Beginners in web hosting services often get confused with the server OS type – whether to go for a cheaper Linux based web server, or pick a Windows OS based server in order to work on a familiar platform. Since most users have Microsoft Windows OS in their computers, they don’t really feel comfortable at the idea of having Linux as their server OS. On the other hand, Linux is an open source platform providing ability to tweak a server system to any extent the users want to with a higher difficulty level than Windows.
Here are 10 important differences between these two server platforms:
1. Computer OS and Server OS are Different
The OS currently installed on your computer and the server OS – be it Windows or Linux, is completely irrelevant to each other. These two systems doesn’t necessarily have to have the same platform.
The preference of platforms is a matter of perception. For most people, Windows hosting may be easier to handle and for some it’ll be completely opposite. In most cases, the hosting provider deals with the underneath complexity. Only advanced users need access to these advanced features.
3. ASP, .NET, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL
Depending on the website requirements, the server platform would vary. For example, if a website requires the above titled features – e.g. a website that executes some sort of .NET code or fetch data from MSSQL database then the server should be Windows based.
4. PHP, WordPress, MySQL, Perl
These are mostly scripts and codes and runs best on Linux platforms. For startup blogs, shopping carts etc. these technologies might be required and Linux would be the best platform in that case.
5. Control Panels
The choice of control panels make these two platforms stand out from each other. cPanel is world’s most popular control panel for website hosting servers and it’s available on all Linux based hosting plans. WHM (Web Host Manager) is similar to cPanel; and for Windows OS the dedicated control panel is Plesk.
6. File Naming
File structure and arrangement on these servers are case sensitive. Files like home.html and Home.html are different on Linux whereas they’re same on Windows.
7. Server Security
Both Linux and Windows are equally secure, however in terms of security features Linux may often outrun Windows based servers.
8. Licensing Freedom
Anything that would require legitimate licensing on the web servers; are free on Linux and paid on Windows. That’s how these operating systems usually work and there’s no difference on web servers, either.
9. Command Line Based Interface
Depending on the proficiency of the web hosting server user; the preference might vary. Some people feel comfortable in command line based interfaces in Linux while the others would go for a more streamlined visual UI in Windows.
Linux allows endless possibilities on a web server platform. On the other hands, on Windows servers a user can’t go beyond the bars Microsoft has set.
Not everyone has the same needs, hence the preference for web server OS might vary. Whatever be the case, both Linus and Windows servers are equally important to their respective group of users.