Best Linux Distro to run Cardano-SL/CL?

Hey All,
I hope the devs can hear me in the back :slight_smile:

I want to build a linux cardano-sl server and wondered about recommended OS/Env.
I’m thinking of running CentoOS or Debian

And also is there a list of required packages & libraries? Recommended Env? (read install doc from github, not much there…).

Are there any advantages to running linux and not MacOS (need graphic UI support?)
Would be amazing to get!

Linux yes, Debian is good but I have been leaning towards nixos more and more.
I also believe most of the Cardano team favors nixos.

Look for announcements next month on this very topic.

Yeah, IOHK is currently using Nix (which by the way, is a pain to setup in Arch Linux), so NixOS seems like the natural option. I would love to hear back from the dev team about this.

I’d stick with a deb or rpm based distro for best results. Centos, Debian or one of its derivatives come to mind. Arch is a little too bleeding edge, as it’s a rolling distribution. I’d stick with a point release distro for running a full node.

Nixos might be good but unless it’s rpm or deb based, you’re unlikely to be exposed to much of OSS repos. Also you gotta think in terms of support… Redhat actively releases patches for RHEL which makes it upstream to Centos. There’s probably debian based commercial support too… This is an important aspect unless you want you box heartbled, spectred and melted down into oblivion.

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Well then, I would only go for Joyent Triton SmartOS.
Download from their wiki.

100% bulletproof, open-source, ZFS filesystem, all memory load, on and on it goes!

This is my default enterprise OS

Are they deb or rpm? First I hear of them. And ZFS can’t touch my Drobo :slight_smile:

It is based on illumos an OpenSolaris operating system.

  • There is only one OS, and for practical purposes it is read-only
  • You boot from a USB stick. Want to upgrade your OS? Pop in a new USB stick. I can’t overstate the fundamental rightness of that.
  • In all other respects, each zone or container is its own virtual machine, with its own network interfaces, etc., isolated from the rest of the universe
  • You get bare-metal performance from your hardware - no emulation, no virtual I/O driver talking to a real I/O driver, no extra memory copies getting data in or out
  • You can do a lot more with minimal hardware than you could if you were running full-blown virtualization (though SmartOS supports KVM, so if you want Linux VMs you can have them)
  • Each zone is its own ZFS volume - so you get a bulletproof, enterprise grade filesystem with redundancy, snapshots you can zap over to another machine for management

Whoa! Somehow this completely slipped under my radar… People who’ve looked at the sunos kernel have said it is one of the most well engineered things they’ve ever seen. Sounds really exciting, plus commercial support to boot… Have you been able to compile cardano sl on it?

I support debian, so if you have any questions, ask me.

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OMG I totally missed the fact that’s the OS, for some reason I thought it was the package manager. (I’m a github kind of guy only when I have to be…), then turned off notifications in browser - lol nb move.

I’m glad to see people open to the idea of trying to run Cardsl on “off the shelf linux” but the other member have maybe shown that that’s impractical. I’m thinking of trying that soon with a more "stack exchange"ish friend, I guess we’ll try SmartOS - see what happens :smiley:

@Chainomatic makes some pretty good points on the merits of OpenSolaris. Maybe going bare metal is really what’s required here. Live and learn.

Still even didn’t get a chance to install on my windows machine:] card is too fast :smiley:

Are you by any chance somehow related to the dev team?

Yes - it is a PITA right now though, it will get better but I would not start with it.
I am thinking of doing a walkthrough but I fear I will be buried in support questions if I do.

BTW I’m on SSB, Secure Scuttlebutt an unforgeable append-only message feed channel, where a group of us, 3 are working on this very setup.

If you are new to SSB, patchwork is a nice app to start with.

Yes, sunos kernel is magnificent.

No, I’m a hardware first software second guy.
I deploy in what others call “flyover” areas, areas Cardano will be heading to next!
The world is changing and this time the forgotten will be bringing it to the developed world!

No, it is not required, Triton, SmartOS is not where I would start, check back next month when Cardano begins to open up testing, Okay?


I’m the opposite, software first. Don’t mind me if I ask you some hardware questions every now and then please :slight_smile:

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NixOS is meanwhile my favorite also

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Does anyone have experience using NixOS in production? I’ve read a lot of good reasons why people like it in a development environment, but production I’m a little unclear on. I’ve used Ubuntu and CentOS in production and been happy with both.

If you are running Linux then NixOS is one of the best production environments.

  • A purely functional package manager
  • Rollback every dependence you install
  • Nix is a turing-complete language, turing-complete.
  • Reproducible system, 100%
  • Git, track your configuration trough time
  • Nix packages never change, fully immutable and deterministic.
  • The last point off the cuff, atomic upgrades, even the name is cool; safely upgrade and rollback no matter what.

The more you understand NixOS the more you will wonder why isn’t it more popular?
Simple, unlearning is hard, you know Ubuntu and CentOS, you will have to learn to unlearn your old ways.
One waring though, a negative I run into from time to time, error messages, NixOS has some awful error messages. Not a deal breaker but keep it in mind for the inevitable:


Good luck @nsticco


Thanks for weighing in! I will spend some more time with it.

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Just wanted to note we are running all our SL nodes on CentOS 7.4 and very happy with it (in response to the original poster request).
Can’t claim “it’s the best” as I have no experience with some of the others mentioned in this thread (the Joyent Triton SmartOS sounds interesting), but CentOS and SL is working perfectly for us.
Hope that helps!


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