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OS recommendations/Aging software issues


I work for a major defense contractor that is very tight with money at times.  Two years ago, before I came, they got RH 9 (bought or downloaded- whatever).  I guess that got deemed appropriate to buy at the time, and it has been sitting here getting old ever since.  The purpose of this server is to run Symantec Manhunt on it as an IDS.  They bought Manhunt at the same time and never got around to deploying it until now.  

Now I am about to deploy a linux server (Dell) and I am trying to figure out which version to go with - RH 9, FC 1-3, or whatever.  I want it to be redhat-based since I am the main admin, and I am more comfortable with that than on debian based systems.  

On the other hand I am not sure what to do.  My boss makes the argument that we need to run the oldest, since he has seen versioning issues and conflicts in this situation.  However most of that is in the world of Windows which does stupid things by default as we all know.  

In this scenario my argument is <still> that we should go with something more recent.  I don't like the idea of putting something out there that is so old it isimpractical by today's standards, that am going to think is stupid.   I guess there is some wisdom in being able to keep the age of the OS in sync with the age of the software, but in the linux realm, that really isn't the same issue as it is in other areas - right?  OTOH I don't want to do a 'yum update' on the box and not be able to get updates because the version is so <frickin'> old.  I think FC2 would be a good choice.  Although it is still old, it at least is a little bit ahead of RH9.  An additional concern - even if I were to deploy FC2, I would probably want to upgrade that too.  Is that gonna be a problem?   Can I upgrade versions of Fedora (2 to 3 to whatever) on a production box without a lot of problems?  Will yum do that cleanly and consistently without a lot of headaches? 

Whatever choice I make is going to have to last for a good while.  Does anyone have any advice for this situation?  

Thanks in advance


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