Lessons Learnt – Go For Stability

In the continuing saga of lessons learnt at Feedster, one of the top ones for me would be to go for stability.

In the very beginning, way back in 2003, we had an internal debate over which linux distribution to use. We decided to use gentoo for a few reasons. The first reason was that the sys admin who was working with us was most familiar with that particular distribution. The second reason was that it afforded us a high degree of granularity in choosing which packages would be installed on specific machines. The third reason was that it was tweacked and so performed a little better than other distributions.

I have since done a u-turn (or 180) on this. All linux distributions share a common DNA if you will, so 95% of admin skill you have on one can be transfered to another. While you can pick and choose which packages you want to install on a specific machine if you have 5 or 10 machines, this quickly becomes pointless when you have 50 or a 100 machines. Most distributions performs well enough for most workload, and my experience is that tweacked distributions lose a some amount of stability.

So at this point, I feel that CentOS is a stable, no surprises distribution.


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