recommendations on a distro.....

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
935
i intend to set up a file/media server that will serve up MP3's, ripped CD's, DivX/XviD movies & TV shows, Tivo-recorded material, ripped DVD's, etc. to several computers throughout the house, including my HTPC. these machines will be running several different OS's, including Ubuntu (and maybe other flavors of linux), as well as WinXP and WinVista.

the specs of the machine:

e8400 or q6600 CPU
4GB DDR2 (and maybe more added later)
2x 80GB OS drives in RAID1
3x 1TB drives in RAID5 (to start with, but will be expanded as needed, up to 12 drives)
Areca 1230 12-port SATA RAID card (PCIe interface)
GIGe network

i'm looking for an extremely stable (and preferably easy to setup/use) distro that has good driver support for this stuff, has very good and long-lasting community support, and won't require constant attention to keep it in tip-top shape. obviously, it will need to be 64-bit to support 4GB+ RAM.

i may also eventually set it up to be a DNS/Email server as well, but for the time being, it will mainly just be used to serve up files to the network.

i'm already somewhat familiar with Ubuntu, since that is currently running on my main system and my HTPC. would the 64-bit Ubuntu Server Edition be ideal for this scenario, or is there another option that may work better for me?

i'm not super-savvy in linux yet (maybe just a little above "linuxnoob" status), so installs like Gentoo & such are out of the question for me until i get a lot better at it. i kinda just want a "set it and forget it" setup, with the obvious exception of installing the odd system update & such.....preferably as lightweight as possible.

hook me up, guys....
 

P4rD0nM3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
1,544
Stable...Long Lasting...CentOS.

Fedora and Debian take home the cake for me too. I'm using FC for my workstation and I'll be moving from FC7 to CentOS soon for my servers. Don't forget to tweak your runlevels!
 

xXaNaXx

Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
935
cool, that CentOS looks pretty nice, according to the description.

how difficult is the setup/maintenance on it?
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
625
I'm a total newbie with linux, but how does the server versions of linux differ from the desktop ones? Is it like comparing xp to server 2003? I've heard a lot about CentOS.
Right now i'm trying out ubuntu, mandriva, suse, kubuntu (for desktop).

I can see there are lots of good port management/restrictions/firewalls/port forwarding disabling right out of the box.
 

P4rD0nM3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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CentOS is technically RH without RHN and no 'official' support. It's also a bit more mature than other distros.

CentOS = More stable, Less bleeding edge.
Fedora = Less stable, More bleeding edge.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
625
Well, I killed kubuntu when i installed the drivers for a wireless usb adaptor and then edited the config file. Kubuntu would not boot so I had to get rid of it. I'm sure there's an easier way (safe mode and making edits in the kernel) - so close yet so far!

I think that most distros will be challenging. It's nice to have all those open office apps out of the box, but connecting wireless, printers, video drivers might prove to be a challenge.
 

osalcido

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 10, 2005
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isnt centOS just redhat with older packages?

I think debian is the way to go
 

Charlie_D

Gawd
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Messages
871
CentOS is someone taking the RHEL source, compiling it, and putting their logo on it basically. You have all the stability and community support of RHEL, you just don't have the name. RHEL tends to have a long support lifetime.

Think of CentOS as a grown up Fedora (since Fedora is the upstream, 'bleeding edge' version), that changed it's name when it left home :D
 

blairellis

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
398
Well, I killed kubuntu when i installed the drivers for a wireless usb adaptor and then edited the config file. Kubuntu would not boot so I had to get rid of it. I'm sure there's an easier way (safe mode and making edits in the kernel) - so close yet so far!

I think that most distros will be challenging. It's nice to have all those open office apps out of the box, but connecting wireless, printers, video drivers might prove to be a challenge.
My Linksys wireless pci card worked right out of the box with Mandriva 2008. I don't remember doing ANY configuring with it other than the SSID and whathave you that you would need to do with any wireless network.
Printer, CUPS detected my HP Photosmart 3180 connected to an XP box wirelessly downstairs on our network without a hitch.
Video drivers, Again, came with Nvidia drivers allready installed out of the box. Piece of cake if you run an Nvidia card.
 

P4rD0nM3

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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Well first off try updating when wired. Most of the time wireless doesn't work out of the box, but once you're done updating when wired, it should pop up in your network-manager.
 

BassTek

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 13, 2002
Messages
5,700
Ubuntu is pretty good for out of the box config. I tried a Kubuntu live cd and it didn't detect my laptops wireless NIC, not sure if that was due to it be the latest alpha version or what. Ubuntu 7.10 on the other hand installed everything off the bat. Wireless works, volume control buttons on the front work, wired NIC works... in fact it was easier to configure post-installation than XP2 that I installed 30 minutes earlier.

It's come a long way since I last tried it. No need to edit video or network files, just install and go.

Sorry for being off topic, as I see the OP already is familiar with Ubuntu.
 

Hurshai

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
436
I just installed Fedora 8 last week on some older hardware. My only other experience was with Ubuntu a few years back and it was pleasant.

You should also check out the Linux Media Center (LinuxMCE). It runs over KUbuntu and you still have full access to the OS. It probably doesn't fit your set it and forget it requirement, but It may be worth the investment to get it working. I have downloaded it but haven't found the time or the hardware to test it out.
 

onetwenty8k

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
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I love Ubuntu but hate Kubuntu :p

Fedora can be ultra picky at times which annoyed the heck out of me when I used it. Mandriva is excellent.
 

svet-am

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Messages
5,146
For your usage, I'd normally recommend Trustix Secure Linux. However, it has recently been EOL'd. I saw a recommendation for CentOS and while it's GREAT, I don't think you're going to find the packages you need for a good media server available via YUM on CentOS.

However, Fedora Core would be a great compromise. It's slightly more bleeding edge so you'll need to be careful about what you're installing and using. However, just about any package you read about online or in a magazine will be available to you via YUM.
 

svet-am

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 6, 2003
Messages
5,146
CentOS is someone taking the RHEL source, compiling it, and putting their logo on it basically. You have all the stability and community support of RHEL, you just don't have the name. RHEL tends to have a long support lifetime.

Think of CentOS as a grown up Fedora (since Fedora is the upstream, 'bleeding edge' version), that changed it's name when it left home :D
You're essentially correct. However, there are some subtle differences. Fedora is Red Hat's "throw it against a wall and see what sticks" version. Packages that people use on a regular basis get stabilized and rolled into RHEL/CentOS. Other packages/libraries can be severely modified or even dropped by the time the next version of RHEL comes out.
 

Knuckle-Head

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
510
Last week I installed Fedora 8 x64 via an eSATA connection. P5k Deluxe/Q6600/4gig/8800gts/x-plosion sound/sata dvd writers/ everything worked from first boot. I needed to configure my Microsoft 6000 laser mouse, fool with Adobe Flash and set up dektop effects. And install dvd and mp3 support.

It is a work of art! Very pleased with how Fedora 8 recognized my hardware and how QUICK this machine runs.

I still need to find a better way to rip dvds. Seems slow and without the 'polish' of XP/Vista.
 

Eickst

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
1,873
Fedora Core 8 with KDE. ( I hate Gnome, but that's a personal preference)

Great for desktop, great to use as a server to (don't install GUI if oyu want to use it as a server.)
 

alan2308

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2008
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
4,108
Not to be dumb, but why not?
On a server you'll probably very rarely ever access the system directly, so installing X and a desktop takes up space on the drive, uses resources if running, and adds more layers of software that could introduce additional security risks.

 
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