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215 comments

And? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328469)

How is this news?

Re:And? (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328493)

How is this news?

Well they either should have stuck with 7.10 or waited for 8.10.

That's news...

Re:And? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328511)

8.04 is a LTS release. Which is obviously the reasoning behind the version choice.

Re:And? (5, Informative)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328613)

How is this news?

Well they either should have stuck with 7.10 or waited for 8.10.

That's news...

8.04 is a long-term release. In the world of servers, that counts for something. Also, there were changes from 7.10 to 8.04 that were probably things Wikimedia wanted to take advantage of.

Re:And? (1)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328813)

...or waited for 8.10.

I would definitely have stuck with an 8.04 LTS. I recently tried kubuntu 8.10, and the dual combination of the new Xorg ditching its config file (uh why?!? just to annoy the hell out of people, that's why), and KDE4 changing everything else just about drove me mad.

The KDE4 change reminded me of when Redhat dumped sawfish for that f-ing atrocity called Metacity (which in turn drove me to KDE). After the 8.10 nightmare, reinstalled 8.04, and now I'm hoping the LTS lasts long enough to make everything else settle out or go away.

Re:And? (5, Funny)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328939)

I'm sure Xorg and KDE4 are high on their priority list for their web servers.

Re:And? (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328987)

You wouldn't believe how much nicer Squid and MySQL look in Compiz.

Re:And? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329263)

Hey, it worked for Vista.

Re:And? (1)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329017)

I'm sure Xorg and KDE4 are high on their priority list for their web servers.

The point being 8.10, not being an LTS, they shoveled a whole bunch of radically new stuff in. That's always great fun on a server, yes?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329255)

I'm sure Xorg and KDE4 are high on their priority list for their web servers.

The point being 8.10, not being an LTS, they shoveled a whole bunch of radically new stuff in. That's always great fun on a server, yes?

I'm sure that's really relevant to a professional business regarding their production servers, yes?

Re:And? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328501)

In related(ly boring) news, Sun Microsystems replaced 200 old worn-out keyboards on their office workstations. Also, a handful of Microsoft employees patched their OSes, and some guy in Phoenix got a paper cut on his finger.

Re:And? (3, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328769)

My finger hurts too. You know those bits of skin just above and behind your nails? Part on that the left side of my left index finger has gotten torn a little and now it's like a flap. The problem is, I don't need to alter the aerodynamics of my finger because I can't fly. It's really just painful, instead of useful, like on an aeroplane.

Actually, does anyone know how that happens?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328843)

They are called cuticles :-) Which is a total misnomer because there is nothing cute about them.

Re:And? (4, Informative)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328891)

the cuticle doesn't properly detach itself from the nail as it grows. The nail's growth slowly tears your skin apart.

Re:And? (2)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329553)

Just tear it off... [shaneacker.com]

Warning: Animated grossness, requires QT/QT equivalent, maybe NWS depending on your work environment, but funny as hell nonetheless. And also COMPLETELY offtopic, I'll see you all in -1, Offtopic HELL!!! ;-)

Re:And? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329651)

Your wish is my command. Moderated Offtopic. I know. This will now be modded Offtopic. It's a vicious cycle!

Re:And? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328505)

WHO WAS PHONE?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329183)

BUT WHO WAS DOOR?

Re:And? (0, Redundant)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328519)

News for nerds. Check.

Stuff that matters. Well, to some, probably. Semi-check.

did not know that.... (2)

cheap.computer (1036494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328475)

I did not know that ubuntu was a player in the server market.

Re:did not know that.... (0, Flamebait)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328587)

"I did not know that ubuntu was a player in the server market."

It isn't. If you have your own staff of qualified Linux admins, I suppose you could use any distro you like without any major hassle. However, I'd personally feel more comfortable with a server-centric distro like RHEL or its free cousin, CentOS (or some other server-centric distro...those are just the ones that came to mind). That way, I can let RedHat or whoever is responsible for the distro deal with the security/bug issues and spend scarce resources to hire more folks that generate revenue for my company.

Cheers,

Re:did not know that.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328677)

Ubuntu server is not the same as ubuntu desktop... do some research before you make claims like this. Ubuntu server is SERVER centric appealing to enterprise class deploys. They have a very good pricing and support model in place. RHEL and CentOS are great distros with good support as well... but they are not perfect. Look at RHEL's recent incident with their RPM servers. My point is, just because Ubuntu has a great desktop linux os, does not mean that their server OS is fruity.

