Which distro? - Setup

This is a discussion on Which distro? - Setup ; Hi, all, I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's been working fine for me, with the exception of one site. This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim recompiled ...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 76

Thread: Which distro?

  1. Which distro?

    Hi, all,

    I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's
    been working fine for me, with the exception of one site.

    This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim
    recompiled with MySQL support, for instance, and a bunch of other things.

    As a result, upgrading the system has become a nightmare, because you
    have to check everything you're going to upgrade to ensure it's not
    going to break something else.

    So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    Additional packages I will compile and install myself.

    Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?

    TIA.


    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  2. Re: Which distro?

    In comp.os.linux.setup on Sat, 14 Jun 2008 15:13:22 -0400, Jerry
    Stuckle wrote:

    > Hi, all,
    >
    > I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's
    > been working fine for me, with the exception of one site.
    >
    > This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim
    > recompiled with MySQL support, for instance, and a bunch of other things.
    >
    > As a result, upgrading the system has become a nightmare, because you
    > have to check everything you're going to upgrade to ensure it's not
    > going to break something else.
    >
    > So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    > possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    > Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >
    > Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?


    Since you're familiar with Debian, why not use Debian? A minimal
    Debian installation includes very little.

    --
    PJR :-)



  3. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle wrote:

    > Hi, all,
    >
    > I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's
    > been working fine for me, with the exception of one site.
    >
    > This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim
    > recompiled with MySQL support, for instance, and a bunch of other things.
    >
    > As a result, upgrading the system has become a nightmare, because you
    > have to check everything you're going to upgrade to ensure it's not
    > going to break something else.
    >
    > So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    > possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    > Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >
    > Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?
    >
    > TIA.
    >
    >


    Hello, Yes it is me

    Here is what I use,

    http://www.archlinux.org/

    You install a minimal install and then use pacman the package manager to
    load just what you want. This is a rolling distribution ie no reinstall on
    the latest. Just uses pacman to fetch and install the newest packages.

    You can also download the Arch Build System to create a custom package and
    install it, and pacman will then track it.

    I use to build my own using linux from scratch but this is better.

    --
    Tayo'y Mga Pinoy

  4. Re: Which distro?

    On 2008-06-14, Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    >
    > So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    > possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    > Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >
    > Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?


    I'm sure you'll get 30+ different answers, but I'd suggest Slackware.
    I think it's easier to get a truly minimal install out of it than, say,
    RHEL. (I don't know Debian's minimal install, which someone else
    mentioned, so that may also work well for you.)

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  5. Re: Which distro?

    Peter J Ross wrote:
    > In comp.os.linux.setup on Sat, 14 Jun 2008 15:13:22 -0400, Jerry
    > Stuckle wrote:
    >
    >> Hi, all,
    >>
    >> I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's
    >> been working fine for me, with the exception of one site.
    >>
    >> This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim
    >> recompiled with MySQL support, for instance, and a bunch of other things.
    >>
    >> As a result, upgrading the system has become a nightmare, because you
    >> have to check everything you're going to upgrade to ensure it's not
    >> going to break something else.
    >>
    >> So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    >> possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    >> Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >>
    >> Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?

    >
    > Since you're familiar with Debian, why not use Debian? A minimal
    > Debian installation includes very little.
    >


    Because even a minimal Debian depends on hooks in MySQL and others.
    That's why I'm having problems with it.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  6. Re: Which distro?

    Baho Utot wrote:
    > Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    >
    >> Hi, all,
    >>
    >> I've got several VPS's, and have been using Debian on all of them. It's
    >> been working fine for me, with the exception of one site.
    >>
    >> This one site is heavily modified due to some system requirements. Exim
    >> recompiled with MySQL support, for instance, and a bunch of other things.
    >>
    >> As a result, upgrading the system has become a nightmare, because you
    >> have to check everything you're going to upgrade to ensure it's not
    >> going to break something else.
    >>
    >> So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    >> possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    >> Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >>
    >> Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?
    >>
    >> TIA.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Hello, Yes it is me
    >
    > Here is what I use,
    >
    > http://www.archlinux.org/
    >
    > You install a minimal install and then use pacman the package manager to
    > load just what you want. This is a rolling distribution ie no reinstall on
    > the latest. Just uses pacman to fetch and install the newest packages.
    >
    > You can also download the Arch Build System to create a custom package and
    > install it, and pacman will then track it.
    >
    > I use to build my own using linux from scratch but this is better.
    >


    But I don't want a package manager. On this one I need to compile and
    install my own pieces.

