Ubuntu 8.04 LTS or Debian 5 for Drupal 6.x

I did some reading on Ubuntu and Debian before choosing.

Chose Ubuntu 10.x LTS only to find that my new Drupal 6.x site was not cool with PHP 5.3. Installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. But….then had to upgrade MySQL and can't get something else new for LAMP to work.

The question: should I start over with Debian 5? Would that be more stable and use less RAM than Ubuntu 8.04? I've heard that Debian5 is newer, still on PHP 5.2 and very stable.

I'm not wanting extra work, but if Debian would be a more solid route for my niche community site, I'm all there.


14 Replies

Well, Debian is always better. ;)

And now honestly… Yes, it comes with PHP 5.2.6 + security patches, MySQL 5.0.x (with 5.1.x in backports repo), and is my personal favourite.

Frankly, what you should have done was installing php 5.2 on your 10.4 from some well-known thirdparty repo, and keeping new things.

And if you don't want to erase (you'd have to do it to switch to Debian), maybe do an in-place upgrade to 10.4, then install php 5.2 from one of the external sources?


This worked for me once:

http://blog.hoopycat.com/2010/07/runnin … -10-04-lts">http://blog.hoopycat.com/2010/07/running-php-5-2-on-ubuntu-10-04-lts

May work for someone else, too. :-)

Okay….guess I'll be a pure Linux person and make the switch to Debian. I've got an extra partition so I can install it to that and then switch over easily, toast the old partition and regain the disk space. =)

You like giving yourself more work than necessary, huh? ;)

Well, good luck?

I'm too anal to not do the best route. I had a feeling at the beginning that Debian was the way to go.

Question: I've got my new Debian linode breathing, but trying to figure out how to upgrade MySQL from the new packages for Debian 5.0. Any tips?


Question: I've got my new Debian linode breathing, but trying to figure out how to upgrade MySQL from the new packages for Debian 5.0. Any tips?

You should try dotdeb.org. They have latest PHP and MySQL packages for Debian. Up-to-date with the latest security patches. Instruction is very easy to follow.

Add to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ lenny-backports main contrib non-free

(or your favourite mirror from the list.)

aptitude update.

You'll get a ton of new package "families", (like, mysql-server-5.1), and some other packages will offer both an older official-repo version, and a newer ~bpo version available. You can see these in aptitude's CUI but hitting enter on a package and looking far down under Versions, or by issuing a command like 'aptitude install mysql-server/lenny-backports'.

Note that backported packages are not considerend "newer" to the stable packages, so system never tries to "upgrade" to them. You need to install them explicitly yourself.

Never heard of dotdeb before… not saying it's bad, but backports are an official debian.org service, and I personally would consider it a safer choice.

Yes backports recently became Lenny's official service. I've only used it to install nginx (newer version than Lenny's default) on my Debian box, but it seems reliable - I'm sure you wont go wrong using it. Dotdeb just happened to come first to mind when I read this thread.

Note that if you're going to use backports (whether Debian or Ubuntu), I'd generally suggest setting preferences to ensure they aren't preferred, but are still maintained with updates.

For example, on an Ubuntu 8.04 system, adding an /etc/apt/preferences file of:

Package: *
Pin: release a=hardy-backports
Pin-Priority: 200

does the trick. Adjust the repository name as needed for other setups.

By default nothing in the backports repository (regardless of version) will be preferred, but if you want to pull in a specific package from backports, you can use "-t hardy-backports" to apt-get. It will also pull in dependencies that may also be in backports (and maintain with upgrades subsequently), but that's it.

– David

PS: I'm not sure I buy all the Ubuntu v. Debian comments in this thread. I think that it's just that in this specific case Debian 5 came out between Ubuntu 8.04 and 10.04 and thus happens to have a particular mix of package versions, but it could easily be different in the future. With that said, either platform should certainly be manageable, just by doing different adjustments to the default packages.

db3l, well, honestly… I'm not sure what's the difference here, but while I had to play with pinning on a mixed testing/unstable repo set, I never had a case of a debian-backports package become preferred for upgrade. It always had to be done explicitly with '-t lenny-backports packagename' or 'packagename/lenny-backports'.

… Ah ha! http://backports.debian.org/Instructions/
> All backports are deactivated by default (i.e. the packages are pinned to 1 by using NotAutomatic: yes in the Release files, just as in experimental).

And, keep note I said above that upgrading the ubuntu back to 10.4 and installing php 5.2 there might be easier than reformatting for Debian. Sure, I prefer Debian, but I'm not forcing anyone to switch.

Hey techs….I bit the bullet, setup a new linode to keep from wiping the old one, and installed Debian. So now I'm a Linux purist. I feel like a new man!

For anyone reading this, Debian 5 installed and configured easily. I then added a backport line in my sources.list to allow the upgrade to MySQL 5. If you don't know how to do this, just go to a command prompt in something like Putty, login as root and then type:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Then add a line that says:

deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports lenny-backports main

And that will allow you to get the upgrade from the backports. Then run:

apt-get update

All backports are deactivated by default (i.e. the packages are pinned to 1 by using NotAutomatic: yes in the Release files, just as in experimental). To upgrade mysql run:

apt-get -t lenny-backports install mysql-server-5.1

And that will upgrade you. For more info on this visit http://www.backports.org/dokuwiki/doku. … structions">http://www.backports.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=instructions

Hope that helps somebody!



Learn the ways of /usr/bin/aptitude to reach true enlightenment!

( :P )

please expound….I do desire such wisdom.


Learn the ways of /usr/bin/aptitude to reach true enlightenment!

( :P )
Unless you need Super Cow Powers.


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