[thelist] The Perfect Web Server - An elusive Search

Jose Hurtado jlhurtado at gmail.com
Fri May 5 19:38:19 CDT 2006


After a long time thinking about it, our company has decided to have a
web-server in-house to host our clients websites and our own too... so far
we have a hosted VPS, but the cost and reliability is not what we expected.

I am familiar with UNIX, Linux, OS X and Windows, but by no means an expert
in the server side of each!  I have decided not to even consider Windows for
the very bad track record it has on stability and security, not only on the
desktop but on the server as well.

I would appreciate any advice on WHICH server OS to choose over the others,
these are my main criteria:

1. Rock solid Web server OS. One that could be online for a year without a
2. Full Apache 2 support.
3. Able to execute well PHP/PERL/RUBY and Ruby On Rails.  J2EE would be
nice, not required.
4. Full support for MySQL, nice to have support for Oracle or other major
5. Very desirable to have an administration interface, not just the command
line.  Something above and beyond Webmin!
6. Support for Postfix email.
7. Excellent mirroring, backup and availability tools built-in.

So far I have identified 7 possible Operating Systems that could potentially
do all of this, but none is perfect, and I have been unable to decide on one
over the other. These is my short list, could you comment on them? or
suggest a new entry and why? So... here they are:

   - Fully Open Source - Free
   - FreeBSD UNIX Rel. 6 (Open source - BSD license, free)
      - Fedora Core 5 (Open source, GPL, free)
      - CentOS Linux (Open source, RHLE like, free)
      - Sun Solaris 10 & Open Solaris (Now both open source and 100%
      - Commercial or Partially Open Source - Not Free
   - Red Hat Linux ES (Partially Commercial - Open Source GPL license)
      - Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 (Partially Commercial - Open
      Source GPL license)
      - Apple OS X Server

Your input or ideas on choosing among those OSes will be greatly

Jose L. Hurtado
Web Designer / IT Professional
Toronto, Canada

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