for several years I've managed a server or two on CentOS distro with cPanel (or not) and I was wondering if I should actually use a desktop linux distro based on CentOS/RHEL instead of going for something Debian/Ubuntu (like mint). I've always really been using Windows for desktop and OS X for some time too. My idea is to be able to learn faster how I work on my servers by my daily desktop usage too.

Suggestions appreciated!

closed as not constructive by jordanm, vonbrand, jasonwryan, Gilles, Renan Apr 10 '13 at 0:51

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  • 2
    Yes (IMHO). But requests for subjective suggestions are not appropriate for this site, except in chat. Please read How to Ask and the FAQ. – depquid Apr 9 '13 at 18:12
  • Ditto IMHO. I don't think the question is so contentious if it is yes or no, and not, "What's the best distro ever"? One area I've found this is helpful with is the init system (systemd, upstart, etc) since I tend to reboot my own computers way more often than I'll reboot a server, and I bite my nails less waiting to see what happens. – goldilocks Apr 9 '13 at 18:43
  • @goldilocks If the question is edited to be a "can I" (which is really the question I was answering anyway, since I personally only use CentoOS for servers) vs. a "should I", then I think it would be valid. – depquid Apr 9 '13 at 19:11
  • It's actually more about whether it'd be considerably more useful for me to run a RHEL/CentOS/OpenSuse on my desktop than a Ubuntu/Mint since I run CentOS on my servers. I think I'll simply install CentOS and virtualize in there. – Lucas Gomez Apr 9 '13 at 21:55

Get yourself familiar with virtualization (that's a must-have skills nowadays for sysadmins), run the distro you like and experiment with VMs.

Xen and KVM work out of the box in most major desktop distros (Debian, (X/L)Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora...), and provided you have enough memory, you can build yourself an heterogeneous virtual network of servers (Linux or other) to practice on (which you can clone, modify, migrate, ditch at will while you keep your favourite desktop environment tuned to your taste).

You don't want to apply the same principles when managing a desktop and managing a server IMO.


You can run CentOS on your workstation if you want, or go for something like Fedora. As it is somewhat of the upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and thus all derived distributions like CentOS, Scientific Linux or Oracle Linux), it is managed much the same. Plus Fedora has an aggressive policy of "the best of the latest open source software", you won't miss much of the bling in other modern distributions.


If it is a CentOS system you want to learn, stick with Red Hat based (as suggested maybe Fedora for a change in scenery). Debian file structure and internal workings is much different from RHEL based systems. You may find yourself more confused and overwhelmed than improving your skills.

  • As mentioned on my first post I've ran CentOS for a few years but only through command line. I've used Ubuntu and mint as desktop though. Will run CentOS desktop with VM – Lucas Gomez Apr 9 '13 at 22:03

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