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Which VPS OS To Choose

Hi, i have just bought my first VPS. I will only be running the one site from within this. I have logged into my hosting account and it is asking me which VPS OS i want to install on my virtual machine. I have 137 options to choose from.

I am also currently paying a monthly licence for cpanel.

My site is a custom built PHP / MySQL site. It does not use an open source frameworks. Which of the following would you recommend. The only one that sticks out to me is the last.

            <option value="5">Ubuntu 8.04 x86</option>
            <option value="6">Ubuntu 8.04 x64</option>
            <option value="7">Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS</option>
            <option value="8">Debian 5.0 (Lenny) x64</option>
            <option value="9">Gentoo 10.1 x64</option>
            <option value="10">Gentoo 10.1 (2.6.34) x64</option>
            <option value="11">CentOS 5.5 x64</option>
            <option value="12">CentOS 5.2 x64</option>
            <option value="50">Jumpbox alfresco 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="51">Jumpbox asterisk 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="52">Jumpbox bugzilla 1.5.1 x64</option>
            <option value="53">Jumpbox cacti 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="54">Jumpbox deki 1.5.2 x64</option>
            <option value="55">Jumpbox dimdim 1.1.4 x64</option>
            <option value="56">Jumpbox dokuwiki 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="57">Jumpbox drupal 1.1.19 x64</option>
            <option value="58">Jumpbox drupal6 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="59">Jumpbox dspace 1.1.5 x64</option>
            <option value="60">Jumpbox elgg 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="61">Jumpbox foswiki 1.1.6 x64</option>
            <option value="62">Jumpbox gallery 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="63">Jumpbox gallery3 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="64">Jumpbox glpi 1.1.10 x64</option>
            <option value="65">Jumpbox jasperbi 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="66">Jumpbox joomla 1.1.5 x64</option>
            <option value="67">Jumpbox joomla15 1.5.2 x64</option>
            <option value="68">Jumpbox joomla16 0.9 x64</option>
            <option value="69">Jumpbox knowledgetree 1.1.10 x64</option>
            <option value="70">Jumpbox lampd 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="71">Jumpbox lappd 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="72">Jumpbox liferay 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="73">Jumpbox limesurvey 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="74">Jumpbox magento 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="75">Jumpbox mantis 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="76">Jumpbox mediawiki 1.6.1 x64</option>
            <option value="77">Jumpbox moinmoin 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="78">Jumpbox moodle 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="79">Jumpbox movabletype 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="80">Jumpbox mysqld 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="81">Jumpbox nagios 1.1.9 x64</option>
            <option value="82">Jumpbox nagios3 1.5.1 x64</option>
            <option value="83">Jumpbox omeka 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="84">Jumpbox openemm 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="85">Jumpbox openfire 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="86">Jumpbox openldap 1.1.4 x64</option>
            <option value="87">Jumpbox openvpn 1.1.1 x64</option>
            <option value="88">Jumpbox orangehrm 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="89">Jumpbox otrs 1.6.1 x64</option>
            <option value="90">Jumpbox phpbb 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="91">Jumpbox pmwiki 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="92">Jumpbox postgresqld 1.1.9 x64</option>
            <option value="93">Jumpbox projectpier 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="94">Jumpbox punbb 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="95">Jumpbox redmine 1.6.1 x64</option>
            <option value="96">Jumpbox rubyonrails 1.1.7 x64</option>
            <option value="97">Jumpbox sakai 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="98">Jumpbox silverstripe 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="99">Jumpbox snaplogic 1.1.2 x64</option>
            <option value="100">Jumpbox statusnet 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="101">Jumpbox sugarcrm 1.1.6 x64</option>
            <option value="102">Jumpbox sugarcrm5 1.1.18 x64</option>
            <option value="103">Jumpbox sugarcrm6 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="104">Jumpbox tikiwiki 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="105">Jumpbox tomcat 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="106">Jumpbox trac 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="107">Jumpbox tracks 1.5.0 x64</option>
