Lots of people ask me what’s the best Linux distro, some say what’s the best for a newbie others want to setup a home server and some others want to build a gatekeeper. So what’s the best distro to accomplish all this?
To be sincere I like OpenSuSE a lot and I use it for all my personal things and my work laptops, but I wouldn’t recommend it for server usage, I don’t recommend any of the desktops distros (aka distribution) for that matter due to a simple issue. The desktop distros like OpenSuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu , etc have a small support cycle. This means that if you want to have security upgrades you’ll need to be constantly updating your server install.
For usage in a server environment I like to use SLES, RedHat and CentOS. The support cycle is great (at least 5 years), the stability and endurance of the OS is great in any of them.
Once again I prefer SLES, this is due to the great tools and support they provide.However I don’t say the same about RedHat support, whenever I need them I had to find the solution on my own.
These are the two main scopes of Linux distros out there, the desktop and server, but they aren’t the only scopes where you have Linux. For instance if you want to have a firewall, proxy, content filter, qos, and traffic shaping I would recomend the excellent Endian FW (www.endian.it).
If you want to have your linksys/asus and other router working with linux, you may use dd-wrt, would you like to have an older computer as a
media center look at Geex-Box. A hacker distribution so you can test your systems security just download BackTrack. The list can continue and you will be able to find a distribution suited to your needs. Some may need just a live cd or dvd system, other a complete server suite like SME server (that will give you the same offer as Windows small business).
To conclude I don’t think there’s a better distro, there are differences and those differences make some people like one distro over the other.
Personally I like OpenSuSE and SLES.
I personally think Ubuntu 10.4 is the best one out there. I did not really fall in love with KDE. I quickly went back to GNOME. I think its one of the most straightforward distributions out there.