(also CC'd to wlug-list for interest)
I'm investigating a server for my NW of 6-8
workstations. Do you
think FC2 or SuSE as a server for file and printer sharing? Is SUse
free like FC2 is?
SUSE is free in the same way that all Linuxes are; they're built on GPL
components, but some distributions are not necessarily made available the
same way as others.
You can download SUSE as a Knoppix-like live CD, a single CD "personal"
distribution (that isn't what you want for a server) or you can get the
packages for other versions of SUSE from their FTP site, and install it
manually. You could also find people who have a copy locally, I'm expect
Gund or Michael Cree will be able to help.
Of those two I would recommend Fedora Core here - this is my personal
recommendation, as I know it and like it and I can't really say the same
As for "the recommendation of the LUG as a whole", if you're prepared to do
everything from the command line and do a lot of learning, you still can't
go past Debian. There will be a new version called "Sarge" (3.1) released
in a couple of months; you can get a recent ISO file of the installer and
go from there, downloading more recent packages off the Internet, or you
could install Woody (3.0) and wait till Sarge is released and release over
the top, etc..
A large reason people that moved away from Red Hat to Debian on their
servers is that Red Hat didn't have an automatic way of downloading and
installing packages, and Debian did (apt-get). Now, Red Hat (in the form of
the Fedora Project) has yum, apt-get and up2date to choose from, it's not
really a problem any more. Also, there is more software packaged for Debian
(11,000 packages or so) but for the ones that you regularly need, they're
all available in 3rd parties repositories for Fedora.
From my estimates of your experience, I think you
couldn't go past Fedora
Core. FC3 is also coming out in a couple of months