Most web hosting companies use either one of two operating systems on their servers. Those two are Windows and Linux. What is the difference between the two and how do they effect your web hosting?
Linux is one of the most prevalent operating systems for web hosting, because it is inexpensive and fairly easy to install. Windows is the other choice because they have world class support. However there are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences in how the two operate.
Since Linux-based hosting is more popular, it has more of the features web designers expect. So unless you have websites which need specific Windows applications, Linux is the preferred choice.
Windows Specific Applications
Windows applications which require a Windows server:
- ASP Classic
- MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
- MS Access (Microsoft Access)
- Visual Basic Development
- Remote Desktop (dedicated server only)
Windows Dedicated Servers can support additional Windows-specific applications. For some applications, you may need to purchase a license and install the software on your Windows dedicated server.
- Microsoft Exchange (requires license & Installation)
- Microsoft SharePoint (requires license & Installation)
Linux Specific Applications
Applications that require a Linux-based server.
- Scripts or applications that require specific Apache modules
Windows servers and Linux servers use different control panels.
- cPanel is available on all Linux-based hosting plans, such as Linux Shared, Reseller, VPS and Linux Dedicated Servers.
- WHM (Web Host Manager) is available on Linux Reseller, VPS and Dedicated Servers.
- Plesk is available on Windows Shared and Dedicated Servers.
Another difference between Linux and Windows servers is that Linux files are case sensitive while Windows files are not.
- On a Linux server, home.html and Home.html are different names.
- On a Windows server, home.html, Home.html and HOME.HTML are all the same name.
Although many people consider Linux to be more secure than Windows, both operating systems are equally secure. Security really depends more upon the server setup and the administrators running the server. All of HostGator’s managed servers are maintained with the latest security and performance patches and configured for optimal security.