Gentoo, OpenSuSE or other rolling release OS?

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#1 Fri, 08/02/2019 - 12:59

Gentoo, OpenSuSE or other rolling release OS?

Hi there,

I have an old Ubuntu 14.04 system that has Virtualmin on it that has to be upgraded and they don't want to have to reinstall the entire OS every time the OS stops getting updates like that. So I figure maybe if I can put an OS that uses a rolling release model on that might solve it. Any thoughts on that?

I thought Manjaro looked good but it's based on Arch which isn't one of the OS on the list.

The other OS in the Grade B section on the list that say they have rolling release on DistroWatch are Gentoo and openSUSE.

And FreeBSD 13 but that looks like it's still in development so I'm not sure if it actually is rolling or just says that, similar with NetBSD.

So I'm guessing maybe the best options would be Gentoo or openSUSE which I have no experience running Virtualmin on. openSUSE looks more popular but that doesn't necessarily mean it works better.

Does anyone have any experience with those or are they known to work properly or have issues? Which one would be the best to use? Or am I thinking about it all wrong?

Thank you!

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 13:29


I can't really recommend the distros that aren't listed a "Grade A" supported.

Honestly, if it were up to me, I'd make all those other ones "Grade C or Grade D" :-)

The installer only works with the Grade A distros (CentOS, Ubuntu, or Debian).

Also, those are the ones where we test all the new software. So if a rolling release distro installs a new MySQL version that Webmin/Virtualmin doesn't support yet, it could get you into quite a bind. For example, the current MariaDB version that comes with Debian 10 isn't supported by Webmin, and isn't able to add any new users. We're working on support for that, but that's a process -- something like that could keep you from being able to add any new accounts or domains to your server until Webmin/Virtualmin properly supports it.

Personally, I use Ubuntu, and do in-place upgrades. I haven't done a brand new OS install in quite some time.

Now, that said -- if you really want to try a rolling release OS, it can work, you just have to be a lot more careful, and it would take a manual install.

If you do a manual install, and then setup a second test server where you test all the updates prior to putting them on your Virtualmin server -- that could indeed work. In my opinion, that doesn't feel like a stable way to run a server, but sometimes that's what folks are after.

I unfortunately don't have a recommended distro for you though, it's been quite a few years since I've used anything but CentOS/Ubuntu/Debian.

There's definitely folks in the Forums here who have used Gentoo and Arch.


Fri, 08/02/2019 - 16:18


Centos 8 should be coming out relatively shortly. The good thing about Centos is it's very long life cycle (same as Red Hat Enterprise, well, that's what it is based on :) ).

I've been using Centos 7 for years now, with no worries about a major "upgrade". Might be worth thinking about, especially as Webmin / Virtualmin play with it very nicely.)


Fri, 08/02/2019 - 17:50

I'm a Debian user, but I would be surprised if you couldn't just point the Ubuntu system to later repositories and update in-place.

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