Given its UNIX ancestry (the de facto standard for mainframes, back in the days when I first learned programming), using Linux as the OS for an experimental MMO is something of a no-brainer. That being said, there are so many distros out now that trying to figure which to try is pretty daunting.
Therefore, I turn to more experienced voices for their perspectives.
Some of the criteria includes:
- Efficient utilization of multi-core CPUs (it's for an MMO server, after all)
- Light-weight with minimal overhead (initial development is on an older system)
- Stable enough to run indefinitely (I suspect some distros leak as bad as Windows)
- Can use a simple Window Manager instead of a full Desktop Environment (preferably one which gets along well with Code::Blocks)
- Gigabit+ networking support is key; some USB/video for basic use; everything else is negligible
- Good community support (I know I'm diving into a rough ocean - I'd feel better knowing there's a life preserver nearby)
I've sort of narrowed things down to Debian, CentOS (RHEL-based), Gentoo, and Slackware. Of course, each of these (excepting CentOS) have numerous derivatives, which means I haven't really narrowed things down much at all. DSL has obvious appeal, but I haven't found much in the way of a community or third-party documentation.
Any advice and/or recommendations in this endeavor would be greatly appreciated.
It seems that the question I should have asked was "Which KERNEL should I look for in a distro?"
I don't have much experience with Linux (primarily using Ubuntu via DE), so I'm concerned that trying to remove extraneous features may compromise its integrity. Adding features still entails risks, but less than removing them.