Re:did not know that.... (5, Insightful)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329177)

Actually, the only difference between "Ubuntu Server Edition" and the "regular" Desktop version is which packages get installed by default.

That's one of the things we like about Ubuntu -- the 'supported' version (should you want a support contract, or even just security updates for a longer period!) isn't a totally separate distro from what folks use at home.

When Red Hat split "Red Hat Linux" into "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" (supported, but for $ only) and "Fedora" (free, fast-changing, no long-term security updates), they lost the benefit that techs would likely be running the same version of the software on their desktops and servers.

Re:did not know that.... (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329503)

Does RedHat support CentOS? If you want a "name brand" server OS, then go with RHEL. But in my mind if I'm looking at free server distros that I support myself or with a community, CentOS and Ubuntu Server are on the same level...

Re:did not know that.... (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328593)

I did not know that ubuntu was a player in the server market.

THIS is what makes it "news that matters".

More surprised at the mess they had before (3, Interesting)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328531)

For such a large effort, it seems wild they had so many different distros running in their environment.

What do you guys think?

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328687)

I think that it's good to standardize on the best OS for your needs, but to find out which one is best you should first try running a bunch of them.

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328877)

I think it likely that Wikipedia started out as a small pet project, and just happened to grow piecemeal as they needed more and more resources as they grew in popularity. They wouldn't have been sure to start with just how popular they were going to become, how could they? Also take into account that perhaps they had been using different OSes in a consistent way (though I don't expect that to be likely), like some were just for webserving, some held a quick database of current articles, some machines held compressed archives, some were for intended for virtualisation and testing out of new designs, that kind of thing?

Anyone who has written a small well planned (or perhaps not so well planned) application but then been asked to make many, many, many changes over the years will be able to sympathise I expect. It's much easier to design a large coherent system than grow one out of a smaller system..

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328949)

I believe the devs (the sysadmins at Wikimedia are also called "devs") experimented with a wide range of OSes - various Fedoras, Red Hat, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris 10, OpenSolaris - in various situations to see what was best to work with. This is a rationalisation from that.

Realistically, it's all Unix and it'll all do the job. So it then becomes a matter of picking one your team is comfortable with. With armchair sysadmins' distro wars, "perfect" is the enemy of "good" - there's nothing you can do with CentOS that you can't also do with Ubuntu, you eventually just have to pick a damn distro and stick with it.

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (4, Informative)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329233)

That is an entirely accurate summary of the situation. :) We still have a tiny technical staff, and re-organization of things that got thrown together in a hurry long ago is an ongoing task.

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (3, Insightful)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329055)

Your mistake is in thinking it's a large effort - they started with just volunteers and then had only one or two full time staff for a while with the technical stuff still being done by volunteers. The first technical person wasn't hired until August 2005, four and a half years after the launch of Wikipedia (which, by that point, was already a top 50 website according to Alexa), they only have around 5 technical staff now. It's a very small project from that point of view, it's just a hell of a lot of servers!

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (4, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329139)

The first technical person was Brion, who'd done the job as a volunteer for quite a while before that.

I started editing Wikipedia in early 2004. I believe they'd just made the radical jump from one box to three boxes.

Now stuff is structured in a horizontally-expandable fashion. "Add some more Squids." "Add some more Apache servers." So a single platform is an obvious win, and picking one platform to standardise on is actually more important than which of various near-indistinguishable free Unix-like operating systems that could all do the job they pick.

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329221)

I know, David, I'm Tango (Thomas Dalton). If you want to play timestamps, my first recorded edit was December 2002 (it was very small back then!) ;).

Re:More surprised at the mess they had before (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329411)

Ah, sorry, didn't correlate your Slashdot and Wikipedia names!

You actually have seniority over me, then ;-)

The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (0, Flamebait)

101010_or_0x2A (1001372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328537)

If its been going on for 2 years, it may well BE the BreezyBadger. Is Ubuntu the most reliable distribution for a high performance server farm? I;d say a stripped down and extremely customizable distribution such as Gentoo might be a more reliable way to go..

