Forum: Ruby on Rails A Follow up to my fedora question: Favorite Flavor Of Linux?

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Andrew F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 05:03
(Received via mailing list)
Than my question is this? Now that I have switchtowerized and migrate
enabled my app I can start down a new path if need be on a different
OS as the base of the system. We have already tried CentOS and found
it to have more issues than those mentioned about fedora and through
it away faster than one could shake a stick at. Here are our
requirements for a stage/dev box and production:

Stage/Dev:
SVN 1.3
Rails
ImageMagick/RMagick
Apache 2 (have two apps one requires us to use apache to serve it
don't ask)
Lighttp (for the other app)
FastCGI
MySQL 5

Production Web/App (combined for now)
Rails
Apache 2
Lighttp
FastCGI

Production DB
MySQL



My quesiton is what is everyones flavor of linux for production?
Personally I would prefer an Xserver but my boss is an admitted cheep
bastard. And since he is a cheep bastard linux is the route we are
going down.

Thanks

Andrew
Adam F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 05:12
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Feb 25, 2006 at 10:00:24PM -0500, Andrew F. wrote:
[...]
> My quesiton is what is everyones flavor of linux for production?
> Personally I would prefer an Xserver but my boss is an admitted cheep
> bastard. And since he is a cheep bastard linux is the route we are
> going down.

I don't run anything other than gentoo these days, if I have any say
in the matter.

The learning curve is high, in terms of installation and maintenance,
but the documentation is really good, and going through the install
process will make you a better sysadmin.

Pound for pound, it's not only the best performing linux flavor I've
used but also easiest to admin if you know what you're doing.

--
				- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

[ http://www.aquick.org/blog ] ............ Blog
[ http://www.adamfields.com/resume.html ].. Experience
[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/fields ] ... Photos
[ http://www.aquicki.com/wiki ].............Wiki
[ http://del.icio.us/fields ] ............. Links
Joe (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 07:30
Huh? What's wrong with CentOS? It's supposed to be the more mature and
stable version of Fedora.

Joe
Adam F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 07:39
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 06:30:35AM +0100, Joe wrote:
> Huh? What's wrong with CentOS? It's supposed to be the more mature and
> stable version of Fedora.

Actually, it's built from the Redhat Enterprise Linux source rpms.

(I can't say I've had any particular problems with it, but I do prefer
gentoo for most things.)

--
				- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

[ http://www.aquick.org/blog ] ............ Blog
[ http://www.adamfields.com/resume.html ].. Experience
[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/fields ] ... Photos
[ http://www.aquicki.com/wiki ].............Wiki
[ http://del.icio.us/fields ] ............. Links
Craig W. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 07:48
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, 2006-02-26 at 06:30 +0100, Joe wrote:
> Huh? What's wrong with CentOS? It's supposed to be the more mature and
> stable version of Fedora.
----
nothing is wrong with CentOS...I'm using it presently for my server and
for development. Seemed pretty simple to configure for Apache & fcgi.

ruby v 1.83 (though it is not recommended version) is available from
dev.centos.org (ruby/ruby-devel/ri/rdoc/irb, etc.)

Go for it.

I also recommend using kde-redhat repo for CentOS 4 because you will get
KDE-3.5.1.x

I do have my workstations on FC-4 and that is probably a better way to
go for development.

Craig
Andrew F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 16:30
(Received via mailing list)
Maybe it's just me and CentOS but we could not get openssh to
configure correctly for ruby no mater what we tried ruby would ignore
configuring its binding to it. There were several other people that i
noticed had that problem on google, and no one had a resolution.
After sepending a day with it we finally decided that it was not
worth the time.

I guess my original problem is sounding more and more like it is just
me, but why would a core feature of rails not work on my staging box
but work as advertised on development, both windows and mac? I am
refering to my issue where acts_as_tree does not act as it should.

Andrew
Craig W. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 18:11
(Received via mailing list)
If you are referring to ruby that comes with CentOS, it is the one
provided from upstream provider (RHEL) and that is version 1.81 which
isn't going to work with rails at all so I am confused as to which
version of ruby you were using and that probably is key to the
confusion.

