I am currently using Ubuntu on my production servers.

I prefer to use arch linux on my desktop as they do never have a version for Operating systems like ubuntu, debian etc, So never have to bother about EOL.

Is there any possibility, that we can use Debian with repos are set to use 'stable' rather than a code name like: jessi, wheezy etc.

So that our servers never reach an End of life?

I prefer to have a OS like Debian/Ubuntu, because I can configure : UnattendedUpgrades

Or is there any Operating system like that which I can use in my servers.

I am using these servers to host magento websites, [ which uses nginx/apache, php, mysql, redis, memcached ]

  • You could simply use a testing/unstable branch of Debian, if you want to keep things up to date. Another option would be using a rolling distribution like Arch, Gentoo, or derivatives. If you want to stick to debian, you could just use the codename. I know it's manual work, but with Debian release cycle it could be automated with script and it would be so rare that I don't think that should be problem anyway. – MatthewRock Oct 25 '16 at 6:54
  • You are basically looking for a distribution with (or way to have) very stable rolling releases. Note that nothing will be ever totally maintenance-free though. – phk Oct 26 '16 at 11:46

I don't think there is an easy "fix" for this. I too use both Debian and Arch Linux. The latter on one of my laptops, and Debian on my server(s) (and actually on another laptop as well).

There is a reason I do not use Arch on my servers; since it is a rolling release there is a potential for breakage. I say potential because I would not describe Arch Linux as "unstable". Over the years, I have only had two minor breakages (is that a word?). But with Debian I have had none; as in zero.

Yes, sometimes when I do a pacman -Syu in Arch, I feel slightly nervous, whereas an upgrade in Debian has never broken anything (I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but I have never experienced it).

To sum up; at this point, I think you actually have to choose between the two. I think both approaches (rolling vs "fixed" releases) have their strong points, but you cannot get a "super reliable" rolling release.

When Debian (or *buntu) reaches EOL, I normally backup all non-system files, do a clean install, and shovel everything back in again. It's not too much of a hassle imho.


Apart from certain highly specialized embedded applications that will always be used in a specific, protected scenario, you do need to upgrade your distribution. For any machine with a network connection (and for most that don't, too), you need to apply security fixes. You also need to keep up with the times for some things, including, literally, with timezone definition changes as the laws change. If you add new hardware then you may need newer drivers, and of course you may want to run newer software one day.

No matter what type of distribution you choose, there are always upgrades. Some distributions like Arch Linux and Debian unstable or testing have “rolling releases”, i.e. upgrades come in small pieces (a few packages at a time) and there are upgrades pretty much every day. Other distributions are more stable, with only critical bug fixes (mostly security) coming at unscheduled times, and major releases only once or twice a year at most.

Either way, your installation will reach end of life if you don't upgrade it. The only difference is whether it takes days (Arch) or a decade (RHEL).

Upgrades can break things. Unattended upgrades are generally a bad idea. Do unattended upgrades on your server only if you've rehearsed them first on an identical machine (same hardware or close enough, exact same set of packages, same configuration except for the minimum difference in network configuration and user accounts).

For a server, I strongly recommend a stable distribution. That way you only run into risky upgrades every couple of years. Security upgrades are generally safe.

On Debian, you can point the source list at stable rather than a release name such as jessie. The advantage is that your system will always follow new releases automatically. The downside is that one day you'll wake up with 3GB of downloads and 2 hours of disk I/O to perform the upgrade. It's better to schedule these things.

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