Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
After using CentOS the last few months I figured I'd give a small review on it and why I think it is the best linux distro for running a server. I first started with a debian server as I use Ubuntu on my home pc and thought I would be more familiar with that. I was but it turned out debian wasn't such a great server. I had many problems mainly with the ipv6 and not being able to get dos deflate to work properly on it. Also the apache setup is a nightmare with the a2enmod and a2dismod, sure it is probably designed like that for ease but it was not for me. Also about debian, same on ubuntu too, If you happen to delete some configuration files or similar no matter how many times you reinstall it will not restore them. And last, debian stable is made up of very old software and to get a half way up to date distro you have to go with the testing branch.
So I got CentOS on my last server and I like it a lot. I know it is just a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone but that is all the better as RedHat is a hell of a distro in the enterprise department plus you are getting it for free. I doubt very seriously there is a CentOS development team, from what I hear they just rip the rpms from redhat and add them to their repos which I won't complain about that either.
The service command feature is great, just service httpd restart or whatever and you're set. Plus the apache configuration is perfect, well normal like it should be. I don't understand why debian based distros want to be an oddball in that department. Sure the rpm packaging isn't as good as apt in some areas but I always like to compile most software from source anyway.
There has been a few articles going around lately like Ubuntu is going to put RedHat and other enterprise distros out of commission, this is extremely unlikely. Ubuntu may take a good share of the desktop and workstation market but not server and enterpise. And if you run a server you will notice almost all software and security scripts are made for redhat based distros. I actually ran an ubuntu server on a vps one time and it wasn't much different then debian just a lot more updated. It is still a pain in the ass to restart your services,run apache, and monitor netstat, You will have to disable ipv6 right off, I was always afraid to then cause I thought the servers wouldn't boot back up but I know now they will. The problem with the ipv6 is that it is slower and does not display the full ip on some isps in netstat which makes it impossible to use dos deflate or even to ban an ip accurately from the firewall.
CentOS may not be around forever but I'm pretty sure Redhat will and there will most likely be another CentOS red hat clone come out if CentOS decides to call it quits. Never the less Ubuntu is not gonna push anyone out of the server and enterprise market. If anyone is thinking of getting a server hosting in the future I strongly suggest going with CentOS but if you can get RedHat free from your host too I'd get it. RedHat and CentOS are great distros for the server and make administration a breeze,