Also, I have no clue what the connection between openssh and ruby you
might be referring to.

Craig
Andrew F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 18:27
(Received via mailing list)
I installed ruby from source, and I meant openssl my bad misstyped
there. I need openssl for several things to work and no matter what
we tried we could not get ruby to configure to add in the openssl
support.


Andrew
Martin (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 18:28
I am always trying out new distros, but I allways come back to SuSE. The
last I tried was Ubuntu/Kubuntu(both), but I always find myself
configuring things that are default in SuSE.
Install OpenSuSE 10, then immediately install apt4rpm. This gives you a
really up to date system where every package i can think of is
downloadable with APT.
Steep learning curve: I am a 100% linux user since 1998. The learning
curve stays steep, because under linux every new app has to be learned.
I don't want to spend days learning how to compile and configure some
pre-beta app or library, I just want it installed as fast as possible.
If that's not enough, I can still compile it from source.
Craig W. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 18:36
(Received via mailing list)
Not having installed ruby from source and lacking the source code and
the will to go down the path, I don't know the compile options but if it
does have the option to link to the openssl library at compile time, it
would likely just be just /usr

That wouldn't seem too difficult.

The easier option is to install ruby packages from dev.centos.org and
that is where I went to get ruby suitable for rails but I haven't tried
to use openssl from within ruby/rails so I wouldn't know if things would
work for you or not.

Craig
Adam F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 19:29
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 05:28:42PM +0100, Martin wrote:
> If that's not enough, I can still compile it from source.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but try gentoo.

Portage addresses all of these problems.

The best place to start is with the gentoo handbook:

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/index.xml

Like apt, pretty much everything you need is downloadable with
portage, except that it compiles from source for your specific
system. Need ssl support? ruby support? You tell it. All of this is
accomplished through the very rich USE environment variable, and all
new compilations automatically pick up the dependencies you need.

Here's the current list:

http://www.gentoo.org/dyn/use-index.xml

If you change the list, you can also dynamically recompile everything
on your system to update the dependencies (or selectively just the
things that are affected).

Yes, compiling takes a long time (sometimes a long long time), but
there are ways to distribute it if you have multiple machines, and
hopefully, you don't actually need to do this very often. Also, you
can usually just let it run - it doesn't need constant attention.

Once you get everything set up, installing new software is as simple
as:

$ sudo emerge rails

which will find rails, analyze the dependencies, fetch all of the
source packages, and build it for you. Don't have ruby installed? No
problem - it'll get and install that automatically because rails
depends on it. There are plenty of other options as well.

--
				- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

[ http://www.aquick.org/blog ] ............ Blog
[ http://www.adamfields.com/resume.html ].. Experience
[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/fields ] ... Photos
[ http://www.aquicki.com/wiki ].............Wiki
[ http://del.icio.us/fields ] ............. Links
Joe (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 21:18
Adam F. wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 06:30:35AM +0100, Joe wrote:
>> Huh? What's wrong with CentOS? It's supposed to be the more mature and
>> stable version of Fedora.
>
> Actually, it's built from the Redhat Enterprise Linux source rpms.
>
> (I can't say I've had any particular problems with it, but I do prefer
> gentoo for most things.)

Yeah, I know. But as I understand it, RHEL is built from Fedora releases
that are three versions old.

Joe
Bakki K. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 21:55
(Received via mailing list)
I use Debian Sarge/Stable branch on all my computers. 1 server, 2
workstations and 1 laptop. Its stability make it good for production
IMHO. Also the .deb packaging system with apt-get and synaptic make it
easy to install/uninstall packages, of which there are 15,000 or so at
the last count, as easy as a gem.

bakki
David M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 22:41
(Received via mailing list)
I also use Gentoo for production stuff where I can.  In terms of
admin-hours-required-to-manage-ongoing, it's the best in my
experience.

Although it might be tough to get up to speed on the admin side
initially, Gentoo has one big advantage over most distros - it's hard
to get "locked in" from a dependency perspective to the point where
you have to go outside the normal upgrade process to resolve it.

