I decided to learn more about database and system/server administration. From most posts and guides everyone recommends some sort of Unix-based OS for oracle database. Since oracle supports Solaris and Linux my question would be how do you chose between two of them? and how do you chose between any other unix/linux based OS. (purpose of this test server I am making is purely for study)
You can get some ideas of the differences between Solaris and Linux that might help
People with Linux experience prefer Linux and people with Solaris experience prefer Solaris.
Both run the database well. When running a database in an enterprise environment, Solaris has
excellent scalability, diagnostics with dtrace, and ZFS which is easy to configure and manage.
If you want to be a sys admin and learn the Oracle database, then learn Solaris as it is superior to Linux.
If you just want to learn the Oracle database, choose Linux as it is simpler to manage (but less robust) than Solaris.
I heard mostly from DBAs and System admins that for critical systems they use IBM AIX or Oracle Solaris, but for simpler stuff Oracle or any other version of Linux. Why is that? What is the big difference between those two systems? Shouldn't all Unix/Linux systems be the same or very similiar at least?
Yes, both releases have similar basic features so you need to consider which features are above
and beyond the basics and if they are important to you.
I'm familiar with top companies that are running Solaris in their enterprise, but many run Linux
and Windows too. In the enterprise, features like ZFS, zones, LDOMs, or dtrace are important for
scalability and diagnostics.
Robert Milkowski from Morgan Stanley talks about why he likes Solaris 11 in their environment:
See other customer impressions in the video section, here:
If I were an admin in a small shop or a big shop, I would want to use ZFS, mostly because its
easy to setup and administer and in a big shop, I would want to diagnose problems with something
Listen to the customer feedback and make a list of pros and cons for your environment.
The best way really is to install it yourself and play around.