Re: FreeBSD or DEBIAN for remotely administered internet server
From: Peter Gutbrod (lists_at_media-fact.com)
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2004 11:26:55 +0200 To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> I was thinking that with the trouble you're having with mail an all,
> best you don't do remote admin at all:-)
yes a really unlucky debut into this list. To my apology I'd like to say,
that I initially send my post to the linux.debian.user newsgroup. And while
all other newsgroups I've subscribed to nearly instantly show up my new
posts, this one took about an hour to appear. So I suspected something went
wrong with the post, and as a resend didn't work as well, I subscribed to
the mailing list and posted again, which worked instantly. But after a hour
I saw the result :-(
And in case someone still suspects ...: No, I'm not a kiddy, who just got
his new computer and tries to learn how his mail client works and dreaming
of an remote administered own server. I do remote administrating of several
production servers for years now. Most time quite successful ;-)
The reason for my question is, that I feel the Redhat and Suse systems I
used so far are more and more less suited for my needs. Why?
1.) IMHO they target at the Windows desktop user, making everything look
nice under a GUI from even the very first install steps on. They abandon
more and more their commandline config tools (i.e. Yast2 has replaced Yast,
try it over ssh - terrible).
2.) They try to keep the system consistent the way they think it should be,
making it hard to administrate the system with other tools (Webmin) or
manually. I.e. you enable a service with Webmin or manually with a symlink
into rc.d but the service doesn't start, because Suse installed a patched
startup script that parses Suse.conf to determine, which service should be
started or not. And with newer releases they've even split that single
config file in dozens of peaces. That can become quite confusing.
3.) The rpm system works to some extend. But after some time, Suse stops to
maintain rpms for your system. Trying to overcome this by installing rpms
for newer systems or from 3rd party, will break your system sooner or later.
You have to upgrade to a new system and that usually implements to buy a new
distro and do the update locally from DVD/CD. 95% of the new feature you buy
with the new distro, you don't need for such a kind of server (i.e. no X
apps etc.) And installing from source works in theory but I found that the
srpms sometimes don't match the rpms. You have to heavily edit the specs
file, not just adding your single wished configure option but cleaning as
well other areas of the specs file or the srpm won't compile at all.
The Debian package management sounds appealing. The FreeBSD ports collection
seems to be similar and probably more powerful but you have to deal with
more commands to work with it successfully.
I've asked the same question on the FreeBSD list and to my surprise got
quite some posts from FreeBSD users, who sayed, they tried both and the
Debian package system was much easier to work with.
I expected to here this mostly on this list but probably Debian users are so
satisfied with their system, that they never felt a need to try out FreeBSD,
and therefore don't feel they can contribute much to that thread.
And lastly concerning your suggestion of Webmin. Yes, I use it over SSL for
some tasks. But I second your opinion, a good editor is much more efficient
in administrating than most GUIs as long as you know what you have to do.
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