Thoughts for a single distro for web servers, gui servers, and desktops.

IT_Architect

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- I want to standardize on a single version of Linux that can be web server VMs (web with extreme loads quite often), server VMs with KDE that I can RDP into (project NFS volumes, run updates on all VMs computers, backups on all machines, status reports and run scheduled updates on all of the machines on the network like the Windows 2003 Servers currently does today, and might as well consolidate the Zabbix server into those same VMs also), a shared cloud desktop VM or two, and maybe a local desktop or two. This is all on a private VLAN of bare metal servers running ESXi inside Softlayer, now IBM. My background is FreeBSD and Windows Server and Workstation, so it's not like I'm familiar with any version of Linux. Other than an install of AlmaLinux and DA which, which didn't seem much different than FreeBSD, I've been away from Linux for nearly 2 decades. I could put KDE on AlmaLinux where needed or go the Ubuntu server route with the flexibility of using one of its spin-offs for desktop such as Linux Mint.

- Low frequency and ease of upgrades is important because our game is custom and commercial line-of-business apps, and updates to that kind of software does not revolve around PHP's schizophrenia. It appears Debian is supported for 3 years, Ubuntu 5 years, and AlmaLinux 5 years, and RockyLinux 3 years. (Unless DA supports them as long as they are getting security releases.) AlmaLinux seems like the CENTOS heir-apparent, especially with the CloudLinux push, but I wonder about how upgrades go compared to Ubuntu.

Simply trolling for insights from people who live in these distros,
Thanks!
 
I have settled on using Debian myself for all my Linux related needs, easy upgrades between versions, straight forward and stable, never any crazy changes, need a newer package can use backports, only install what i need. All my base infrastructure (DNS Cluster/Network Storage/Backup/some custom web hosting/Radius) is still FreeBSD... Virtualization/Primary Web Hosting/Docker VM's/monitoring/spam filtering/bgp black hole system/syslog server/GitLab/UptimeKuma are all Debian, most of them with unattended updates enabled... Primary exceptions for auto updates are monitoring server, special websites servers (mostly e-commerce, manual updates with full system snapshots)...
 
I have settled on using Debian myself for all my Linux related needs, easy upgrades between versions, straight forward and stable, never any crazy changes,
Easy upgrades is my concern with the RHEL line. I've never done an OS upgrade with any Linux system but I've seen online more positive about the Debian family than the RHEL line where it upgrading without rip&replace is new ground, some going well, and some being very careful and at length mentioning one post-upgrade surprise after another. I watched the video from Red Hat using Leapp to upgrade from 7 to 8 and it was very complex and time-consuming. I would like to hear from this forum how their AlmaLinux 8-9 upgrades went if they attempted or did them.

need a newer package can use backports, only install what i need.
I looked up Backports and learned something new

All my base infrastructure (DNS Cluster/Network Storage/Backup/some custom web hosting/Radius) is still FreeBSD...
Your comments mean more coming from someone who also has FreeBSD expertise because you have a view of what works best where. I had to leave Linux in 2005 because it would crash under load. Data centers threw us out because of too much bandwidth (unlimited has its limits, they simply rename it abuse) The Planet told us for web hosting, use FreeBSD, you will get more sites per server and it will remain stable under heavy load, use Linux for apps, and Windows when you want Microsoft technologies. The bad news is he said we were too small a customer for them. Next, I ran across a guy lamenting his purchases who did online streaming who went from 5 servers to 1 FreeBSD server. Next I talked to the techs at SAVVIS, seen as a national asset, protected by the military, and the largest world banking hub at the time. He came back with their servers mostly using FreeBSD, and the one who told me about DirectAdmin. He also said we were too small for them and they also maintained the servers and software for the banking systems. He did refer me to another company in the data center from Australia I could contact. Then I went to a site that tracked online statistics, and the top 6 out of 10 most reliable were running FreeBSD and Linux seldom made the list. Desperate, I contacted the company from Australia, he also knew FreeBSD and DirectAdmin and said that FreeBSD was the best solution for our situation, but if I go with 6, I would be working with beta software and would not recommended for production. The difference was unbelievable. Even under attack, we could log in. Email clients didn't complain until ~80, sites unusable ~130, and while dog slow, we could always log in to do battle no matter how high the load got. Linux never got close to getting out of the single digits without processes crashing. This new reality took time for me to accept because I grew up swimming in Linux Cool-Aid. Novell had purchased SuSE, WordPerfect, and Lotus 1-2-3, and 2004 would be the year of Linux when it begins to displace Windows on the desktop on large scale. Later I learned that some of the The Planet's brain trust left to start SoftLayer. They were brand new and from talking to them, I realized they had re-created The Plant's infrastructure and then some, and we have been there since. This is my first time back to work with Linux, simply because I had no reason to. Linux is a strange environment. The word only specifies a kernel, and you don't even know which version. While it borrows heavily from UNIX, software installs, maintenanance, and upgrades are all over the map. What I've seen gel are two main paths, Debian and RHEL, and there is plenty of variation in their legions off-spring, ranging from historical to eternal beta. That's why it helps me to hear from someone like you to narrow the field.

