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I'm looking to reduce the initial costs of starting a business. As much as I like Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, I think their per-processor sale model is very expensive. Plus, if the business were to grow, new web and database servers would depend on those, increasing expenses.

What are the most popular (i.e. most widely used) free-of-charge linux distrubitions for commercial businesses?

What are the most popular (i.e. most widely used) free-of-charge SQL databases for commercial businesses?

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I thought you have to pay for MySQL licenses. Isn't that correct? – user13817 May 29 '11 at 19:04
No, you do not have to pay for MySQL licenses. It is dual licensed. – Rein Henrichs May 29 '11 at 19:13
When I go to the MySQL website, there is a "How to Buy" link. – user13817 May 29 '11 at 19:24
"Oracle makes its MySQL database server and MySQL Client Libraries available under both the GPL and a commercial license. As a result, developers who use or distribute open source applications under the GPL can use the GPL-licensed MySQL software, and OEMs, ISVs and VARs that do not want to combine or distribute the MySQL software with their own commercial software under a GPL license can purchase a commercial license." – Michelle Tilley May 29 '11 at 20:01
@Darknight Microsoft Bizspark is a trap. It's free for 2 years, I think, and then when all your systems depend on MS you pay full whack. If your expecting that it's fine, but don't go thinking it's a long-term option. – James May 29 '11 at 22:16

Common Linux Flavors: CentOS/Ubuntu/SuSE



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I think Distrowatch gives a good overview for the Linux distributions. And adds a few lines of text describing their features.

Since, as far as I know, thee are no really reliable statistics about the number of users, Google Trends may be a good overview. (For similar results you can run it with the names of free databases)

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The only thing I would add here is to make sure of the target scenario for the disto. Linux Mint, for example, is second on Distro watch at the moment, but as far as I know is not targeted at servers. So make sure the distro target is server and not desktop. – Glenn Condron May 30 '11 at 5:03

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