Differences between Windows and Linux Web Servers
Linux is absolutely free of charge and is distributed under GPL. Windows, in its turn, is distributed exclusively under a license. A separate license covers each server, which multiplies server costs. Very often web hosts include some part of the licensing fee into the cost of web hosting per month.
In order to install additional software in Linux you just have to type a corresponding command and the system will find and install the necessary program itself (if the program you are looking for is in the Linux repository). Windows has nothing compared to it.
Thanks to its architecture Linux enjoys greater immunity to all kinds of virus attacks. Windows, on the contrary, requires installation of additional anti-virus software.
Mentioned above are just the main differences of Linux and Windows. Meanwhile, your choice can be entirely different in case your project is designed to go with a specific operating system.
Choosing a Linux Distribution
Ubuntu – an operating system using the Linux Kernel. It is based on the Debian project. The main developer and sponsor of Ubuntu is Canonical Ltd.
An advantage worth mentioning is that you can find loads of information on how to set up a server using Ubuntu.
CentOS is a GNU/Linux distribution based on free source texts of a commercial distribution named Red Hat Enterprise Linux by Red Hat, Inc. and compatible with it.
Debian is a free operating system and a set of applications for your server. Debian uses the Linux Kernel but most of its utilities were developed within the GNU project.
One of the downsides is that its stable version tends to get outdated.
Gentoo is a popular Linux distribution with the powerful and flexible Portage technology which combines configuration possibilities, settings and an automatic package managing system.
Arch is a simple and flexible distribution. It is optimized for i686 and x64. Arch Linux is using the most up-to-date stable package versions and is based on the community-supported Arch User Depository (AUR).
Fedora is a Linux community-supported distribution sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. The project is used for testing new technologies which will later be introduced as Red Hat products.
The openSUSE project is developed by the community with the support of Novell, Inc.
openSUSE.org actively promotes Linux and provides free and easy access to openSUSE – the most convenient Linux version in the world.
A Linux distribution developed by the French company Mandriva. It was initially based on the Red Hat Linux distribution.
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