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My Linux Distributions of Choice

29 December 2006 No Comment

A long, long time ago (actually not THAT long ago) I started to play with Linux. My very first Linux Distribution began with Corel Linux 1.0. I think I did finally get it installed but lo’ and behold that was as far as I got. Knowing very little else to do from there, I wiped that little 2gb hard drive and kept using Windows.

Then came a retry with Redhat 7.3 with some success but I soon came to despise ‘rpm dependency hell’. ie: This package requires this, which requires this, which requires…. there was a point I just gave up trying to install the dependencies and hoped and prayed for the best, or just compile from source wondering if it would ever upset anything else. Actually, I wondered back then why anyone would use RPM’s as it seemed compiling from tarball’s was so much easier.

Anyway, I came across Mandrake 9.1 free on a CD somewhere and discovered URPMI.. oh sweet love it was at first sight. Now, I could actually just find the software I wanted and 95% of the time, it would install just as long as it was in MDK packages. I considered myself a fairly religious Mandrake zealot for sometime, right up to Mandriva 10.1 though always toying with the odd distro, specifically small distributions like Peanut Linux, Vector Linux and Damnsmalllinux.

Fast forward to today and Mandriva (as of fairly recently) is actually no longer in use anywhere:

On my desktop: PCLinuxOS 0.93

Flash, Java, ATI Drivers are all in Synaptic, Katapult and a very usable Wine package which happens to run a number of my ex-Windows needs.

In a Virtual Machine on my desktop: Suse 10.1

Why? Ifolder is responsible for my move from Mandriva 2006 to Suse 10.1. I couldn’t get it to compile on Mandriva and if you HAVEN’T used IFolder, you are really missing out on something. It also happens to run Communigate Pro as a mail server, Apache 2, Postgres, Mysql and about 40 development websites just nicely.

At Work as a Server: Suse 10.0

Why? Novell being behind them gives me some confidence to sell it to the boss (and I just don’t like Redhat anymore). Additionally, YAST makes it easy for me to take holidays and others to manage the machine.

On my Web Servers: Centos 4.x

Why? Compatibility – a few Cpanel servers I iniherited came with it. When applying updates, patches etc. a standard operating environment simplifies an Admin’s life.

and Windows still has a small place in my heart but mostly just to keep others happy :)

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