LInux, Technology

Linux or Windows? What OS to choose for your server?

Before purchasing and setting up a server, you need to consider which operating system you want to use with your server. An...

Linux or Windows?

Before purchasing and setting up a server, you need to consider which operating system you want to use with your server.

An average user probably won’t feel the difference between Linux or Windows server OS; however, businesses might have specific technical requirements that could be affected by the choice of an operating system.

The choice between Linux and Windows operating systems depends on many factors, however, location isn’t one of them: you can have a VPS server in Hong Kong or Canada, and the question of which OS is the best for you remains.

We gathered some helpful tips on how you can figure out which operating system will work for you.

Differences between Linux and Windows OS for a server

Linux is an open-source operating system commonly used in server setup. It offers a range of distributions that are designed to cover different needs of users and organizations. Linux is considered a more flexible and customizable option than Windows since one gets more control in terms of OS configuration.

Overall, as an operating system for servers, Linux can enrich a server with unique characteristics.

  • Linux OS provides more options for multitasking, including support for several users and tasks.
  • Linux server is shielded with three security layers: authorization, authentication, and encryption.
  • Linux is an open-source operating system, which means you can get it for free.
  • There is a multitude of various tools for the Linux operating system you can use for managing your server.
  • The community of Linux OS users can provide you with guidance and support on how to use it with a specific server type.

Windows OS for a server is a paid solution by Microsoft. The server version of Windows has an easy-to-use interface, which is especially convenient to users, who are new to server management. Besides, Microsoft offers a 5-year support and maintenance guarantee.

Here are some feature-related aspects to consider when choosing Windows as your server OS:

  • Windows OS already comes with graphic user interfaces (GUI).
  • Servers operating on Windows are easier to set up and configure.
  • Windows operating system comes with technical support active for the duration of the license.
  • Some versions of Windows offer a built-in firewall, encryption functionality, and virtualization software.
  • Windows OS is often associated with a more stable performance.

In short, Linux provides more control and flexibility, while Windows OS is considered more beginner-friendly and has more support from a technical standpoint.

Tips on to how pick between Linux and Windows for your server

The difference between the two operating systems might still seem somewhat vague. However, both Linux OS and Windows OS have their use cases.

Here are some tips on how to find yours.

1. Start with the hosting option you want to use

The truth is that not all hosting providers offer the choice between operating systems.

Commonly, shared hosting comes with Linux OS. With VPS Server and dedicated servers, you can find Windows options as well. It’s important to pay attention to whether the specific server type and hosting plan offer a pre-defined option of the operating system or allow the user to choose which OS they want to work with.

Keep in mind that the choice between Linux OS and Windows OS for your server is not influenced by the operating system of your computer. If you have your PC running on Windows, you can use the Linux-based server with no complications; the same goes for MacOS.

However, the choice of an operating system plays a role in your website’s functioning. This aspect is based on applications your server OS allows you to install and use for managing your website.

2. Consider what applications you want to use for server management

Before deciding on the operating system, think about what tools you want to use with your server OS. For example:

  • Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL will work with the Windows-based server only, but that’s kind of a given.
  • WordPress is easier to use on Linux-based servers; WordPress can be used on Windows, but the setup process will be more complicated.
  • Certain control panels like cPanel are built on Linux, so it would be easier to use on the Linux-based server.
  • Python and Perl programming languages would be comfortably used on Linux.
  • You can use C# language on a Windows server.

So, if your website requires certain applications, consider them first before deciding on the operating system.

3. Identify the security level you need

When it comes to security, the first factor to look at would be performance. Linux usually handles processes with fewer issues and requires less rebooting. This is attributed to the fact that Windows OS is associated with memory leaks that don’t happen as often on Linux.

However, bugs and vulnerabilities are easier to find and resolve with Windows OS because Microsoft offers extensive documentation and professional technical support; with Linux, it might be more complicated.

If you install Windows OS on your server, you can use the graphical user interface straight out of the box; with Linux, you have to set up GUI separately. Similarly, Microsoft releases new drivers quite fast and often, while drivers for Linux take some time to be released (also depending on the distribution you’re using).

To sum up,

Like with many things, the choice of the OS for your server depends on your needs and budget.

Both Linux OS and Windows OS are great options; however Linux is free, and Windows isn’t. If you don’t have extra money to purchase Windows, you can easily manage your server with Linux OS. And if you are tech-savvy and can manage to be in control of multiple processes within your operating system, Linux will probably be a natural choice for you.

In any case, whichever operating system you choose will be the best option for you.


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Written by Robin Khokhar
Robin Khokhar is an SEO specialist who mostly writes on SEO. Thus sharing tips and tricks related to SEO, WordPress, blogging, and digital marketing, and related topics.

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