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Hi guys, I'm a newbie into Linux and the distribution I've already got on my laptop is Ubuntu. I need to know what functionality and applicability these famous distros offer. ...
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  1. #1
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    What are they good for: Ubuntu, Fedora and SuSE


    Hi guys,

    I'm a newbie into Linux and the distribution I've already got on my laptop is Ubuntu. I need to know what functionality and applicability these famous distros offer. I've heard that SuSE is appropriate for server implementation (the same task as Windows Server). What about their packages? Anything interesting or useful I'm supposed to know about their packages too?

    Any reply is welcome,
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    SUSE and Fedora offer the same functionality as any other Linux distribution. They can be used as desktop or server operating systems depending on what you, the user wants to do. The best way to see what they have to offer and whether they would suite your needs is to take them both for a spin in a testing environment.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    I'm a newbie into Linux and the distribution I've already got on my laptop is Ubuntu.
    Best place to start.

    Ubuntu Manual - Downloads
    Linux Registered User # 475019
    Lead,Follow, or get the heck out of the way. I Have a Masters in Raising Hell
    Tech Books
    Free Linux Books
    Newbie Guide
    Courses at Home

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  5. #4
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    The different distributions have different management tools, e.g Fedora uses yum and packages are in rpm format, Ubuntu uses apt-get/aptitude and packages are in deb format, openSUSE uses zypper/YaST and packages are in rpm format,.

    The tools are pretty similar to use.

    Apart from that, they offer pretty much the same.

    I have 4 openSUSE boxes, I run Fedora in a VirtualBox virtual machine along with other distributions and Kubuntu on 3 boxes and Ubuntu ARM on 3 boxes. Debian runs on a Raspberry Pi which is currently disconnected.

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    There's really no difference as far as what can be done, but there might be some differences in stability and bleeding edge software. Generally speaking SUSE (or OpenSUSE), Debian Stable, RedHat (or CentOS) are good for server based Operating Systems because they focus on being stable, distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, and others are more focused for being a little less stable and more cutting edge they often lend themselves to being used as Desktops. Probably the two biggest differences are the management tools that come with the OSes by default and the package management systems, the majority of distros use deb or rpm package deb being debian based distributions and rpm being in the RedHat side more or less. Of course package type and management also differs. YAST is in SUSE, yum in RedHat and apt in Debian. In earnest server usage in companies are probably one of the big three RedHat, SUSE, and Debian and the market share of each in business infrastructure is probably in the same order with RedHat (or CentOS) comprising the majority, followed by SUSE Enterprise, and then finally bu Debian. The largest reason for that is likely because both RedHat and SUSE have corporate support packages while Debian doesn't have a central company to back it. Any ways I think I am starting to ramble, I hope this helps.

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    I wouldn't say the openSUSE is "more stable". Like most distros there is a stable version with backports and there is Factory which undergoes major changes to become the next version.

    I have been running (Factory) 12.3 Milestone 0 on 4 x86_64 boxes since it came out and it is very "stable" in that it just runs even with Qt5-Beta, the latest vanilla kernels I build, Nvidia driver and VirtualBox updates.

    Most distributions just work though occasionally minor glitches occur and a few new things are added that incur some getting familiar with.

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    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    It should be mentioned at this point that stable has two meanings when talking about software:

    Stable: The software runs and does not or very rarely crashes.
    Stable: The software is unchanging. You will only get security updates and bug fixes.

    The first is true of pretty much all distros that are out of early development. Alphas and betas are more likely to have issues.

    Fedora and rolling release distros are not stable in the second sense as the versions of the software is either at or near to the latest available. Centos and Debian, for example are definitely stable in the second sense.
    "I used to be with it, then they changed what it was.
    Now what was it isn't it, and what is it is weird and scary to me.
    It'll happen to you too."

    Grandpa Simpson



    The Fifth Continent

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shahin_67 View Post
    I've heard that SuSE is appropriate for server implementation (the same task as Windows Server).
    Depends. If you mean SLES (Suse Linux Enterprise Sever), then yes, with the possible exception of Active Directory. It certainly is a decent server operating system, but you may want something specific.

    With openSUSE, you'll get more of the 'it depends' aspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by shahin_67 View Post
    What about their packages? Anything interesting or useful I'm supposed to know about their packages too?
    Can't think of anything specific about the packages - you use yast or zipper to install/manage, and there is quite a wide selection of packages, although you may have to add some extra repos to get there.

    However, the thing that you really need to think about for a server is the period for which it is supportable. Desktop distros tend to be relatively 'bleeding edge', but the period for which there is support, in particular security updates, tends to be limited. Once you no longer get security updates and you have a program with security issues, then your security is toast and you really have to install a successor version.

    Most people don't find this to be so much fun that they want to do it more often than is necessary, so you want a long support period. So, the kicker for oS is that the planned support is 'two releases, plus a month (roughly)' and releases are planned every 8 months. (The last was stretched to 9 or ten months, but that was an exception, probably).

    In comparison Ubuntu (Long Term Support versions only) does better, but something like Centos or Scientific (Red Hat clones) or Debian would recommend itself, just due to the support period. I'm not a big fan of Ubuntu Sever having had issues with updates in the dim and distant past (so, I'd be more likely to take Centos/Scientific/Debian) as a zero cost option, and SLED/RHEL for a 'with paid support' option, but the choice is up to you.

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