Why choose Debian on server

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Why choose Debian on server

Alessandro Baggi
Hi list,
I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for server
needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame. I'm
evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will give
your experiences about this topic.

At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very old
software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then recompiled
on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new software from
source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in the last year. I
like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my knowledge.

Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported by
software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working out
of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user choose
Centos with the perception that things work better because all is
"followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more secure
and unfailing.

This is not necessarely true. I think that is the sysadmin that make
things safer, secure and unfailing. Sure that a stable and reliable OS
take his part but when big blue take this game I'm not so sure about
centos future. What if someone will choose to drop centos project? Maybe
this is premature but from this "Why not choose a stable and community
piloted distro where user needs are first purpose?"

I used Debian in the past on several server for a big company without
any problems but now are several years that I use centos on server and
workstation and today I lost my debian knowledge about stability on
server usage.

Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos
and other server distro?

Thanks in advance.
Alessandro.

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Joe Rowan
On Wed, 2 Jan 2019 11:51:25 +0100
Alessandro Baggi <[hidden email]> wrote:


>
> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than
> centos and other server distro?

Possibly the main selling point is that Debian has always been
continuously upgradeable from one version to the next. Building a
server from scratch can be a painful process, especially after you have
spent years tweaking and customising the previous one. The more rarely
this has to be done, the better.

The problem of old software is one you will never get away from, but on
the other hand, old software is generally reliable. A server is a
computer on which you rarely need the latest software, an old DNS or
DHCP server will generally do the same job as the very latest version.

Poor support for new hardware is a general problem for Linux, as
hardware is always designed for Windows, and drivers often have to be
reverse engineered for Linux. Red Hat is in a somewhat better position
than Debian, but no manufacturer is going to optimise their hardware
for RH, either. Less of a problem with servers, where the hardware is
likely to be robust and old-fashioned. Who needs the latest version of
Bluetooth or wi-fi on a server?

--
Joe

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

deloptes-2
Joe wrote:

> Poor support for new hardware is a general problem for Linux, as
> hardware is always designed for Windows, and drivers often have to be
> reverse engineered for Linux. Red Hat is in a somewhat better position
> than Debian, but no manufacturer is going to optimise their hardware
> for RH, either. Less of a problem with servers, where the hardware is
> likely to be robust and old-fashioned. Who needs the latest version of
> Bluetooth or wi-fi on a server?

some of us do not use linux only on the "server". The advantage is that you
can run a good linux on a older desktop and get most of the hardware. I.e.
I bought a Fujitsu ESPRIMO C700 for 180,- added some RAM for another 60,-
to have 8GB and it is soooo good.



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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Joe Rowan
On Wed, 02 Jan 2019 15:20:16 +0100
deloptes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Joe wrote:
>
> > Poor support for new hardware is a general problem for Linux, as
> > hardware is always designed for Windows, and drivers often have to
> > be reverse engineered for Linux. Red Hat is in a somewhat better
> > position than Debian, but no manufacturer is going to optimise
> > their hardware for RH, either. Less of a problem with servers,
> > where the hardware is likely to be robust and old-fashioned. Who
> > needs the latest version of Bluetooth or wi-fi on a server?  
>
> some of us do not use linux only on the "server". The advantage is
> that you can run a good linux on a older desktop and get most of the
> hardware. I.e. I bought a Fujitsu ESPRIMO C700 for 180,- added some
> RAM for another 60,- to have 8GB and it is soooo good.

Indeed. I'm currently working on getting Debian onto a small Acer
laptop, which is not trivial. I've run it on a netbook for several
years. But laptops and servers are solutions to different problems, and
don't generally need the same hardware and software. I wouldn't run
Gimp on a server, nor a RADIUS server on a laptop.

