[CentOS] Wait for 5 or just use 4.4?

John Summerfield debian at herakles.homelinux.org
Sat Mar 31 13:41:40 UTC 2007

Cen Tos wrote:
> I'm a relative newbie to all this so pardon me if the following are all
> stupid questions.
> Firstly, I'm setting up a web server and gone from planning to use Ubuntu
> (due to some familiarity as a desktop at home) to CentOS based on
> recommendations by experienced webhosters.

My main objection to the Ubuntu family is that, while there's an 
enormous supply of packages available, there's only a relatively small 
set that's supported with security ubdates. Likely, that set probably 
compares fairly well with RHEL and SLE{S,D}, it's awfully easy to get 
stuff from universe because it's there, and forget its lack of support.

Debian's a good alternative to Ubuntu; while it doesn't have the polish, 
some has definitely rubbed off, and all of Debian's supported.

OTOH, if anyone mocks Debian for never releasing a new release, well, 
Debian has earned that reputation. It announced a new release for Dec 
2006, but it hasn't actually appeared yet.

All that said, I do have some Debian systems, and I don't intend to 
replace them with anything different. Debian's kinder to more modest 

> However now that I looked into CentOS, I find myself at a point where it's
> transitting to a major new version. So the key question for me is, should I
> wait for CentOS 5 to be released or just go for 4.4?

Well C5 will last longer - it will be supported after C4 isn't,
Supposedly C5 is better than C4 - why else would RH be promoting RHEL5?

It seems you don't have a particular reason to go with C4 - no legacy 
apps etc.

fwiw I plan to install C5 on my laptop.

> Being rather new to Linux, my attempts to try to figure out the differences
> between the two has been rather futile since I can't readily tell what is
> really important to me or not. All that I think I'm sure of now is that 5
> would support virtualization using Xen and 4.4 doesn't have it. This alone
> is food for thought since the idea of being able to compartalize each
> website in their own VM sounds good in the long run.

Yes, but don't get too carried away with that. atm one needs real RAM 
for each guest. On zSeries folk run guests in 64 Mbytes virtual, but 
their VM has been evolving for around 40 years, and it runs on damned 
good hardware.

> I'm tempted to wait for 5 since I'm reluctant to run the risk of having to
> upgrade a live server to version 5 and have it failed specutacularly if I
> screw it up. On the other hand, it's uncertain when 5 will be out and
> definitely waiting more than another 2 weeks isn't quite acceptable without
> compelling reasons.

Plan for 5, it will probably be ready before you.

> Hence I'll appreciate it if the knowledgeable folks on this mailing list 
> can
> advise which is the wiser route to go.
> Some additional information which may be relevant to the decision.
> 1. RAID : Was planning to run "hardware" RAID 1 on the server and has noted
> comments that software RAID 1 on Linux may be better than raid 1 using
> onboard firmware controllers.
> 2. Software that would be running on the server would include Apache
> 2.xwith ASPx support, php
> 5.x, MySQL 5.x, Exim, ProFTPD, Direct Admin (supposed to be developed on RH

Do you know how to use Exim? If not, I suggest you settle for postfix.

> and one user apparently tested it to work right out of the box with 5 Beta,
> part of the reason why I decided to go with CentOS)

Do check that any third-party stuff you might consider supports all 
these new releases. You do have the option of running C5 and C4 if 

> 3. Hardware to be used would be Intel Core 2 Duo on an Asus P5B-VM-D0 
> (Q965,
> ICH8-D0, Intel GMA3000 GPU) with SATA hard disks.
> 4. Network bandwidth control based on request IP or domains (i.e.
> connections to IP #1 can be limited to 512Kbps, while connections to IP #2
> can be limited to 1024Kbps, or connections to www.domainA.com is limited to
> 256Kbps etc.
> Thanks!
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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