Ubuntu Server

I’m downloading Fiesty Fawn (the latest version of Ubuntu), to put on my laptop when my new hard drive comes. (UPS, where are you?!)

I just noticed, while on their site, Ubuntu Server. And I’m itching to play with it. I’m currently running Gentoo as my server, because I’ve come to the conclusion that, even though I’m not a professional sysadmin, I’m way, way smarter than RPM is, and way, way smarter than cPanel is. Gentoo isn’t the easiest-to-use, but the easy-to-use tools I’ve worked with aren’t 1/10th as effective as the difficult-to-use tools that I’ve learned.

Except for Ubuntu, which is “stupid easy” to use, yet works great. Even though I’ve got lots of experience maintaining Gentoo, both as a desktop and server, my ‘new’ laptop installations will run Ubuntu, not Gentoo. (Windows is sticking around too, though.)

So I’m itching to try Ubuntu Server. It looks like setting up a webserver consists of clicking a couple things, rather than emerge‘ing 10 packages, wading through all sorts of config files, and so forth. And yet it’s based on Debian, and comes with nothing running by default: did they just design an OS that was secure by default and easy to use?

Anyone here have any experience with it? Does it hold up well, or can my semi-well-tuned Gentoo machine run circles around it? I’ve come to equate “simple” with “mediocre,” but Ubuntu’s the first thing that’s made me reconsider. (Well, actually, Apple too, but that’s neither here nor there.)

4 thoughts on “Ubuntu Server

  1. My experience with it has been limited to virtual machines, because it takes like 10 minutes to get a ‘machine’ up and running with binaries as opposed to the hours it would take to compile a Gentoo system in a VM. I can’t speak much to it’s performance — though I doubt you’d really notice with the systems these days — but it installs like butter.

  2. It seems like, between you and the place you work, you’d have countless VMs going; in which case it seems like you’d benefit from compiling one VM from the ground up, and just saving an image of it and plunking it in where needed.

    Did you do more than vanilla LAMP with Ubuntu Server? (Well, AMP, the L is given.) I’d like a nice, well-structured installation with various Apache modules, some sort of PHP caching, etc. Is it any easier than doing it under various distros? (I doubt I’m actually going to do anything on this machine… Given the hoops I jumped through to get Gentoo on it.)

    The literalist (not a word) in me has to ask how you install butter.

  3. We’ve just started putting VMs in production. We actually have a couple MySQL instances running under VMs (but still using the SAN for storage). I do have a base Gentoo image somewhere, but I left it pretty bare, because my VMs are generally installed with small drive images and reduced memory. VMWare’s own Appliance Marketplace is an excellent resource as well.

    I also set up an image with everything needed to run the majority of our products, but I haven’t really been using it lately.

    I’ve also been considering setting up a VM that I can use to route local traffic over the VPN connection so I don’t have to install a VPN client on every machine I want to access it from. It could also use FUSE to mount my workstation drive remotely (vis SSHFS) and share it on my local network via SAMBA.

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