--
Joe

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

David Christensen
In reply to this post by Alessandro Baggi
On 1/2/19 2:51 AM, Alessandro Baggi wrote:

> Hi list,
> I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for server
> needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame. I'm
> evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will give
> your experiences about this topic.
>
> At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very old
> software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
> software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
> between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
> distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then recompiled
> on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new software from
> source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in the last year. I
> like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my knowledge.
>
> Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported by
> software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working out
> of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user choose
> Centos with the perception that things work better because all is
> "followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more secure
> and unfailing.
>
> This is not necessarely true. I think that is the sysadmin that make
> things safer, secure and unfailing. Sure that a stable and reliable OS
> take his part but when big blue take this game I'm not so sure about
> centos future. What if someone will choose to drop centos project? Maybe
> this is premature but from this "Why not choose a stable and community
> piloted distro where user needs are first purpose?"
>
> I used Debian in the past on several server for a big company without
> any problems but now are several years that I use centos on server and
> workstation and today I lost my debian knowledge about stability on
> server usage.
>
> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos
> and other server distro?

What is your environment?  How many servers?  What software on each
server?  How many users/ how much load on each server?  Future needs?


David

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Joe Rowan
Joe wrote:

> Indeed. I'm currently working on getting Debian onto a small Acer
> laptop, which is not trivial. I've run it on a netbook for several
> years. But laptops and servers are solutions to different problems, and
> don't generally need the same hardware and software. I wouldn't run
> Gimp on a server, nor a RADIUS server on a laptop.

before start using the Fujitsu PC I used the same on a Dell E5440, I just
took the hard drive and put it into the Fujitsu PC. It started without a
problem.

The server is just a more powerful PC and the PC from today is the server
from 10y ago.

I don't see a problem running Gimp on a server or RADIUS on a laptop ...
well, depends on the laptop and radius configuration.


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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Miles Fidelman-3
In reply to this post by David Christensen

> On 1/2/19 2:51 AM, Alessandro Baggi wrote:
>> Hi list,
>> I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for
>> server needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame.
>> I'm evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will
>> give your experiences about this topic.
>>
>> At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very
>> old software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
>> software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
>> between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
>> distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then
>> recompiled on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new
>> software from source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in
>> the last year. I like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my
>> knowledge.
>>
>> Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported
>> by software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working
>> out of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user
>> choose Centos with the perception that things work better because all
>> is "followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more
>> secure and unfailing.
>>

Traditionally, Red Hat (CentOS) and Debian  aimed primarily at servers -
dating back to a time when server were the only place one ran Linux (if
you were running Unix on a desktop, you probably had a Sun
Workstation).  Graphical desktops came in with newer distros.  Suse also
falls in this category.

These days, Red Hat has strong support, precisely because it's a
commercial, supported product, and the primary distro used by large
government & corporate users (outside of IBM and Oracle customers, who
have their own distros).  If you're running Linux on a production
server, it's probably Red Hat. CentOS is the free version.  Debian has
been popular with those of us who don't like Red Hat's way of doing things.

Today, as I face some upgrade issues of my own, I'm really not so sure. 
All of the debacle around systemd, and some of the recent politics, has
made me far less comfortable that Debian will remain a stable platform -
and I'm seriously considering migrating to either Gentoo or a BSD platform.

Miles Fidelman


--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Miles Fidelman-3
In reply to this post by deloptes-2
On 1/2/19 1:41 PM, deloptes wrote:

> Joe wrote:
>
>> Indeed. I'm currently working on getting Debian onto a small Acer
>> laptop, which is not trivial. I've run it on a netbook for several
>> years. But laptops and servers are solutions to different problems, and
>> don't generally need the same hardware and software. I wouldn't run
>> Gimp on a server, nor a RADIUS server on a laptop.
> before start using the Fujitsu PC I used the same on a Dell E5440, I just
> took the hard drive and put it into the Fujitsu PC. It started without a
> problem.
>
> The server is just a more powerful PC and the PC from today is the server
> from 10y ago.


Not really true.  Servers tend to be configured very differently than
desktop machines:  Multiple network ports, support for storage area
networks, remote management, redundancy, different disks, not to mention
headless.  One tends to run more specialized stuff, as well -
hypervisors, storage management, failover stuff, back-end stuff
(databases, mail servers, list servers).  One tends to run different
drivers, and tune things differently.

