Liraz Siri's picture


Joe Klemmer's picture

I would prefer a CentOS based appliance.  Or even a Fedora based one.

"Using Linux since November 1991"

Liraz Siri's picture

Will be more difficult than supporting Debian, but given the amount of interest expressed this deserves serious thought. In theory, the hard part isn't creating the appliances on any given distro. That's an infrastructure problem we can solve. The hard part will be all the additional testing required. But maybe in practice this won't be such a big deal.
TomW's picture

Why...I put security first, then simplicity-maintainabilty.  Appearance-usability last but certainly not least. :)

Jeremy Davis's picture

Debian is reknowned for being rock solid stable and secure. Ubuntu makes some concession to userbility and newer versions of software. Debian has no commercial backer so support contracts for (which large enterprise often requires) is not easily available (although I would imagine that the TKL devs would offer that if they released Debian based appliances). Ubuntu OTOH has Cannonical. Debian has a huge user and dev base and has heaps more packages in it's repos. They both have pros and cons. So the TKL devs are not planning to move away from Ubuntu, just include the option of Debian based appliances as well.

AFAIK at this stage it is not completely clear whether all the exact same appliances will be available on both platforms. For example I have suggested that the Debain based appliances be setup more for security and stability; keeping true to Debian. The tradeoff for that though is usually older versions of software (with all security patches backported to the older version and supplied via the repo).

Ubuntu does this too, although many of the TKL appliances include newer versions of software installed from upstream. The advantage is that new features are included and often bugs are fixed (some non security bugfixes are never backported to repo packages). The downside is that security patches (to the app installed from upstream) are not auto applied.

From a development standpoint, due to their similarities it is relatively easy to offer Debian and Ubuntu based appliances side-by-side. Many of the TKL under  the hood customisations and software will run on either with little or no tweaking.

Liraz Siri's picture

It's true that limited resources do require us to prioritize what features we invest in first. However in this particular case, 64-bit and Debian support require the same or very similar upgrades to our development infrastructure, which is what we're working on.
Jeremy Davis's picture

In my experience, despite the fact that they have the same base, Ubuntu desktops vs Ubuntu servers are quite different beasts, and how I treat them is also quite different. With desktops I tend to do full updates fairly frequently and often within the early days of a release, these updates come thick and fast and can sometimes have not so great side effects. With servers I tend to very rarely apply updates (other than security ones - which are auto-applied in TKL anyway). This means the risk of updates doing anything untoward are almost nil.

I agree that more recent releases of Ubuntu are becoming more bloated but with most things there is always a trade-off. In my mind Ubuntu offers many things that just aren't available with other Linux OS - such as the breadth of pre-packaged software, official, but also via 3rd party repos and PPAs. It also has copious amounts of online documentation and other support materials.

I have tried Debian, CentOS and Fedora, as well as some of the 'micro distros' (such as Puppy and DSL). Whilst they all have positives and are quite useable, for one reason or another I keep coming back to Ubuntu and/or Ubuntu based distros (such as TKL) for the above mentioned reasons. Also many corporate operations require comercial support contracts with their server software and Canonical (with Ubuntu) is one of the only ones I know that offer this (other than RedHat).

So I think it'd be great to offer other alternatives (such as Debian or even CentOS), but to move away from Ubuntu altogether would be a step in the wrong direction.

Ric Moore's picture

I agree 100%. I've been using Ubuntu since 8.04 and it has gotten fat, sloppy and they are following in the footspteps of Fedora, dumping half-baked updates onto the users. Each release there is some NEW major change to anything to be found in /etc. There is no way for a service like turnkeylinux to keep up, much less the users. If one is going to run a headless server, then the issue is not so much Debian vs CentOS, it's the issue of a small devel team becoming stretched too thinly to do what they set out to do. Then, they will have to increase their staff size and operating expenses. Then your selfish desire becomes our expense. 

The reason Ubuntu is on a tobbogon ride to the open maw of hell, on greased grooves, is that they try to accommodate all the desires of the users/devels, and wind up with a huge mess. So, I would urge that turnkeylinux stick with one plan and be focused on it. But, if some GovCo wants/demands CentOS, let them pay for it. It's not like they already don't pay billions for useless crap and bail-outs, so this ought to be an easy pitch for something that works. Just don't expect for ME to pay for it. Debian just works. The foot print used is no bigger than puppy. My two cents, Ric

Noah's picture

Please don't get distracted by CentOS. Debian is better.

Jeremy Davis's picture

It's getting a bit dated now, but should still work although may need a little tweaking? Have a look here. If you try it out, be great if you could provide some feedback (on that thread).

Jeremy Davis's picture

But perhaps that's true of the non-LTS releases. Generally it's pretty good on the LTS releases (which is what TKL is based on) in my experience anyway...

And I think we may see TKL Debain based appliances but I don't think we'll see any of the others anytime soon, as all the core TKL development and build infrastructure is Ubuntu based. That makes it pretty easy to support Debian as well but not so much with other Linux distros.

And I don't think the core devs have any plan to move away from Ubuntu. Not any time soon anyway.

Ric Moore's picture

Shucks Jeremy, half the users on the Ubuntu offtopic list agree that Debian is far more stable and quite a few are switching to it for their desktops. We old timers get mighty disgruntled when some new feature/advance makes our desktops unstable, and we don't understand what has changed under the hood AGAIN to make it so. How you could be expected to keep up and maintain a stable/rock solid offering using Ubuntu, as would be like trying to do that with Fedora. This wasn't always so. But, now it is and that's the truth of it, I'm very sorry to say. Thank you for your service!

I'm new to this and am still trying to get my head wrapped around the entire concept. I just want the files/packages to be on my server iron and be run from there. All of these iso images confuse me as I think of them as each being a fresh install. I will figure it out! Ric

Jeremy Davis's picture

There will be TKL v12.x Ubuntu (12.04) based appliances. Supporting Debian as well has been on the cards for a long time and the Devs decided that they would work on releasing Debian based appliances now (they started before the release of 12.04). Once the v12.x Debian appliances have been released they will turn their attention to Ubuntu appliances.

Any OS provided it has all required factors for that application(appliance).

and OS should consume minimum resource.

Ric Moore's picture

MOSTLY because RPM has been less favorited than DEB packages by mainstream. It hasn't always been so, especially back in the day when Bob Young ran Red Hat and they had a full blown official release for the users of RH, not the Fedora release which maintains a murderous beta quality release schedule. I worked there in 1999-2000 and when I finally switched to Ubuntu, from Fedora, it was like getting a divorce from a bad spouse. 

Unfortunately, it seems Debian/Ubuntu is now getting the attention and press as so many others, like me, migrated from the RPM world. And that is where the package maintainers are headed. Where the greatest number of bodies/users are. I could swear by Pepsi, but if everyone else is drinking Coke, then that is what gets served.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Although you could do it manually yourself if you wanted.

Or you could use a hypervisor like Proxmox - which incidentally already allows you to download TKL OVZ templates (very low resource overhead container virtualisation) straight from the WebUI. Then you can have a reverse proxy to support all the different servers.

Add new comment