OT Advice for server reinstalation

Stephen Swaney steve.swaney at fsl.com
Mon Feb 27 23:33:41 GMT 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mailscanner-bounces at lists.mailscanner.info [mailto:mailscanner-
> bounces at lists.mailscanner.info] On Behalf Of Mike Jakubik
> Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 6:08 PM
> To: MailScanner discussion
> Subject: Re: OT Advice for server reinstalation
> Scott Silva wrote:
> > Mike Jakubik spake the following on 2/25/2006 4:15 PM:
> >
> >> Chris Yuzik wrote:
> >>
> >>> Nigel kendrick wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> I'd skip Fedora and put CentOS top of the list - it's a generic
> >>>> recompile of
> >>>> Red Hat Advanced Server - I'm running it on 5 servers.
> >>>> www.centos.org
> >>>>
> >>>> NK
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> I second the motion for CentOS. Our new super server that will be
> >>> deployed within the week is running CentOS, and I'm extremely
> impressed.
> >>>
> >> Even better, dump Linux altogether, and install an OS that works and is
> >> easy to manage, FreeBSD.
> >>
> >>
> > I have tried a couple times to install FreeBSD to play with it, and keep
> > getting stuck. I guess I need to read another hundred online howto's.
> >
> >
> Where do you get stuck? It takes me 5 min to install FreeBSD, most Linux
> distros take 20 and install crap i don't want/will never use. I don't
> know why you want to read a hundred howto's, there is only one freebsd
> handbook <http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/>
> ,which should address any questions for people new to it. The ports are
> easy as pie to install.

As someone from the "states" I understand that Religious wars just get us
into a lot trouble :) 

I've worked with a lot of different distributions and operating systems for
well over 20 years now. They all have pluses and minuses. 

I use FreeBSD for routers and machines I just want to "set and forget" for
the very valid reasons you list above. I also use a flavor of FreeBSD on my
Mac laptop :) which I really enjoy. 

I use CentOS on our MailScanner gateways because I personally find it the
easiest combo to keep updated - thanks to Julian's pre-digested easy rpm
based updates. 

I completely agree with your statement "install crap i don't want/will never
use". I always do a minimal install of CentOS and then `yum install`
anything else that the Applications require. The minimal install takes about
10 minutes and frankly the CentOS `yum install` is faster the Red Hat's
up2date or FreeBDS port installations. Dependencies are also very nicely
handled. You can even script the installation the additional packages that
are required for a typical MailScanner / SpamAssassin / MailWatch /
Rules_du_Jour / Pyzor / Razor / DCC site setup.

Bottom line: Go with what you're comfortable with and spend some time to
understand the pros and cons of different operating systems. Use the right
tool for the job but understand what tools are available.

Let's let reason prevail, get well informed and then let everyone pick their
own "Flavor" :)

Best regards,


Stephen Swaney
Fort Systems Ltd.
stephen.swaney at fsl.com

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