>
> I don't see a problem running Gimp on a server or RADIUS on a laptop ...
> well, depends on the laptop and radius configuration.
>
I'm not sure how well GIMP would run on across a network, particularly
if one wants to use a pen.  It's really designed to run on a machine
with a head.

Miles Fidelman


--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Joe Rowan
In reply to this post by deloptes-2
On Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:41:41 +0100
deloptes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Joe wrote:
>
> > Indeed. I'm currently working on getting Debian onto a small Acer
> > laptop, which is not trivial. I've run it on a netbook for several
> > years. But laptops and servers are solutions to different problems,
> > and don't generally need the same hardware and software. I wouldn't
> > run Gimp on a server, nor a RADIUS server on a laptop.  
>
> before start using the Fujitsu PC I used the same on a Dell E5440, I
> just took the hard drive and put it into the Fujitsu PC. It started
> without a problem.
>
> The server is just a more powerful PC and the PC from today is the
> server from 10y ago.

Can be, if you are using multiple VMs, or terminal server software or
the like, or running a popular public-facing Internet server. A
general-purpose private server usually doesn't need to have the power
that a graphical workstation needs. Only Windows needs enormous
resources in a server. My current server is a cute little HP
Microserver, not especially fast and with 2GB RAM. Windows SBS2008
needed 8GB just to wake up, and that was aimed at *small* businesses.

>
> I don't see a problem running Gimp on a server or RADIUS on a
> laptop ... well, depends on the laptop and radius configuration.
>
>
I didn't say there would be problems, just that there would not
normally be a need. The overlap between my workstation's software and
that of my server is fairly small, largely because the server doesn't
have a GUI, and most of my workstation software is graphical.

That's another point in favour of Debian for servers, there is no
assumption that a GUI will be used. I believe RH uses graphical admin
software, as of course does Windows.

--
Joe

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Miles Fidelman-3
Miles Fidelman wrote:

> I'm not sure how well GIMP would run on across a network, particularly
> if one wants to use a pen.  It's really designed to run on a machine
> with a head.

so you are saying you can not ssh -X to the server and run your gimp if that
is what you want? I bet you can and I bet you can configure the server the
way you like - it is just another PC ;-) regardless hypervisors and
underlaying stuff.

It is another question if it makes sense.

regards

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

deloptes-2
In reply to this post by Joe Rowan
Joe wrote:

> I didn't say there would be problems, just that there would not
> normally be a need. The overlap between my workstation's software and
> that of my server is fairly small, largely because the server doesn't
> have a GUI, and most of my workstation software is graphical.
>
> That's another point in favour of Debian for servers, there is no
> assumption that a GUI will be used. I believe RH uses graphical admin
> software, as of course does Windows.

well I use to start vnc and run there this and that, that would require GUI
or whatever. I usually need it to run VMWare that I can not run headless,
but Gimp would fit in if needed. Unfortunately I am not heavy Gimp user.

To keep the gui footprint low I use icewm. I don't see a problem with it.

regards


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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Miles Fidelman-3
In reply to this post by deloptes-2
On 1/2/19 5:16 PM, deloptes wrote:

> Miles Fidelman wrote:
>
>> I'm not sure how well GIMP would run on across a network, particularly
>> if one wants to use a pen.  It's really designed to run on a machine
>> with a head.
> so you are saying you can not ssh -X to the server and run your gimp if that
> is what you want? I bet you can and I bet you can configure the server the
> way you like - it is just another PC ;-) regardless hypervisors and
> underlaying stuff.
>
No, but:

X11 is one of those things that one doesn't always install on servers.

If one wants GPU acceleration, one commonly does not install GPUs on
servers.

Behavior over a network might be a bit problematic.  I expect network
jitter might interfere with things like fine drawing with a wacom tablet.

Now, if one works in a graphics shop, with a serious rendering cluster
in the same room – then maybe running GIMP on the server might make some
sense.

Miles Fidelman





--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.  .... Yogi Berra

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

kamaraju kusumanchi-2
In reply to this post by Alessandro Baggi
On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 5:51 AM Alessandro Baggi
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos
> and other server distro?

