Best Operating System

I’m wondering what everyone’s opinions are on the best OS. I’m getting ready to upgrade the hardware for my Interworx server. I have Red Hat 9 right now. What is the best route to go? The HW will be:
Intel D945GTPRL Motherboard
Celeron D 2.4 (for now, will upgrade to P4-D later)
512 MB DDR2
SATA RAID 1 80 GB Array

Any thoughts?



I’m partial to the CentOS line, but honestly most of the OS choices function the same and it comes down to what you’re used to. The Fedora line may feel more like the RedHat box you’re on now from an admin perspective.


In my opinion CentOS (or RHEL) stands way above anything else (from the OS’s that InterWorx can run on). I would prefer Gentoo but Iworx isn’t supported on Gentoo.

Fedora is defenitly second in line, but any other OS (Suse, Mandrake etc) isn’t suitable for a server.

Also, I think CentOS/RHEL is more similair to RH9 then FC4.

I vote for CentOS aswell (4.x).
Our main problem has always been how to keep the systems updated and how and when paches are available.

We took the Gentoo line some time back but it?s hard to have some automatic update function (that I know of…), so you have to patch manually alot…though Gentoo is very very nice to work with.

Debian has an excellent package manager and is easy to keep updated with patches, but CentOS has better support on enterprise applications, like Iworx-CP :wink:

With the release of CentOS 4 (RHEL 4) you have LVM2 and online rezising of ext3 filesystems. This was lacking in v3, if you didn’t use the unsupported reiserfs.

Off course, if you are willing to pay for license/support I would definately go for RHEL 4.


Thanks for the input guys.

I’m used to FreeBSD, that is what I was running b4 I started using Interworx-CP. My biggest concerns are security, compatibility and support (in terms of available documentation, books, etc.) I know the Red Hat/Fedora line has a lot of documentation available. When I installed Interworx, I used RH9 just because I knew it was one of the biggest names out there (again i’m big on FreeBSD, just because thats what i’m used to).
I haven’t learned a whole lot about RH9 yet, so this is the time that if I switch to another OS I’d like to do it. Is CentOS still my best bet?

Thanks again,


bartigas: Defenitly…

Basicly, CentOS = RedHat Enterprise. They have taken the source rpm’s from RHEL (RedHat Enterprise Linux) and made CentOS from that.

You can compare it in this way
Redhat Enterprise = $$$
CentOS = Free

Apart from that, there are no real differences, we even often used normal RHEL rpm’s to upgrade our CentOS boxes.

Which of the supported Linux distributions should I choose for my server?

Which OS you select is largely dependent on your data center and what they support. I will go through the current supported distributions and give you some more information to help you make a decision.

RedHat Linux 7.5/8/9 – While well respected and stable OS’s all of these are currently End Of Life (EOL) which means that RedHat Inc. is no longer creating updates for them. However many third parties on the Internet are filling this gap to some extent. Many data centers are still using them but unless you have a fully managed server or are comfortable manually locating and installing patches and upgrades to the software packages yourself you should not select one of these. The Fedora Legacy Project is providing limited number of updates for RedHat 9, but these are only security fixes and have been limited thus far. InterWorx WILL apply these (Fedora Legacy) packages automatically if you have AutoUpdate enabled. However the window for these is nearing it’s end.

When RedHat discontinued the RedHat Linux line it switched official support exclusively to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL is a COMMERCIAL project which means that you have to purchase it with a paid subscription. RHEL comes in several versions depending on your needs. RHEL is designed to run web servers and is an excellent product if you are willing to pay for it. It is very stable and rock solid. Some DC’s do not charge extra for it and include the licensing fee with your server rental. InterWorx currently supports RHEL 3.x and 4.x.

RedHat Inc. also sponsors the open source Fedora Core. Fedora Core is NOT officially supported by RedHat. This means that tech support for this OS is not available directly from RedHat. However, there are thousands of people on the internet who are more than happy to assist users, some for free, others for a fee. Development on Fedora Core is guided by a volunteer developer’s community. Unlike RHEL, Fedora Core releases several major updates a year. Since it was released in January of 2004 it has had 4 major releases to date. Fedora has a reputation for being more “cutting edge” than RHEL. It also has a reputation for being more buggy and less stable. I’ve heard people say that this is only really suitable for a desktop OS, but have yet to see anyone provide any evidence to support this. Because of the significant changes and rapid updates it requires more testing before it is officially “supported” by InterWorx. For example, as of this writing FC4 is available, but is not yet tested or supported by InterWorx. If you are either one of those who must have the newest OS as soon as it is released OR who is uncomfortable with frequent distribution upgrades you may not want Fedora.

CentOS 3.x/4.x – “CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor. CentOS conforms fully with the upstream vendors redistribution policy and aims to be 100% binary compatible. (CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork.) CentOS is free.” (from the CentOS website). What this means in plain English is that the CentOS developers take the source RPM’s from Red Hat Enterprise Linux and recompile them, making minimal changes, primarily in the area of logos and other copyrighted property, tweak it and release it. This is PERFECTLY LEGAL under the GPL, the license that governs all Linux distributions. What this means is that you get the stability of RedHat Enterprise Linux without the cost, RedHat logos, and support from RedHat. CentOS does have an active and growing development team and user community, and because it is virtually identical to REHL in every way that really matters, support is easy to come by on the Internet. This is what I use and what I recommend others use if they can get it.

WhiteBox Linux – The goal of WhiteBox Linux is “to provide an unencumbered RPM based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their Errata srpms.” (from the WhiteBox website). WhiteBox Linux is based upon the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.x source RPM’s…

As stated above my first recommendation is for users to use the most current CentOS or RHEL (some data centers just include this for free and include the licensing fee with the cost of the server). If this is not available I recommend the most currently supported Fedora Core. I have absolutely no experience with WhiteBox, nor have I heard much about it.

EDIT: RedHat 7/8 and WhiteBox are no longer considered supported distrobutions.

Awesome! Thank you for all the input guys, I’ve decided on CentOS. Now to start finding books on it :).

Thanks again,

You probably won’t find any books specifically on CentOS, but Books about Red Hat Enterprise Linux will have the info you want.

The best Linux book I have ever found is Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® : Fedora™ Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A (2nd Edition) by Mark G. Sobell

Take a look.

NOTE: Coverage is of CentOS 3.x

If I had the time/money I would switch from RH9 to CentOS 4.x, it runs so much better on my text box the RH9 does (though stable does have its problems)

IMHO, it’s woth the cost just for the peace of mind. Red Hat 9 has been end of live for a year and a half now and while Fedora Legacy has provided SOME updates they have not been very comprehensice. Unless you are donloading and installing patches manually your box has dozens of packages that are out of date.

I juped ship from RedHat 9 to CentOS 3.x literally the day InterWorx supported it! In the 5 months I ran RH9 after it went End Of Life I got three updates from Fedora Legacy – two for the CVS server and another one I can’t even remembe it has been so long :wink:

I would strongly recommend anyone still running Red Hat 9 to update to CentOS or Fedora. It’s worth the heacache of switcihing for the peace of mind of having an up to date OS, and the the reinstall fee/setup fee for a new server will pay for itself by not having problems caused buy out of date software.

I’m running CentOS 3.5 now but my next box will be the most current 4.x. It’s just not wotht it for Red Hat’s name, imho.

Well the OS install is not the problem its the cost of interworx that will be the problem. I got my box before they supported CentOS and during a sale on Sago that is unbeatable. The extra $300 a year to run interworx would just not be [SIZE=3]justifiable for me for a simple OS change. All together the first year would cost me $450 just to change the OS, just not worth it IMO[/SIZE]