We use Linux for a long time as an operating system for our servers. In the last eight years we always used SuSE Linux, since the 5.1 release. Even my desktop runs on SuSE Linux 9. Yesterday I decided to install Debian for no particular reason, maybe just out of curiosity.
I removed SuSE Linux 9.1 and installed Debian Sarge on our latest server (a dual Xeon) using the netinstall CD-ROM image. Of course it’s a testing release but the Debian team is testing for a long time now and I think it’s quite good.
My first impression on Sarge (compared to my bad Debian Woody experience) is very positive. The installation of the base system was easy and only took about 10 Minutes including re-partitioning of the disk array. The further installation process was easy, too. I will set up the system (as a server) the next days and compare this to the SuSE distribution. So far Debian Sarge seems to be very promising.
Update 1: So far everything worked very well. I set up the core mail services, SMTP / POP / IMAP with LDAP and SSL support, in about the same time as I did on SuSE Linux. There are at least as much helpful websites for mail service setup on Debian as I found for SuSE Linux. I noticed that the Debian core system in my configuration needs fewer space than SuSE Linux did.
Update 2: Things went very well! Our first Debian server (Sarge) has been very stable in all tests – and is now a production system and our mail exchanger. Migration will go on.
Update 3: Adding anti-virus and anti-SPAM services took some time but now all is up and running. There are good tutorials out there that provide all the information you need. Try this or this or this.