I’m thinking of moving my fileserver from CentOS 5.2 to something more up-to-date. Partially due to 5.3 being pretty late, but also because the NIC bonding seems to be flaky due to the old kernel I guess.

The main requirements that have to be met by a replacement distro are:

  1. Must be able to run PIPS for my Epson Stylus Photo RX425;
  2. Must be able to run iscan for above scanner, which also requires a graphical display (Xorg);
  3. Must be able to run NFSv4;
  4. Must be able to do NIC bonding;
  5. Must be able to mount JFS drives;
  6. Must be supported for free for longer than a year;
  7. Must be reasonably up-to-date, i.e. kernel 2.6.24 or later.

I can’t use Ubuntu Server as it has no X11, I can’t use OpenSolaris as it won’t work with the printer/scanner, I can’t use Fedora10 as it’ll need updating in six months.

So far I think its down to Debian Lenny or Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS Desktop edition.

I’ll probably setup my Pentium4 as a new fileserver in parallel with the existing AthlonXP fileserver for zero downtime.

I’ve already got iscan and PIPS working in an Ubuntu VM, I converted the Fedora RPM to a .deb file using alien, with instructions from here.


I got NFSv4 I setup in the Ubuntu VM using instructions from here, which I wish I had when I was setting it up on CentOS as it would have saved me a lot of going through poor documentation.

Update: just got NIC bonding working on the Ubuntu VM using these instructions. If I disable eth0 in VirtualBox, my SSH session stays open using the bonded eth1. I also got rid of Avahi (zeroconf) and NetworkManager.

iptables is a bit different on Ubuntu to RedHat, there’s no automatic startup of your firewall rules! I got it working within the ifup scripts using instructions here.