Best *nix OS for hosting a website

Handruin

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I'm setting up a multi-site website and I've been thinking about the different *nix distro's that could be used to do the best job. After a bit of searching around, I thought freebsd was a prime candidate but I couldn't get it to run on a VM. Now I'm leaning towards fedora core 6. Does anyone have any other suggestions? This will strictly be used as an company-internal apache + php web server (no database or desktop use needed).
 

fb

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Solaris 10, or maybe OpenSolaris? I've tried Solaris 10 a little bit in VMWare, and it works fine as far as I can tell. But I don't know if it's better than feodora.
 

Mercutio

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I find it A LOT easier to use Fedora for server-y things than anything else. There's nothing in the basic config that actually PREVENTS you from enabling unusual server functions, for instance, which is a point of annoyance I have with SuSE.
 

Handruin

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Is Solaris 10 any better than 7 or 8? I tried configuring apache on solaris 8 a couple years ago and damn near pulled my hair out. It was such a pain in the tail to get things to compile etc (apache and PHP).

I starting using redhat 4 AS, but quickly found the user account was in someone else's name, so I could connect to their up2date service in order to get the 700+ patches. I'm hoping fedora 6 has an easier way of getting all the patches. I'm a noob when it comes to updating the kernel manually. Since the site isn't exposed to the internet, I'm not as concerned about the latest security patches, but it would be nice to get the most recent for today.
 

Handruin

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I was originally using SuSe 10 for my last 2 servers (on VM's) but decided it's too bloated to use this time around. I normally unload the desktop when I'm done anyway, but SuSe had a bunch of other indexing things running in the background causing I/O that wasn't making me happy. I like SuSe...but I got the impression it isn't geared as a web server. I felt like I should have select fedora/rehat for that task or even freeBSD/netBSD, but I have zero exposure to those.

There are also issues with the 2.6 kernel under vmware due to the increased clock frequency. This causes the clock to drift something fierce, but that isn't specific to SuSe.
 

fb

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The last time I played with Solaris before trying 10 was back in 1998 or something, so I might not be the right person to ask. :D It's still a bit tricky to compile stuff out of the box though. But at least it comes with Apache 2 and php4 (php5 is available from sunfreeware.net) and it has a Linux Application Environment that lets you run Linux binaries (I haven't tried it though...)

It might be worth a look if you have time to play around, but maybe feodora would be a better choice if you only want to get things up and running as fast as possible...
 

Handruin

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I ended up installing FC6 and I'm almost done with the install. Since it seemed like Solaris would be more of a pain (and I have to get this done before the end of the day Friday) I decided to go with fedora. Hopefully it's good enough to get the job done. :)

I'd still wonder if for a physical machine if freeBSD would be the way to go. They claim to have a great IP stack and fantastic networking performance...but it could all be marketing.
 

RWIndiana

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I've never actually tried FreeBSD but I too have heard that it's better than Linux for web hosting. Mainly that it tends to work better under load. Of course I wouldn't say it's marketing since it's free . . . :) But then I'm sure there is lots of pregidous among many BSD users.

I have used PC-BSD and FreeNAS (somewhat) but those don't really count.
 

Handruin

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I ended up ditching FC6 and went back to the old school Redhat 2.1 AS. The new 2.6 kernel is still giving me problems with erroneous CPU usage in a virtual machine under ESX 3.0.1. While idle, the VM consumes 50% CPU time. I know the 2.4 kernel does not have this problem, so I went back to using it.
 

mubs

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prej·u·dice
n (plural prej·u·dic·es)
1. opinion formed beforehand: a preformed opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes
2. the holding of ill-informed opinions: the holding of opinions that are formed beforehand on the basis of insufficient knowledge
3. irrational dislike of somebody: an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person or group, especially one of a particular religion, ethnicity, nationality, or social status
4. law disadvantage or harm: disadvantage or harm caused to somebody or something

vt (past prej·u·diced, past participle prej·u·diced, present participle prej·u·dic·ing, 3rd person present singular prej·u·dic·es)
1. cause to prejudge somebody or something: to make somebody form an opinion about somebody or something in advance, especially an irrational one, based on insufficient knowledge
2. affect adversely: to cause harm or disadvantage to somebody or something

[13th century. Via French from Latin praejudicium “judgment in advance,” from judicium “judgment.”]

without prejudice
law; without doing any harm to somebody’s legal rights or any claim that somebody has (formal)

--------------------------------------

pro·di·gious
adj
1. sizable: great in amount, size, or extent
2. marvelous: very impressive or amazing
3. ominous: portentous or ominous (archaic)

[Mid-16th century. From Latin prodigiosus "marvelous", from prodigium (see prodigy).]