    For instance - their Exim implementation depends heavily on MySQL. So
    does a lot of their other security, such as PAM.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  7. Re: Which distro?

    Keith Keller wrote:
    > On 2008-06-14, Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    >> So, what I'm looking for is a distro where I can install as little as
    >> possible - if possible, just the basic OS (with networking, etc.).
    >> Additional packages I will compile and install myself.
    >>
    >> Any suggestions as to which would be the best distro for this?

    >
    > I'm sure you'll get 30+ different answers, but I'd suggest Slackware.
    > I think it's easier to get a truly minimal install out of it than, say,
    > RHEL. (I don't know Debian's minimal install, which someone else
    > mentioned, so that may also work well for you.)
    >
    > --keith
    >


    Slackware might work. Unfortunately, even Debian's minimal install has
    too many hooks to help.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  8. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle wrote:

    > Baho Utot wrote:
    >> Jerry Stuckle wrote:


    [putolin]

    >>
    >> http://www.archlinux.org/
    >>
    >> You install a minimal install and then use pacman the package manager to
    >> load just what you want. This is a rolling distribution ie no reinstall
    >> on
    >> the latest. Just uses pacman to fetch and install the newest packages.
    >>
    >> You can also download the Arch Build System to create a custom package
    >> and install it, and pacman will then track it.
    >>
    >> I use to build my own using linux from scratch but this is better.
    >>

    >
    > But I don't want a package manager. On this one I need to compile and
    > install my own pieces.
    >


    SIGH..........

    Yes and so do I. If you would go to the arch linux site you would see that
    you can install a system much like linux from scratch and use their package
    manager. What you get is just the minimum with a GCC tool chain.

    You can even rebuild the whole system and it will replace itself with
    the "New" one. I do this to rebuild the entire system using GCC tuning for
    AMD athlon processors.

    You then...........

    Take Exim and MySQL and make a configuration script called PKGBUILD using
    your custom commands and then install it. It will be installed exactly how
    you want it.

    > For instance - their Exim implementation depends heavily on MySQL. So
    > does a lot of their other security, such as PAM.
    >


    No, you compile it yourself just like you did on the Debian box only you
    write the configuration for it.

    For an example here is my PKGBUILD for openssl

    # $Id: PKGBUILD 2504 2008-06-04 14:53:16Z bahoutot $
    # Maintainer: Baho Utot
    pkgname=openssl
    pkgver=0.9.8g
    pkgrel=10
    pkgdesc='The Open Source toolkit for Secure Sockets Layer and Transport
    Layer Security'
    arch=('i686' 'x86_64')
    url='http://www.openssl.org'
    license=('custom:BSD')
    groups=('base')
    depends=('glibc' 'ca-certificates')
    options=('!makeflags')
    source=("http://www.openssl.org/source/${pkgname}-${pkgver}.tar.gz" "http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/patches/blfs/svn/openssl-0.9.8g-fix_manpages-1.patch")
    md5sums=('12cedbeb6813a0d7919dbf1f82134b86' '04a6a88c2ee4badd4f8649792b73eaf3')

    build() {
    cd $startdir/src/$pkgname-$pkgver
    patch -p1 -i ../openssl-0.9.8g-fix_manpages-1.patch || return 1
    ./config --prefix=/usr --openssldir=/etc/ssl shared
    make || return 1
    make INSTALL_PREFIX=$startdir/pkg MANDIR=/usr/share/man install
    install -D -m644 LICENSE $startdir/pkg/usr/share/licenses/$pkgname/LICENSE
    }

    Then makepkg -fc compiles the package.

    pacman -U package.name.i686.pkg.tar.gz installs and tracks it.

