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From: Christian Mayrhuber (christian.mayrhuber_at_gmx.net)
Date: Sat 28 Jun 2003 - 15:13:23 BST

Am Samstag, 28. Juni 2003 15:07 schrieb ComplexMind:
> Hello,
> Iíve been following VServer for quite some time now and have a few machines
> running VServers. I currently use only RedHat 7.3 as a base system and for
> VServers but Iím growing increasingly nervous about where and when RedHatís
> continued support for the
> little-people-who-canít-afford-enterprise-licenses-but-donít-need-the-hand-
>holding-support will end.
> I donít particularly have a problem with what RedHat are doing as they are
> free to do so within the terms of the GPL. Instead
> At the same time I have been forced (as a result of an unusual requirement
> by a client) to recompile Apache using the stock distro which soon ended up
> mushrooming to a recompile of PHP, OpenSSL, etc etcÖ
> It struck me that now I am hitting on these issues I might as well kill two
> birds with one stone and start looking for a more suitable distribution to
> use. OK, so there are many good distributions out there and it is very
> difficult to decide where to go next so I thought Iíd put it to the list to
> see what peopleís experiences have been.
> Should I be looking at what seems like the ultimate, most flexible distro
> (Gentoo) or should I be looking towards a more time-served distribution
> like Debian?
> I understand this is a very subjective issue and Iím not trying to start a
> distro-war or anything, Iíd just like to try and find out what peopleís
> experiences have been with the various distros where creating/managing
> vservers is concerned.
> Iím particularly interested how well other distros handle software updates
> Ė Iím used to most of the work being done for me through auto-rpm and
> really appreciate this type of functionality to keep my workload down.
> Any and all comments appreciated. And keep up the good work!
> Regards,
> Mark.
> Ex-freeVSD, Ex-proVSD, Ex-communicated, Ex-traordinary!
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from a upgradeability point of view Debian is really excellent. You can upgrade
from an older Debian version to a newer one with two commands:
  apt-get update
  apt-get dist-upgrade
This usually does not break anything. At least, it never broke something on my machines.

>From a security point of view, Debian is very good, too. There is a server for security fixes,
security.debian.org, which provides packages with security updates. There is a very active
security mailinglist, too.
Packages with security fixes do not touch your configuration files at all. Some people trust the
security server even that much, that they do automated security updates via a cron job.
  apt-get update
  apt-get upgrade

Vserver is relatively new on Debian and is not part of the stable distribution. It is only in testing and
unstable for now. Those packages moved the /vservers directory to /var/lib/vservers in order to comply
with the debian standards. You should be able to recompile the vserver .deb for stable by yourself.
Since the vserver-0.22, everything seems to work fine. Earlier releases of vserver had some problems
with Debian. You will need to build your own vserver kernel, or use the precompiled one from solucorp.
Running vserver on debian is as stable as it is on any other distribution. It is very comfortable to build
a new vserver with the newvserver-debian script from Paul Sladen and Mark Lawrence. You will have
to edit it to suit your needs.

If you want to install a system to let it run once it's installed, good security updates without much effort and
you do not need the latest software releases, then Debian's stable distribution is for you.

I personally don't know Gentoo, or the latest RedHat/SuSE, I've never felt the need to try them after the
switch to Debian 1.5 years ago.

lg, Chris

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