Debian vs CentOS for a server

  • Posted on June 10, 2013
  • sb73542Asked by sb73542

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask about the pros and cons of Debian vs. CentOS for a server. I’ve been using shared hosting for years, but I’ve finally been pushed to a VPS for the first time. So for the first time I need to make some decisions about a server OS. I’ve been using Linux for many years on the desktop, and I’m most familiar with Debian and openSUSE in that context. But I have no idea what to look for in a good server. In my research, it’s obvious that CentOS receives support for a much longer time than Debian, and it comes from the wildly successful RHEL. But Debian is also a very serious distribution with a huge community and package repository. But I’m not sure if the relatively short 3 or 4 year support cycle is long enough for me. And for general administration and ease of maintenance and of course stability and security, what have your experiences been?

Thanks a lot!

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To be honest, the reason I made an account on Digital Ocean, is to play around with CentOs and learn how to manage my dedicated server because I pay a lot for a company to manage it for me and I want to be able to do it myself.

But after I tried Centos 6.5 and Centos 7, I will drop my droplet for one more time and I will try Debian.

I always thought CentOs was the best for web servers, but after I played with CentOs I found out that is too complicated and too outdated.

I have LinuxMint on my laptop and LinuxMint and Ubuntu is based on Debian. I will give Debian a try.

The ONLY problem I can see about this, is the CPanel is ONLY working with Centos and not with Debian but there are other options for example Plesk etc.

I’ll try Debian and if I will be satisfy with it, then I will stick with it.

I prefer to managed my dedicated server 100% on my own using Debian, than manage it 80% on my own using Centos.

I came to Digital Ocean to use and test various OS for servers. So far I am NOT satisfy with Centos. I will try Debian.

Now, let me give you an advice: the BEST Os for your web server will be the Os YOU will know better and you can handle with it. In my case I gave up with Centos, I will try Debian ,I am using LinuxMint every day so I wont have problem with Debian.

On the Internet you will find many people to suggest the best one is Centos, other will suggest best one is Debian, others will suggest Ubuntu as a server etc etc. You will NEVER know for you if you don’t use those Os and play with them, test them etc etc etc.

I recommend you go with Debian as you’re already familiar with it. I personally use Ubuntu Server which is based on Debian. <br> <br>There isn’t really a better distribution - each distribution has its pros and cons ;)

If it’s a VPS for enterprise, and you expect the enterprise to grow (even slowly), go for CentOS. You can switch to RHEL when you can afford it, and they provide true enterprise-level support. They even handle the transition for you. You have 10 years (lifetime of a CentOS release) to prepare for the switch.

If it’s your own VPS, or it’s for a non-profit organization, then go for Debian. You need to upgrade every 2 or 3 years, but it is not very painful (according to this blog). Upgrading Debian through SSH should not be risky. Debian is stable enough for free distributions, and I uses it in my VPS.