Although Debian is also very very good, a few times I got to the
position (running stable) where I'd have to bring in large numbers of
dependency apps in order to update to version of app X that I wanted
to run.  Although I was notionally running "stable", in reality I
quickly got to the point where I was running a mix of "stable",
"testing" and "unstable" apps due to these cross dependency issues.
As a result, every now and then I'd go to upgrade, hit some dependency
problem that apt couldn't resolve and I'd have to deal with it
manually.  OK for a personal workstation, not so great for a
production server...

Don't get me wrong - Debian is still an excellent server OS, and has
large numbers of people constantly improving it.  It's just that
sometimes small things fall through the cracks, and may take a little
while to get resolved.  Support from the Debian developers is
first-class though.

With Gentoo, I've never had a need to ask for support - I've always
been able to 'emerge' successfully.  The only gotcha I've found is
that a full blown 'emerge -u --deep world' will regularly download new
kernel source; if you don't install it, some packages will barf when
they try to recompile against the latest kernel source (which you
aren't running yet).  Nothing actually breaks; you just find that
you're stuck on older package versions until you 'genkernel' to
compile the new kernel source - you don't actually need to boot with
the new kernel, just compile it, for these issues to go away.

Overall I'd rate Gentoo #1, Debian a close #2, and daylight to the
rest.  I've run Ubuntu server and RHE, but they required significantly
more of my time to manage it than either Gentoo or Debian.

Regards

Dave M.
Ezra Z. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:39
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 25, 2006, at 7:00 PM, Andrew F. wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> My quesiton is what is everyones flavor of linux for production?
> Personally I would prefer an Xserver but my boss is an admitted
> cheep bastard. And since he is a cheep bastard linux is the route
> we are going down.
>
> Thanks


Andrew-

	I heavily prefer debian as a rails server OS. It has served me
nicely in 20+ rails servers I have built. I even have a tutorial that
helps go through a debian install with everything on your list
except6 apache, here:

http://brainspl.at/rails_stack.html

	The other servers I have run rails on are OSX Tiger xserves and
FreeBSD boxes. All three of these are great options for rails/ruby
and friends. For linux though I like the fact that you can start a
debian install with a 100MB net install iso and only build the
packages you really wanty instead of coming in a 700MB install all
preconfigured with the kitchen sink. It takes more time to strip a
distro like fedora into a slim secure linux/rails server then it does
to build up a debian box from net-install.

	Of course I am probably heavily biased by my own personal
experiences. But overall I run the majority of rails work I do on
debian boxes with lighttpd and apache only if needed for older php
sites and things like that. Take it all with a grain of salt.

Cheers-
-Ezra
Andreas S. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:46
Ezra Z. wrote:
> http://brainspl.at/rails_stack.html

Btw, you don't need to install PCRE manually, and you don't need g++
either, because lighttpd is written in C. And I would recommend Courier
instead of Postfix as a mailserver, it's configured for SMTP-Auth and
SSL by default.
Bakki K. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:51
(Received via mailing list)
David,

I agree with you pretty much about Gentoo becuase several friends of
mine use it and we've had many talks on it in our WncLug (Westrn North
Carolina LUG in Asheville). Because I already had so much time into
Debian I didn't see a need to swith all my machines. If there was some
compelling reason to switch, believe me that it will be Gentoo :)

The only thing about Debian I would recommend is NOT to MIX Stable,
Testing, Unstable packages. This concept is misunderstood by many that
the labels refer to the stability or the lack there of, of the OS
itself. Unstable merely means that the packages will change a lot
compared to Stable. It took me some time to realize this and not until
I heard a talk about it at DebConf. They should have called the
branches frozen, liquid and gas ...or some such thing :)

So if one needs packages from the other branches I'd recommend to dist
upgrade to that branch. I have NEVER been bitten by following this.

On a seperate thread I recall someone saying that they could count the
number of times OS-X crashing on one hand or some such thing...and I
thought to myself..that's too many times!! For me the number of times
Debian has locked up on me.....is exaclty ZERO on 4 different
machines...including this old clunker of a Gateway Solo 9150 with a
Pentium-II and 384MB of memory and 20GB HD...all the way back from
1997! The greatest thing about this laptop is that I can swap out the
primary HD in about 15 seconds! No screws! So I have about several HDs
with different OSes (Windows 95, Windows 2000 Pro, etc) I still don't
see the reason to buy a newer laptop. Most things run fast enough for
me. The only thing which might make me buy a newer laptop is mr_guid
debugger (or any Ruby debugger for that matter). I can feel the
difference in speed between my laptop and the AMD64 workstations.