Please see this faq
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/ch-basic_defs.en.html#s-difference

1.5 What is the difference between Debian GNU/Linux and other Linux
distributions? Why should I choose Debian over some other
distribution?

--
Kamaraju S Kusumanchi | http://raju.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Blog

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Gary Dale-8
In reply to this post by Alessandro Baggi
On 2019-01-02 5:51 a.m., Alessandro Baggi wrote:

> Hi list,
> I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for
> server needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame. I'm
> evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will give
> your experiences about this topic.
>
> At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very
> old software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
> software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
> between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
> distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then recompiled
> on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new software
> from source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in the last
> year. I like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my knowledge.
>
> Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported by
> software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working out
> of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user choose
> Centos with the perception that things work better because all is
> "followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more
> secure and unfailing.
>
> This is not necessarely true. I think that is the sysadmin that make
> things safer, secure and unfailing. Sure that a stable and reliable OS
> take his part but when big blue take this game I'm not so sure about
> centos future. What if someone will choose to drop centos project?
> Maybe this is premature but from this "Why not choose a stable and
> community piloted distro where user needs are first purpose?"
>
> I used Debian in the past on several server for a big company without
> any problems but now are several years that I use centos on server and
> workstation and today I lost my debian knowledge about stability on
> server usage.
>
> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than
> centos and other server distro?
>
> Thanks in advance.
> Alessandro.
>
Because Debian doesn't come from a company, it can't go out of business
or be taken over. And because Debian has lots of spinoffs, including
distros that are in the commercial server market (e.g. Ubuntu), you can
bet that everything runs on it and it runs on everything.

Debian is also very stable and very secure. While Red Hat may have a
segment of the corporate market, I'll bet that there are more Debian
servers than Red Hat. If you think Red Hat has the market cornered, you
aren't looking at the full market.

Then there are things like the Raspberry Pi, which are used in a lot of
specialized server-type tasks, that mainly use Debian. They can do a lot
of things that are useful in a corporate environment that you wouldn't
want to put on a real server.

I also use Debian on my desktop (I have for decades) so there is a good
knowledge crossover. I don't need to learn and use two different kinds
of systems.


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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Alessandro Baggi
In reply to this post by David Christensen
Il 02/01/19 18:03, David Christensen ha scritto:

> On 1/2/19 2:51 AM, Alessandro Baggi wrote:
>> Hi list,
>> I'm new to this list and I'm choosing the right distribution for
>> server needs. I hope that I'm not OT and don't want start a flame. I'm
>> evaluating the possibility to switch on debian so I hope you will give
>> your experiences about this topic.
>>
>> At the moment I'm using CentOS 7 on server and workstation but very
>> old software, add third repos for get some software, use unmaintained
>> software where patchs are released by dev distro team, big changes
>> between a current release and next release, big corporation piloted
>> distro, waiting that rh release a security patches and then recompiled
>> on centos, problem on new hardware, unable to install new software
>> from source due to old libs get me bored, and frustated in the last
>> year. I like flexibility and I noticed that centos chains my knowledge.
>>
>> Today seems that RH Family is the standard and rh is more supported by
>> software vendors. Considering 10 years of support, Selinux working out
>> of the box, stability, enteprise class and free distro..user choose
>> Centos with the perception that things work better because all is
>> "followed" by a corporation. With this assumption users feel more
>> secure and unfailing.
>>
>> This is not necessarely true. I think that is the sysadmin that make
>> things safer, secure and unfailing. Sure that a stable and reliable OS
>> take his part but when big blue take this game I'm not so sure about
>> centos future. What if someone will choose to drop centos project?
>> Maybe this is premature but from this "Why not choose a stable and
>> community piloted distro where user needs are first purpose?"
>>
>> I used Debian in the past on several server for a big company without
>> any problems but now are several years that I use centos on server and
>> workstation and today I lost my debian knowledge about stability on
>> server usage.
>>
>> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than
>> centos and other server distro?
>
> What is your environment?  How many servers?  What software on each
> server?  How many users/ how much load on each server?  Future needs?
>
>
> David
>
> .
>

Hi David,
My usage today is on small/medium office, cloud vps server and sometimes
on baremetal.

