhsu802701@jasonhsu.com) wrote:
> I can't comment on other distros as servers, as my experience at the
> server level has so far been with a minimal command-line only Debian
> Stable installation. (When I'm given the option of installing
> packages for the graphical desktop, web server, mail server, etc., I
> don't select any of them.)

You're going to get a pretty obvious bias asking this question on a
Debian list.

> I tried this minimal Debian installation on the desktop in the past
> and didn't like it. But at the server level, I really appreciate the
> minimalism. As I have found from trying to upgrade Lenny to Squeeze,
> certain things about certain packages change. Thus, the more packages
> you have installed, the more difficult is, because you multiply your
> chances of running into problems. Given that most companies and
> organizations need their servers running 24/7/365, it makes sense to
> use the most stable OS possible for the server. Debian is known for
> stability in the Linux world, and the Stable branch is stable even by
> Debian standards. The server doesn't require as many applications as
> the desktop, so I don't mind a bare-bones Debian installation at the
> server level. Given concerns about security at the server level, a
> bare-bones installation seems better, as more applications mean the
> potential for more security holes.

Without discussing merits of any one OS/distros, the rationales I've
seen given are generally:

- Organizational familiarity -- what do you know.

- Marketing in general. Not just advertising, but various
parternships (hardware, ISV, service providers). It can be
effective.

- Application support. Particularly in the realm of proprietary ISV
third-party apps: what is vendor-supported? I've seen otherwise
Debian shops opt for RHEL on Oracle servers.

- Hardware support. Whether the issue is CPU architecture (Debian
arguably runs on more platforms than any other OS) or simply vendor
support for/under OSes of servers, expansion devices, and/or
peripheral hardware.

- Ease/cost of management. I'd give Debian very, very high marks
here. APT, backports, package selection, and auxiliary management
tools (stow, checkinstall, alien, and apt-build among others) make
sane management of both distro-provided and third-party software
vastly easier than any other platform I've had familiarity with (and
hence: contempt for). With some 30,000+ packages, the in-distro
availability of software trumps any other distro/OS.

- Long-term support. For production environments, it's very helpful
to have a system which one can deploy and leave in place for the
life of hardware (3-7 years generally). Upgrades don't matter
BECAUSE YOU NEVER UPGRADE. Individual packages are updated for
security/bugfix reasons. The number of frighteningly brittle
production systems in existance is petrifying.

- Managed hosting. Various managed hosting providers will offer a set
of standard, supported platforms. For a small startup, not having
to worry about systems administration issues at the initial stage
can be a win. OSes with corporate backing and marketing to create
partnership agreements will be more successful here.

- Suitability to task. For a firewall, OpenBSD makes a very
persuasive argument (hardened, designed for the task,
secure-by-default, very solid security history). For mobile devices
you'd need your head examined to not look strongly at Android (yes,
Nokia, I'm talking to you). Desktop gives you the choice of
Microsoft, Apple, or numerous Linux distros. Debian, while not
specifically optimized for any one task (it's the "universal
operating system") can be slotted into a vast range of tasks with
ease, and high suitability.

- Decreasingly: FUD. In the early oughts I interviewd with the CTO
of a company who in all seriousness cited patent / lawsuit risk,
specifically mentioning the SCO/Caldera lawsuits against IBM and
Novell, as concerns for adopting Linux. This is pretty much a
dead-ender rationale today.

> Given all this, what are the reasons for using the other server
> operating systems?

The naive answer is that someone felt they were worth creating, and
someone else thought they were worth deploying.

> WHY WHY WHY are there Windows servers out there?

Oh, now we get to discuss other platform merits....

See the list above, starting with the first item. For many shops,
there's an appeal to "one platform, all systems". I have the same
preference, though the platform I choose differs from these shops.

> Why do people use Ubuntu on the server given that Debian is more
> stable?

See the list above, start with marketing. Suitability to task (ease of
installation, end-user desktop orientation) also played a role, though
IMO it's got little if any edge over Debian in this regard now. Less,
for me, as I don't care for the direction of Ubuntu's desktop polish.

> Why do people use RedHat given that it has proprietary features in it?
> (While it's not Windows, it sounds like a step in the wrong
> direction.) I've heard that CentOS is MUCH more difficult to upgrade
> than Debian, so why do people use CentOS on the server?

See the list above, starting with marketing. Red Hat had a huge lead
over Ubuntu, and while it continues to hold the edge, it's slipped very
significantly at least in mindshare. This does speak to the vastly
superior package management / general administrative ease and
flexibility of APT, both in terms of end-user administration and the
rate at which Ubuntu have increased the quality/capabilities of their
offerings. LTS, hardware support, ISV support, "the number one name in
Linux" all play major roles.

CentOS: shops which want all the flexibility, administrative ease, and
power of Red Hat with all the marketing and third-party vendor support
of Debian. Or could they just be cheap bastards?

Actually, simply getting away from the hassles of RHN is a pretty big
win.

--
Dr. Ed Morbius, Chief Scientist / |
Robot Wrangler / Staff Psychologist | When you seek unlimited power
Krell Power Systems Unlimited | Go to Krell!


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