File Sharing Network

Hi, I have already asked a similair question to this, but have received conflciting view, which I guess is to be expected with Linux!

My questions is this. I am setting up a new office, with up to 40 client pc's. They all need access to a shared folder, so I have bought a decent file server (no software). I want to use a linux solution for cost, so need to know the best linux OS to instll on all the PC's and the fiile server to allow up to 40 users to connect to and use a shared folder on the file server.

Anyway, the solution suggested originally was Fedora. But a number of people have since suggested Debian to me.

So my question is this, is Debian a solution to this, and if so, is it better than Fedora?
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cjl7freelance for hireCommented:

If you really want assurance get RHEL or SUSE, then you pay for support.

Otherwise, Debian is known for it's stability but Fedora is no slouch either. Lot's of organisations  are using Fedora as a 'Server os'.

Feel free to use either one. (I'd use Fedora on the Server if you got that on the clients)


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joolsSenior Systems AdministratorCommented:
you're going to get a lot of different views again....

For my 2p I'd go with CentOS 5.2, it's a RHEL based distro, v. good support, rock solid and follows the Enterprise version with updates etc.
Fedora is also based on Redhat but it's bleeding edge (development stuff), lots of really new stuff but you *could* get a bad update. If you like bells and whistles then Fedora is great.

I'm not a fan of Debian but loads of ppl love it! It's stable but I've had issues with it on newer hardware.

File servers are simple beasts.  You're probably going to be using NFS or Samba (SMB), depending if the clients are Linux or Windows.

There are some specialized distros, and drop-in control panels, that offer ease of customization.

Both the previous responses give good guidance, and should be considered core to your decision:

RHEL and SUSE both offer paid support.  If this is mission-critical, and it breaks for some unknown reason, and you need someone to answer the phone ASAP to tell you what might be wrong, then these are options to consider.  HOWEVER, these support contracts are usually for technical issues, not "oops, I clicked the wrong button", but they will help you with that too.  (It's just usually easier/cheaper to come somewhere like EE to find an answer.)

CentOS is a great "free" strain of RHEL.  It is RHEL with all trademarks and non-GPL software stripped out.  The result is functionally similar.

Fedora is probably not the best choice for this project.  Fedora is better suited to a desktop user, or someone who wants to play with more software, rather than a simple server that sits in a closet, and just works.  It's more likely to require care and feeding, etc.

Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware, and the hordes of other options... well, if you're familiar with one of them, or you're setting up a desktop, then throw them into the mix with Fedora.

Server?  RHEL or CentOS.  If you're in Europe, then SUSE.  (SUSE has a much larger market share in Europe, so more local people will be familiar with it.  RHEL is gaining ground.)

Go with the latest release, install it in 64-bit mode, and enjoy.  Your main challenge will be deciding how to implement user management, if needed, e.g. integrating into a Windows workgroup/domain, doing password authentication, etc.
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