PDA

View Full Version : Newbie Ask: Redhat or Fedora or other distro?



Mel_3
25th July 2008, 10:26 PM
I'm about to learn PHP & MySQL and want to set up a local server with Apache on Linux.

I would like to use a linux distro that data centers or isp's may use.

Three were suggested...
- SUSE Linux from Novell
- Red Hat/Fedora
- and CentOS.

1 - Is the Fedora the same as Red Hat?
2 - Does it come with Apache, PHP, & MySQL or must I do a seperate download and install?
3 - Does it come with a GUI or is it all command line?
4 - I'm guessing there is a charge for SUSE from Novell & Redhat... is this true or do they have special 'packages' they charge for... or do they charge for support or what?
5 - Once I choose my distro for my server... I'll put a desktop distro on another machine... as they come with a lot of desktop app's... right?
6 - Debian & Ubuntu have been suggested as desk top distro's... which is best for a linux newbie?
7 - My play was to...
- put the server distro on one machine...
- the desk top on anoter...
- and connect them via an old 10/100 switch I have so I had a little network...
- but I'm no network guy (you can tell... right:)
- What do you guys suggest for me learning to put MySQL on a web server and learn to use PHP ?

Lot of questions I know but it would be very helpful if some kind soul(s) would swap some post with me to get me quick started on this.

All comments would be helpful.

Thanks!

scotty38
25th July 2008, 11:50 PM
If I were you and you don't want to pay I'd look at CentOS 5.2 for server and desktop. Red Hat charges essentially for support so if you need support buy RHEL, if not CentOS is the same thing but branded differently. They all come with desktop apps, gui and command line and you typically download and install the extras you need afterwards.

Fedora is a cutting edge distribution that changes every six months with support for previous versions disappearing after a year - not good if you want a stable server environment. RHEL and CentOS will give you that stability.

Firewing1
25th July 2008, 11:53 PM
I'm about to learn PHP & MySQL and want to set up a local server with Apache on Linux.

I would like to use a linux distro that data centers or isp's may use.

Three were suggested...
- SUSE Linux from Novell
- Red Hat/Fedora
- and CentOS.

If you're looking for something that would match what's in a hosting service or data center, no doubt Cent OS is the way to go.


1 - Is the Fedora the same as Red Hat?
Nope, Red Hat is a company which primarily sells Red Hat Enterprise Linux and sponsors the Fedora Project. The Fedora Project is independant of Red Hat, although they are closely related and the developers often work together.

2 - Does it come with Apache, PHP, & MySQL or must I do a seperate download and install?
You have to install these extra, however it's very easy. See my server setup howto (signature link) for more information, but essentially you run:

yum install php php-mysql mysql-server httpd
To install PHP, Apache/HTTPD, MySQL, and the mysql extension for php.


3 - Does it come with a GUI or is it all command line?
Both. You can choose to run on a command line by removing X or simply not installing it in the first place, or a GUI/mix of both by including X and desktop environment (XFCE, KDE or Gnome).


4 - I'm guessing there is a charge for SUSE from Novell & Redhat... is this true or do they have special 'packages' they charge for... or do they charge for support or what?
Nope! The packages are always available free of charge via yum repositories. If you'd like to have corporate support, you can purchase Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), but otherwise use Cent OS. Fedora is a bleeding edge distribution which will get you the latest and greatest, but it doesn't guaruntee the stability you need for a production environment. For that, turn to Cent OS which is actually the same sources that RHEL uses without the corporate support. So in other words, Cent OS is actually RHEL without the paid support package.


5 - Once I choose my distro for my server... I'll put a desktop distro on another machine... as they come with a lot of desktop app's... right?
Yes - Fedora would be more suited than Cent OS for a desktop since includes newer applications and is more desktop-oriented than Cent OS. Just remember that similar to Suse or Ubuntu or any other Linux distrubution if you don't like the packages that come with it, you can always install more from the yum repositories. Fedora has a enourmous collection of packages available for you to download with just a few clicks (literally).


