Thinking about switching to CentOS


Recently i’ve been playing with CentOS at work, setting up a server and configuring stuff on it. I used Linux a long time ago, when Mandrake was my OS of choice  and i had plenty of time.  But i had to switch to Windows because of some GIS software i’ve been using in school that wouldn’t run on Linux and as a student i had a computer with limited hard-disk space. So i couldn’t run them both.

After a while i got so comfortable with Windows that i didn’t switch back to Linux. It was hard to get music and movies to play and there was always something to configure for which i didn’t have enough time.

Now that i’ve seen what CentOS is capable of and how easily it can be configured , i’m seriously considering switching permanently to this OS.  I’m not lazy but i don’t have time to waste on digging after configuration parameters and all that stuff.  And i would like Linux because its free and its safer to develop web apps on a Linux machine when in 99% of the cases the application will be deployed on a Linux server.

What other Linux distros are you using and what would you recommend for someone who wants to do web development but also wants some entertainment on his machine (music, movies) and has no time to waste on figuring out how to install some weird driver or configure a new hardware added to the machine ?

  1. I’ve been using Ubuntu for several year now and it’s my primary os for development back home. The good thing about it is that it is constantly improved – 2 major releases per year and lots of un-intrusive updates, it installs in about 20 minutes from a single cd and it is ready to use. Getting new software and applications is easy and so far I did not have to configure anything I wouldn’t need to on windows to make development work.
    Regarding hardware, the only issues I had so far were with my Audidgy soundboard that had only partial functionality – fixed now, and with 3G modems that don’t get detected. Other than that, it works nicely. I even managed to synchronize my iPod on it using Songbird, so I am quite happy with this linux distro.

  2. First love is first love ;) You could just return to Mandrake (now Mandriva), its much better then it was years ago and for sure you won’t have that much issues with hardware. They’re a bit more commercial then other vendors but you can still get it freely.

  3. I would argue that centos sucks. It might work for you but for me it’s a bitter experience – all the packages are old as hell making you constantly having to do manual stuff. I mean seriously, python 2.6 was released a year ago, centos 5 still has only 2.4 in the system packages – a version launched 5 years ago !

    If the software you need is supported just get the latest ubuntu – it’s a great platform for application development (and for desktop too).

  4. @Ionel Maries
    That’s if you use standard repositories. I’ve configured a custom repository and get the latest stuff for development.

    @Mihai, @Ionel Maries
    Ubuntu’s name came up many times. But CentOS is recognized as the leading server distro. In fact most hosting companies use CentOS and that’s probably the reason that the packages are old. Probably they are pushing this too far for stability reasons. But there is solution as i mentioned.

    I know you’re a Mandriva fan, after all i started using Mandrake at your suggestion. I just didn’t used it in a while so i would have to test it.

  5. DEBIAN stable is the Golden standard for stability plain and simple. Plus apt-get is probably the best package manager there is to date. And there are many more deb packages available in the Debians repos compared to rpm and Centos.

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