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Which Linux is the best for business?

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
A new TechRepublic poll asks, "Which Linux distribution do think is best suited for business use?

Red Hat/Fedora

What do you think and why?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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which one?

by Jaqui In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

the three best for business use are:
Debian, Slakware, Gentoo.
the rest are crap for business use.
Ubuntu, set the security to a FLAWED model destroying the Debian security certification in the process.
SuSe, a completely non standards compliant rip off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is also non standards compliant.
Red Hat's Fedor is the HOME version, using that in a business is like using windows xp home as corporate desktop, pure stupidity.

I would pick Debian for ease of install, but I would pick Slak or Gentoo for the realistic dependancies in the packages.
[ Debian says that all optional addon components to KDE are required to install KDE. GNOME, the default for Debian, is a macos clone gui, and is just as bloated as windows, macos and KDE are ]

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by R1scFactor In reply to which one?

While your preference is your own, and the end result -
could- be true of which system is best, several of the
arguments for that are flawed many times over.

1) SuSE is standards based

2) RedHat is standards based

3) Many standards come from RedHat, which is one factor
why other distributions support RPM, the RedHat Package

4) SuSE is one of the top NON-BSD distributions out there,
as far as security is concerned.

5) RedHat Enterprise Linux is one of the top distributions
as far as security. It does however, have its issues
configuring, such as running dual network cards and
wanting to run dual gateway settings. Since RedHat 9, the
systems seem to ignore the second interface's settings for
gateway IP's.

6) Fedora Core is not the HOME version of anything. It is
the community branch of RedHat. After RedHat 9, the
distribution was split between Fedora Core and RHEL.
Fedora does, however, include bleeding edge releases -
some of which are not tested as well as those making it
into an Enterprise edition. These installations are however,
documented as unstable or untested and are optional.
Much of the software in RHEL came from the Fedora Core
project, after extensive testing. RHEL GETS ITS SOFTWARE

7) Gnome is a Mac OS clone GUI? Have you ever used a
mac? From your statement, you've not even SEEN a mac.
I've used Mac and Linux for more than 10 years, including
Debian and it's NEVER looked like Mac OS (OS or OS X).

Dependencies will always exist. KDE programs depend
on KDE. Gnome apps depend on Gnome. Windows
software depends on you running Windows. Mac software
depends on you using a Mac. JAVA software depends on
you running JAVA. Chatter about "Optional addons to KDE
are required to install KDE" is nonsense. While the addons
may require KDE, KDE does not require addons.

9) If you're running a server, most professionals in the
industry don't install anything more than what is needed -
which includes NOT installing a GUI.

10) Each system shines for its own reasons.

Now for my 2 cents on picking a distro...

First, let's identify 2 major breeds. Those that are based
on BSD and those that are not.

Traditionally, BSD is a bit more hardened on the kernel
level than the Linux kernel, but such structure impedes
the top performance speeds as compared to a Linux
kernel. Point being, an optimized Linux kernel will run
faster than an optimized BSD kernel on the exact same
hardware. How much faster is a matter of need and use.
For some, kernel security outranks pure speed.

Don't get me wrong, the Linux kernel can and has been
made very secure. Also note that a less secure kernel does
not automatically = a less secure system. Kernel wrappers
are just one of many methods to compensate for and
possibly even rival the security of a BSD based system.

Debian is traditionally based on BSD. Mac OS X is also
based on BSD, with a MACH kernel. RedHat is based on
the Linux kernel. Currently, it is unrealistic to expect the
ability to just drop in the alternate kernel into the
remainder of another distribution - for example, Mac OS X
cannot just use a Linux kernel and RedHat cannot just use
a BSD kernel. Such hooks or branches could be a benefit,
but the extra hooks, assuming references to the other
kernel hooks aren't removed, also introduces new avenues
for possible exploit.

As a CEH, I have no allegiance to a single distribution.
Most distributions CAN be MADE or TWEAKED into a
stable, secure environment. Some distributions are
however, less secure than others, using the default
installation. Again, if security is your focus, you'll want to
defer to someone knowledgable or spend time learning
how to secure your systems before using it as something
mission critical.