Sorry for ranting,

best,
bakki
Pat M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:51
(Received via mailing list)
Hey Andrew,

If you would prefer to use an Xserve but can't, you may consider
looking into FreeBSD.  OS X is built on BSD, so you might be a bit
more familiar with the layout - though admittedly if you're
comfortable in BSD, you're comfortable in linux, imo.

Similar to Debian, you can start off with a minimal install and build
in only the things you want.  I set up www.flpr.org to get started
using Rails on FreeBSD.  I use PostgreSQL for the database, but MySQL
is easy enough to install.  The ports system is absolutely beautiful.

I think there's a bit more of a learning curve with FreeBSD than
Debian, but it's really not all that bad.  Once you have a good feel
for things, you'll be able to admin the box very quickly...but you
won't even need to do that much admin work anyway :)  In my
experience, once you have your box all configured you can just leave
it alone for a looooong time.

Best of luck choosing a platform - as long as you're using Rails, you
can't go wrong anyway ;)

Pat
Bakki K. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:57
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Ezra,

Amen to everything you've said...and thanks for that tutrial online. I
have printed it out and put it in my Debin Recipes folder :) I meant
to send you a thank you note for quite a while now. This is as good a
time as any. Also love you site for all the rails stuff there.

I too use Net Install and love it. I also feel that I KNOW my
machines. There's ONLY what I want on them. It gets ridiculous when
you install from the Debian 2-DVD distro with 15,000 packages!

-bakki
Craig W. (Guest)
on 2006-02-26 23:57
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, 2006-02-26 at 13:34 -0800, Ezra Z. wrote:
>
> 	The other servers I have run rails on are OSX Tiger xserves and
> debian boxes with lighttpd and apache only if needed for older php
> sites and things like that. Take it all with a grain of salt.
----
not that it matters but there are minimal install options for Fedora,
RHEL & CentOS and CentOS has carried it to another step where they
created a single CD server install.

But the only thing that really matters is that it is something you can
be comfortable with since the only real differences between the various
Linux distributions is the packaging methods and the update methods and
all handle these things in their own, mostly successful way.

Craig
Joe (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:01
Isn't Debian notorious for taking a really long time to package and
release new software?
David M. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:18
(Received via mailing list)
It's notorious for there being a very long time between successive
"stable" releases; however, most people with needs for more current
software than is in "stable" use the "testing" release without any
problems.

For a version of software to move in "testing", it has to have had no
defects logged against it for X days.  When you consider the sheer
number of systems running Debian "unstable", that means it's generally
pretty solid by the time it gets to "testing".  I know of lots of
servers that run "testing" in production.

Regards

Dave M.
Adam F. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:18
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 08:18:34PM +0100, Joe wrote:
[...]
> Yeah, I know. But as I understand it, RHEL is built from Fedora releases
> that are three versions old.

I don't think that's accurate. I think the two trees are maintained
separately, and sometimes Fedora code gets incorporated into RHEL
releases after it's been tested and possibly modified.

However, I could be wrong.

--
				- Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
**** System Performance Analysis and Architecture
****** [ http://www.everylastounce.com ]

[ http://www.aquick.org/blog ] ............ Blog
[ http://www.adamfields.com/resume.html ].. Experience
[ http://www.flickr.com/photos/fields ] ... Photos
[ http://www.aquicki.com/wiki ].............Wiki
[ http://del.icio.us/fields ] ............. Links
Bakki K. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:27
(Received via mailing list)
Also many distros' like Ubuntu, Knoppix etc are build on top of Debian
Unstable.

-bakki
Jim C. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:33
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01:15PM +0100, Joe wrote:
> Isn't Debian notorious for taking a really long time to package and
> release new software?

Yes, but that's a good thing :-)
Debian values "stability" much higher than being on the cutting edge.

