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Discussion on: Which is the best Linux server distro?

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

I've been using Linux extensively since the 90s, thanks, but I have enough experience with Debian based distros and other distros to have a pretty good idea of what to expect from them. I've likely personally used more different distributions than you could name.

I've never had a distro that was not Debian based try and delete all instances of my kernel, or fill up my boot partition so it could not install any updates, or get the package manager to an unrecovable state where it's constantly trying to delete a massive number of the packages installed.

I have no interest in RHEL, and I have never used RHEL on anything I cared about.

RedHad based distros (such as CentOS) tend to have working package managers, which are designed for server use by serious professionals. Anyone who has tried even once to automate installing software on CentOS vs Ubuntu knows how much you need to hack around to get dpkg based installations to go through unattended, and that you never have to hack anything to get rpm based installations to go through unattended.

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madza profile image
Madza Author

Learned a lot from your insights, awesome to hear from experienced devs 😉 Thanks! 👍

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adamoutler profile image
Adam Outler

That's interesting Janne, however, it seems you're straw-manning Debian. I too have been using Linux since the early 90's, have several certs, and created the first distro to run within a chroot in Android OS. I've never experienced Debian deleting all instances of kernels. That's not something that is a common problem and most instances I see online are where people deleted their own kernels.

I believe you need to learn how to use the Package Managers better. There are several commands which can be used to reset debian and other package managers. They go into a state where they won't perform operations because it's dangerous to do so, but you can always look at the packages that are being installed and remove them. For example "apt update --fix-missing" or "apt remove -f <package name requested here". In the worst case scenarios, once you have removed the offending package and caused a bunch of damage to your system, you can "apt install --reinstall ubuntu-server^" that "^" causes ubuntu-server package and all dependencies to be reinstalled.

The most common cause of problems with package managers is broken packages and fixing them is different on each system. For CentOS/RHEL, you might have to install a different package list or get into the rpm command itself.

Point is, there is no best distro. They all have their problems, but none of which are problems which you mentioned. Debian does not delete your kernel unless you command it to and you can't get Debian package manger into an unrecoverable state, you just need to learn to Linux better. You can start with automating packages on Debian with "apt install -y " or you can get an update manager.