Ubuntu is aimed at making Linux very easy for the end
user. Its out of the box setup can be closely compared to
a Windows XP installation out of the box, excluding the
Windows specific adware, spyware, and virii.

Let it be said, that NO SYSTEM can or will always be 100%
safe or 100% perfect. Exploits exist for everything.
Everything secure will also be probed for exploit until
someone manages to break it.

For those of you who are serious about using Linux, you
are encouraged to try several distros. The ease of setting
up (installing, not the configuring part) should NOT affect
the appropriateness of the resulting systems performance.
The difficulties configuring, after installation can however,
be a realistic deterrent. And lastly, Linux is not Windows
or Mac OS / Mac OS X. If those are what you really want,
then you should use them instead.

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Well said

by duane In reply to Inaccuracies

And you weren't too hard on the opinionated, though totally biased, idiot.

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by jared19 In reply to Well said

well said indeed... the "pure stupidity" lies in the content and attitude of his own post... Fedora Core is equally capable of anything XP Professional or Home can do and more!... to say that it is equivalent to XP Home Edidtion...

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Well written

by w2ktechman In reply to Inaccuracies

Thank You for that post.

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Which Linux?

by paul In reply to Inaccuracies

Very nice reply. I am using Fedora Core for workgroup servers and desktop machines in three groups where commercial Windows Apps aren't needed and users are primarily spending most of their time working with in-house applications. I believe that for us the total cost of ownership including training and administration costs is unusually low. Since some of the users had only previously used Windows with MS Office, they were intent on showing me that they had to have Windows which forced me to provide an extra amount of help desk activity during the transition to Open Office. Since most of their time spent is using web based applications which interface with MySQL, that hasn't changed.

We are Internet Connected and haven't had any security issues other than continual anti-spam battles. For me, the configurable firewall software and SMTP options mean a lot for my ability to customize.

As the company grows and we buy applications, we'll likely get RHEL or SuSe from Novell for the support options.

I like the connection between user contributions in Fedora being tested and developed then winding up in RHEL. The user contribution model of Linux keeps the costs down.

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Bull ****

by Mangauda In reply to which one?

This man is a holy crap, and whatever he had written over here is also a holy pure crap like him....
I've been using Fedora, Ubuntu, centOS, openSUSE for the last 6-7 years..Thay all are simply great, perhaps I haven't found a single professional who use slackware, debian, or whatever.....

Don't listen to his crap...

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I prefer SuSE for business and home.

by stress junkie In reply to Which Linux is the best f ...

I completely disagree with Jaqui on this post. First, why I like SuSE for business.

1) Novell is doing a great job keeping up with required patches for all of the software that they offer in their distribution. Also, patches are extremely easy to install.

2) When applications have distribution specific installation kits they always have Red Hat and Suse. Typically application developers are offering their generic installation kit, a kit for Red Hat, and a kit for SuSE.

3) SuSE is very popular, as is Red Hat. That helps to give me confidence that Novell will not simply abandon this product any time soon. Business managers like to know that the distribution provider is a respectable corporation and that they have a commitment to continuing support of their products. I think that SuSE fits that requirement.

4) The fact that SuSE does not follow the standard Linux model is theoretically problematic and is irritating in principle. However, SuSE users really don't experience many problems due to the SuSE nonstandard architecture. Mostly you can experience problems compiling applications. However, again, the applications that you want to use in business are very likely available throught a SuSE specific RPM (such as Open Office dot org) or a generic Linux RPM or tar file that will work fine (such as Firefox). So the nonstandardness of SuSE is not a problem. It's a philosophical irritation but nothing worse.

