Moving from CentOS to Ubuntu

It’s no secret that I have historically been a RHEL and CentOS guy.  Red Hat Advanced Server before that.  I think the recent bond made official between Red Hat and CentOS is exciting for those groups and the affected communities.  Over the past several years, I’ve seen and heard from peers and others the industry … a massive excitement over Ubuntu.  But I already had my stable platforms humming along, so I didn’t pay much attention to Canonical or Ubuntu.  Or at least not until OpenStack.

For anyone wanting to deploy OpenStack, Ubuntu is the reference platform to do so.  RHEL and CentOS can do it, but it is currently just not a natural fit.  Canonical has one heck of a head start with JuJu, MaaS and Landscape.  Granted – one can indeed use packstack or RDO on RHEL-based distros.  That is still a long shot from where Ubuntu already is today.

When I decided to seriously consider a career shift in working for Canonical on the Ubuntu Server and Openstack Team, I rebuilt my business and home stacks with Ubuntu LTS.  Prior *nix experience made for a quick pick-up of the Ubuntu/Debian similarities and differences.  In the interest of not inviting yet another Linux distribution debate, I’ll just say that I quite like Ubuntu LTS.  Ubuntu server is now my platform of choice.

What about Unity?  Mir?  Upstart?  I’m traditionally an X control freak, and enjoy XFCE’s ability to be tweeked and tugged how I see fit.  When I rebuilt my desktop powerhouse, I stuck with XFCE on Ubuntu LTS.  But on my new work laptop, Unity it is!  It just works, no manipulations necessary.  Linux for human beings, check.

The asynchronous Upstart is probably my biggest acceptance challenge at the moment, but I attribute that to not possessing granular knowledge of it yet.  I understand the contrast and benefits, but that hasn’t stopped me from occasionally tripping over my init tendencies.

Canonical’s goal of a unified code base for server, desktop, mobile and others is quite a massive and worthy undertaking.  While it may seem to many that they are reinventing the wheel with Mir, and that they have already reinvented the wheel with Upstart, these bold moves are what set Ubuntu aside from all other distros.  The community and the company are investing in some fairly major changes.  Change always brings stress and resistance.  Pushing through the uncomfortable and awkward beginnings is how change is made successful.

Push on, push on!

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Addendum – a useful Ubunto Wiki doc for those making the same journey.  After completing a recent shift from RHEL/CentOS to Ubuntu, I found this nice reference:

SwitchingToUbuntu – Switching from Red Hat to Ubuntu;  Switching from CentOS to Ubuntu;  an equivalent command translation reference.

  • chkconfig vs. updaterc.d
  • service start vs. invoke-rc.d
  • yum search vs. apt-cache search
  • yum install vs. apt-get install
  • rpm vs. dpkg

 

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