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Which Linux distro is best for a web server

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I have never used Linux before but I'm going to be getting a Linux VPS for hosting because some of the PHP applications that I use don't run very well on my windows sever.


The choices that I have are CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu


I have searched the net to try and figure out which is better but everything I read pretty much says that it comes down to what your comfortable with and have the most experience with.

I have no experience so my priority is which is best for a web server but this will also be a good opportunity for me to get familiar with Linux.


I would appreciate your opinions,



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Well it doesn't really matter which one you choose. It's just a matter of personal preference. I would suggest you could try both and see which you are more comfortable with. with debian/ubuntu you use dpkg package manager with .deb packages, and with centos/rhel you use rpm package manager. Also it is also smart to write out a plan of what you want your install/setup to look like and what you are wanting to accomplish with your setup. You could also use virtualbox and create two virtual machines, one debian, one centos and then experiment with both and then finally decide one or the other to install on your vps. Also ubuntu tends to have more recent/newest packages available, and debian/centos are more focused on stability. Ubuntu releases a new distro every 6 months and centos/rhel only release a new version every so many years. If you were to choose for ubuntu I would go for the LTS(Long Term Support) version of ubuntu.


You can install rpm packages like this: rpm -i packagename.rpm

You can install .deb pakcage like this: dpkg -i packagename.deb


as root user of course or you can use sudo but we can explain more about that later once you have installed the system.


You can also use the repos:


centos: yum install packagename

debian/ubuntu: apt-get install pakcage name


The man pages are also really usefull in linux


man command


example: man ls


most of the configuration files are located under /etc


Well that's just some basic information, hope that will help you out. And lastly welcome to the forums!! smile.png

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Will you be configuring your root server graphically or via commands?


Out of those three, ubuntu is the easiest to manage (it's a derivation of Debian, more like a "noob-friendly version of Debian"). CentOS and Debian will be the more stable and structured but can also be somewhat terrifying if you're new to Linux.


I would also advise what Feedmebits mentioned: best plan and create yourself a testbed first. Many a novice user unwittingly becomes a spam relay or a zombie client joined to a botnet due to their inexperience - running a web server isn't a "set it and forget it" task, there's quite a maintenance overhead involved and it's safer to gain some skills and familiarity with both in a safe localised testbed before trying it out "for real" out in the wider net.


Hopefully, by playing with your testbeds, you can form an opinion as to which more closely suits your needs then plump for that particular distro.

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this webserver is running on Centos so I can highly recommend Centos, very very stable and easy to manage especially if you are familiar with RedHat

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