What do you want your production server environment to be? Stable, or
full of features? You can't have both ... if you think you can, you
have a different definition of "stable" to me ... "stable" doesn't just
mean "it works all the time", it means "predictable and reliable".

Debian provide their own security patches for *every* package that is
accepted into the stable distribution - therefore they don't like much
change. Where a package upstream author might address a security problem
by saying "just use the latest version, it has more features too",
Debian say "we'll fix the old version; no new features will be added".

But the "stable" distribution isn't the only part of Debian - there are
other repositories with more advanced versions; they're just not
supported by the security team. Many people run Debian with "testing" or
"unstable" releases (which are often stable enough for production
purposes, but there are no promises).

Sometimes Debian version names cause confusion - stable/testing/unstable
are role names, they each have a version number and version name as
well. The current stable distribution is Sarge, 3.1. The current testing
version is called Etch. Seeing as all the version names are taken from
Toy Story, you won't be surprised to know that the unstable distribution
is *always* called Sid :-)

On a stable Debian machine, I really dislike building anything from
source, because I won't be able to get "just" security patches, and I'll
probably forget to update it anyway. I also don't like installing
software from other helpful repositories, because I don't know for sure
that they are providing decent security patching, either.

Where I need stability, but more up-to-date software, I tend to go for
one of the Debian derivitives - Ubuntu is my primary choice. Ubuntu's
"stable" distribution has fewer packages than Debian (but the choice
seems to be about right), and they version upgrade every six months.
This makes it much closer to "stable and cutting-edge" ...

-jim
Joe (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:43
Adam F. wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 08:18:34PM +0100, Joe wrote:
> [...]
>> Yeah, I know. But as I understand it, RHEL is built from Fedora releases
>> that are three versions old.
>
> I don't think that's accurate. I think the two trees are maintained
> separately, and sometimes Fedora code gets incorporated into RHEL
> releases after it's been tested and possibly modified.

"Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology is derived from the Fedora
Project."

According to here:
http://www.redhat.com/en_us/USA/rhel/details/enter...

Here's where I read "Roughly every third version of Red Hat Linux (RHL)
or Fedora Core (FC) forms the basis for a version of RHEL":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux

Joe
Joe (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:46
Jim C. wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01:15PM +0100, Joe wrote:
>> Isn't Debian notorious for taking a really long time to package and
>> release new software?
>
> Yes, but that's a good thing :-)
> Debian values "stability" much higher than being on the cutting edge.
>
> What do you want your production server environment to be? Stable, or
> full of features? You can't have both ... if you think you can, you
> have a different definition of "stable" to me ... "stable" doesn't just
> mean "it works all the time", it means "predictable and reliable".

Is Rails even available as a Debian stable package? ;)

Joe
Ezra Z. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:49
(Received via mailing list)
Yeah debian does take a long time between stable distro releases.
But I am running a bunch of debian rails servers on sarge with only
one additional atp source from bougyman for lighttpd .deb package.

	My tutorial up there is getting a bit dated and my process has been
very much streamilined from that tutorial. It realy is due for an
update. The newest version is in my book and will be available
shortly and I will update the free version as soon as the beta
release happens.

	My servers are pretty much just for rails and svn so I don't need a
lot of newer packages. Sarge has everything I have needed expect
lighttpd in the apt packaging system. And since debian doesn't
include stuff willy nilly it makes for a great solid server. I am
mainly concerned with stability and not the latest releases. Most of
whats in debian stable is the most recent stuff you need for rails.
If you want ruby1.8.4 I suggest you compile it from source with
checkinstall so apt will know about it.

	And mail servers are a religious argument so I will not discuss that
here. To each his own.

Cheers-
-Ezra
Jim C. (Guest)
on 2006-02-27 00:55
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:46:43PM +0100, Joe wrote:
> Jim C. wrote:
> > Debian values "stability" much higher than being on the cutting edge.
>
> Is Rails even available as a Debian stable package? ;)

No, it comes from RubyGems :-)
And there are significant problems fitting RubyGems in with Debian's
underlying structure ...

Here's some background detail :-
http://pkg-ruby-extras.alioth.debian.org/rubygems.html

-jim
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