How about a Linux Mint server edition?

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How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby hannu on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:25 am

I wonder if there have been any plans to come up with a server edition of Linux Mint.
Something like this:
- an installation that by default only installs the basic Linux with a light weight X desktop
- offering options to install sendmail, apache2, mysql, sshd server, dovecot POP/IMAP, BIND, Shorewall
- options for editors, vi, vim, emacs, light weight file manager, etc.
- no codex, multimedia etc.

Right now, I use Debian for our servers, installing a nox version, then adding all programs one by one. The installation is not very good, it installs Exim mail server which is hard to get ridd off. Then, after doing everything slowly and manually, you can install x manually. If you choose "Desktop", it will install Gnome with everything that comes with it.

Any ideas?

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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby Syndacate on Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:27 pm

I may be missing something here, but I was just wondering:
Mint is based on Ubuntu distributions.

Mint, at its core, is really Ubuntu. Cinnamon and other Mint goodies are obviously not, but the core is Ubuntu. So that being said, if you want to use Mint as a server, why not just use Ubuntu Server edition? I don't think there's anything a Mint server distro would offer that you can't get there. Perhaps I'm wrong, though.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby remoulder on Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:44 pm

hannu wrote:any plans to come up with a server edition of Linux Mint

As syndacate says, what do you think would be the advantages of a server based on mint when the main difference between mint and ubuntu is the desktop which is not relevant for a server?
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby hannu on Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:27 pm

Yes, the Ubuntu Server edition is quite useful, we have it in some of our file servers. However, much like Debian, its installation is not very consistent, you have to either install too much or too little, then backtrack by uninstalling and adding afterwards.
Any stripped down to plain command line Linux distro will work well as a server, but what is missing is a purpose-built interactive installation sequence and purpose-built light X GUI for a server.
This type of packaging could save time in a situation when you have to perform an installation rather quickly. I currently use Debian for this purpose, but it takes me days to get a the installation complete. In other words, the installation script gives nothing but a raw starting point, then you use aptitude manually to fix everything.
Mint is known for its superior packaging, so I think they would be able to come up with a better server installation interactive installation. Mandriva and SuSe had good interactive installation scripts in the past, but they don't see to be in the picture very much any more.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby Syndacate on Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:11 pm

hannu wrote:Yes, the Ubuntu Server edition is quite useful, we have it in some of our file servers. However, much like Debian, its installation is not very consistent, you have to either install too much or too little, then backtrack by uninstalling and adding afterwards.
Any stripped down to plain command line Linux distro will work well as a server, but what is missing is a purpose-built interactive installation sequence and purpose-built light X GUI for a server.
This type of packaging could save time in a situation when you have to perform an installation rather quickly. I currently use Debian for this purpose, but it takes me days to get a the installation complete. In other words, the installation script gives nothing but a raw starting point, then you use aptitude manually to fix everything.
Mint is known for its superior packaging, so I think they would be able to come up with a better server installation interactive installation. Mandriva and SuSe had good interactive installation scripts in the past, but they don't see to be in the picture very much any more.
Hannu


It almost sounds like you're gaging what the best server distro is based on how easy it is to setup. While I agree that should be *A* characteristic, I don't believe that should be the defining characteristic. Arch, for example, has a (relatively) large following not because it's easy to setup, but because it promotes so much flexibility.

Can you elaborate more on why Mint's packaging is better than Ubuntu's? I find this strange as they both use the same package management. The UI is a tad different but that is an **extremely** small part of any system, not to mention a server system. Also, as far as a lightweight GUI goes, if you go with something (ie. Ubuntu), chances are there will be something in the repositories for a lightweight GUI - ie, you can get Fluxbox on Ubuntu server or LXDE or something.

