Linked by David Adams on Tue 27th Jul 2010 07:31 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Red Hat CentOS, with almost 30% of all Linux servers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived distro is #1 according to Web Technology Surveys.
Thread beginning with comment 434584
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
by Morgul on Tue 27th Jul 2010 14:45 UTC
Member since:

My work 'standardized' on CentOS for the reason that a lot of our proprietary vendors specify it as the only thing they support. It's also the most 'Microsoft-like' out of all the Linux distros, which I think makes Windows Admins a bit more comfortable.

My problems with CentOS are pragmatic. I understand the philosophy behind it... and disagree entirely. Stability through obsolescence might have made sense years ago (debatable), but now it really doesn't.

Take my recent project, for example. I had to design and replace an aging server application (serving XML queries) running on redhat 9. The old design was a process forking mechanism, and quickly destroyed the memory on the system (1.2gigs of memory at 200 users). In order to cut development time down, and increase speed, I opted to use Qt. Since I needed certain features (like talking to a MS SQL database), I had to have any recent version of Qt from the last year or two.

My replacement written, and tested on my ubuntu and arch machines, I tried to put it on our CentOS server, which was just installed with CentOS 5.4. After a week of trying to get it to run, I gave up; there were too many random crashes and problems that simply did not occur on any linux distro that had the dependancies I needed; namely unixODBC, FreeTDS, and Qt. I convinced my work to use Ubuntu, and life was wonderful. CentOS simply couldn't run a modern application stably at all.

Is CentOS a 'bad' distro? Eh. I won't even go that far. But I know of no instance I would ever choose it over Arch (my preferred for it's tiny install footprint), or Ubuntu (which, admittedly, is more production grade).

But hey, that's the beauty of all of this; choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: *sigh*
by Elv13 on Tue 27th Jul 2010 16:40 in reply to "*sigh*"
Elv13 Member since:

Have you opened the SELinux troubleshooter? CentOS is not Ubuntu, there is a lot of permissions to add for an app to get stable. But Qt 4.1 is old, it was probably the problem. CentOS is more stable than Ubuntu, but you have to think CentOS/RedHat to have something working. At first, it will just crash with lack of permissions on the various security framework.

But once it run, it will run for a long time.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: *sigh*
by rklrkl on Tue 27th Jul 2010 19:40 in reply to "*sigh*"
rklrkl Member since:

Got to say that it's bizarre you'd write an XML server app using the Qt libraries (which drag in a lot of dependencies, including X11 stuff that probably isn't initially installed on a CentOS server). Surely there are more "obvious" libraries such as libxml2 or even how about PHP with its XML/SOAP support? Not forgetting Java (Sun's JDK works fine on CentOS 5) too.

As for folks moaning about running CentOS 5 on the desktop, you have to be willing to keep some desktop apps up-to-date yourself (Open Office, Firefox and Thunderbird spring to mind), though I see CentOS 5 finally updated Firefox to something pretty new (3.6.7) recently (I've already got the 3.6.8 RPM built and running on my work machine though).

If you pick Fedora for a work desktop, updates screech to a halt after 18 months, whereas work desktops tend to last 3-5 years typically. You would have to upgrade Fedora at least once and probably twice, which is a messy business at best (so messy, that on my home machine, I do clean installs of multiple Fedora versions in separate partitions) - warm upgrades are full of risks.

Hence, we went with CentOS 5 on the work desktop and apart from some manual RPMs we update, it at least will get updates throughout the entire 5 years of our desktops' lives. And for free, which is I think the only model that works. If Windows offers free updates, all Linuxes should too, IMHO. Red Hat should separate out updates from support and offer the former for free for those who bought the base product and charge whatever they like for the latter (probably more than now to compensate for those who switch to the free updates only with no support).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: *sigh*
by decker on Wed 28th Jul 2010 20:06 in reply to "*sigh*"
decker Member since:

So you write and test apps destined for a RHEL machine on Ubuntu and Arch? Makes sense to me!

Stability through obsolescence eh? I suppose you say the same thing about Solaris, Irix, etc? Some people just don't get what it means to have an enterprise OS. But to top things off, Red Hat continues to innovate year after year. Bah.

Reply Parent Score: 2