6 - Debian & Ubuntu have been suggested as desk top distro's... which is best for a linux newbie?
Ubuntu is definitely the best for a newcomer to Linux, simply because it has the smallest learning curve. However, if you're interested about learning the technical details of Linux and running a server with Cent OS, I'd recommend Fedora instead since RHEL and Fedora are clostly related, and therefore Cent OS and Fedora as well. If you learn the basics of one, you'll be learning the basics of the other at the same time. May as well kill two birds with one stone!


7 - My play was to...
- put the server distro on one machine...
- the desk top on anoter...
- and connect them via an old 10/100 switch I have so I had a little network...
- but I'm no network guy (you can tell... right:)
- What do you guys suggest for me learning to put MySQL on a web server and learn to use PHP ?

If this is your first time programming, "PHP & MySQL for dummies" is a great read and will teach you all you need to know to get started. From there, look online for some tutorials, examples and just learn through practice. The PHP Manual (http://ca3.php.net/docs.php) is also a great help.

About the network, that will be fine - You could even set up some file sharing and remote screen access between the two :cool:


Lot of questions I know but it would be very helpful if some kind soul(s) would swap some post with me to get me quick started on this.

All comments would be helpful.

Thanks!
Glad I could help :)
Firewing1

stefan1975
26th July 2008, 12:08 AM
i'd add my support for CentOS if you are not able/willing to pay for RHEL. we have both at our company and both are awesome with the difference that upgrades tend to come later in CentOS since they have to compile everything from source and remove the redhat branding as well. so there is a few days lag up to a few weeks with a point release.

On the desktop side i prefer to stay "in family", although ubuntu is great i often look in the wrong place for config files or type system-config-network or something or try to update with yum. So for me a redhatish dekstop is the best. If you like things to break and be *really* new (ie beta) fedora is awesome, but CentOS also makes a perfect desktop i believe. I just installed 6 Dell desktops with centos 5.2 for one of our firms which work great. they have everything fedora has (almost) just a trifle older but more stable. Centos has a live cd now too so you can check that to see if it supports you hardware.

stefan

stevea
26th July 2008, 01:17 AM
[RHEL] if not CentOS is the same thing but branded differently.

Hey scotty38 - Please post and tell us how it feels with your pants on fire. :rolleyes:

Centos takes the *FREE* and open portion of RHEL source and they recompile and distribute. Centos is missing a LOADS++ of great proprietary RHEL features. I sincerely wish the RHEL GFS and clustering and virtual systems features were free, but they are not and you don't get them on CentOS. So RHEL is Centos plus support plus a lot of great proprietary software aimed a the server market.

If you want to construct a home/soho or other server which is not a profit center then Centos would be a good choice. Fedora is a poor choice for a stable small server - the software is not sufficiently stable and changes rapidly. If you have a few dollars to spend, RHEL is very good stuff. If you hate FOSS software and want to see Linux/GNU fail and Microsoft succeed, then by all means go with Suse.

There are a lot of other distros to consider too (see distrowatch).

jtang613
26th July 2008, 01:46 AM
For some of the best (basic) Linux Server howto's out there, check out these two links. They should provide everything you need to get your CentOS server up and running relatively pain-free.
http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/
http://www.brennan.id.au/

scotty38
26th July 2008, 10:30 AM
Hey scotty38 - Please post and tell us how it feels with your pants on fire. :rolleyes:

:D

Given the obvious lack of knowledge of his original post I thought that basic generalisation would suffice. I didn't spot his question about RHEL GFS and clustering and virtual systems features so apologies for that :D

markkuk
26th July 2008, 11:38 AM
I sincerely wish the RHEL GFS and clustering and virtual systems features were free, but they are not and you don't get them on CentOS.
They are free and included in CentOS 5.