Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers - Linux

This is a discussion on Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers - Linux ; I, and the other people in my department at work, run Ubuntu on our desktop Linux systems at the office. (We also use Ubuntu desktop on our home Linux systems, which are used as servers at home). However, almost all ...

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Thread: Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers

  1. Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers


    I, and the other people in my department at work, run Ubuntu on our
    desktop Linux systems at the office. (We also use Ubuntu desktop on our
    home Linux systems, which are used as servers at home).

    However, almost all of the company's servers are SUSE. I think there is
    still one FreeBSD server around, and 3 Windows servers for a specific
    application.

    I was talking with the IT guys the other day, and to my surprise, found
    out they were thinking of switching to Ubuntu Server. The reason
    surprised me at first: support.

    OpenSUSE releases only have a lifetime of a couple of years. (10.3,
    which we are running on most of the servers now, hits end of life late
    2009, and came out late 2007, for example).

    Ubuntu LTS releases have a lifetime of five years for the server version
    (three years for desktop).

    You might think this isn't a big deal, since both are free, so who cares
    if we have to do a major version upgrade every two years with SUSE, as
    opposed to every five years with Ubunutu?

    We have a lot of servers, and many of them are mission critical, so a
    major server update (such as going from one major release of the OS to
    the next) requires a lot of planning and coordination, and is generally
    very annoying. It takes between one and two years to get all the
    servers updated.

    With SUSE, that means that when we finally get everything up to the
    *current* major release, it is almost time to start updating to the
    *next* major release! We end up with the IT department constantly
    working on major version upgrades, and we almost always have a mix of
    two major versions deployed.

    But this means that when we have a mix of two different versions of SUSE
    deployed, we have a mix of MySQL versions, PHP versions, etc. It's
    really annoying to want to use some MySQL feature, and then find that it
    is only available on half the servers--and the one I'm going to be using
    is one that isn't updated yet!

    With Ubuntu, and its five years of support, after we get everything
    updated to a given version we'll still have over three years before we
    have to start the next update cycle. That will make everyone a lot
    happier!

    Those Ubuntu people were very clever giving the LTS server releases a
    five year life.

    --
    --Tim Smith

  2. Re: Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers

    * Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

    > But this means that when we have a mix of two different versions of SUSE
    > deployed, we have a mix of MySQL versions, PHP versions, etc. It's
    > really annoying to want to use some MySQL feature, and then find that it
    > is only available on half the servers--and the one I'm going to be using
    > is one that isn't updated yet!
    >
    > With Ubuntu, and its five years of support, after we get everything
    > updated to a given version we'll still have over three years before we
    > have to start the next update cycle. That will make everyone a lot
    > happier!
    >
    > Those Ubuntu people were very clever giving the LTS server releases a
    > five year life.


    The downside is that you may have more discrepancies to account for,
    i.e. more pain in one big lump.

    My opinion (as a developer) is that it is better to continually upgrade.
    That way, you're hit with only one problem at a time.

    Not everyone at work agrees with me, though, but I keep doing it anyway
    to keep abreast of potential trouble spots (e.g. better standards
    conformance in gcc/g++.)

    --
    Gates is the ultimate programming machine. He believes everything can be
    defined, examined, reduced to essentials, and rearranged into a logical
    sequence that will achieve a particular goal.
    -- Stewart Alsop

  3. Re: Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers

    I agree. I use my Linux machines for both desktop and server needs,
    but only in a small way compared to a business (simple email and web
    server). Nevertheless, upgrades are always a fair amount of work, and
    I've tried to postpone them as long as possible. There are always a
    lot of details to be worked out, for example, between Ubuntu 6.04 and
    7.10, Adobe acrobat stopped being offered on the Ubuntu repositories
    and you had to go to Adobe's web site. Not hard, but it takes time.
    The 3-year support of Ubuntu LTS was certainly attractive to me. I
    must say, however, that after 3 years so much has changed in the
    software world that it's practically necessary to upgrade.


  4. Re: Ubuntu vs. SUSE for free servers

    nessuno@wigner.berkeley.edu wrote:

    > The 3-year support of Ubuntu LTS was certainly attractive to me. I
    > must say, however, that after 3 years so much has changed in the
    > software world that it's practically necessary to upgrade.


    What changes do you have in mind?

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