I know "Linux" HAS to be more real now than then because over time I've seen IBM, Novell and others donate family jewels to Linux, and with today with all of the competition, web hosters are in no position to afford to remain fan boys.

Virtualization/Primary Web Hosting/Docker VM's/monitoring/spam filtering/bgp black hole system/syslog server/GitLab/UptimeKuma are all Debian, most of them with unattended updates enabled... Primary exceptions for auto updates are monitoring server, special websites servers (mostly e-commerce, manual updates with full system snapshots)...
Do I detect Proxmox in that mix? If so, tell me more.

Thanks tons for your reply. It's more helpful than I could have hoped for.
 
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Linux is a strange environment.
Amen to that.. We all know FreeBSD is better. However the industry moved on and no one has created a Hosting panel as good as DA for it. If DA ever went back to supporting FreeBSD I would switch right back. However that is not likely...ever.

Debian is a great choice. I don't think you can go wrong with Debian. In the end its what you end up preferring because none of them compare to FreeBSD but I am a converted fanboy for FreeBSD anyway. Of all of Linux Debian is closest to the FreeBSD philosophy as well.

Let us know which one you test out.
 
Have also been doing this for a while, started with using primarily FreeBSD in 1999, think we started using DirectAdmin in 2005 on FreeBSD, somewhere around 2010 we started switching to Debian for web hosting due to 'internal friction'. We have always had our own server rooms for running our own stuff. We have in the last few years started using Digital Ocean for just our remote DNS cluster nodes, some monitoring, will probably get another couple on Linode to diversify.

Yes I do have many Proxmox servers, just about everything is running on on Linux KVM (Proxmox) some minor stuff on LXC, makes it easy to move around VM's fairly quickly and recover from failures (which rarely happens, most servers run with Raid 6 with a hot spare, and a couple cold spares on hand). Some are clusters with fail over, most are stand alone with only a couple VM's on each, which is mostly web hosting. In the process of rebuilding one of the Proxmox clusters right now to migrate services to, 5 nodes w/ceph distributed storage storage network between the nodes (nvme storage). In general I have been happy with the performance, everything gets full backup images daily, de-duplicated file backups of important files on most servers every 6 hours (at least 30 days of look back/file recovery, comes in handy when someone accidentally deletes their email or website most of the time).

Exceptions are backup/nfs servers always run on bare metal (FreeBSD ZFS Raid z2), some with offsite ZFS replication.

We have considered/tested other options, but Proxmox is a good fit for us at this time. A close second choice of ours is XCP-ng. VMWare was excluded due to costs.
 
I would like to hear from this forum how their AlmaLinux 8-9 upgrades went if they attempted or did them.
I did,:)
Upgraded from AL 8 to 9 with their upgrade script , had no issues.
Must admit that i did the upgrade before installing DA (server provider did not had AL9 iso back then)
 
Yes I do have many Proxmox servers, just about everything is running on on Linux KVM (Proxmox)... some minor stuff on LXC, makes it easy to move around VM's fairly quickly and recover from failures...In general I have been happy with the performance, everything gets full backup images daily, de-duplicated file backups of important files on most servers every 6 hours...Exceptions are backup/nfs servers always run on bare meta...We have considered/tested other options, but Proxmox is a good fit for us at this time. A close second choice of ours is XCP-ng. VMWare was excluded due to costs.
I just learned about Proxmox from bdacus01/Brent hours ago, which triggered the thought when you mentioned Docker. This is the type of real and balanced experience I need to hear before even thinking about wasting time on something that ends up being another rabbit hole, as was the case after listening to Hyper-V and XEN fanboys pontificate when I tested virtualization platforms before.
 
I did,:)
Upgraded from AL 8 to 9 with their upgrade script
Leapp?

had no issues...admit I did the upgrade before installing DA (server provider did not had AL9 iso back then)
Thanks for the reply. The issues you could run into with DA during an OS upgrade must be considered any time you do an OS upgrade. Maybe one day DA will supply a config file to upgrades to the RHEL and Debian lines.
 
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