taskGNU Herds - Free Software Association - Tasks: task #8918, Debian vs Gentoo vs gNewSense vs...


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task #8918: Debian vs Gentoo vs gNewSense vs CentOS vs ... for production and development

Submitter:  Davi Leal <davi>
Submitted:  Sat 13 Dec 2008 05:23:25 PM UTC
Should Start On:  Sat 13 Dec 2008 12:00:00 AM UTC Should be Finished on:  Sun 13 Dec 2009 12:00:00 AM UTC
Category:  System administration Priority:  1 - Later
Status:  Postponed Privacy:  Public
Assigned to:  None Percent Complete:  0%
Open/Closed:  Open Effort:  0.00

Sat 13 Dec 2008 05:23:25 PM UTC, original submission:  

<AmirMohammad> It seems there's an incompatibility, I'm using imagick 2.x series :/

<davi> About imagick 2.x
<davi> the gnuherds.org host at production is a Debian etch installation, which use older version of such library
<davi> The blocker to the upgrade from Debian etch to Debian lenny (soon the next stable) was such library version
<davi> So, that can be good!
<davi>    So the project could upgrade to the next Debian lenny stable version.

<Gothic> personally i'd stick to a source-based distro on a server which is being used for active development

<AmirMohammad> gentoo here :)
<Gothic> same here

<davi> Debian here

<Gothic> gentoo is really great on development machines and servers
<Gothic> it's very easy to make an ebuild with the latest cvs/svn of whatever you need
<Gothic> which makes it perfect for development

<davi> I had gentoo at work 2 years ago. FireFox crashed!

<Gothic> also, it's much easier to manage having multiple versions of the same lib installed, and deal with conflicts etc
<Gothic> maybe you had your make flags too agressive?

<davi> If you are going to maintain such a production system I am not against Gentoo
<davi> We installed Debian because we did a full free software installation of it, and we know it would work due to

<Gothic> i find gentoo very easy to maintain

<davi> such was our developmet environment

<Gothic> and much easier to keep up with security updates imho
<Gothic> debian does not have glsa-check (or portaudit like BSD does)
<Gothic> and it's very stable if you stick to the stable branches of everything, and avoid using ~arch - and even more stable if you set up your own portage server to buffer/manage all packages

<davi> I think you are right. Just we did not know how administrate it. We just picked what we knew

<Gothic> the only thing that concerns me re gentoo is that it seems to have slowed down a bit

<davi> setting up your own portage server is a lot of maintenance work
<davi> We delegated all that on the Debian team :)
<davi> Debian is known by being very stable

<Gothic> well, it doesn't have to be
<Gothic> it can be an exact mirror of gentoo's official portage servers
<Gothic> but it's kind of like a fail-safe
<Gothic> if some package gets removed you don't want removed, you don't have to remove it from your tree perse
<Gothic> ie, you'll always have a buffer, a fail-safe. if something goes wrong upstream
<Gothic> and if you have lots of custom ebuilds for multiple servers it's especially handy

<davi> We could delay the proposal and decision about it
<davi> due to we have now other tasks to work out
<davi>    What do you think?

<Gothic> debian is very stable, yes, and it's great for a web server or whatever

<Gothic> but if you're going to do development, you'll have lots of issues with outdated packages etc
<davi> Yes, I know
<Gothic> i don't think it's a priority, just something to think about :)
<davi> sure

<Gothic> I have actually grown to like FreeBSD a lot lately, their ports tree seems to have grown substantially and they seem quite fast with updates as well. The only thing that bothers me is that none of it is GPL :p
<Gothic> I think Gentoo is the closest thing on a GNU system + Linux kernel

<davi> What about gNewSense?
<davi>    I do not like it being Ubuntu based :P

<Gothic> binary based as well, isn't it?
<davi> yes

<davi> I fear an source based distribution for production.
<davi> It is great for development for sure
<davi> but production!

<Gothic> i administer an important server with gentoo actually :D
<Gothic> never any issues, i barely have to touch it
<Gothic> very little downtime if any

<davi> It is OK.

<Gothic> with distcc you can compile on a different machine without affecting the load of the actual server

<davi> The problem is who would take to administer it.
<davi> More admins know Debian than Gentoo

<Gothic> Yes but think about it
<Gothic> The reason these things are popular is because they are set-and-forget
<Gothic> If you actually have to ADMINISTER the server and know what you are doing, it is rarely popular
<Gothic> but when you really think about it, a real server admin SHOULD actually administer the server
<Gothic> setting it up and not looking at it anymore is a very bad thing to do :)

<davi> you forget about security patches

<Gothic> nope :)

<davi> Those are supplyed by the security Debian team for you

<Gothic> too slow

<Gothic> half of the time i find the patches quicker in gentoo really
<Gothic> plus you have an utility that will check all your installed packages for vulnerabilities

<davi> I know :-)
<davi> I was watching a Debian security escalation bug for some time

<Gothic> and don't get me started on CentOS
<Gothic> they take FOREVER with security patches
<Gothic> and when you complain about it, they just say they wait for rhel to patch it

<davi> Well, you seem almost an security expert

<Gothic> they have nothing to do with it

<davi> I personally do not like rpm based distributions. Of course not Suse, neither OpenSuse

<Gothic> same here

<davi> Another problem:
<davi>   What about the developers who will have to install a Gentoo to get a develoment environment
<davi>    Developers are more used to install a Debian
<davi>    than a Gentoo

<Gothic> why do developers have to develop on the same OS?
<Gothic> let them develop on whatever they want to

<davi> interesting :)

<Gothic> I deploy php applications all the time on my servers that have been developed by people using windows boxes.. :P
<Gothic> the OS you develop on really doesn't matter

<davi> So we could remove the requirement to use "Debian etch" as development environment. I think AmirMohammad  has not used it?

<Gothic> Let the server admin deal with the deployment issues, and let the developers focus on development, in whatever environment they feel most productive in

<AmirMohammad> davi: no, it was quite a barrier to entry, I decided not to take it as a requirement :)

Davi Leal <davi>
Group administrator


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