Two distro questions
I am planning to use another distro on my Linode. I have two main concerns here, since it is in development. It's stable, there are only two things keeping it from being labeled stable (one of which is affecting my ability to use it on Linode).
One concern is that it is using a kernel 3.0 release candidate, and it appears that Linode wants to use it's own kernel in the 2.6 series. I'm not too familiar with a core Linux system (I am mostly a user), my concern is if something was compiled to use 3.0. Would this cause problems (I can provide a list of packages if need be once I have it setup locally)? If it will cause problems, would I be able to force the use of 3.0, or compile it on the Linode and use it?
The other concern is that I need to manually do "DHCP eth0" (the command is literally DHCP) to connect to a router's dhcp server. It seems to require the device bit to connect, otherwise it hangs until I CTRL+C it. It needs a networking tool added for this. I can add a boot script to make it do this automatically, except I don't know the device to use on the Linode (I'm guessing it's eth0?), and if it fails to connect, it will hang.
Other than these two concerns, I should be able to do a server just fine.
I presume you're not using this for a production environment? That would be highly ill-advised. If you just want to play around with unstable code, you can do that (and there's not really any damage you can cause since you can just redeploy the linode if you muck it up too badly). If you want to have a production environment, use something stable like Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, etc.
As far as the network interface goes… that's up to your distro. If it calls the first ethernet interface 'eth0', then it will be 'eth0'.
I've been running it at home on my laptop and desktop since October of last year. They've been running without problem since January. The desktop never reboots except when a newer kernel is repackaged (the laptop obviously can't keep running), and it does have a network daemon called "DHCP" (e.g. "DHCP eth0" will bring up eth0, and won't disconnect unless I shut down, the cable is pulled, or the router shuts off). It just doesn't auto-activate DHCP except through init script, which I can do. The head developer actually runs it on one of his live web servers. There's nothing there except a link pointing to the website of the distro itself, but it works.
I'm not runnin Debian or Ubuntu. Debain works somewhat, Ubuntu not at all, and CentOS would require me to compile all the server tools like apache and php since it's packages are severely outdated and nothing works on them. To be honest, the distro I want to use is the only one that has truly worked for me, it's more that the last official release is too outdated and would be a CentOS type of thing (recompiling the server stuff).
Things can change in the kernel (even if slightly), regardless of if it's a new series or not. The last kernel provided is 2.6.39, depending on what's changed between that and 3.0 (2.6.40) may or may not cause problems. I am not familiar with the actual internals of the kernel or a distro, I've only worked with outer apps such as KDE and apache, so I don't know if anything bad will ocur.
It does call the first interface "eth0", but since my Linode will run inside a virtual machine, that isn't guaranteed. There is a good chance it will be "eth0", but I want to confirm.