Is Fedora Server good to host the websites of a company?

Hello,
The CentOS will become CentOS Stream and is not stable anymore. Is Fedora Server good to host a company websites? Is Fedora Server stable, reliable and secure?
Why some tools like DirectAdmin don’t exist for Fedora?

Thank you.

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Centos Stream is the current RHEL with additional changes possibly coming from Fedora. Fedora tries to have the latest of everything. This means you are getting new versions of things a lot faster than Centos Stream. Fedora Server is stable in that I wouldn’t expect it to crash. However you are upgrading every 6 or 12 months and the new software may break your website depending on how it is installed. If you are just serving static pages, it doesn’t matter. If more complex, it depends on how comfortable you are with the upgraded components. For example, I don’t know if Centos Stream would update the python version but I know Fedora does. If I’m worried about python code break, I might use Centos Stream instead of Fedora.

I don’t know anything about DirectAdmin.

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Many people and companies absolutely use it for website hosting. We try our best to make it reliable, stable, and secure. However, as a community project largely produced by volunteers, there are no guarantees and if you do encounter a problem no one "on the hook’ to help you with it. There is no commercial support for Fedora Server (or any Fedora variant) — instead, that relies on community expertise and help. If you need guarantees or professional services, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has those things.

That said, I think your worry about CentOS Stream may be overstated. Like Fedora Linux or CentOS Linux, CentOS Stream also does not get professional support or any guarantees. But, every change that goes into it is already approved by Red Hat product management, engineering, and testing to land in an upcoming minor release of RHEL. These changes are generally very small — bugfixes, hardware enablement, and minor feature enhancements (and of course security fixes).

In Fedora, we have a major update every six months, and you can skip one, so you may get big changes in software versions every year. We also put out updates frequently and do not usually backport patches; this means that there is more possibility of change even within a release. For a simple static webserver, this is generally no big deal. For a dynamic site, you may want to either separate your actual site framework from the OS (possibly by using containers — maybe look into Fedora CoreOS, even), or make very sure you test when deploying updates to make sure that for example a new version of Ruby doesn’t require changes to your application code.

So, from the point of view of change management, CentOS Stream will be much more stable than Fedora Server. That doesn’t mean Fedora Server is less stable in terms of reliability and function, though. It’s really a matter of whether having access to newer software as it comes out is more or less important to you. CentOS Stream major releases will last for five years with the same general software versions.

Now, on CentOS Stream vs. CentOS Linux: the main change is that updates (excepting embargoed
security fixes which need to be done internally to Red Hat) will come to Stream before RHEL, whereas with CentOS Linux they lagged behind. There’s always a small possibility that there will be problems, but overall the goal is for Stream to be as stable as RHEL is — because it literally will become RHEL. There just aren’t any guarantees or support — but there weren’t with CentOS Linux either. Here’s a diagram from the CentOS Stream team showing how the process is intended to work:

For most people who were previously CentOS Linux users, I think Stream will actually be functionally the same but better (bugfixes come faster, and when a minor release hits, no big lag until the updates come out). There are some situations where people were assuming exact compatibility of a CentOS Linux release with a RHEL minor release where CentOS Stream no longer exactly fits. But I think those are largely exceptions.

Personally, I think the decision comes to this: if you have time and expertise to do self-support, either CentOS Stream or Fedora Server can be a fine choice. If those things worry you and you want the backing of a company so that you have someone behind you in the event of a problem, RHEL is a great option.

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As for DirectAdmin — that appears to be third-party proprietary software. I can only guess why they might not support Fedora Linux — possibly the rate of change is too high, or they may just not have enough customer demand. If you want it, it never hurts to ask them.

For some web admin use cases, you may find that Cockpit, which is free and included with Fedora Server, may do exactly what you need. It isn’t meant to be a hosting provider dashboard, though, so if that’s your need that won’t do. (If you are a hosting provider, by the way, please send your use case to centos-questions@redhat.com — see Question 10 in the CentOS FAQ, as Red Hat is working on special pricing options for that use case.)

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Thank you so much for your time and great reply.
To be honest, I think Fedora is not OK for companies. It and CentOS Stream are just to make RHEL better.

Major companies such as Facebook and Twitter will be using Centos Stream as their primary platform. If it wasnt stable, they wouldnt do that.

Fedora is good enough for a server even for a corporation, but if you want to set up something and forget about it for a few years, it is not suitable for that.

I have a centos 7 server which I set up a few years ago, just after centos 7 was released. I plan to upgrade it to centos 8 stream, but there is no deadline. I have a number of years over which I can take some time out. It continues to work and I have security updated until 2024.

I have a centos 8 stream server that I migrated from Centos 8. It will keep wiorking as long as there is centos 8 stream.

I have another one on centos 8. I plan to migrate this to centos 8 stream, but I have until the end of the year to do this.

I can forget about these servers for periods of time unless some critical event occurrs.

With Fedora server, it will need upgrading once a year. It will probably be an easy upgrade, as Fedora upgrades generally are, but it require more hands on than longer term alternatives.

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Thank you.
Yes, but when you are hosting a dynamic website or application, then Fedora Server is not a good option.
You upgrade your Fedora Server and PHP upgraded from version 8.0.2 to X.X.X and your website encounter problem.

It really all comes down to your needs, capabilities, and areas of focus. The illustration of the php upgrade is a good example. If you need something to be the same version for ten years or so, RHEL is the best option. If you want newer PHP because your developers are interested in using the latest versions, Fedora Server can be a good choice. And CentOS Stream gives you something in the middle.

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It depends on the web application too and whether you are committed to maintain it or not.

Something like wordpress or drupal will keep working on the existing platform and on a long term enterprise distro can be more or less forgotten.

Even in RHEL though there are application streams. You will have to be very conservative to stick to the lowest php version. App streams containing later versions can have potentially different lifecycles and in order to avoid pain down the line you will keep an eye on when to migrate to a later stream.

Likewise, Fedora can also have modules so while php 8.x will become default in Fedora 34, an app stream with an earlier version can be created if it doesnt already exist.

The same can be said for nextcloud/opencloud and/or an online telephony system, but here you will have someone/team to be hands on due to their importance and it may turn out to be more beneficial to have a more up to date platform.

There are benefits for all. I dont however see much benefit for RHEL over Centos Stream unless it is a performance critical app where Red Hat support itself would be a major factor.

You will have to decide on a case by case basis what works best depending on your needs. There are situations where each has its benefits.

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I’ve been running WordPress sites for two non-profits on Fedora Server on a DigitalOcean Droplet for 4 years and counting. Nginx + mariadb + php-fpm + wordpress. It’s been rock solid.

I utilize DigitalOcean’s floating ip feature so that I have close to zero down-time when I upgrade the server annually.

I get much of value from the Fedora Community (mailing lists, forums, bugzilla, wiki, etc.). I certainly don’t see Fedora as “just to make RHEL better.” For some, like me, Fedora is the destination.

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This also depends on what software your application uses. On Ruby on Rails, I wouldn’t dream of using the system-provided Ruby (I use rbenv and ruby-build), so the update risk is minimal, unless the maintainers really drop the ball and screw up updates of essential system libs.

Still gonna miss Centos, though. There’s a project called Rocky Linux which tries to take over where Centos left off, but time will tell if it’s successful or not.

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I really would encourage you to also look at CentOS Stream for some of these use cases.

Yes. I heard something about Rocky Linux.
Please check AlmaLinux too.