How Does Debian Compare to CentOS? Which One Should You Choose?

Once you decide to buy a Linux VPS Server for your website, you must choose between various Linux distributions like Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, and Debian. Each of these packages offers a unique set of features and is best suited for specific requirements. Hence, it is important to assess your hosting needs before finalizing a distro and ensure that your Linux VPS performs well. To make things easier, in this article, we will be comparing Debian and CentOS.

What are Debian and CentOS?

CentOS is a free and open-source Linux distribution. It allows organizations to build servers and has a huge community of developers for support. Debian, on the other hand, is an operating system (like UNIX) that is made using open-source components. It is developed by the Debian Project and uses Linux as its kernel. CentOS is a variant of RedHat Linux whereas Debian has variants like Ubuntu, Kali, etc.

Comparison between Debian and CentOS

CentOS Debian
Wider acceptance and a large community for support As compared to CentOS, Debian has a lesser acceptance
It is highly stable. Hence, it is used to host critical servers. Debian’s variant Ubuntu is also stable and has been making inroads and gaining popularity
CentOS has fewer packages as compared to Debian
Debian and CentOS support desktop applications. However, CentOS is better than Debian.
Once CentOS releases a major update, its code is frozen. This code cannot be changed except if the developers identify a security bug or flaw. Usually, major updates happen once every 5 years. This can make it difficult to work with as most application software undergo changes during this time, but CentOS cannot support those changes. Despite these issues, most vendors prefer CentOS over Debian since it has a short testing cycle and rapid development capability. Many Linux application software developers use Ubuntu for the desktop and CentOS for the server.
Upgrading to a newer version is difficult. The better option is installing a newer version rather than upgrading an older one. Debian is easy to upgrade.
Debian has a simpler GUI along with applications that are desktop-friendly.
The distribution contains the core software like the CentOS/RHEL components and the kernel along with all its utilities. On the other hand, additional software like PHP, MySQL, Apache, etc. come from resources like Fedora or directly from vendors. Debian package managers have repositories with the latest source codes for open-source frameworks and languages. Also, Debian’s variant Ubuntu is specifically useful while dealing with docker files and/or containers.


Summing Up

Remember, every website has a specific requirement from its web server. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned Linux user, as a site owner, you must understand the requirements of your website and consider all options before buying a VPS Server. Further, new users would do good to look for a service provider that extends around the clock technical support for VPS servers. We hope that this article could help you get a basic understanding of the differences between Debian and CentOS. Do share your views with us in the comments below.

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