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (3, Insightful)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328611)

With Gentoo, you have to be much more careful about what you update and when. They probably went to Ubuntu because it is based on Debian, and they can obtain support from Cannonical directly if needed.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328919)

I guess that is my question then is why not run a Debian farm?

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329121)

Support.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329311)

they are running Debian - Ubuntu is Debian with, ah, lipstick on it - and it works very well.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329347)

Is that anything like lipstick on a hockey mom?

Didn't read the article up there, McFly? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328741)

It's right up there at the top of the page giving the Ubuntu version as 8.04, which is called Hardy Heron, which BTW is an LTS release (Long Term Support).

8.04 is rock-solid stable and has all the stuff in it to be a lean, mean, yet well-equipped server platform right from the base install.

I've been running Hardy Heron since May 2008 without a problem, after switcing from being a long time SuSE/OpenSuSE user.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (2, Informative)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328791)

Ubuntu server edition is stripped down and customizable, as well. I assume they didn't use the desktop edition.

This may be an outdated experience, but...I ran a single server with Gentoo for a while - until updating became such a tremendous pain. Manually merging configuration changes and such is simply not a good way to spend time, and neither is reading release notes to see whether I can simply use the old config and ignore new changes. Ubuntu is nice because installing and updating apps is easy, there is a wide variety of apps available for it, and it's quick and easy to install. Gentoo distro installation was a very lengthy, manual process - has this changed?

I'd agree with others that say that CentOS may have been a better choice, but in my eyes the choice between the two comes down to preference of package management systems rather than any difference in security or performance.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328887)

Ubuntu is nice because installing and updating apps is easy, there is a wide variety of apps available for it, and it's quick and easy to install.

I was going to post asking what Ubuntu has over Debian, but then I remembered Canonical.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329195)

And what does Debian have over Ubuntu? Hewlett Packard

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (2, Insightful)

norminator (784674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329145)

I second your comments on Gentoo. I had originally thought it would be a good choice for my MythTV box on older hardware... and it was fine, at first. After about two years of occasional updates, the updates got really painful. Updating config files sucked, and often packages wouldn't compile, I spent hours googling various compiler messages. At one point the mythtv package got upgraded to version 0.22, then it wanted to backdate it to 0.20. Unfortunately the desktop system I was using as a frontend was running Ubuntu, and I had version 0.21 on there, so things were all screwed up. I finally went to Ubuntu server, and it's been smooth sailing ever since.

If someone has the time to invest in understanding the whole portage system and knowing how to get exactly what they want out of it, and if they don't mind managing all of their config files after each update, then Gentoo is probably fine, and I'm sure it is ideal in soe situations. But it's definitely not for most people.

[standard Gentoo complaint]
Also, it takes a long time to compile stuff.
[/standard Gentoo complaint]

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329569)

I run several different distros, each one suited to a different environment / usage pattern.

My desktop is Gentoo, I update every day, and it runs like a dragster.

My servers run CentOS. Easy to maintain, kind of retarded thanks to RPM, but usable. Most importantly, it's such a widely popular distro that I can delegate tasks to practically sysadmin, in a pinch.

My boss really likes BSD for firewalls and DNS servers. It's rock-solid, low-overhead and we can pretty much forget about the machine once it's deployed. Don't even care to update it unless a vulnerability is discovered...

I would like to use Gentoo on servers, but that would require a fork. Gentoo itself is a bleeding-edge tweaker's delight. They break stuff all the time, and the user is expected to figure it out on their own. That's fine for a desktop machine, and the payoff is usually worth the effort, but on servers every minute counts. If you're down for two hours because some dutch kid broke the latest build, you're in hell!

Now if someone could spin off an ultra-stable fork of Gentoo, with the necessary glue to ensure smooth upgrades, and an official binary package repo for those time-critical panic moments, I could definitely see it gaining a foothold in the datacenter.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329223)

I'm running Ubuntu server 6.06 LTS for a stand-alone web server, it's been running about 18 months.

There is no substantial reason to pick Ubuntu server for me because I'm not buying support. I just picked it because I'm also running it on the desktop and I can develop & compile on the same dev platform at home.

It's been running rock-solid stable. Security fixes are rolled out promptly and install smoothly.

