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Version info

As BlueOnyx is available in different flavours, it may become more difficult for you to pick the right one for the purpose you have in mind.

This page aims at helping you to make the right decissions to pick the flavour of BlueOnyx that suits you the most.

New Chorizo GUI or old Sausalito GUI? 

The newest version of BlueOnyx is the CentOS 7 based BlueOnyx 5209R. If you are doing a new install, then please use 5209R. If you prefer CentOS 6 instead, then we recommend using 5208R and 5207R and suggest that you prefer it over any of the older releases. Since the release of the Chorizo GUI we relentlessly fixed all issues that were reported to us and quickly brought it to a state that is (in all respects) fully ready for productive usage. If you are *really* cautious (and for that there is actually no further need), then use 5108R/5107R instead and upgrade to the new Chorizo GUI later on. Instructions to upgrade from 5108R/5107R to 5208R/5207R can be found here.

CD version or Tar-ball?

Generally it doesn't really matter if you pick the CD version or the Tar-ball installer. The resulting install of BlueOnyx will be the same.

However: The TAR-ball installer requires some fiddling and is picky about your existing OS and its configuration. It will tell you what to do to get the install going. But that requires some work.

The CD-installer on the other hand is as easy as it gets: Boot off the ISO, hit return in the menu and wait 5-10 minutes for the install to finish. After the install (and the reboot it asks for) you have a perfectly installed BlueOnyx that is ready for immediate usage. It simply can't get any eaiser than that.

If you can, it would always be adviseable to pick the CD-version. It sets up the OS and the partitions in a fashion that makes it the most hassle free type of install. Additionally: The BlueOnyx with the new Chorizo GUI is currently only available via CD-install or via the OpenVZ OS templates.

32-bit (5207R/5107R) or 64-bit (5208R/5108R/5209R)?

We recommend 64-bit. But in reality it is like this: For a general purpose internet server this actually doesn't really matter *that* much. The 32-bit version of BlueOnyx supports up to 48GB or RAM with the PAE kernel installed. Which is probably way more RAM that you actually find in most servers. In theory 64-bit offers a speed advantage when it comes to memory management and the communication between the CPU, the RAM, the bus and the I/O devices. In practical terms this speed advantage is often not really that impressive or noticeable, as other factors also play a role on a general purpose internet server such as BlueOnyx.

If you're depending heavily on MySQL or need a heavy duty server, then 64-bit is certainly a better choice than 32-bit.

As far as third party software is concerned: Usually PKGs that are available for all BlueOnyx versions, regardless if they are 64-bit or 32-bit.

Scientific Linux or CentOS?

This is a somewhat loaded question. Technically and in an ideal world it wouldn't make much of a difference. You will have a hard time to spot differences between a CentOS based and a Scientific Linux based BlueOnyx.

Software compiled and built for RHEL, CentOS or SL will run on each of the other platforms without recompile. All things considered they are binary compatible and technically it therefore really makes no difference whatsoever which one you choose. In fact you could easily turn a CentOS based BlueOnyx into a Scientific Linux based box and vice versa - by just replacing the "centos-release" RPM with the "sl-release" RPM - and vice versa.

Advantage CentOS: The CentOS distribution has a much better recognition and publicity due to ancient historical achievements - laurels on which they may have rested idly for way too long. Now they are under the RedHat umbrella same as Fedora has been. If that is good or bad we can't say yet. Only time will tell. Still: From a point of marketing an ISP will have an easier time to get his new clients to embrace a CentOS based distribution, because the clients may already know CentOS and the new official RedHat backing of that project is yet another advantage that can be pitched.

Advantage Scientific Linux: Scientific Linux is a Linux release put together by Fermilab, CERN, and various other labs and universities around the world. Its primary purpose is to reduce duplicated effort of the labs, and to have a common install base for the various experimenters. Like CentOS they also take the latest RHEL5, RHEL6 and RHEL7 sources and rebuild them for their own distribution. However, instead of volunteers they have a permanent team of developers tasked to keep the distribution up to date. This is basically your tax money at work.

The verdict: It has to be said very clearly that the Scientific Linux maintainers do a much better job than the CentOS maintainers. Typically Scientific Linux releases new major and minor versions of their RHEL clones months (for major updates) or weeks (for minor updates) ahead of CentOS. With RHEL7 it was different due to the top grabs that the CentOS guys had on the RHEL7 sources due to the new partnership with RedHat. In the past Scientific Linux was more complete and include tools which the CentOS team doesn't bother to include. Such as Revisor, the glib library and other bits and pieces. There have been times when a Scientific Linux box received patches several weeks - sometimes months - ahead of an identical CentOS version. THAT was defenitely a major advantage. Now that CentOS is under the RedHat umbrella things have changed a bit in favour of CentOS.

Historically we have prefered Scientific Linux wherever possible. But your mileage might be different. That's why we provide both choices wherever possible.

What about BlueOnyx 5106R?

That is the 32-bit CentOS5 based version of BlueOnyx. The undelying CentOS5 will be supported with updates until the CentOS5 EOL at March 31, 2017. However: For all practical purposes CentOS5 should be considered as too old at this time. PCI compliance can no longer be maintained with any kind of reasonable efforts. So if you are doing a new install, then please pick BlueOnyx 5207R/5208R or BlueOnyx 5209R with the new Chorizo GUI instead.

BlueOnyx 5106R will still be supported until March 31, 2017 and will receive a certain minimum of maintenance updates. But as our oldest version of BlueOnyx it no longer receives the loving care and attention that it once had. Furthermore: BlueOnyx 5106R cannot be upgraded to the Chorizo GUI and it is necessary to CMU-migrate sites and users to newer versions of BlueOnyx instead.

Virtualization / BlueOnyx in a VPS?

Generally BlueOnyx works fine in a VPS. If your virtualization solution allows you to install the guest OS from a CD, pick the CD-Version of BlueOnyx 5208R or 5207R and install the VPS from the CD.

For OpenVZ based virtualization (Aventurin{e}, Virtuozzo or Proxmox) we offer pre-created OS templates for all BlueOnyx for download.

If your virtualization solution isn't OpenVZ based and doesn't allow you to install the guest OS from a CD, install either CentOS6 or Scientific Linux 6 via supported means and then install BlueOnyx with the Tar-ball installer.

We hope this answers your questions, but feel free to ask on the BlueOnyx mailing list for more advice or suggestions.


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