You really have to do more elaboration on what you want because what you're asking for just doesn't make any sense :-\. As I said, you can get a GUI setup for Ubuntu VERY quickly. As for this 'purpose-built interactive installation sequence' you'll have to elaborate more on. Sounds like you want a setup wizard, which you won't find. Some packages have some config offered to you during initial setup (ie. no-ip), but nothing like a setup wizard or anything. I'm a little lost on what you're after.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby DrHu on Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:24 pm

There may still be online services that enable you to rearrange and compile your own Linux OS version: Suse used to offer that, but I don't know if it is still available, their Linux appliances and so on..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-e9BWc15z4
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby remoulder on Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:25 pm

hannu wrote:a purpose-built interactive installation sequence and purpose-built light X GUI for a server

Neither of which mint provides. All versions of Mint provide a feature rich desktop environment and use the same installer as ubuntu.

hannu wrote:Mint is known for its superior packaging

Which is nonsense as mint uses the ubuntu repositories for the vast majority of software.
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby hannu on Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:33 pm

The SuSe installer advanced option is the closest thing that I am trying to describe. You go through long lists of packages and install what you want.
For a server, you leave out most client programs, browsers, offices, graphics, multimedia codec, and pick the server options that you need.
However, I wouldn't use SuSe or Mandriva any more, the RPM system got worse and worse during the time I used them in my servers 1997-2006.
The idea installing a server is to install as little as possible, only what is absolutely needed. Debian, Ubuntu Server, Mint installations don't allow the end user to choose what actually gets installed.
The non-x option in Debian is closest, but gives you very little choice.
The question is not what is easiest to install. Of course Ubuntu and Mint area easy, there is no decisions to be made.
Right, Ubuntu and Mint use same installers and repos, but the end result - all packages installed, is different. Otherwise there would be no Mint.
I see that this is going nowhere, forget the whole thing.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby Syndacate on Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:36 am

hannu wrote:The SuSe installer advanced option is the closest thing that I am trying to describe. You go through long lists of packages and install what you want.
For a server, you leave out most client programs, browsers, offices, graphics, multimedia codec, and pick the server options that you need.
However, I wouldn't use SuSe or Mandriva any more, the RPM system got worse and worse during the time I used them in my servers 1997-2006.
The idea installing a server is to install as little as possible, only what is absolutely needed. Debian, Ubuntu Server, Mint installations don't allow the end user to choose what actually gets installed.
The non-x option in Debian is closest, but gives you very little choice.
The question is not what is easiest to install. Of course Ubuntu and Mint area easy, there is no decisions to be made.
Right, Ubuntu and Mint use same installers and repos, but the end result - all packages installed, is different. Otherwise there would be no Mint.
I see that this is going nowhere, forget the whole thing.
H


I see what you're saying, I think. It's true that Ubuntu server doesn't allow you to choose packages like Arch would, for example. Though I do think Ubuntu would be the best choice if you wanted the 'mint style' of package management as it would start off with the least amount of packages (then you'd have to cherry pick what you did want).

As for Mint existing, you need to remember that the only major difference between Mint and Ubuntu is simply A) The model (following what the users want, instead of following their already decided plan), and B) The UI. Servers don't put a large emphasis on UI so I'd have to say I see no difference in how Ubuntu Server would differ from a possible Mint server distro. It sounds more like you want Ubuntu Server stripped of everything with selective packages on installation.

If you haven't already, I'd suggest you take a look at Arch. I feel it's a good solution for servers (and desktops, for that matter) because it A) Allows exactly what you want, which seems to be the cherry picking of packages you want, and B) Utilizes a rolling release style, so you're not stuck using the latest LTS for however long - you can keep up to date without any major updates...and then you have that full flexibility with what you want to update when new things do come out. If you haven't already, I'd seriously suggest giving it a look. It seems to align very well with what you want. It also has both 'stable' releases for common programs and a user repository of more, less common stuff. I feel Arch really out-did themselves with their package management system - so as I said, if you haven't already, I'd suggest giving it a look.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby xenopeek on Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:12 am

Let's keep on topic; this is a suggestion for Linux Mint, not a request to get ideas for other distros to try... Move discussion about other distros to Chat section please.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby hannu on Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:35 pm

Syndacate wrote:
It sounds more like you want Ubuntu Server stripped of everything with selective packages on installation.