            <option value="108">Jumpbox twiki 1.1.3 x64</option>
            <option value="109">Jumpbox vtigercrm 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="110">Jumpbox wordpress 1.6.2 x64</option>
            <option value="111">Jumpbox zenoss 1.6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="114">CloudLinux Server 5.5 Apache x64</option>
            <option value="115">CloudLinux Server 5.5 ISPmanager x64</option>
            <option value="116">CloudLinux Server 5.5 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="117">CloudLinux Server 5.5 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="118">CloudLinux Server 5.5 cPanel x64</option>
            <option value="119">CloudLinux Server 5.5 x64</option>
            <option value="120">Debian 6.0.0 Cherokee x64</option>
            <option value="121">Debian 6.0.0 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="122">Debian 6.0.0 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="123">Debian 6.0.0 x64</option>
            <option value="124">Redhat Ent 5.6 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="125">Redhat Ent 5.6 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="126">Redhat Ent 5.6 x64</option>
            <option value="127">Redhat Ent 6.0 x64 LAMP</option>
            <option value="128">Redhat Ent 6.0 x64 Minimal</option>
            <option value="129">Redhat Ent 6.0 x64 MySQL</option>
            <option value="130">Redhat Ent 6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="239">CentOS 5.3 lbva_6.11 x64</option>
            <option value="240">CentOS 5.5 Apache x64</option>
            <option value="241">CentOS 5.5 Cherokee x64</option>
            <option value="242">CentOS 5.5 GlusterFS x64</option>
            <option value="243">CentOS 5.5 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="244">CentOS 5.5 LAMPP x64</option>
            <option value="245">CentOS 5.5 LAMPP x86</option>
            <option value="246">CentOS 5.5 Minimal x64</option>
            <option value="247">CentOS 5.5 Minimal x86</option>
            <option value="248">CentOS 5.5 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="249">CentOS 5.5 OpenVZ x64</option>
            <option value="250">CentOS 5.5 Optimized_Hardened x64</option>
            <option value="251">CentOS 5.5 Optimized_Hardened_LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="252">CentOS 5.5 Optimized_Hardened_LLMP x64</option>
            <option value="253">CentOS 5.5 Optimized_Hardened_LNMP x64</option>
            <option value="254">CentOS 5.5 Optimized_Hardened_MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="255">CentOS 5.5 Plesk x64</option>
            <option value="256">CentOS 5.5 Plesk x86</option>
            <option value="257">CentOS 5.5 Trixbox_2.8.0.4 x86</option>
            <option value="258">CentOS 5.5 cPanel x64</option>
            <option value="259">CentOS 5.5 libra_esva_2.0.5.0 x86</option>
            <option value="260">CentOS 5.5 x86</option>
            <option value="261">CentOS 5.6 Apache x64</option>
            <option value="262">CentOS 5.6 Apache x86</option>
            <option value="263">CentOS 5.6 HAproxy_1.3.25 x64</option>
            <option value="264">CentOS 5.6 HAproxy_1.4.15 x64</option>
            <option value="265">CentOS 5.6 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="266">CentOS 5.6 LAMP x86</option>
            <option value="267">CentOS 5.6 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="268">CentOS 5.6 MySQL x86</option>
            <option value="269">CentOS 5.6 Plesk x64</option>
            <option value="270">CentOS 5.6 cPanel x64</option>
            <option value="271">CentOS 5.6 x64</option>
            <option value="272">CentOS 5.6 x86</option>
            <option value="275">FreeBSD 8.2_HVMPV x64</option>
            <option value="276">OnApp CDN Appliance</option>
            <option value="277">Debian 6.0 Cherokee x64</option>
            <option value="278">Debian 6.0 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="279">Debian 6.0 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="280">Debian 6.0 x64</option>
            <option value="281">CentOS 5.6 cPanel_OneClickSSL x64</option>
            <option value="282">CentOS 6.2 Apache x64</option>
            <option value="283">CentOS 6.2 Apache x86</option>
            <option value="284">CentOS 6.2 LAMP x86</option>
            <option value="285">CentOS 6.2 MySQL x64</option>
            <option value="286">CentOS 6.2 MySQL x86</option>
            <option value="287">CentOS 6.2 x64</option>
            <option value="288">CentOS 6.2 x86</option>
            <option value="289">CentOS 6.2 LAMP x64</option>
            <option value="290">cpanel-php-5.3.10</option>
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2 Solutions
Hugh McCurdyCommented:
IMHO (since you asked for opinions), many of those options will do what you want.  PHP/MySQL is widely supported.

