Is amd64 version worthy?

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Is amd64 version worthy?

Postby bronto » 2005-08-27 03:34

I in search of a distro for my Opteron based server.

The server is an HP DL145, Opteron 1.6ghz single CPU unit with 1gb RAM and RAID 5 on 2 80gb disks using ATA 3ware card. I chose this unit for it's expandability, scaling up to 8gb RAM and dual CPUs up to 2.4 ghz (or higher, when available) and possibly dual core CPUs too. Hardware support is (naturally) important in my choice.

This is actually my 2nd attempt with this unit. Originally I installed SuSE 9.2 amd64, and while it worked I was less than impressed with the "fit & finish", and ultimately the server got hacked pretty bad and I need to start over. So I am investigating other possibilities. This will be primarily a web server (LAMP), with some email (imap) services as well.

The issues with SuSE were these:

Package availability: I have in the past and plan in the forseeable future to run a mail server using the postfix/mysql/courier-imap/courier-maildrop/mailman combination. This was not at all fun putting together because SuSE does not have RPMs for postfix with MySQL or courier-auth/mysql and I had to compile, and especially with the courier packages I got caught in version transition where courier wouldn't recognize the openldap installed by SuSE and the courier-auth libraries weren't very portable. I really want to just install these relatively common packages and be done with them, not have to hunt for them or compile my own.

Fit & Finish: numerous things didn't work quite right. I could never get MySQL Administrator to backup/restore, Konqueror got confused about what "case" directories were when I was copying files using drag/drop (for example, copying the "FAQ" folder became the "faq" folder) and often Konqueror would hang. Stuff I could live with, but don't want to. It also appears that it's php was buggy, because some dates in web applications were "crazy" - 5 digit years - and the server prior to and after that server don't have those problems with the same applications.

Security: I really don't know the root of hack problem; my admin is still looking in to the logs. It appeared to him at one time that someone first got in to my WinXP system then got into the server via stored passwords for it on that system, but later reports were that another server on the subnet was totally open and that they got into the network first through those means and then next into mine by some other means. So it may be my or someone elses stupidity that resulted in the hack, but it could also have been that with all the compiling I had to do that I left something open we don't even know about yet. If that's the case, I don't want to do it anymore. Just give me a package I can use.

I've done some initial investigation of Debian and have noted the following. Comments are welcome.

* There are packages available for postfix/mysql and courier-auth/mysql. Is that also true for the amd64 architecture?

* Debian amd64 appears to be on the verge of "stable", since security support is now available. But appearently it's not *really* stable yet; what's the real world experience? Any guesses about how long it will be fully supported? Days/weeks/months or years?

* What about the Debian derivitives? I am open minded about them, and have noted that Ubuntu appears to officially support amd64, although that's a desktop target. Are there derivitives that are server targeted that officially support amd64? What about package support/updates for them?

* Does Debian deal with rpms? I know it has it's own package system, but from time to time I've wanted to install a commercial package for which I can't just recompile/repackage, and will have to take it as it comes. Can I install rpms on Debian?

Anything else I should know/ask?



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