    That gives you a custom openssl package.
    You get the good from both worlds, custom compiled package and a package
    manager. It's better that good!

    I use it for installation of my custom servers, which have just what is
    needed and no more.

    I build Apache/MySQl/IMAP/WEBDAV/SVN myself using my PKGBUILD files.
    Not to mention the email/news servers and the firewall boxen.

    It really does work very well.

    --
    Tayo'y Mga Pinoy

  9. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle writes:
    > Because even a minimal Debian depends on hooks in MySQL and others.


    Huh??? I have no idea what you mean by that.
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

  10. Re: Which distro?

    John Hasler wrote:
    > Jerry Stuckle writes:
    >> Because even a minimal Debian depends on hooks in MySQL and others.

    >
    > Huh??? I have no idea what you mean by that.


    Maybe I'm wrong - but the smallest Debian I've installed has to have a
    Debian user for MySQL, has special config files for MySQL, etc. Same
    for other products like Exim.

    Example - last time I upgraded files, it upgraded pam. Unfortunately, I
    don't use standard pam for administration. The result was no way to ssh
    into the system.

    This system also uses MySQL heavily for mail processing - Exim and
    qpopper. Attempting to update some other files resulted in Exim
    attempting to be updated - which would have broken all mail processing.

    As I said - too many things are tied together with Debian's package
    manager. And too many thing are tied together in the system itself.

    Debian's package system works well if you're using the standard system -
    but not that well if you have a heavily customized one. But
    unfortunately, when you update the base components, sometimes the other
    packages get updated, also.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  11. Re: Which distro?

    Baho Utot writes:
    > No, you compile it yourself just like you did on the Debian box only you
    > write the configuration for it.


    Of course he could have done that on Debian as well.
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

  12. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle writes:
    > Maybe I'm wrong - but the smallest Debian I've installed has to have a
    > Debian user for MySQL, has special config files for MySQL, etc.


    Mysql is not part of the Debian standard system at all.

    > Same for other products like Exim.


    Exim does not require Mysql.

    > Example - last time I upgraded files...


    You mean packages.

    > ...it upgraded pam. Unfortunately, I don't use standard pam for
    > administration.


    There are several different ways you could have avoided that. You also
    should never do blanket upgrades on a server. Always look at each package
    that the package manager proposes to upgrade and consider the consequences.

    > This system also uses MySQL heavily for mail processing - Exim and
    > qpopper. Attempting to update some other files resulted in Exim
    > attempting to be updated - which would have broken all mail processing.


    Other people manage it without difficulty. I suspect that you have been
    manually installing stuff over files handled by the package manager.

    Perhaps you would be happier with Linux From Scratch.
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

  13. Re: Which distro?

    John Hasler wrote:
    > Jerry Stuckle writes:
    >> Maybe I'm wrong - but the smallest Debian I've installed has to have a
    >> Debian user for MySQL, has special config files for MySQL, etc.

    >
    > Mysql is not part of the Debian standard system at all.
    >


    My Debian systems have MySQL as a required package - and will update it
    (incorrectly) if I allow it to. That's one of the problems.

    The system even has specific configuration files for MySQL.

    >> Same for other products like Exim.

    >
    > Exim does not require Mysql.
    >


    My Exim installation does - and therein lies the problem. The Exim
    which is supplied with Debian replaces mine on an upgrade, and all email
    stops working.

    >> Example - last time I upgraded files...

    >
    > You mean packages.
    >


    Yes, packages.

    >> ...it upgraded pam. Unfortunately, I don't use standard pam for
    >> administration.

    >
    > There are several different ways you could have avoided that. You also
    > should never do blanket upgrades on a server. Always look at each package
    > that the package manager proposes to upgrade and consider the consequences.
    >


    Yep, but the problem is the dependencies - when I HAVE to update one
    package but it requires me to update another package which I've modified.

