Debian vs Ubuntu server

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MintBean
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Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby MintBean » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:04 pm

Folks,

I'm currently running my home server on Ubuntu server. I use it for pretty basic stuff:
-Updating and monitoring the system using Webmin.
-Hosting samba shares.
-Backups from my other machines using Unison (similar to Rsync) via an SSH tunnel.

It's running like a charm, no problems at all.

Just wondering, how does Debian server compare? Is it much of a learning curve for my use case above Ubuntu? Advantages/disadvantages?

Thanks

mr_raider
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby mr_raider » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:22 pm

The better question is what functionality or features are you trying to gain? I run ubuntu server for a home DVR and media server and it's just fine. Is there a specific feature in Debian you are looking for?
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lmintnewb2

Re: Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby lmintnewb2 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:25 pm

Just general opinion, if it's working really well for you and you're already familiar with it would probably think stick with it. Ubuntu possibly newer packages compared, at least without resorting to Debian backports or other stuff to get access to newer.

Ubuntu, poss better hardware support, if your server system were to have a problem child component that doesn't work out of box on Debian, more likely it does already in ubuntu. So yeah would have to add contrib and non-free to sources.list and install the appropriate packages. ie: firmware-linux-nonfree and other stuff for your system.

Debian, depending on how it's configured, better on system resources and rock solid stable, if using the stable release. Tend towards minimal netinstalls. Install just the base Debian system and then build it out to be what I want/prefer from there. Can be as light or heavy as the enduser chooses. Believe ubuntu also offers a minimal server install media which someone could use to accomplish the same end. Found somewhere on that webpage. That being IF they chose, a massively stripped down and streamlined ubuntu server OS. Could certainly require more fiddling to get it setup as you want. Been playing with the idea of trying it just to see the end result and compare it to my Debian install(s) side-by-side. A lean, mean buntu machine. :)

Just haven't worked up the energy or enough interest just to end up with another OS onboard. Seen people use the business card iso ( back when it was still around) to do similar, ie: Create a Buntu-bang OS aka: ubuntu meets #! gnu/Linux and yeah sucker came out super light and also superfast at the end of the process. Looks like the minimal install media would work for the exact same scenario.
Last edited by lmintnewb2 on Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MintBean
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby MintBean » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:39 pm

Thanks chaps.

No particular features I'm lacking and Ubuntu is doing everything I want. As listed, I'm not using a massive amount of functionality. Just idle curiosity as to whether the grass is greener.

I guess lower resource usage is a possible draw for Debian. I'm not really considering switching right now; more an idea for the future if my Ubuntu disc should give up the ghost.

lmintnewb2

Re: Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby lmintnewb2 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:55 pm

^ Welcome :)

Personally prefer Debian, learned enough so that dealing with any non-free hardware support issues doesn't take long to setup or resolve. Though if were going to go buntu it'd be as described above, so I could config it the way I prefer. No unity ... this, that ... kitchen sink. Ubuntu being gnu/Linux can be whatever you want given enough fiddling and some know how. Still trying to work up the energy, it'd be an interesting project.

+1 you/Mintbean ... practical to stick with what you know and is already doing a good job. Time savings and possible aggravations avoided. Oops, thought of one more to add, Debian stable ... less frequent updates. Have gotten lazy, don't want to deal with a constant flood of updates anymore. Prefer a gentle trickle of the suckers as they occasionally come down the pipe. Using something like Sid, was getting tedious. Not that you'd use unstable on a server anyway.

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Portreve
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Re: Debian vs Ubuntu server

Postby Portreve » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:21 pm

MintBean wrote:No particular features I'm lacking and Ubuntu is doing everything I want. As listed, I'm not using a massive amount of functionality. Just idle curiosity as to whether the grass is greener.

I run Debian on a home file server.

I don't use it for any of the tasks you do, except for backing up data, which I do manually. For my own needs, automation would be overkill.

Also, my usage is an edge case because I don't run hardware that most any other GNU+Linux distro supports: a Mac mini G4 (circa 2004; 32 bit) and in fact it seems even Debian is abandoning support for it. As of now, they only support 64 bit G4s, so I'm going to run Debian 8.6 until eventual hardware failure.

Debian's primary advantages over pretty much any other distro are:

• Broadest possible range of hardware support
• Using the "Stable" release, the thing is a toaster. Never crashes. Ever.
• Minimum amount of resource usage without actually being a "lightweight" distro.

As has been mentioned up-thread, because of Debian's focus on stability¹ on a "no matter what" kind of basis, they by definition do not and cannot offer the latest bits of software because they haven't been tested sufficiently to be considered "stable". For me, a server needs to be absolutely stable above all else; even (for me) security takes a second seat here because, if the box isn't reliable, does it really matter if it isn't secure? It has to run to be usable.

¹ It should be noted that Debian as a distro is as concerned about security as they are about stability. That's yet another argument, in many cases, in favor of older releases of software, because it's more "known" than something newer, and issues can be patched or otherwise corrected without worrying about the impact of being less-well-known code.
Everything is in hand. With this tapestry... and with patience, there is nothing one cannot achieve.

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