"Linux" = Ubuntu/Debian?

Team it sounds like in practice we have three classes of OS platforms we develop and deploy on:

  • Windows
  • MacOS (primarily for development, is that true?)
  • “linux”

please correct me now :slight_smile:

On the wiki we make reference to specific linux distributions e.g. Ubuntu, sometimes we reference “linux” generically. The world of linux distributions is complex, operationally we’d benefit from a bias toward specific distributions <- note how carefully I typed that.

Like if the community asked which distributions we prefer, maybe Ubuntu (for deployments with a GUI) and Debian (workhorse cloud) - they are cousins and enjoy relative operationally stability and great access to tools.

If we left the wiki editing up to me I’d start to make specific references to Ubuntu/Debian in order to be operationally precise (e.g. version numbers), maybe like here:


but I worry I’d send the message to the community that we don’t support other distributions. Your guidance is, as always, is appreciated.

@burke if you are about to type “containers” I am am with you, coming at it bottom-up

I’d be hesitant to equate “Linux” with Ubuntu / Debian. Bahmni, for example, is setup to install using RPMs and is thus pretty heavily tied to CentOS. I don’t disagree that specifying things a bit more would be useful, but IMO that would mean including the appropriate rpm / dnf commands in addition to apt-get, etc.

We should also differentiate between development and deployment. For instance, there is some development on Windows and Mac, but I’m not so certain that anyone is actually deploying OpenMRS on those platforms (Windows was a target platform for one of the earliest deployments of OpenMRS, but it’s not widely used since then). Similarly, regardless of what is used for deployment, Ubuntu seems to be more common for developers than, say Fedora.

And, yes, we should definitely at least be pushing developers to use containers for their environment (deployment and production have different considerations and the overhead of, e.g., Docker may not always be appropriate there).

OK @ibacher perfect this is exactly the perspective I lack as an enthusiastic newbie. I know nothing yet about Bahmni, I really look forward to learning more.

Packaging is something I’d like to start to emphasize more with some context in the wiki for non-java heavies e.g why are there so many javas? why is there no platform package for eclipse?

So yeah I can see how redhat distributions are important operationally too, I’ll be careful to delineate. And I am happy to contribute to config testing on CentOS.

For the 100+ OpenMRS servers at Partners In Health, we use Ubuntu – currently Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but will jump to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS sometime in the next year. We use Bahmni for endTB (CentOS) in 16 countried; Windows 10 for Mental Health EMR on laptops in Haiti (9 of these).

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awesome Ellen thank you