[CentOS] Redhat vs centos vs ubuntu

Nataraj incoming-centos at rjl.com
Sat Nov 12 02:59:06 EST 2011


On 11/10/2011 05:44 AM, Bob Hoffman wrote:
> I went ahead and downloaded the 5 year supported version of ubuntu server.
> You think centos/redhat is a bit tough or not polished?
> One day with ubuntu server and you will look at centos install and setup 
> as a god!
>
I'm assuming your refering to ubuntu 10.04 LTS.  Like every distribution
it's got it's quirks.  I routinely use both CentOS/Redhat and Ubuntu for
different purposes.  Both distributions have things that I like and
things that I don't like so much.  If you've been running Ubuntu or
other debian based distribution, you could install CentOS/Redhat and
spend quite a bit of time becoming familiar with Redhat.  My responses
in this message are NOT meant to be an attack on redhat CentOS, but
simply to share some of my experiences with Ubuntu.
> Where do I begin?
>
> 1- you download the iso, burn a cd. But guess what? It is only a small 
> boot setup (about 600mb).
> The install actually sets up your eth port and then SLOWLY downloads a 
> base set of packages.
> Then when you are done with your drive set up, you get to pick a package.
> Then it downloads and installs, asking you a few questions as it does.
> Then it upgrades itself.
> About 40 minutes due to the downloads for me...

The package management tools in Ubuntu/Debian are small and fast.  I've
come to like them, though I fought with them at first.  I like their
handling of dependencies.  The package repositories for Ubuntu/Debian
are huge.  I've rarely had to go outside of the Ubuntu repositories
looking for software that I needed to run.  I've spent much more time
compiling software and messing with outside repositories for CentOS.  My
understanding is that Linux in general is moving towards a common
package management and package format that will be shared by most linux
distributions.

> 2- uses a really lame 1980 DOS version of a text installer. It does not 
> and will not use a basic vid driver install
> which means your setting up of lvms and such during the install is 
> really fun.
I believe the standard desktop uses Ubuntu's own installer.  The Ubuntu
server and the 'alternative' distribution use the debian installer.  I
fought with it at first, but it is much more flexible than the redhat
installer.  You can build arbitrary LVM/raid configurations with it and
you can also go into the shell from the installer and customize things
that you can't with the redhat installer.
> 3- I don't know about having a server being forced to connect to the 
> internet before you can even begin to secure
> it up. But the only way to really install it is to do that. Wait til you 
> see the insecure firewall setup if gave me too..
I've not experienced any distribution to provide a great default
firewall setup.  What I do notice about Ubuntu server is there are very
few services running in the default install, so if you probe a newly
installed machine, it's not very vulnerable.  I usually run new installs
behind my Internet firewall anyway.  I like doing a basic install and
then adding the services that I want to enable, rather then a server
install that comes up with dozens of services that you may not need and
you have to turn them all off to secure the machine.
> 4- I picked the virtual host package, as the machine will hold guest 
> OS's (presumably ubuntu).
I do like CentOS/Redhat 6 better as a virtualization server.  Thing to
realize here is that Redhat is leading the development effort for KVM,
libvirt etc, so Ubuntu's code lags behind redhat.  For the current
stable Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release Ubuntu lags behind redhat 6 and since
10.04 LTS is a stable release it doesn't just get arbitrary updates
unless they are security fixes.

One thing I like about Ubuntu/debian is the /etc/network/interfaces file
over /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts /etc/sysconfig/network.
> 5- booted up fine.
>
> 6- uses upstart and init, mixed up a bit. Upstart, BY DESIGN AND 
> ACCORDING TO DOCUMENTATION is new and
> still being built so they do not want to put any documentation out on it 
> yet. This makes chkconfig and things like
> that useless. Hence, if you want to know what is running, set to run, 
> etc, you need to dig in multiple folders and
> read the scripts. There is no other way. What a horror.
Redhat 6 uses a similar hybrid mess between the old startup format and
upstart.  Like many things in Linux, finding good documentation is not
always easy, but it can be found.  It takes a bit of time to master
upstart, but it does let you create dependancies in the startup process
which is nicer than having to add sleep commands and doing other things
to muck with daemons that have dependancy on other services.  Upstart is
going to be replaced in future Redhat releases.
http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~upstart-documenters/upstart-cookbook/trunk/revision/30
<http://bazaar.launchpad.net/%7Eupstart-documenters/upstart-cookbook/trunk/revision/30>

I do find apparmor a whole lot easier to master than selinux.


> 7- The install, of the virtual host, added libvirt. It did not however 
> install things like virt-install or any other virt software.
> Infact, no guest installation tools were added, though things like virsh 
> were installed. Sigh.
apt-get install virtinst
> 8- The firewall and network do not have the scripts folder. You have to 
> build your own firewall file and add scripts
> to make it over ride the stock one via the eth you want to use it 
> for....wtf?
Just another flavor of linux.  There are various packages that can be
installed to do this for you.  ufw is one of them.  I prefer to use my
own scripts though.
> I took a shot at paid support.
> You have to send them a contact mail. I did.
> After 3 days sent them another.
> 2 days later, no response from that one either.
>
That I'm sorry to hear.  I've never tried their paid support.  They are
pretty quick at providing security updates though.

Nataraj




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