Yes, that's about it. While there is not much requirement for the functionality of the GUI, there is a critical requirement for the efficiency, reliability and update function of the GUI. It cannot be there to in any way to interrupt the 24/7 runtime.

The reason I think Mint would be in a position to do this well is that Mint has in my experience a little higher degree of refinement that others. I have used Linux desktops, servers, etc. from 1993 Yggdrasil to Redhat, SuSe, Mandrake, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint. We have used Mint for desktops now for years, Debian for our appr. 10 different servers with about 5000 /etc/passwd entries.

Other requirements are:
- rolling distribution, good without reinstall for at least 4 years.
- compile kernel "support detected hardware only" for small kernel
- offer interactive installation from long lists of packages from categories like networking, servers, utilities, etc.
- offer no-x, or choice of 3-5 lightweight WM's, boot to x or not.
- allow install one package at a time, auto complete dependencies, deny conflicting installation

This is easy to say, it would take a lot of work to have it actually happen. However, maybe this type of version could also be sold commercially for business applicatons, specialized workstations and servers.

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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby xordac on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:43 am

I had to comment on this, I changed to Mint a few years ago, had been using Ubuntu for years before that. My servers still run Ubuntu server edition. I have tried LMDE for desktop and dint like it.(adding ppa's keeps my software more up-to-date than LMDE's rolling releases so changed to standard Mint). I think a stripped down LMDE would be an awesome addition to the Mint family that would provide rolling releases that do not require them to be cutting edge but lets you move on from one software version to another once it is stable. Having selections at setup would be convenient (postfix or sendmail, standard LAMP, ssh-server, nfs-server etc etc) would be great but not necessary. For a server I would take something plain and extra work to setup over something bloated with stuff I don't need.

Hannu's suggestions are great. When the time comes for a new server or rebuild I will probably try to do just that and use LMDE and remove all the stuff I don't need.
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby js3915 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:01 pm

hannu wrote:I wonder if there have been any plans to come up with a server edition of Linux Mint.
Something like this:
- an installation that by default only installs the basic Linux with a light weight X desktop
- offering options to install sendmail, apache2, mysql, sshd server, dovecot POP/IMAP, BIND, Shorewall
- options for editors, vi, vim, emacs, light weight file manager, etc.
- no codex, multimedia etc.


Nice thing on linux you can make any Distro a server. Being Mint is based off ubuntu and debian.. Run Tasksel... Should allow you to install remove things easily. I dont think Mint stripped it from their distro but i never tried.. As for light weight desktop LXDE or XFCE bout the lightest unless you do like a blackbox or something..

Server like ubuntu server there is nothing different than normal ubuntu except its missing a GUI which if you wanted could install.. If your worried on performance best solution is to have the server boot and run normally in runlevel 3.. Enter and Exit X whenever you need too.

Though id say no reason mint couldnt do a Server with more minimilist options or simply add that into the installer instead of making a seperate iso.. Could do like a minimal, typical, full install mode

hannu wrote:Right now, I use Debian for our servers, installing a nox version, then adding all programs one by one. The installation is not very good, it installs Exim mail server which is hard to get ridd off. Then, after doing everything slowly and manually, you can install x manually. If you choose "Desktop", it will install Gnome with everything that comes with it.


Strange i never had issue with Debian removing Exim switching out to Postfix. They also have spins for XFCE maybe even LXDE. Also choices in the installer for debian..

I typically use Debian and slackware for servers running without the GUI on servers i run.. Find myself running well under 300MB memory with web email mariadb's running
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Re: How about a Linux Mint server edition?

Postby Bolle1961 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:17 pm

js3915 wrote:Server like ubuntu server there is nothing different than normal ubuntu except its missing a GUI which if you wanted could install..

That's not correct.
Ubuntu server install a LAMP server
Kernel is optimized for server

You can always download an Ubuntu LTS mini or Debian stable netinstall iso and make a CLI install and install after completion just install what you need
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