Best Linux server distro

So I am about to start work on a Linux Server I'm trying to decide what OS to use, Ubuntu Server, Fedora Server, OpenSUSE, CentOS I would like peoples personal oppinions on what they think would be the best for realablity stability and manageability.



Fedora Server and CentOS are RPM-based. Fedora Server has newer packages IIRC. CentOS is basically the community version of RHEL and its packages are older, and therefore more stable.

Debian and Ubuntu Server are APT-based. Debian's packages are really old and is like CentOS. Ubuntu Server might have newer packages, but I believe the main appeal of Ubuntu Server is the inclusion of administration tools by Canonical.


There is no "best" server distro, it all depends on what you want to do with it.

If you need a minimal server, debian is often a good choice, because it's old and doesn't have much updates, but the security list is very good, so any new issues that are discovered are patched very rapidly.

If you need maximum functionality, OpenSuSE is incredible, especially for hybrid networks.

If you need maximum support, CentOS/Scientific/Fedora is the closest to RHEL you'll get. If you want to set up Docker-type services, Fedora is the way to go.

If you want to get the most out of really limited unlikely server hardware, slackware is incredible.

In some environments that standardize on it, Ubuntu Server is the best choice for the management tools and platform unification.

I went with fedora because of docker and it has cockpit, which isnt all that advanced buts its great for basic diagnostics 


SLED. Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop.

CentOS minimal is a great OS. Like Ubuntu server it has no GUI, it's just comand line. For a server it is a grat choice for its stability and it does'nt need powerful hardware to either.

I deal with Redhat based servers all the day and the only issues I had until now are packages that are very old. Adding third-party repositories breaks sometimes the upgrade path sometimes, especially when dealing with Perl packages. However, the online documentation is really great.

On the other hand, for private stuff, I'm using Ubuntu server (LTS). No problems at all.

FreeBSD is also fantastic for servers. It's not Linux, but worth a mention.

Most linux gurus will point you towards SME.

+1, SME is popular with former CentOS users. Another alternative is Scientific Linux, which is also a possible successor to CentOS. CentOS itself got sucked up and spit out by RedHat, it's not really the best way forward any more since last year.

Everything depends on what the server has to do. If you're just looking for a httpd server or something not too complicated, Debian stable is generally a good choice, because it's really low maintenance as it only gets security updates, and very few updates. If you need extended performance or modern functionality, like Atomic server or TCP/IP piping of external hardware functions, or support for advanced filesystems, and you need a bleeding edge server distro, just go for the most bleeding edge you can find, because you want to do live kernel patching as soon as possible to avoid any downtime. Live kernel patching comes from the OpenSuSE corner of the linux sandbox, and will be fully integrated in kernel 4.0 that is released very soon. This allows for patching the kernel without having to restart the session or the machine, so there is zero downtime, and for those server applications, that's a big deal.