Cassius Rosenthal on 20 Aug 2007 17:16:17 -0000

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Re: [PhillyOnRails] Which Linux distro?

LOL. Excellent. And let this be a warning to all would-be server administrators -- a good admin is hot-swappable. If you feel you are unique, or have a good original idea, then hire someone else to admin your production box.

On the other hand, if you are working on a non-production, experimental box, then make up your own mind:



Justin W. Reagor wrote:
Touche my good man! This is why I didn't become an admin professionally, because I always have you guys to tell me how it is. I was merely trying to give one up for running your own hardware... I guess I came off too dry or was wrong. Next time I'll use -more words-.

:: Justin Reagor
:: <>

On Aug 20, 2007, at 12:42 PM, Cassius Rosenthal wrote:

Justin W. Reagor wrote:
Wow... that was a whole lot of linux fan-boy FUD if you ask me! (^_^)

Um, no? Since when is an opinion on a mail-list FUD? Did I scare anyone?

Linux fan-boy?  Sure.  Flame bait?  Maybe.  FUD?  I don't think so.

I feel that you really answered his linux hosting question when you made the on-topic recommendations as to why ServerBeach/Rackspace, and the like, run those distros (RHEL/Fedora, Debian, CentOS). Well, other then their deals with those distro companies (,10801,82826,00.html).

Of course Rackspace has a deal with RH -- they are a customer. You make it sound as though they have a behind-closed-doors nefarious pyramid scheme going on. Rackspace pays for RH services, because that's the best RHEL support that money can buy, and Rackspace isn't the kind of company that would settle for second-class support.

RHEL/Fedora would be my picks since their techs seem to know the most about that (incase of some emergency).

ServerBeach is unmanaged, so their techs aren't going to be much help in any case. You could buy a SB box, format it, and install Ubuntu if you want. It just wouldn't make sense to do that. CentOS is a much better choice than Fedora. CentOS is much closer to RHEL, and has broad and active community support specifically for servers. Fedora is purposefully experimental, hence somewhat buggy, and is only included in SB's offerings as a relic of when it was the only serious cost-effective alternative to RHEL.

Back to the FUD: I've learned that anyone that runs their own server is going to run whatever they feel the most comfortable with. Any true linux user is going to do that, and if they're good, they'll be running the most optimal configuration and performance for that hardware (not distro choice). Linux distro doesn't matter, if your good. I have personally run or worked on Rails (in production) on Ubuntu, Gentoo, FreeBSD, and Fedora. Oh, and I'm not saying I'm linux god or anything... I just like to run hardware myself.

This is incorrect. Any good server admin is going to run the configuration that is easiest to support and most standards-compliant given a set of business requirements. Hotrodding your production server with Gentoo because it's really slick on your workstation at home is bad server admin practice. Administering standard packages on a proven platform to get the job done is good server admin practice. A great server admin is replaceable -- he or she can be swapped out on a moment's notice, and the incoming admin will be able to immediately recognize the configuration and continue administering without missing a beat.

This is *especially* important in a convention-based environment such as Rails.

When you are administering a production server, you do not get points for compiling your own kernel. Every bit of configuration that you do is one step away from the ideal setup.

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