To be honest any distro will do for a web/java/database machine that you self-admin. The main difference will be in the quality of the support.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (0, Flamebait)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329273)

Having played with Gentoo on the desktop, I can tell you that I would never, ever, EVER, *EVER* allow it to touch a machine that was expected to be online to perform actual work.

Re:The changeover went like a Breezy Badger (1)

steveg (55825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329633)

*My* workstations are all Gentoo.

The workstations I *support* (about 90 of them) are not. They're all running Ubuntu 8.04. My x86 servers are all running Debian Etch.

I love Gentoo on my desktop. I can get it set up exactly like I want it. But the "fiddle factor" is very high, and I don't particularly want the workstations I support to take that much of my time, or come to that, be all that configurable.

go on.... (0, Redundant)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328543)

This may sound like I am trolling, but I am really trying to figure out how this is at all news worth of in any way amazing...
I can see if perhaps they went from all MS servers to Linux that would be interested, but to go from older versions of Ubuntu to a newer version just seems...obvious.
So I ask seriously, can someone explain to a slight ubuntu user like myself; whats the big deal?

Re:go on.... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328959)

It isn't just going from other versions of Ubuntu, they are consolidating from several different Linux distributions. I found it interesting news anyway.. I'm even about to go and RTFA!

Re:go on.... (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329165)

I put the story in the queue as an insight into how a top-10 free content site run by a severely under-resourced charity does its stuff. And it's all over the press this morning, fwiw.

Re:go on.... (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329185)

The newsworthy part to me is that they had a hodge-podge of distros on a large number of servers, and they standardized on one distro which most people don't usually consider first when they think of a server distro.

Also, it's nice to know about what a large project like WikiMedia is using.

Re:go on.... (1)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329467)

It's not *super* exciting, but some folks seem to be interested in hearing that Ubuntu is a perfectly good server distro, and gets used for this in the wild. ("Ubuntu: not just for desktops anymore!")

How many admins? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328571)

Cos a general purpose distribution isn't exactly ideal for providing scalability, particularly when your machines pretty much all provide the same service.

The network is the machine.

 

Re:How many admins? (2, Insightful)

Kuj0317 (856656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328817)

You are wrong there. A homogenous environment (up to a certain point) is MUCH better for scalability. Need more power? Get a new box, apply the standard customizations, throw it in the mix.

I agree that a cookie cutter approach like this does not yeild the greatest performance per box, but it does allow for a better performance/administration ratio.

Re:How many admins? (4, Informative)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329519)

Mass installation of a customized distro can do better than mass installation of a general distro (eg, the kernel and software can be optimized for your use case).

And indeed, we use a slightly customized Ubuntu, in that we have our own patched versions of some packages (PHP, Squid, MySQL, some custom PHP extensions, etc) tweaked for performance or features we need, plus custom meta-packages to install the configurations we require on different server sub-types.

This is pretty easy to do on any distro with a decent package manager. I still like apt better than yum, though!

Re:How many admins? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329611)

And a custom distribution designed for the purpose scales orders of magnitude better still. Build a system which does only the job you want, boot it over the network on 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000 systems just as easily. Just a few people are required.

I agree that a cookie cutter approach like this does not yeild the greatest performance per box, but it does allow for a better performance/administration ratio.

Nope. You have too much state on the machine. You have binary versions, library versions, config files all to manage and distribute. Over time the individual machines diverge in their configuration, even with tools like cfengine and puppet. Which means that errors begin creeping in and things start failing.
 

CentOS is free RHEL (4, Interesting)

Hero Zzyzzx (525153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328603)

So it's unlikely the decisions were influenced heavily from a budgetary standpoint. If they wanted to stay with a free RHEL derivative linux that's essentially identical to the one you pay for, they'd be using CentOS. [centos.org]

They chose Ubuntu. Maybe they just like it better? I think you can factor cost of out the equation.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

AgentUSA (251620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328703)

The question is, do the have paid or donated enterprise support from Canonical?

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (5, Informative)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329349)

Canonical has recently provided us a donated support contract, but that didn't influence our (much earlier) decision to stick with Ubuntu.

