the Wikimedia Foundation has decided to standardize their infrastructure on Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS. This means that 400 servers running Wikipedia will eventually be moved to Ubuntu, instead of having a mix of distributions.
We have been using and advocating the relatively under-advertised Ubuntu Server for several years, both for in house development and testing, as well as for client web sites, large and small.
We have been extremely happy with Ubuntu, for the following reasons.
- Debian based, with all the benefits of the apt/aptitude dependency checking, and hence easy to keep up to date.
- Thousands of applications in a central repository. No need to hunt for RPMs, download them, install them manually.
- Newer package versions than what Debian normally provides, which means PHP 5.2 out of the box, as well as a few others.
- Long Term Support (LTS). The server is supported for 5 years!
If you want to do this yourself, we have detailed instructions on installing a dedicated server or a VPS with Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) for Drupal 6,x, as well as installing memcached and memcache-pecl on Ubuntu server, if you need it.
You can also hire 2bits to set up your server for you and even manage it as well.