What is the Best Linux Distribution

If you choose Linux as the operating system for your server, the next big question is: “Which Linux distro should I use on my Linux server?”. Since different servers are intended to perform different tasks, the answer to this question is not easy.

Many people choose a distro which provides commercial support. This might be a (reasonable) requirement of their company or even a personal choice. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the world’s most popular commercial Linux distribution. Canonical also provides commercial support for Ubuntu server and Novell for Suse Enterprise Linux.

This article refers to ordinary servers, used as web server or database server, used and administered by a professional or a small business company. We believe that community support is valuable. So, we will select a community driven distribution.

What about distributions?

Centos is actually a community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It has many advantages, which Debian offers. The packages are updated using yum, while Debian uses apt-get. Apt-get is more advanced than yum and more stable. Debian packages are better organized in repositories than these in Centos. However, Centos remain a great option for “Red Hat oriented” users.

Ubuntu (server edition) is actually based on Debian. Packages and Kernel are newer, but this is not necessarily an advantage for server machines.

Fedora (another Red Hat flavor) comparing to Centos seems to be what Ubuntu is for Debian.

Other distributions like Gentoo and Archlinux offer cutting edge packages. There are great releases, but update process is not always easy and requires advanced administrator capabilities.


Actually, there are not huge differences between Linux distributions. Every distro has pros and cons. You should use the distribution which you know better and you like more. However, some distributions are best suited to server environment (stability, security), while other are more convenient for desktop use (cutting edge software, friendly interface).

Debian should be the first choice for server environment regarding tu stability, upgradability, security, pre-configuration and free open source (since 18 years) with good support community.



Since 20 years I work on Database Architecture and data migration protocols. I am also a consultant in Web content management solutions. I am an experienced web-developer with over 10 years developing PHP/MySQL, C#, VB.Net applications ranging from simple web sites to extensive web-based business applications. When not writing code, I like to dance salsa and swing and have fun with my little family.

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