Choosing the right operating system for your server is the key to efficient and smooth operation. The server operating system directly affects the convenience, security, and the ability to quickly scale storage systems. In this article, we will talk about the most popular operating systems that are used to process and store data. It will be useful primarily for those who are starting to get acquainted with the features of hosting and hosting web projects.
OS for the server: the main selection criteria
Let’s clarify an important point: the OS for servers, despite the variety, belongs to one of the Linux or Windows families. If you are faced with the task of making a choice of a server operating system, we will outline the main criteria that will help you compare options and choose the best one:
- Price. Decide in advance on the budget and how much it will cost to use the operating system. Or check out the free OS.
- Reliability. Certain conclusions can be drawn based on the reputation of the manufacturer and user reviews.
- Security. The OS on the server must be protected from hacker attacks.
- Update frequency. Before choosing a system, it is advisable to find out about the regularity of new versions and additions released.
- The convenience of use. Some operating systems have an intuitive interface, while others will be difficult to understand without the help of a professional.
And finally, the choice of a server OS directly depends on the purpose of use. For example, a one-page website and a large online store need completely different options. Please note that the services that are running on the virtual server will be equally available to clients, regardless of the selected operating system. Your clients won’t know which OS you are using for your project. The only difference is in the environment in which the data is processed. It can only be seen by an IT specialist who maintains a virtual server.
Types of server operating systems
The servers are based on a particular OS. Which operating system should I choose for the server? To decide, you need to compare several popular solutions and consider their most important features.
This is probably the most practical file storage solution. But you shouldn’t compare Windows Server with most of the operating systems that are installed on personal computers. This system is universal and is used for applications, file and mail servers. However, there may be security issues when using Windows Server. The fact is that most viruses are written for Microsoft software, which potentially threatens to reduce the level of protection during administration. But note that the latest versions of the system have a higher level of resistance to malware. Also, high-quality antiviruses will come to the rescue.
FreeBSD is a fairly old but still efficient operating system for a file server. Its first version was released in 1993. It is reliable software that is protected from viruses and hacker attacks. And also FreeBSD has a well-debugged resource saving in cases when several applications are running at the same time. It also supports a wide range of hardware. One of the greatest strengths of FreeBSD is customization flexibility.
Its disadvantages include the complexity of installing some devices, lack of documentation, the need for skills in working with the command line. FreeBSD does not have a separate graphical interface. The settings are made in the appropriate configuration files. Therefore, it will be very difficult for a person who does not have special skills to cope.
This is a Linux distribution that is characterized by its versatility and can be used both for the server OS and on personal computers. Debian ensures stable and smooth operation. Therefore, many believe that it is the best operating system for the server. Could be considered that there is only one drawback – updates are released quite rarely.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Answering the question about which OS to choose for the server, let’s say a few words about Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is ideal for corporate applications and is popular. The undoubted advantage of this OS is its high level. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is available for a fee only. Updated versions are released every 3 years.
A free option with simple management that can be used if the server is not subjected to constant high loads. If your choice of server operating system is Ubuntu, we note that this is also an excellent level of security. Now it is one of the most common systems on servers, which is suitable for deploying even fairly large projects.
What operating system do you need for the server? Let’s talk more about CentOS, which runs free of charge. Its main advantages:
- fast YUM package manager;
- support for all major hosting admin panels.
The disadvantage is the rare update of the required software.
Difference between WINDOWS and LINUX
Which hosting to choose: Windows or Linux? These groups of operating systems differ from one another, which plays a fundamental role in the selection of a suitable solution.
Windows and Linux kernel properties
This is the most significant component for any OS, so it can be called decisive in the question of what is the best server to install on.
The Linux kernel is:
- A monolith that is implemented as a single file. Even if there is a need to improve the functions, you need to use modules for this.
- Interaction with programs through system calls. Therefore, the software can run unchanged on different Linux platforms.
- Has built-in drivers for increased security.
The Windows kernel has significant differences. It is characterized by the following parameters:
- A large number of fragments of dll libraries, each of which has its own functionality.
- Lack of using system calls.
- Application of special libraries that call functions from ntdll.dll.
- Drivers are managed through the hal.dll library. In this case, each driver is connected to the kernel separately.
- The system can adapt to different software.
The Windows kernel is highly adaptable. Also new versions of WinServ are perfectly adapted to work in multi-threaded mode.
Features of file systems and disks
Speaking about Linux, we note that this OS offers the following features:
- Starting work from the main directory with the subsequent connection of disks located in subdirectories.
- Sorting files by directories. This takes into account their type.
- Arrangement of storage devices in alphabetical order.
Features of file placement in Windows:
- A Linux-like classification of disks and partitions.
- Each program is located in a separate folder with settings, resources and files.
If we consider which OS to choose for a VPS based on the characteristics of file systems and disks, we note that Windows is used much less often, since the price of such servers is high due to the need to buy a license for the OS. Therefore, the best option in terms of quality and price ratio would be Ubuntu Server.
Features of storing settings
In storing settings, not only user comfort is important, but also safety performance. Linux settings are stored in standard files and apply to all users. If we talk about software settings, they are located in hidden subdirectories.
Now let’s take a look at exactly how Windows settings are stored:
- All of them are stored in the corresponding registry.
- Splitting by branches and keys is used.
- An option is available to change software settings remotely.
Both options are quite safe, but Windows has a distinct drawback – it is impossible to transfer.
Specificity of software and update management
Using Linux provides a high level of security and uninterrupted updates. As for Windows, this OS has the following characteristics:
- lack of repositories;
- the need to independently download and install software;
- self-updating software.
Conclusion: which operating system to choose for the server
To summarize: there is no definite leader. Some users are attracted by the intuitive Windows interface, while others are attracted by Linux, which is characterized by high security standards.
When deciding which operating system to choose for vps, it is advisable to take into account the scale of the project, the specifics of the site and the type of hosting. You can rent a dedicated Windows server from our company or order a virtual VPS Linux server for rent. Why is partnering with Unihost so beneficial? Let’s list the main advantages that are guaranteed to every client renting a dedicated server:
- Free administration and storage for backups.
- Availability of servers all over the world.
- Reliable DDoS protection.
- Web interface that allows you to manage the server.
- Hardware firewall.
- 24/7 customer support.
Renting a virtual server from Unihost is:
- simple and convenient control system;
- place for backup;
- pleasant discounts and fixed prices;
- reliable server protection from intruders and malware.
Do you have questions or need help? You can contact us through the chat on the website. We invite you to cooperate, which will contribute to the prosperity of your business right now!