Primarily:

  • We liked it better
  • It's nice that people can run the same version locally (who runs CentOS on their desktop? Playing CentOS vs RHEL just feels like a big fat kludge and tells you there's something broken about the distro.)
  • Unlike Debian stable, and like Fedora, it's updated fairly frequently so we get a decent rate of package updates for infrastructure...
  • ...unlike Fedora, it's not so bleeding edge that things die all the time (SELinux breaking everything, yay!)
  • ...and Canonical actually puts out security updates for a decent amount of time.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (3, Interesting)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329561)

Quick note -- we started our standardization to Ubuntu right around the time the first long-term support release (6.06 LTS) came out, offering the promise of much longer-period security updates. This was a big attractor versus continuing to play the Fedora upgrade game. (That is, even if we didn't keep everything at the latest version, we could continue to get necessary updates for old installations.)

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328725)

So, so sad that was moderated interesting. Is that not the equivalent of posting 2+25, 2+2=4 ?

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

nauseum_dot (1291664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328733)

I think that there was an administrative change. It sounds like the team was heavy Red Hat. They then added Fedora because funds got tight, it was free and was still official Red Hat. Finally, a few admins who had a preference for Debian (and its cousins) were brought on to replace a few former Red Hat admins who were originally there and they made a case standardizing on Ubuntu LTS 8.04.

Finally, I think another major part of it is that if it all goes to pot you can fall back on Canonical for support. You can't fall back to Red Hat if you install Centos.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328937)

You can't fall back to Red Hat if you install Centos.
That seems rather strange, does that mean you can't purchase support after the fact?

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (2, Interesting)

Hero Zzyzzx (525153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328985)

I'm sure if you asked nicely enough, RedHat would find some way to take your money.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329175)

Brion Vibber was the first technical hire (August 2005) and is still the CTO. A few more people have been hired over time, but I don't think anyone has left (not on the technical side, anyway).

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

Drew M. (5831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329323)

I guess the handful of bugs that I found in CentOS and filed at http://bugzilla.redhat.com/ that were fixed must have been a dream. Redhat's bugzilla is a friendly place if you don't need handholding, and just need something fixed.

Of course you can always get support by purchasing a single RHEL license for a single RHEL instance that you run, while the rest of the machines run CentOS, which would still be cheaper than a sitewide support contract from Canonical.

You still have many options for support on CentOS, you just have to get a little creative.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329041)

*whistles nonchalantly*

Oh, hello! I couldn't help but overhearing you, and I feel I must expound some smug knowledge I have gained by actually R'ingTFA..

Behold the quote!

Wikipedia could just as easily have made the switchover to all Red Hat, but that would have cost more money, he said. "It would seem to me that if money weren't an issue here, there wouldn't be anything keeping them from upgrading everything to Red Hat."

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329181)

Note that's an analyst quote, not a Wikimedia quote. I'm not sure they actually bothered asking Brion.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329539)

Indeed. I've tried Ubuntu a few times over the years and they do seem to have done a great job at making everything feel well put together. The first version of Ubuntu I used kind of had the same problem as some of the other distros I have used where you didn't feel like all the toolbars on the desktop were really meant to be used side by side, but they started modding everything to fit together and improved pretty quickly.. if I wasn't using OSX right now I'd probably be using Ubuntu.

I recently set up a Windows VM as well for all the proprietary apps I have to use for work (basically only Outlook and Delphi), so I could move to whatever host OS I want without too much fuss, and am going to keep trying Ubuntu occasionally :)

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329653)

Apologies for that - sometimes I get completely on an unjustifiable rant without noticing.. :/ I was just trying to point out that I would have done the same thing, as I think Ubuntu is better integrated and more exciting than a lot of the main distros, while at the same time still being professional quality and easy to use.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

Hero Zzyzzx (525153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329375)

That quote was from the analyst ignoring the existence of CentOS. I did RTFA.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329619)

So the OP talked abou Centos, you rebut by talking about Red Hat?

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329265)

Bleeding edge unstable and experimental versions of programs vs over patched old but tested version of programs in in rpm format - Which one would you use in a production environment?

Ubuntu wins again - who wants finished programs when you can have 5 years worth of cAptive updates instead!

Re:CentOS is free RHEL with 0 commercial support (1, Informative)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329285)

You'd think that, but consider this:

If you install Redhat, it costs money, because they support it.

