Best sleek, trimmed down server distribution

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Thu Feb 24 08:51:49 MST 2005

On Wednesday 23 February 2005 10:05 pm, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> Which distribution would you say would be the best for a LAMP server.
> The machine is an OLD AMD K6-2 500MHz, 128MB RAM system.  I want a
> lightning fast simple, trimmed down, non gui loaded Linux distribution.
>   Any suggestions?  I have heard that Gentoo, Debian, or Slackware are
> the most sleek distributions, is this so?

I used to always do LFS when my time was abundant.  My firewall is still LFS, 
it's on a 700MB hdd, which isn't even nearly full.  That includes _all_ of 
the standard network utilities, a complete build environment (gcc, etc), and 
I think the sources are still on there as well.  Oh, and it's a P166MMX 
w/48MB ram.  How's that for old?  It's got well over a year of uptime 
currently, and hasn't been reinstalled for over 3 years.

Since my time became valuable (job, marriage), I've taken one step back to 
Gentoo.  At first I was a little leery--how could it possibly compare to LFS?
But, now I love it, and use it wherever I get the say.  My home desktop, work 
desktop, and several servers all run it.

It's bigger than LFS, but smaller than anything else I've seen in a long time.
IMO, it's package management is as good or better than apt.  And, of course, 
both emerge and apt are untouchable by any rpm or rpm-like package manager.

As far as a 'complete' distro, IMO, Gentoo is as good or better.  Despite 
nearly everything being compiled from scratch, just about everything *just 
works* out-of-the-box configuration-wise.

For LAMP, however, the apps that I really care about, I don't install via 
Gentoo's emerge.  (No matter the distro, I never install these via their 
packaging system).  I always use the official MySQL binary distro, and 
compile my own apache and php to suite my needs exactly.  With Gentoo, it's 
easy to tell the package system that they are in fact installed, so that 
other dependencies are still correctly met.  This is a feature that I have 
not seen in other systems.



Nicholas Leippe
Sales Team Automation, LLC
1335 West 1650 North, Suite C
Springville, UT  84663 +1 801.853.4090

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