Best Linux server distro of 2018

As an open source and free operating system, Linux is the ideal candidate to configure your own server. The developer community behind each Linux distribution (distribution) regularly checks the source code of their chosen operating system to make sure it is free of errors.

When it comes to servers, the emphasis should obviously be on stability. While the updates are good, they have the potential to interfere with the proper functioning of your server.

We have highlighted some of our favorite distributions of Linux servers in this article, including operating systems that offer long temporary support, stability, and ideally a quick configuration process.

1. Debian

Debian is more than 20 years old and in part that longevity owes to the emphasis placed on the production of a stable operating system. This is crucial if you want to configure a server, since updates can sometimes conflict with existing software.

There are three branches of Debian, called & # 39; unstable & # 39 ;, & # 39; Test & # 39; and & # 39; Stable. To be part of the current stable version, the packages must have been reviewed for several months as part of the trial version. This results in a much more reliable system, but Debian is not expected to incorporate much "cutting-edge" software as a result.

You can start with Debian using a minimum network boot image that is less than 30 MB in size. For a faster configuration, download the largest network installer that contains fewer packages at just under 300 MB.

2. Ubuntu Server

While Ubuntu is best known for bringing desktop Linux to the masses, its Server variant is also extremely competitive. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has developed LTS (Long Term Support) versions of Ubuntu Server, which, like the flavor of the desktop, can be updated up to five years after the release date, saving you the hassle of upgrading your server repeatedly. Canonical also periodically releases versions of Ubuntu Server at the same time as the last desktop distribution (ie, 18.04).

If you intend to create your own platform in the cloud, you can also download Ubuntu Cloud Server. Canonical claims that more than 55% of OpenStack clouds are already running on Ubuntu. For a fee, Canonical will even configure a cloud managed for you using BootStack.

3. OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE (formerly SUSE Linux) is a Linux distribution designed specifically for developers and system administrators who wish to run their own server. The easy-to-use installer can be set to use & # 39; Text mode & # 39; instead of installing a desktop environment to start your server.

OpenSUSE will automatically download the minimum packages required, which means that only essential software will be installed. . The YaST Control Center allows you to configure the network, such as configuring a static IP for your server. You can also use the integrated package manager Zypper to download and install the essential server software, such as postfix.

4. Fedora Server

Fedora is an operating system developed by the community based on the commercial distribution of Linux Red Hat. Fedora Server is a special implementation of the operating system, which allows you to implement and manage your server using the Rolekit tool. The operating system also includes a powerful PostgreSQL database server.

Fedora Server also includes FreeIPA, which allows you to manage authentication credentials, access control information, and perform audits from a central location.

You can download the full 2.3 GB ISO image of Fedora Server using the following link. The same page contains a link to a minimum NetInstall image of 511 MB from the Other Fedora Downloads section for a faster barebones configuration.

5. CentOS

Like Fedora, CentOS is a distribution developed by the Linux community, originally based on the commercial OS Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In light of this, the developers behind CentOS 7 have committed to providing full updates for the operating system until the end of 2020, with maintenance updates until the end of June 2024, which should save the hassle of performing a full update on your server in the near future.

You can avoid unnecessary packages by installing the ISO & # 39; minimum & # 39; from the CentOS website, which at 792MB can fit on a 90-minute CD-R. If you are anxious to get started, the site also offers preconfigured AWS instances and Docker images.