From Debian to Ubuntu?


Ubuntu. Oh my. This is awkward.

When I started out experimenting with Linux, I opted for CentOS since it is one of the most stable versions out there. You’ll soon find out though, that the software in the repos is too old for many situations in the web application industry.

Right before I started working at my current employer, I discovered that a lot of companies around here, are using Debian. I started looking into it and was sold. Very stable and newer software in the repos. But now, after one year of hardcore hosting, I’m doubting this decision.

Don’t get me wrong: Debian served us well and after more than a year of said hardcore hosting, we didn’t have one single major incident. This is absolutely awesome and worth a lot. Check out this cool series about how to set it up.

So what’s the deal with this Ubuntu craziness? Let me explain.

For over a year we’ve been building our own managed hosting. Within our suite we depend a lot on third party software. Besides current versions of the LEMP stack, these are for example OSSEC, Icinga and Lynis. All this software that I’ve just mentioned, including the whole LEMP stack, is, for our cause in the web industry, simply NOT up-to-date enough when pulling it from the default Debian repositories.

Yes, this can be solved by using third party repositories, which we use, but this has its own issues. A couple of them have been down already, they are not as well maintained as the official ones (release files! certificates expired!) and they just demand more time and effort for us to begin with. Now when our managed hosting is growing, this is becoming an issue.

For a couple of weeks now we’ve been looking at other distributions and Ubuntu seems the most logical to experiment with some more. It’s Debian based, it’s next to Red Hat the most used Linux server distribution for at least 2 years in a row now and it has very up-to-date software in its repos.

What I absolutely hate though, is the commercial aspect of this distro (freaking message of the day crap) and what I do not know yet is how stable it is.

The decision has not been made yet, but I’m seriously considering using a couple of Ubuntu servers within our Debian park. More later.

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