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The Six Best Linux Community Server Distributions

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Linux

One question we get a lot: What are the best community server distributions? That question isn't as simple as it sounds. What makes a distro "the best"? Why community distributions, specifically? It's not a simple question — but read on and we'll point you to six distros that will help you reach a satisfying answer.

Top Production Server Distros

My number one pick is Debian. Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributions, born in 1993. The Debian community is a successful experiment in nearly-pure democracy, though some would say anarchy. But it is not anarchic. There are elected officers, a constitution, and formal structures for making decisions and resolving problems. It gets messy and noisy, as in any large community, and it works.

I've been spoiled by Debian, which never needs to be reinstalled but can be upgraded forever, barring hardware failure and hopelessly bollixed installations. Debian supports more packages than any other distribution, so it's rare to not find whatever you want just an apt-get install away. Debian supports more hardware architectures than anyone else: x86, ARM, PowerPC, IBM S/390, MIPS, SPARC, ARM, Itanium, and kFreeBSD, the FreeBSD kernel.

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Red Hat and Fedora