If you ask five different Linux developers which distribution is best for server management, you’re liable to receive five different answers. Because it’s open-source, Linux has one of the most diverse development ecosystems of any operating system on the market. Anyone with the necessary skills and time can code their own distribution (and many do).
From the perspective of a sysadmin, that means that your choices are effectively limitless when it comes to choosing a hosting distro.
That isn’t to say you can just pick any old distribution and spin up your server, of course (that’s something I wouldn’t really recommend). It just means you’ve got plenty of options. On the one hand, that’s pretty great; more choices means you’re that much more likely to find something that’s a perfect fit for you.
On the other, it’s kind of overwhelming, and a little difficult to even decide where to start.
Not to worry – that’s where we come in. We’ve put together an infographic that explores the history of and difference between several of the most popular Linux hosting distributions: CentOS, Ubuntu Server, and Debian. The first two are more or less dominant in the hosting space, while the third is the core on which Ubuntu is based.
Here’s what the infographic covers:
- The year each distribution was released, along with the origin of its name.
- Who is primarily responsible for development – ie. Debian is community-driven, while CentOS is led by Red Hat.
- The speed with which each version is updated, along with what’s new in each – ie. the most recent update to Debian optimizes it for faster boot times.
- The package manager of each distribution.
- Advantages and disadvantages.
- A few interesting facts.
You can find the full infographic below. And if you’d like to know a bit more about each distribution we’ve taken a more in-depth look in this blog post.