If you install CentOS, it's free, but if you need support, there is none. You can get support from third parties, but not Red Hat. To get support from RedHat, they'd need to move from CentOS to RHEL.

If you install Ubuntu, it's free. If you need commercial support, you can pay Canonical. They could, for example, pay Canonical for a year, and, if they can handle it on their own, not renew their support contract. They also can choose later to go back to them. That's a lot more freedom than Red Hat can give, and unlike CentOS, they have someone to fall back on if they need help.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL with 0 commercial support (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329637)

Seriously? How are you on Slashdot? You sound like the typical manager. Are you saying that there are no commercial entities which provide support for Centos for a fee? If you want to make the argument that there is no first party support, fine. But don't say that there is no support for Centos for those who want to pay.

Re:CentOS is free RHEL (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329589)

From reading the article, I have concluded that the decision maker(s) simply liked Ubuntu, and just came up with some justification after the fact. Especially considering they were uysing RH9 in there as well. They gave no (apperent) consideration to Centos 5.2 -- which is all well and good, but they should not make it seem like it was an RHEL weakness.

Is this really a good idea? (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328701)

I love Ubuntu, I've been playing with different distros since early 2000 and when I tried Ubuntu in 2006, I got hooked. I've been using it as my OS ever since. I've switched my parents to Ubuntu because I find it easy to administer and it makes it easy for me to help them. Plus, I can SSH into their box to solve problems remotely. Bottom line, as a desktop distribution I love Ubuntu. It may not work for everyone, but for me it's a perfect fit.

But as a server distro, I'm not so sure. I'm surprised that Wikimedia didn't go with a distribution that's more established for server needs.

Re:Is this really a good idea? (2, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328765)

But as a server distro, I'm not so sure. I'm surprised that Wikimedia didn't go with a distribution that's more established for server needs.

As a server distro, it rocks. I've migrated from Gentoo to Ubuntu Server for my home server and I've never looked back. As for enterprise-level distros, I'd have to go with Debian. There's not a whole ton of differences between Debian and Ubuntu Server, but I would trust Debian's 'stable' repositories over Ubuntu's repositories in a mission-critical setting, as the packages in Debian's repositories seem to be more hardened as opposed to Ubuntu's packages, which tend to be more cutting-edge.

Re:Is this really a good idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25329307)

So, allow me to be an ass and rephrase. Making the choice at enterprise-level in a mission-critical setting, you would go with what seems to be more hardened? Thanks for contributing.

Re:Is this really a good idea? (4, Insightful)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328883)

I'll probably get modded Troll for this but whatever ...

But as a server distro, I'm not so sure. I'm surprised that Wikimedia didn't go with a distribution that's more established for server needs.

If you have an argument to make about the OS's merits as a server then make it based on facts. Tell us why you don't think it's a perfect fit on the server. Don't just say "I'm not so sure" and leave it hanging there. Support your position with something that can be argued.

Re:Is this really a good idea? (0)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329163)

OK, I agree. That was a poor argument. Here's my specific points:

  • Bleeding edge packages. For a desktop OS, this is great in my humble opinion. I would be pretty pissed if I was using OpenOffice 2.0 and Firefox 1.5. But for a server, I'd rather use packages that have been around for a little while and have been seen to be stable. More like Debian's policy.
  • Ubuntu, being a desktop focused distribution, gets a lot of attention on desktop related problems. That's great, but I'd like a distribution which focuses on enterprise style server problems more than desktop issues. If you check out launchpad, you're going to see tons of bugs related to desktop issues. Community support is also geared towards the desktop.
  • Convenience and security are a well known tradeoff. I don't have solid proof on this one, so I apologize if I'm just making stuff up. But I would imagine Ubuntu does some things for convenience that could provide security issues. Then again they might rectify these in the Server edition. Again, correct me if I'm wrong about this point.

Not so happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328749)

Another one has fallen for the hype about Ubuntu. You have to remember that that popular does not always equal good. But then again, what is good depends on what you see in it. Personally it only caused me headaches because it got bugs and issues that were long resolved in other distros, like utf8 support (yes, it has it now, but it did not by default in 6.x), does not want to support /boot on xfs, did not do 64-bit correctly until recently either, and to add my personal opinion, the defaults suck -- the Xresources database is practically empty, meaning Alt- does not work in xterm/mcedit, and the "less" pager does not automatically use lesspipe meaning displaying a .gz file will get me garbage whereas on fed it will autodecompress (now everything may have its place, but when was the last time you wanted to look at binary .gz output with a pager...)