--------------------------------------

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
 

Sol

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I never really liked the fedora core distro, things never seemed to work just how they should for me. Besides that once I'd gotten used to debian the package management in FC just seemed clunky...
 

RWIndiana

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prej·u·dice
n (plural prej·u·dic·es)
1. opinion formed beforehand: a preformed opinion, usually an unfavorable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes
2. the holding of ill-informed opinions: the holding of opinions that are formed beforehand on the basis of insufficient knowledge
3. irrational dislike of somebody: an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person or group, especially one of a particular religion, ethnicity, nationality, or social status
4. law disadvantage or harm: disadvantage or harm caused to somebody or something

vt (past prej·u·diced, past participle prej·u·diced, present participle prej·u·dic·ing, 3rd person present singular prej·u·dic·es)
1. cause to prejudge somebody or something: to make somebody form an opinion about somebody or something in advance, especially an irrational one, based on insufficient knowledge
2. affect adversely: to cause harm or disadvantage to somebody or something

[13th century. Via French from Latin praejudicium “judgment in advance,” from judicium “judgment.”]

without prejudice
law; without doing any harm to somebody’s legal rights or any claim that somebody has (formal)

--------------------------------------

pro·di·gious
adj
1. sizable: great in amount, size, or extent
2. marvelous: very impressive or amazing
3. ominous: portentous or ominous (archaic)

[Mid-16th century. From Latin prodigiosus "marvelous", from prodigium (see prodigy).]

--------------------------------------

Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Mubs, you're not going to believe this (well, maybe you are), but I saw what you posted and thought, "hey, somewhere just recently I wrote the word 'pregidous', pretty much knowing it was obviously not right. Now where was it?" It took me a minute to realize it was, uh, right up there.
 

Handruin

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Well...I have to say I had to ditch redhat 2.1AS as well as the others. We were at work until 1:00AM last night trying to get stuff done...and Linux was being a bear for me. I was able to get the whole thing configure in server 2003 (with apache) in about an hour. I'm rather annoyed because I wanted to use Linux for the job, but I was just too damn tired to mess around with it any longer. I'll look into migrating to another distro down the road.
 

Corvair

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fb said:
The last time I played with Solaris before trying 10 was back in 1998 or something, so I might not be the right person to ask.

Ummm... 1998... Solaris 8 came out about the same time as Windows 2000. Solaris got a lot better starting with Solaris 8. As for Solaris x86 -- Solaris on the SPARC platform has always been better, though I have not personally experienced Solaris 10 running on the AMD-based Sun Fire boxes.



Handruin said:
I'd still wonder if for a physical machine if freeBSD would be the way to go. They claim to have a great IP stack and fantastic networking performance...but it could all be marketing.

FreeBSD versus NetBSD/OpenBSD: Any of them will work fine as a webserver, but NetBSD/OpenBSD has a very well proven TCP/IP stack for handling loads. NetBSD/OpenBSD are probably more secure than FreeBSD. FreeBSD has always had better hardware compatibility than NetBSD/OpenBSD, but none of the BSD distros are as good as Linux when it comes to hardware compatibility lists. FreeBSD is probably the best choice for a BSD workstation.
 

Handruin

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So, if I can find the compatible hardware, NetBSD is the way to go for a web server?
 

Explorer

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So, if I can find the compatible hardware, NetBSD is the way to go for a web server?

If you have the time, evaluate NetBSD and then OpenBSD. If neither interest you, then evaluate FreeBSD. Are you expecting a lot of traffic on your website?

Internet Service Providers tend to use BSD over Linux for their general-purpose web and e-mail servers. From there, the choice of BSD is made on what niche it services best.

It would be nice if there was a "seasoned veteran" here working for an ISP, someone who could tell us war stories and the like about setting up and administering web servers, e-mail servers, and other such boxes at an ISP -- or maybe at an educational institution. ISPs and universities must be the toughest places to do IT work at.




(PS: I just noticed the "edit" function. I'm testing for the first time in this post)

(PPS: Weee heee heee.... It worked!)


 

fb

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Ummm... 1998... Solaris 8 came out about the same time as Windows 2000. Solaris got a lot better starting with Solaris 8. As for Solaris x86 -- Solaris on the SPARC platform has always been better, though I have not personally experienced Solaris 10 running on the AMD-based Sun Fire boxes.
Yes, well I was using it on prehistoric Sparc-workstations in the university ... I haven't tried Solaris on X86 before since Sun wanted money for it, and besides I didn't have any need for a *nix OS until now. (I installed Gentoo once a few years ago, but got rid of it after about 5 minutes since I didn't know what to use it for.)

Unfortunately I haven't used Solaris 10 enough to say what's good, bad, ugly or whatever. But at least it's been stable in both VMWare Server and in real installations for me so far.
 
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