5) I can't forget about YaST. The implementation isn't quite as good as the idea behind it, but it does act as a front end to RPM for resolving software dependencies, and it does have a good front end for finding and configuring hardware. I've already expressed my admiration for the subcomponent of YaST that does the software patch work. This component is called you, (YaST online update). And it generally speeds up some system administration tasks like starting or stopping services such as DHCPd, SSHd, named, routed, hwscand, or whatever you want to start or stop. Some of its components are nothing more than a call to vi to edit a specific file. It's got room for improvement but it is already a useful system administration tool. I haven't looked at the SuSE v10.1 yet so YaST may be even better than I am describing here.

6) SuSE firewall is installed, configured, and running by default. Admittedly the default configuration is more complicated than it needs to be. Changing the SuSE firewall settings still leaves you with overly complicated rules. Turning SuSE firewall off and running your own iptables script is easy if you want to do that, so, no harm done. If you don't know iptables then the SuSE firewall is okay. If you do know iptables then using your own settings is easy.

As far as SuSE being a rip off of Red Hat, I don't really know the history of how the original SuSE developers in Germany got started. I don't really care. The criticism is specious. It sounds good when you first hear it but when you think about it you can see that it is a nonstarter. What if the original SuSE developers did copy Red Hat? So what? The SuSE developers, pre-Novell, put a LOT of original work into the distribution. It was a high quality distribution before Novell bought it. Since Novell purchased the distribution it has only gotten better.

7) Generally speaking SuSE requires less man hours of support than some of the more no-frills distributions like Slackware. That's because Novell puts a lot of time into finding, researching, and testing patches before they make software updates. They do a great job making sure that patching one thing doesn't break something else. That takes a lot of work off of my shoulders. (Admittedly, Debian and Gentoo also do a good job in this respect with the software in their portage trees).

Now as far as Jaqui recommending Gentoo, you have to be kidding Jaqui. Gentoo is insane with nonstandardness. I keep a Gentoo machine running MythTV as a hobby. It's fun. However when I do a total system rebuild it can take over seven hours to compile the source code. I don't have that much installed beyond the MythTV and basic KDE core and FVWM2. Seven hours to recompile a somewhat lean system. That's not good in a business environment. System down time is a hot button issue with business managers, even on nights and weekends in some places.

Slackware. Same as Gentoo times ten. Gentoo and Slackware are good for students. They require too much baby sitting for a business environment. In this case baby sitting means a combination of man hours researching new patches, getting and compiling those same patches, testing for problems created by the patches, researching and fixing said problems, and similar activities that hobbyists love but that business system support people don't have time to deal with.

Debian? I know that HP just started to support Debian on its machines and that's fine. However my experience with the APT software and its add ons, like Synaptic, irritated me. I just don't much like it. Personal taste. Debian does a great job of ensuring that the software in a given portage tree works together. I used Debian for about a year. The quality is excellent. It's just not my cup-of-tea.

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no problems with Suse's non standard layout?

by Jaqui In reply to I prefer SuSE for busines ...

try using a standard partition structure, that has /opt as part of the / and only one gig of space. everything Suse installs in there from the Distro Media should be in the /usr tree
[ complete screwup that makes Suse 100% un usable by itself ]
default runlevel, they copied red hat, and ignore the command line only setting.

default bootloader, with no other option available grub, huge issue, I use lilo and will not use grub, it's the worst.
[ debian fais on this also, it fails when you pick lilo, can't install it.

if Gentoo and Slak are not standards compliant, then it's the fault of the person building them, since the build from source distros are 100% in the control of the person installing.

The use of either KDE or GNOME as default gui is a major fault for any distro, since both are nothng but bloatware.

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Wrong, again...

by TechniquePhreak In reply to no problems with Suse's n ...

Looking at your gripe on partition structures, I'm understanding why so many other people on thie forum ignore you. You really don't know what you're talking about. Have you even used SUSE?

Maybe you just didn't pay attention when you during your install, but SUSE does offer several bootloaders to choose from, including Lilo. I prefer Grub. IMHO it's easier to config for dual-boots...

You can easily choose not to install the "bloat" that you get by default with KDE and Gnome, but that's the freedom of Linux! You can choose to use Enlightenment if you want to! Even though the title so obviously does not apply to you.

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