However, that doesn't help you make a decision.

* Do you have any experience with any of the Linux versions listed?  If so, did you feel comfortable using the system?  (Don't underestimate the value of your time.)

* Do you have a need for 64 bit?  (I would guess not.  While I doubt 64bit would present a problem it isn't as well supported as 32 bit.  Again, about your time and your comfort.)

* You may need help and I doubt you'll get a free RH support contract with your VPS.  My preference with be CentOS as many people can help with CentOS issues.  I would go with the latest version.  LAMP should give you Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (so you should be just fine with #284).
Hugh McCurdyCommented:
BTW, I wouldn't just take my word for it.  Let's see if someone else shows up with an opinion.
Oooooo! I love this question.

CentOS is a solid platform, that's for sure, but my Linux flavor choice is Ubuntu.

For the applications I am running on my network (mostly web-based, LAMP) I am using the LTS (Long Term Support) version of it, 10.04LTS. There is a newer one out, but I typically like to wait until others have vetted the newest, cutting edge versions properly before putting it into production.

Most of the documentation and tutorials for what I specialize in, Drupal, use Ubuntu as the examples. Many packages for Drupal are not available in the CentOS package manager. But, that's just in my case. Ubuntu works better for me.

The best way to choose what you like is to try them. Using a VPS for this is an excellent, excellent way to do that because you can reinstall within minutes and start from scratch with another OS.

Be sure that the software you need is available (you can install others, but using the distro is so much easier). Questions would be: do you need MySQL 5.1 vs 5.0?  PHP 5.2 or  5.3? Are the proper libraries you may need easy to install (or are already installed?).

In Ubuntu, the command to install the LAMP server from the  command  line is:

sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

Open in new window

Installs of software are usually something like:

sudo apt-get install <packagename>

Open in new window

FWIW, I despise cPanel. Had to throw that in there.

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oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the detailed reply... can i ask why you don't like cPanel
I prefer not to use cPanel, Plesk, WHM, or any other control panel because they do not (may not, depending on your needs) allow you, as the administrator, to do things in the normal, proper way.

For example, I had to add a secure certificate to a site at one point. The panels usually support this, but in my case I also had two SSL Chain files. cPanel (or Plesk, I can't remember) didn't support it, and it would not let me change it manually in the configuration files. Every time I made a change to the configuration manually it would revert back. The final solution, after hours and hours, was that I had to create a file in an obscure non-existent directory. None of that was in the documentation, either.

It's problems like that which make my work very difficult, haha. We actually charge extra if we have to administrate a "paneled" server during a site install or during site maintenance.

That said, there are always exceptions, or more accurately, alternatives. I find Webmin to be excellent, especially if you replace the skin so it's more pleasing to the eye. It doesn't take over your server, but makes configuring and administrating the server much easier. And it allows you to make any changes you want to the manual configs.

This is, of course, only my opinion, and it comes from my experience with those packages. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, one last thing: Webmin is free. :)


oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mike... my hosting company got back to me today and asked me that they had installed and set up my VPS... how do i check what OS they have installed...
If you have command line access you can try uname -a or cat /etc/issue.  Sorry,  on mobile so this post is short and terse.  ;)

oo7mlAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks... will give it a try when i get home...

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