So I have a basic need – podman and it would be nice to have a nice web frontend such as Cockpit, but really ssh will suffice. So either here should work out those needs quite nicely.
As I have mererly toyed with Fedora Server in a VM, not as a home server OS, I must ask – any gotchas that would make staying with CentOS/RHEL on my home server? I am in need to replacing a RHEL7 install due to some bugs in podman’s version, and it getting zero further updates (basically being told get off RHEL7).
Any insight here would be great. The main reason I can even consider Fedora Server is the fact that for 6 years now, dnf system upgrades just worked, and thats with a boatload of COPR and other 3rd party repos. Whats in the RH yum repos has been fine for the most part, an occasional EPEL package is more than sufficient. So that said, if I can stay up to date just and have a decent modicum of stability, Fedora server should be fine. But with zero experience … well you know the saying about assumptions
The biggest gotcha is if you are installing some third-party applications. For instances, I have a Dell R420 that I use for development. Dell has CentOS packages their management drivers and apps. Fedora does not (that I am aware of). You can attempt to install them, but dependency versions break stuff in some obvious and not so obvious ways. I don’t miss them, though.
I prefer Fedora 33 as it has newer versions of kernel, podman and other packages available out of the box. Cockpit is nice. I use it primarily for virtual machine management (something like a lightweight proxmox). It’s stable. If I wasn’t working in a highly regulated environment at work, I would recommend it for production use.
CentOS 8 is getting updates and podman is well supported there. Out of the box, I don’t think you get the latest version of podman, but that shouldn’t be hard to update. There are likely to be some other quirks as dependency versions may be outdated (things like selinux policies, slirp4netns, etc…).
In short, I don’t think you’ll go wrong with Fedora 32, 33 or CentOS 8 as it comes to podman…
I generally work in Fedora and sometimes use CentOS for testing.
Fedora makes you closer to upstream and new features.
But to be fair, you may face more issues on Fedora due to shorter release cycle and frequent updates.
There are a lot of changes in each new release and some package updates can be considered unstable.
However those issues are typically not difficult to resolve or work around.
CentOS is more solid but lacks new features which already present on Fedora.
If you mainly work in Fedora, going to CentOS feels like downgrading a few releases.
You can save time spent on maintenance, but the lack of new features is annoying and may affect your workflow.
I’ve been using Fedora Server for years, and only ever had issues when upgrading releases - and those were I think all covered in the releases common issues.
The main tradeoff between Fedora & CentOS on a server to my mind is less stability in the sense of “doesn’t break” but rather in the sense of “doesn’t change a lot”. If you run a lot of stuff that would be heavily impacted by a change in, say, Apache version, then CentOS ensures that doesn’t happen. If, on the other hand, your software is fairly version-agnostic, then Fedora gives you the bonus of getting the latest updates and you have less issues with packages not being available, missing features, having to backport things to make them work etc.