I run Arch Linux on most of my VPSes. I don't run anything particularly "mission critical" and I do not mind periodically updating and maintaining the servers so Arch is a good choice. Arch has been a great fit for the server so long as you don't mind keeping up with updates (and updates that may lead to mandatory configuration changes). If I want to "set it and forget it" (outside of security updates) I'll go with Debian or a BSD variant.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
I'm sure there are some fanatics out there who use run arch on there servers but in the data center I work in and probably in most production environments, you won't see arch being used too often because it's bleeding edge. Now don't get me wrong, We have one or two customers out there running the latest version of fedora on their box so I wouldn't be surprised if somebody was running arch on a server but personally I think arch updates too frequently to even run it on my workstation at work. I run it on my laptop but I rarely reboot my workstation and you don't want to reboot a web server that often either. In fact, I tried running arch on my workstation and the kernel updates at least during that period were way too frequent and I found myself needing to reboot my system to load any kernel modules since the directory name gets changed to the newest kernel version. I'd love to run arch as a server or something like it as a server simply because it's so minimalistic with so many packages that it's possibilities are endless. Maybe somebody should come out with a less bleeding edge fork of arch that doesn't require everything to be compiled from source. That would be one bad ass server.
Edit: You know, I completely forgot Debian exists. I think I'd have to put my money on Debian or Ubuntu server for my preferred server. I'm slowing moving away from redhat and centos.
Edit: Also just saw that archserver link. Seems like it could have had more potential but I guess arch is only popular among us hardcore linux geeks.
Last edited by wstewart90 (2013-08-11 09:55:15)
I use Arch Linux on my dedicated server for more than 3 years now. The only major outage that occurred is when the motherboard died but that of course could have happen with any other OS.
However, I do have to admit that it requires quite a bit of work to maintain and make sure all services are still running fine after an important update (my server serves php and Ruby on Rails websites and provides email service as well as hosting source code repositories through git so to me, important updates are those related to nginx, passenger, php-fpm, php, ruby, postfix, dovecot, linux kernel, mysql (now mariadb), etc). Of course, I reboot the server after each LTS kernel update and it involves a little downtime but for what it is, it is fine to me. I chose Arch for this machine because I can easily create packages for software that are not in the official repositories or for which I'd like to stay on a specific version besides the fact that Arch has been my distro of choice since I tried it for the first time back in 2009.
In a more critical environment or for a system having less attention, I would probably go for FreeBSD.
I'd love to run arch as a server or something like it as a server simply because it's so minimalistic with so many packages that it's possibilities are endless. Maybe somebody should come out with a less bleeding edge fork of arch that doesn't require everything to be compiled from source. That would be one bad ass server.
I often thought about a somewhat LTS version of Arch Linux that would be just to freeze Arch at a specific time and only provide bugfix and security updates to the packages until the next LTS version is out which would make it well suitable for a server. Therefore, I was really interested in archserver but unfortunately, it does not seem to go anywhere (at least, last time I checked).
Yea but you know, using the lts kernel might not be a bad solution for my workstation at work. Maybe I'll switch it back over to arch.
Last edited by wstewart90 (2013-08-17 10:17:37)