At Slicehost we offer a variety of Linux distributions and, although you are free to reinstall with a different distribution at any time, it can be a little confusing.
Let's have a look at the basics of each distribution.
We all know that friendships have been lost and many a heated word has been said over which distribution is the best.
I do not intend to go down that route and we, at Slicehost, do not have a preferred distribution or setup that we particularly recommend over another.
Things to look for in your choice may include:
Support life: how long it will receive security updates
Package Manager: aptitude, yum, emerge, etc.
Package versions: you need xxxxx. Does Distro xxxx provide it?
Community: is it well documented? Can you find help easily?
Familiarity: have you used Linux before? It may help sticking with the familiar.
Of course, there are a thousand and one things you can take into account when selecting your Slice distribution. I hope this, and the matrix shown below, simply make the choice easier.
Included below are some basic details of each distribution. I have broken them into 'deb', 'rpm' and 'other' bases for easy reference.
Where I am unable to confirm a detail I have inserted a question mark (?). If you are able to help out, with reference(s), then I would be delighted.
For many items, there are alternatives: I've used base repositories and settings.
'deb' based distributions
|Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper)||Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy)||Ubuntu 8.04.1 (Hardy)||Debian Etch (4.0)|
|Support Date||Apr 2011||Apr 2009||Apr 2013||2009|
|Package Manager||apt-get (deb)||aptitude (deb)||aptitude (deb)||aptitude (deb)|
'rpm' based distributions
|CentOS 5.2||FC 9|
|Package Manager||yum (rpm)||yum (rpm)|
Gentoo and Arch Linux are special cases as they do not really have 'versions' in the traditional sense: Both are 'rolling' distributions and a simple 'update world' or 'pacman -Syu' will often provide newer package versions than shown above.
|Gentoo Linux||Arch Linux|
|Support Date||not versioned||not versioned|
|Package Manager||emerge (source)||pacman|
Do refer to the distribution Home Pages for full details and documentation relating to that distro as each one has it's own defaults and way of completing tasks.
I hope this small comparison page helps in making any decision as to what distro to go with. You are always free to come into the support rooms and chatrooms and ask which is better but be warned: it can produce heated debate.
P.S. If you want a specific package comparison, then let me know and I can add it to the matrix.