Thank you

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Alessandro Baggi
In reply to this post by Miles Fidelman-3
Il 02/01/19 20:56, Miles Fidelman ha scritto:
> Today, as I face some upgrade issues of my own, I'm really not so sure.
> All of the debacle around systemd, and some of the recent politics, has
> made me far less comfortable that Debian will remain a stable platform -
> and I'm seriously considering migrating to either Gentoo or a BSD platform.

What recent politics?

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Reco
In reply to this post by Miles Fidelman-3
        Hi.

On Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 02:56:41PM -0500, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> some of the recent politics, has made me far less comfortable that Debian will remain a stable platform - and I'm seriously considering migrating to either Gentoo or a BSD platform.

LOL, you've made my day, sir. It's hardly wise to consider FreeBSD as a
shelter from 'political issues' - [1], [2], and that's the only alive
BSD these days.

Recp

[1] https://daniel-lange.com/archives/127-Saving-miscjive.html
[2] https://www.freebsd.org/internal/code-of-conduct.html

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

Roberto C. Sánchez-2
In reply to this post by Alessandro Baggi
On Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 11:51:25AM +0100, Alessandro Baggi wrote:
>
> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos and
> other server distro?
>
I actually started with Debian on my laptop.  As a college student I was
assigned a project that had to run on the school Linux cluster (RedHat
6.2, if I recall correctly).  I installed RedHat on my laptop since I
wanted something closer to that environment for my development work.  It
was a real pain.  The "Red Hat way" seemed so convoluted.

A friend who worked tech support in the CS department at school handed
me a Debian install CD for Woody, which had just been released.  Back in
those days Debian's installer was notoriously difficult to use, so I did
not manage to complete the installation.  I asked my friend for help
with the install and once I overcame that obstacle, I was all set.  The
first thing I noticed was that the "Debian way" seemed so much more
sensible to me compared to the "Red Hat way".

After that, I decided to set up Debian on a spare PC in the house and
use it as a firewall/web server/mail server/etc.  I have been trying to
push Debian everywhere I go since.

Now, before you go and think that I am biased, I will say that I am
actually biased :-)

I certified as a RHCE some years ago and I can honestly say that only
highlighted to me how much more comfortable Debian feels in everyday use
both on the desktop and on the server.

Regards,

-Roberto

--
Roberto C. Sánchez

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

steef-5
having allmost the same history: i agree completely roberto

steef



On 03-01-19 16:12, Roberto C. Sánchez wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 02, 2019 at 11:51:25AM +0100, Alessandro Baggi wrote:
>>
>> Why you choose debian on server? Where for you it is better than centos and
>> other server distro?
>>
> I actually started with Debian on my laptop.  As a college student I was
> assigned a project that had to run on the school Linux cluster (RedHat
> 6.2, if I recall correctly).  I installed RedHat on my laptop since I
> wanted something closer to that environment for my development work.  It
> was a real pain.  The "Red Hat way" seemed so convoluted.
>
> A friend who worked tech support in the CS department at school handed
> me a Debian install CD for Woody, which had just been released.  Back in
> those days Debian's installer was notoriously difficult to use, so I did
> not manage to complete the installation.  I asked my friend for help
> with the install and once I overcame that obstacle, I was all set.  The
> first thing I noticed was that the "Debian way" seemed so much more
> sensible to me compared to the "Red Hat way".
>
> After that, I decided to set up Debian on a spare PC in the house and
> use it as a firewall/web server/mail server/etc.  I have been trying to
> push Debian everywhere I go since.
>
> Now, before you go and think that I am biased, I will say that I am
> actually biased :-)
>
> I certified as a RHCE some years ago and I can honestly say that only
> highlighted to me how much more comfortable Debian feels in everyday use
> both on the desktop and on the server.
>
> Regards,
>
> -Roberto
>

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Re: Why choose Debian on server

deloptes-2
steef wrote:

> having allmost the same history: i agree completely roberto

+1

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