Which OS?

Stephen Swaney steve.swaney at FSL.COM
Tue Feb 8 01:34:46 GMT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: MailScanner mailing list [mailto:MAILSCANNER at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On
> Behalf Of Lance Haig
> Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 7:52 PM
> Subject: Which OS?
> Hi,
> I am moving my server to a hosted service. They offer many different
> distributions on the server.
> As all you guys have much more experience with MS than I do I was
> wondering if you would offer some advice.
> Of this list which would be the easiest to maintain and run?

You caught me at the end o a long day and in a philosophical mood so here

What's the easiest to run and support depends on what OS you're most
comfortable with. Solaris people should run MS on Solaris; Folks who are
comfortable with Linux should use Linux and my friend who runs MailScanner
on a Alpha cluster is laughing at all of us.

You didn't say what level of service want to provide; home, experimental,
commercial service, etc. That does make a difference. If it's a home system
that you want to use to learn bleeding edge stuff and don't mind rebuilding
every six months, the latest Fedora might be appropriate.

Hopefully I won't start a religious war with the following comments. It's
certainly not my intent and it's wonderful to have all these choices - not
just MS and MS-lite ;)

> CentOS 3.1 (RHEL)

Actually it's 3.4 now. 3.4 came out very, very shortly after the equivalent
Red Hat 3.4 release. This is my personal pick among the RH clones. I use it
on production systems and have never had a glitch. I feel the yum updater
has been more reliable than RH up2date. This would be my choice for
productions systems where Red Hat is unaffordable and RH support is not

One Caveat, Whitebox Linux has better support for older and slower hardware.

> Debian 3.0r1
Debian has a deserved reputation for being a steady and dependable OS. I've
used it for systems that you just want to turn on and forget (can you spell
router). Only drawback for MailScanner Gateways is that it takes a while for
the latest complimentary applications to filter down. For example
SpamAssassin 3.0x was just recently released for Debian testing. This is not
necessarily bad where stability is important.

> Fedora Core 2
I think its Fedora 3 now and I don't think that Fedora 2 and 1 are supported
any more. This should tell you that you don't want to run this OS on high
availability systems (and Red Hat will tell you the same thing)

> Fedore Core 1
See above

> Gentoo Linux 2004.2 (09-14)
No experience

> Mandrake 9.1
No experience

> Red Hat 8.0
End of life - stay away

> Red Hat 9.0
End of life - stay away

> Slackware 9.0
No experience

> Ubuntu 4.10
What ??? - I've got to look this one up :)

You left out Red Hat ES and AS 3.x;
If you can afford it and want or need the support, this is a very good
choice and one you will never be fired for making.

You left out SuSE Enterprise Linux 9.0;
Also if you can afford it and want or need the support, this is a very good
choice and one you will never be fired for making. It's my personal choice
among the commercial versions of Linux. It's well packaged and yast2 updates
are the best; but maybe that's because I still like Novell.

> Thanks
> Lance

I just know this will garner a few comments.



Steve Swaney
Fortress Systems Ltd.
Phone: 202 338-1670
Cell: 202 352-3262
steve.swaney at fsl.com

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