Best Linux distro

Hi everyone,

I am about to get a VPS (to encrypt and upload all my files) because of my crappy upload speed and before I set up the OS I would really appreciate your opinion.
I’ve got a few different options, Debian, Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu, ArchLinux and CentOS.
Which one would you use?


Hello cere84,

This is a matter of personal opinion, but as you are asking, here it goes: I recommend any distribution not including systemd. This would be CentOS6 right now (which will be supported – in the sense of receiving maintenance updates – until 2020).

That said, some of the newest/greatest packages are not supported under CentOS6 – for one reason or the other they require CentOS7 (which unfortunately has the systemd disease). This is not the case with rclone (which runs just great on top of CentOS6 – I’m running it right now).

What I’m personally running on all machines installed since about 6 months ago (including in one KVM-based VPS), with great success, is the Devuan distro: It’s basically Debian without systemd, and albeit still in Beta, hasn’t given me a single issue so far. You might ask your VPS provider about the possibility of using it instead of plain Debian…



Just jumping in here as I was curious about this post.
Referring to @durval’s comment about not having systemd. Why is it important not to have systemd (as I believe I have systemd and seem to be okay)?

Thanks for your answer, I will give a try to CentOS but to version 8.

Hello @Ryze,

A lot has been written for and against systemd, I urge you to google for it and get informed, then make your own decision.

The fact that things seem to be working (so far!) does not mean they are “OK”… just like the old joke about the fellow who fell from the 10th floor and, just as he was passing the 3rd floor on his way down, thought to himself: “so far, so good!” :wink:



BSD :slight_smile::slight_smile:

I would suggest Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server with minimal install.
As for systemd its linux future if you like it or not…

Hi cere84,

I don’t think CentOS 8 is out there yet… so you must mean either version 6.8 or 7.3.



Hello Sonus,

BSD is also an option. I’d rather use Linux, but if the systemd madness takes over it completely (not probable IMHO, but definitely possible), BSD is the way I plan to go.




Please excuse me, but this is exactly the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to great evils becoming established. It has happened in the past with Windows and is happening again with Linux. I hope it doesn’t succeed this time, but if it does, then it will be again “get the hell out of Dodge” time for me, probably to the BSD camp.

Have you noticed this is a post from 2013, so more than 4 years old now? So kinda self-contradictory when you link it after a phrase mentioning the “linux future”… :slight_smile:
And also by one of the staunchest systemd proponents (as the poster himself proclaims), so hardly an unbiased opinion…

Anyway, for someone looking for something more up-to-date (last change just the day before yesterday) and/or interested in the other point of views, I would recommend:



Maybe I expressed my self wrong, I meant is for all of us if we like it or not ( iam quite neutral on the subject eg dont really care but then again iam not a linux hardcore fan eg for my client desktop I would not dump windows :). The systemd was more or less adopted by all major distros ( correct me if iam wrong ) and if you dont have a philosophical issues with it would not consider it the reason not to choose linux distro that use it.

Personally iammore into the right tools for the job kind of guy so if someone told me lets setup the firewall or network sniffer i would go with bsd etc…

Since Ubuntu is one of the most popular distros with great stability and used a lot in Plex linux setups I choose it to run on it, my inital plex was running on debian but i switched soon after i started to use rclone mainly as its OS that @ncw uses when testing rclone.

Thanks, I am actually using the 16.04 after trying with CentOS and Debian.
I’ve installed Rclone and QuickBox, now I have to find out how to create a cron to send the downloaded files regularly encrypted to my remote :slight_smile:

Thanks for the explanations, @Ajki. I think can see things from your viewpoint now…

We have apparently very different backgrounds. I’m a so-called VUA (Veteran Unix Administrator), as I’ve been using Unix and derivatives since the early 80s almost without interruption (my first Unix machine was actually a PDP-11/70 running Bell Labs Unix Version 7), and after using such systems for so long and so successfully, you get a lot of respect for the way they are designed and built. And systemd not only a complete break, but actually a spit in the face of all that tradition.

I also use the best tool for each job. The major difference between us is that, for me, that tool is almost always Unix or one of its derivatives :wink: As the old joke states, Unix is not the answer… Unix is the question. And the answer is “Yes!” :slight_smile:

That said, I think that bothers me the most with systemd is that, with it, a Linux system will stop working a lot like Unix and will start working like Windows (seriously – a major process that comprises almost the entire system operation; binary, opaque logs; and the list goes on). And I didn’t dump Windows back in the 90s just to return to it, disguised as an Unix-like system, 20 years later…



Alpine linux if you need to use linux.

Otherwise, freebsd.

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I started to face IT when I was at school; my first environment was the VAX\VMS.
Today @ home I am running almost everything… an Android media center, several Windows PC, Apple MacBook, HP Proliant with Ubuntu Linux, mini PC with Debian and several Raspberry for VPN termination, audio\video streaming, etc. so let me say… i am really open to everything.

Anyway, 15 years ago (more or less… do not remember very well) we bought at work a NetApp NAS and so i started to learn its OS.
then I got a refurbished Intel Storage Station for home, I opened it, found the serial, connected and bum! the OS was very similar to the one of the bigger NetApp.
It was a customized BSD.
In that moment I started to love BSD and never stopped.

I can tell you that whenever there is a mission critical appliance that need a simple, light and very robust OS, probably you fill find %BSD% inside

the problem with BSD, according to me, is the lack of HW vendor support, drivers, etc… so you have to work hard sometimes

Notice a pattern? The “best” one is the one that you’re most comfortable installing, configuring, and maintaining. That means different things to different people.

Hello @chrisanthropic,

With due respect, I do not think this is a “subjective” matter (ie, depending on each subject). There are known-good, consensual, objective criteria for evaluating an OS level of quality, which are performance, reliability, clarity of design, maintenability, availability of source code, etc.

Nothing against “use the one you like best”, but if that one is a POS, you’d be better off (by the objective criteria) learning to like something better…

Just my opinion, tho.



Hello @sonus.faber,

Linux used to have these same issues before going “mainstrean”, ie, until 10 years ago or so. The solution, with BSD or whatever, is to buy known-good (ie, supported) hardware.

I’m having a great experience with FreeBSD in a couple of boxes I have running around here, but I took care to hand-pick the hardware, so no issues on that front.