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I recently received a Mac Mini and would like to set it up as a web server and git source server. I would like to learn Linux so am interested in setting up my Mac Mini with Linux instead of OSX.

Here are the main things that I will be using the Mac Mini for.

  • git Repositories (via Gitosis)
  • build server (build projects in git repositories using commit hooks and run tests)
  • simple websites (PHP)
  • learning C++ in a non-Windows environment

What distribution would you recommend? Please provide some detail in your answer so that I can make an meaningful decision. Because I am looking to use the mini as more of a server than a normal desktop machine I was thinking of Ubuntu Server, I'm not sure if that is over kill though given the hardware I am using.

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migrated from Jun 1 '10 at 5:24

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

CentOS... bad choice. You will probably come to regret that decision eventually. Some Googling for opinions on various distros will have you believing that CentOS is most smart people's distro of choice for server operations. This can be blamed on the tendency of web content publishers to leave ridiculously outdated information on the internet regardless of whether or not it is in fact doing people a disservice. I guess the idea is that it doesn't matter how old or incorrect it is if it makes a few ad dollars. Anyway, CentOS is no longer most technically minded people's distro of choice for th – user64137 Jan 21 '11 at 22:42
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The truth is that it doesn't really matter. All major distributions are capable of supporting those features. As a new user of Linux I would say that either Fedora or Ubuntu would fill the role well, with CentOS as another available option.

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I went with CentOS 5.5, thanks for the feedback – spoon16 Jun 1 '10 at 7:19
You probably won't mind having these then: – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 1 '10 at 7:29

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