    >> This system also uses MySQL heavily for mail processing - Exim and
    >> qpopper. Attempting to update some other files resulted in Exim
    >> attempting to be updated - which would have broken all mail processing.

    >
    > Other people manage it without difficulty. I suspect that you have been
    > manually installing stuff over files handled by the package manager.
    >
    > Perhaps you would be happier with Linux From Scratch.


    I have had to do that to some extent - i.e. to get pam and exim working
    with MySQL. And that's just the start.

    Unfortunately, I can't install Linux From Scratch - although I would
    like to. This is a VPS in another part of the country, and I do not
    have physical access to it. They offer every major distro, though,
    which is why I need to find another distro.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================


  14. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle wrote:

    [putolin]

    > Yep, but the problem is the dependencies - when I HAVE to update one
    > package but it requires me to update another package which I've modified.


    Then don't do that.

    >
    > Unfortunately, I can't install Linux From Scratch - although I would
    > like to. This is a VPS in another part of the country, and I do not
    > have physical access to it. They offer every major distro, though,
    > which is why I need to find another distro.
    >


    Finding another distribution will not solve your problem. Most use a
    package manager and most will update things just like Debian. That is why
    I went to Linux from scratch and onto Arch.

    What you need to do is to compile the packages yourself, which is why I
    pointed you to Arch.

    --
    Tayo'y Mga Pinoy

  15. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    > John Hasler wrote:
    >> Jerry Stuckle writes:
    >>> Because even a minimal Debian depends on hooks in MySQL and others.

    >> Huh??? I have no idea what you mean by that.

    >
    > Maybe I'm wrong - but the smallest Debian I've installed has to have a
    > Debian user for MySQL, has special config files for MySQL, etc. Same
    > for other products like Exim.


    My RHEL 5 system does not have MySQL in it. (It does have postgreSQL in it,
    but only because I asked for it. And I _could_ ask for mySql as well, but I
    did not want two dbms programs.)
    >
    > Example - last time I upgraded files, it upgraded pam. Unfortunately, I
    > don't use standard pam for administration. The result was no way to ssh
    > into the system.
    >
    > This system also uses MySQL heavily for mail processing - Exim and
    > qpopper. Attempting to update some other files resulted in Exim
    > attempting to be updated - which would have broken all mail processing.


    I run sendmail on my machine. It is true that I do not use it much.
    >
    > As I said - too many things are tied together with Debian's package
    > manager. And too many thing are tied together in the system itself.
    >
    > Debian's package system works well if you're using the standard system -
    > but not that well if you have a heavily customized one. But
    > unfortunately, when you update the base components, sometimes the other
    > packages get updated, also.
    >



    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 07:20:01 up 4 days, 11:57, 4 users, load average: 4.30, 4.03, 2.81

  16. Re: Which distro?

    Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    > John Hasler wrote:
    >> Jerry Stuckle writes:
    >>> Because even a minimal Debian depends on hooks in MySQL and others.

    >>
    >> Huh??? I have no idea what you mean by that.

    >
    > Maybe I'm wrong - but the smallest Debian I've installed has to have a
    > Debian user for MySQL, has special config files for MySQL, etc. Same
    > for other products like Exim.
    >
    > Example - last time I upgraded files, it upgraded pam. Unfortunately, I
    > don't use standard pam for administration. The result was no way to ssh
    > into the system.
    >
    > This system also uses MySQL heavily for mail processing - Exim and
    > qpopper. Attempting to update some other files resulted in Exim
    > attempting to be updated - which would have broken all mail processing.
    >
    > As I said - too many things are tied together with Debian's package
    > manager. And too many thing are tied together in the system itself.


    This is not a Debian specific problem. It's a software suite problem. It's
    nightmarish to test and debug and maintain compatibility with multiple
    versions of multiple related packages, and it's compounded by software that
    ignores the 'UNIX File System Hierarchy', has no 'installation' procedures,
    and generally ignores the lessons of software management of the last few decades.

