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Why So Pupular?

  • June 27, 2006
  • By Carla Schroder

Server Kernels

Ubuntu's server edition comes with two "server" kernels, linux-image-server and linux-image-server-bigiron, though my attempts to select the bigiron kernel failed, which is for systems with 8 CPUs or more. What makes them server kernels? According to the exasperatingly scanty documentation, they are "tuned differently than the desktop kernels (providing better performance for server applications)." I suppose a person who really wanted to know the difference could install them, then examine the /boot/config-* file. I think some nice detailed release notes explaining what's different in these kernels would be lovely.

Lighting the LAMP

Having a prefab LAMP setup is great. Even on Debian installing the four separate components is a fair bit of work. On my old Celeron the installation took less than twenty minutes. In another 30 minutes I had a basic Web site up and running. The road map for Ubuntu server edition promises more integrated server packages, plus certified hardware.

Finding Information

I don't know if I have a special blind spot when it comes to Ubuntu, even though I use it daily, but when it comes to finding Ubuntu-specific documentation it drives me bats. It seems chaotic and incomplete. I think the Ubuntu team have the right idea--make polished distributions with easy, sensible defaults, and that are still completely customizable like any Linux. Adding sane, complete, easy-to-search documentation is something that will really set Ubuntu apart.

Do You Trust Ubuntu On Your Servers?

This is a good question. Ubuntu uses up-to-date packages, instead of moldy old goo like Debian Stable or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Presumably this incurs increased security and stability risks. I have no problem with recommending it for LAN servers and low- to -medium important Internet-facing servers. Pay attention to your border and application security, and keep your systems updated as wise admins always do. Most importantly, remember that ease-of-use does not mean it's OK to be ignorant.


This article first appeared on Enterprise Networking Planet, a JupiterWeb site.

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