Re:Not so happy (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25328873)

So, the majority of the issues you had are no longer a issue.

(now everything may have its place, but when was the last time you wanted to look at binary .gz output with a pager...)

Oh God, say it isn't so, I have to add "gzip -d |" to the command list!

Seriously... You can change the defaults if it really bothers you that much.

Re:Not so happy (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329059)

Last I checked, zless handles gzipped text files just fine, and it ships in Ubuntu.

Re:Not so happy (2, Informative)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329391)

Strangely enough, none of the things that bother you are an issue for us. Either they were fixed over two years ago, or they don't affect us.

homogeneity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328759)

homogeneousness (homogeneity?) is bad, wether its open source or not.

Re:homogeneity (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329037)

Uh, whuh? You've obviously never had to herd a large number of machines. Most stuff running the same OS is the only way to live - jumpstart/kickstart, standard patch clusters, one local package repository server, that sorta thing.

(I do in fact do this for a living. Standardised Solaris 10 servers with Blastwave for the open-source toys, CentOS 4 when we need Linux, local repository servers for both. A few Windows boxes with a locally-served copy of Cygwin on them. May I heartily recommend Cygwin on any Windows servers you may be stuck with - it makes life so much saner.)

Re:homogeneity (2, Insightful)

brion (1316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329409)

Overall monoculture is bad; consistent setup and administration in a single buildout is good.

Reason why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25328857)

This was because the patch system got really stupid and eventually caused one of the load balancers to die unexpectedly so they standardised all their platforms

this is a proud day... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329077)

This is a good day for being a penguin and even better day if your colors are orange.
If I had stocks in ubuntu, I would be doing a happy happy joy joy dance

Simple is good (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329187)

Right now where I work was running 6 different OS's. Right now all the Point-of-sale system are XP-based, the laptops are a mix of Dell's and Apple, the router/firewall runs off Gentoo, and they have a couple OpenSuSE workstations.

On the server side, the webservers were a mix of Debian, the application server and database server were both OpenSuSE. They remote monitor a number of digital signage/interactive kiosks using another Linux package (Debain-based I believe). At the end of the day each system had it's quirks based on the developer who worked on that particular project. Bottom line it was a mess.

It was time for new hardware and the shop is going to OSX for everything in house, Mac Mini's & MBP's, shifting to a customPOS system based on OpenBravoPOS running off a Mac Mini and then all our remotely hosted items are being shifted to all FreeBSD based servers managed by Pair.

End result is that my life becomes much easier and we can shift my attention towards development projects instead of maintaining the system.

And so... ? (1)

JulianoR (1286942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329211)

The article is very fallacious. So, they had a mess of different versions of RedHat and Fedora... they moved to Ubuntu and the problem is solved.

Er... How does this solve the problem at all? Moving to Ubuntu will magically prevent further mess of versions? Couldn't they just upgrade the older installations to newer versions? If stability and costs were problems, why didn't they consider CentOS? They would be able to retain the experience already built by using RedHat and Fedora.

This switch looks much more likely to be personal preference than any stability or cost arguments.

Re:And so... ? (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329419)

The problem isn't a mess of versions (although that doesn't help), it a mess of operating systems. Once you have everything running on one distro you can just go round upgrading everything at one time (well, not exactly one time, since something has to keep running the site). Trying to keep up-to-date with new releases from lots of different distros is far harder.

I've heard of offshore hosting, (1)

SMQ (241278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329325)

but where the heck is Ubuntu?!

Whither OpenSolaris? (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329373)

OK, now I'm curious. The summary mentions a touch of Open Solaris, but the article doesn't. What did they decide to use it for and, more importantly, why did they make the exception?

Re:Whither OpenSolaris? (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329669)

bet its the DB servers

but also would like to know...

regards

John Jones
http://www.johnjones.me.uk [johnjones.me.uk]

Sounds reasonable (1)

mrv00t (858087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25329437)

400 servers were involved and the project has been going on for 2 years

Sounds more like Gentoo though.

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