Choosing a distribution

Tony Arnold tony.arnold at
Mon Nov 5 17:40:53 UTC 2007


Chris G wrote:
> I have been using Linux for many years, for the past two or three
> years I have been using Slackware but recently have been looking for
> something that's a bit easier to maintain and update.
> I've been using Fedora 7 for the past month or two and it provides
> some of what I need but also has some disadvantages.  So, I'm thinking
> about an Ubuntu distribution but would like to ask a few questions:-
>     I need an apache server, an ssh server and (probably) mySql.  Does
>     this mean I *have* to go for Ubuntu Server?

No, all of the above will run on the Ubnuntu desktop systems. I run
Apache and an ssh server on my desktop system.

>     I don't use KDE, Gnome or Xfce (I did run Xfce for a while) but
>     fvwm2, is this easy to do on Ubuntu?

I've never tried this, but I suspect that after installing fvwm2, you
would just select the type of session you want from the log in screen.

>     I run Vmware to run a Windows XP guest, will this sit in Ubuntu
>     Server quite happily?

Yes. VMware server is probably what you want.

>     Does Ubuntu force me to use sudo or can I (as I do now) just
>     switch to root on the command line using 'su' and do root'ey
>     things that way?

There is no difference between doing su and supplying the root password
and type sudo -i and supplying your own password, so I've never
understood the big deal that is made of this.

By default, Ubuntu uses sudo and the root account is effectively
disabled. You can set a root password which will enable it if you really
want to and then use su.

Personally, I prefer the sudo way.

Tony Arnold, IT Security Coordinator, University of Manchester,
IT Services Division, Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.
T: +44 (0)161 275 6093, F: +44 (0)870 136 1004, M: +44 (0)773 330 0039
E: tony.arnold at, H:

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