    Package managers try to keep the requirements and version compatibilities
    linked. You ignore them at your own peril, especially for tools like MySQL
    that have lots of add-ons which may not be compatible without some version
    control, or without the patches to aid compatibility maintained.

    > Debian's package system works well if you're using the standard system -
    > but not that well if you have a heavily customized one. But
    > unfortunately, when you update the base components, sometimes the other
    > packages get updated, also.
    >


    This is when you go through extra steps to maintain your own software
    repository. I've done so with RPM, not apt, but if you want this level of
    control you have to tweak anything with a package management sytem.

  17. Re: Which distro?

    I demand that Jerry Stuckle may or may not have written...

    > John Hasler wrote:

    [snip]
    >> Exim does not require Mysql.


    > My Exim installation does - and therein lies the problem. The Exim which
    > is supplied with Debian replaces mine on an upgrade, and all email stops
    > working.


    Then build your own *packaged* versions (you should add an entry to
    debian/changelog, modifying the version number by adding something like
    "+local1"), install them (use dpkg) & mark them as "held" (aptitude allows
    this).

    To build, use "debuild binary" (requires devscripts) or, if you want a source
    package containing your changes to be built as well, "debuild".

    Upgrading any given modified package should be fine, so long as you put your
    changes in whatever patch system the source package uses or you can readily
    identify them in the .diff.gz.

    [snip]
    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Burn less waste. Use less packaging. Waste less. USE FEWER RESOURCES.

    On the way to the corner, a dropped tool will land on your foot.

  18. Re: Which distro?

    Baho Utot wrote:
    > Jerry Stuckle wrote:
    >
    > [putolin]
    >
    >> Yep, but the problem is the dependencies - when I HAVE to update one
    >> package but it requires me to update another package which I've modified.

    >
    > Then don't do that.
    >
    >> Unfortunately, I can't install Linux From Scratch - although I would
    >> like to. This is a VPS in another part of the country, and I do not
    >> have physical access to it. They offer every major distro, though,
    >> which is why I need to find another distro.
    >>

    >
    > Finding another distribution will not solve your problem. Most use a
    > package manager and most will update things just like Debian. That is why
    > I went to Linux from scratch and onto Arch.
    >


    Which, as I said, is not an option.

    > What you need to do is to compile the packages yourself, which is why I
    > pointed you to Arch.
    >



    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================

  19. Re: Which distro?

    Darren Salt wrote:
    > I demand that Jerry Stuckle may or may not have written...
    >
    >> John Hasler wrote:

    > [snip]
    >>> Exim does not require Mysql.

    >
    >> My Exim installation does - and therein lies the problem. The Exim which
    >> is supplied with Debian replaces mine on an upgrade, and all email stops
    >> working.

    >
    > Then build your own *packaged* versions (you should add an entry to
    > debian/changelog, modifying the version number by adding something like
    > "+local1"), install them (use dpkg) & mark them as "held" (aptitude allows
    > this).
    >
    > To build, use "debuild binary" (requires devscripts) or, if you want a source
    > package containing your changes to be built as well, "debuild".
    >
    > Upgrading any given modified package should be fine, so long as you put your
    > changes in whatever patch system the source package uses or you can readily
    > identify them in the .diff.gz.
    >
    > [snip]


    Which is a heck of a lot more work than the customer is willing to pay
    for. And every time we need to change something, we need to create a
    new build. As it is, I have build scripts for what I need - and they
    work fine. For instance, I just had to add one option into the PHP
    build. It was just a matter of adding one line to the script and
    rebuild PHP.

    They are not going to pay to completely redo the package system for
    their need. Which is why I need a package-less distro.

    --
    ==================
    Remove the "x" from my email address
    Jerry Stuckle
    JDS Computer Training Corp.
    jstucklex@attglobal.net
    ==================

  20. Re: Which distro?

    Tayo'y Mga Pinoy writes:
    > What you need to do is to compile the packages yourself, which is why I
    > pointed you to Arch.


    He could compile the packages himself perfectly well on Debian.
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast