Linux Mint as a server?

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Askey307
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Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Askey307 »

Good Morning

I've been evaluating different opensource alternatives to Windows Server. Not a bit MS fan haha. Would Mint be able to do the job?
Been a big fan of Red Hat for a long time, however, with IBM buying them, I'm getting skeptical.

Your input would be appreciated.


Kind Regards

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catweazel
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by catweazel »

Askey307 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:34 am
I've been evaluating different opensource alternatives to Windows Server. Not a bit MS fan haha. Would Mint be able to do the job?
It will do just fine.
Askey307 wrote:Been a big fan of Red Hat for a long time, however, with IBM buying them, I'm getting skeptical.
That's not an issue for most of the community. It's a big plus, as is Microsoft's involvement.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

Askey307
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Askey307 »

Awesome, any server packages to install on Mint? Which would you recommend to use? Most prob not cinnamon?

When it comes to MS these days, I'm not so sure anymore.

gm10
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by gm10 »

Mint is a Desktop OS, if you want a pure server I'd suggest installing a server distro instead, e.g. Ubuntu Server https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server

That said, you should probably not be running a server because:
Askey307 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:52 am
Awesome, any server packages to install on Mint? Which would you recommend to use? Most prob not cinnamon?
If you don't know what kind of server you need to be running then we certainly don't, either. Also realize that there are bad people out there, if you just happily hook a few "server packages" up to the Internet without a real understanding about what they do then you stand a good chance of getting your box hacked, so don't put anything important on it while you figure things out.

But first you need to figure out what you actually want/need.
Last edited by gm10 on Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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catweazel
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by catweazel »

gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:05 am
Mint is a Desktop OS, if you want a pure server I'd suggest installing a server distro instead, e.g. Ubuntu Server https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
I was going to mention that servers generally run headless and GUI-less but given this is a newcomer question, I chose not to muddy the waters. Installing Ubuntu server isn't the solution for the OP.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

gm10
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by gm10 »

catweazel wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:32 am
gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:05 am
Mint is a Desktop OS, if you want a pure server I'd suggest installing a server distro instead, e.g. Ubuntu Server https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
I was going to mention that servers generally run headless and GUI-less but given this is a newcomer question, I chose not to muddy the waters. Installing Ubuntu server isn't the solution for the OP.
We agree, of course, except I thought muddying the waters was a good idea so he thinks twice before accidentally doing something reckless like putting his personal data on the Internet or worse ;)

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catweazel
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by catweazel »

gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:37 am
We agree, of course, except I thought muddying the waters was a good idea so he thinks twice before accidentally doing something reckless like putting his personal data on the Internet or worse ;)
lol
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

Askey307
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Askey307 »

Haha love that you want to introduce me to the dangers. Thank you. But been in the field for a while. I'm trying out by "toying"with different options. I am well versed as well have my B. Honours in Computing and busy with Masters and several other qualification ranging from Comptia, Cisco as well as Juniper. Where as I am studying the course material for Kali to write my Kali exams in January. So well aware of the "bad" people haha. OR a bit to familiar.

But yeah, we all stay rookies. So, more what I want to know, if there has been people that tested it out and they feedback or someone who actually "TOYED" with it before, I would appreciate their input. And some input of actual reviews of what others have tested except for the big ones like Win Server/RedHat and Ubuntu Server.

So my spec can range from a server for 10 people up to 7900 employees (Our current amount). And just getting some toys to play with.

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Askey307 »

catweazel wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:32 am
gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:05 am
Mint is a Desktop OS, if you want a pure server I'd suggest installing a server distro instead, e.g. Ubuntu Server https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
I was going to mention that servers generally run headless and GUI-less but given this is a newcomer question, I chose not to muddy the waters. Installing Ubuntu server isn't the solution for the OP.

We're trying to move away from CLI, newcomers at our company usually prefer GUI and when I compile a report for our COO and CEO (not CTO), it's a nightmare explaining the screenshots which they ask for because it does not look like the pictures they see online like win server gui etc. They're not tech inclined. (Face palm)

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by gm10 »

Fair enough. Well then, if you get paid for putting a pretty GUI on a server, no reason you couldn't use Mint. With the Ubuntu base it has access to all the same packages as the server variant. Just be aware that as a desktop distro it installs a whole lot of applications and services/daemons that you'll never need on a server. It might end up being easier adding a window manager and desktop environment to the server variant than cleaning up the desktop, but I never tried so good luck on your adventure either way. :)

Askey307
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Askey307 »

gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:54 am
Fair enough. Well then, if you get paid for putting a pretty GUI on a server, no reason you couldn't use Mint. With the Ubuntu base it has access to all the same packages as the server variant. Just be aware that as a desktop distro it installs a whole lot of applications and services/daemons that you'll never need on a server. It might end up being easier adding a window manager and desktop environment to the server variant than cleaning up the desktop, but I never tried so good luck on your adventure either way. :)

Will need that goodluck. And yes, I do get paid to make things look prettier for those who do not know the difference between DHCP and Static for example
Sometimes I wish I can just be left alone and make things work my way instead of presenting some statistics and making a Powerpoint slideshow.

gm10
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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by gm10 »

Askey307 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:14 am
Sometimes I wish I can just be left alone and make things work my way instead of presenting some statistics and making a Powerpoint slideshow.
Said every sysadmin ever. ;)

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by DotA »

Askey307 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:47 am
catweazel wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:32 am
gm10 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:05 am
Mint is a Desktop OS, if you want a pure server I'd suggest installing a server distro instead, e.g. Ubuntu Server https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
I was going to mention that servers generally run headless and GUI-less but given this is a newcomer question, I chose not to muddy the waters. Installing Ubuntu server isn't the solution for the OP.

We're trying to move away from CLI, newcomers at our company usually prefer GUI and when I compile a report for our COO and CEO (not CTO), it's a nightmare explaining the screenshots which they ask for because it does not look like the pictures they see online like win server gui etc. They're not tech inclined. (Face palm)

First, many, many thanks to the OP and follow-ups in this thread. It allowed me to come to much needed realizations.

Linux Mint is great as a desktop, and I adore the GUI. I just wish it didn't come at the cost of losing CLI...

Unfortunately, as a SysAdmin, I have to constantly fight with it to do anything I want (running dhcpd, for instance). It is, in fact, worse than simply not working, as all the typical Debian/Ubuntu framework is still there, it just doesn't do anything...or worse, doesn't work consistently because said framework is assumed to not be used in favor of a conflicting linuxmint GUI tool (/etc/network/interfaces vs NetworkManager).

I run several servers & desktops, which for speed and sanity, I administer using CLI (e.g.: for s in $server_list; do ssh $s "apt-get update"|sed "s/^/$s\t/"; done), and having to re-learn how to force LinuxMint to do what I want is a major challenge, not to mention having to have two major methods of administering core level functionality of devices (all of debian based systems excluding linuxmint, and linuxmint) is simply an unfortunate shortcoming. Keep in mind that this also effectively divorces LinuxMint from all the other Debian/Ubuntu support help and howto's out there.

In short, if I need a one off desktop that is orphaned from the rest of my infrastructure...and I think I'll never be tempted to try to hit the CLI to administer it, LinuxMint is fantastic. But if I need a server or want to *simply* be able to administer it like every other Debian/Ubuntu based box in my environment, it just isn't worth it.

Posting this despite the thread being a touch stale, as I found it very insightful when looking for how to simply run a LinuxMint "server".

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by Huecuva »

As mentioned, Mint will do the job just fine, but it's a desktop OS. Personally, I use Debian for my server. It's what Mint is based on (indirectly. Mint is based on Ubuntu and Ubuntu is based on Debian) so if you're familiar with Mint you won't have to relearn a new version of Linux. It's more lightweight than Mint and more server oriented. I don't run my server completely headless, either. I'm not familiar enough with Linux in general to go completely without a GUI and the xfce GUI I'm using with Debian doesn't use much for system resources anyway. it also helps to have a GUI if you plan on using VNC to access your server from elsewhere.

If you like Red Hat, another option is CentOS, which is the free and open source version of Red Hat.

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by phd21 »

Hi Askey307,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

Arguably, the two most popular Linux servers are Ubuntu Server and CentOS.

I don't see why you could not use Linux Mint as a server as long as it has enough system memory (8gb + ram), good fast multi-core CPU, a decent video card, and an SSDrive or two, perhaps two Ethernet adapters for the number of concurrent users you mentioned or when running a web server and LAN, then it should run almost everything well. (these suggestions are for any server)

Anyone can use SSH to securely connect to their Linux Mint system and it is nice to have desktop GUI options for remote access some of which can use SSH as well like Remmina.

You did not mention specifically what you want to run on these server(s)? If you want to run large databases then you can use a web server (install LAMP or XAMPP) and MySQL, MariaDB, and other SQL databases, and for non-web based databases (file server) you could install NFS server and clients. If any of the computers on the LAN will use MS Windows then you will probably want Samba installed as well.

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Xfce) & KDE Neon 64-bit Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 2 in 1, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics. I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by 8 ball »

Doesn't make much sense to me running a desktop on a server unless you don't possess the knowledge to run it on a server OS. As far as they go, I would recommend Ubuntu server as the most popular, hence the one with the most support, tutorials etc. I administer mine over the network using webmin which gives you an interface accessible via a web browser.

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

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Re: Linux Mint as a server?

Post by TanisMajere »

I've been doing "Servers" for a long time...loooooonnnggg time. Built my first Netware box in 1989... The one absolute now, and then, is hardware.

You can do darn near ANYTHING if you have the hardware. What makes Linux so attractive is what you can do with it with as minimal hardware possible...which, usually, translates in to cost savings. The reference to "no GUI" is only because most GUI's take up blessed resources on your server. Let's face it...if you are running a box that has 8gb of RAM you need every scrap of resources you have.

Askey, I get where you are coming from. I too an in an organization that "less is more." It costs me more time trying to translate than if I just show them a "thing" of beauty and something they understand. So to answer your question.

Heck yeah you can use Mint as a Server!

I'm running Linux Mint 19.3 with VirtualBox as a hypervisor and it's powering a ton of my resource servers...things like print services...general file services. I have everything from Windows 2008 VM's (have some really old apps that will ONLY run on 2008), 2012 Servers...I even has an OS2 VM running. Most importantly...harkening back to my earlier statement. The piece of hardware I run this on has 500gb of RAM, iSCSI linked to 40TB of SAN and 2 Cores with 20threads each. Trust me...that piece of hardware EATS the 20 or so VM's I have running for breakfast...and then some. So, really...it's all about the size of the Hammer you throw at it. From a functionality standpoint...it's pretty much all the same. Yes, you have a number of processes and resources being eaten by the "GUI" but if you feed the GUI a "steak" instead of a hamburger...it'll work just fine.
Grab the bull by the horns.

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