Is Linux hosting better or Windows hosting?
Almost all of the Hosting providers make an offering of two Operating Systems to host the websites on – Windows & Linux; and majority of the customers, especially the new ones, don’t know which one to select. In many circles of hosting, it is a heated debate regarding which OS is better than other.
Although, as of May 2019, the market share of Linux is more than that of Windows in hosting; it does not exactly make Linux superior to Windows. These two OSes have some similarities, but there are differences because of which they are pitted against each other.
Synonymous points for both the OSes:
It is a big misconception among the website owners that if their own PC is running on Windows, then they should purchase Windows hosting. But that is not necessary, as even a Linux hosted website will work perfectly with a Windows PC of the owner, and vice versa.
Whether the website is dynamic, with apps and forms or just a static HTML one, both the OS suit equally for them. They access data management in the same way.
One noticeable difference is in the pricing. Generally, Linux hosting is cheaper than Windows hosting. It is obviously because Linux is a free OS but Windows has a licensing fee.
When it comes to security, studies have proved that Windows servers are more vulnerable as compared to Linux servers, although it depends on password strength, rack usage and its support. cPanel, which is used in Linux, has an advantage over other control panels as it automatically updates the software packages and web apps without us needing to worry about it. This doesn’t mean Linux is threat-free, just that it has much less viruses and other issues against it than Windows.
Performance wise there is not a big difference between these two. As Windows offers an all-in-one package unlike Linux which gives an extendable package, there is small but a significant difference. Linux performs faster than Windows.
Linux has more stability as compared to Windows as it is open-source in nature and is regularly under development, thus it can be adapted to any type of hosting environment.
Windows is easier to set-up than Linux and apps can be developed in the .NET framework easily in Windows.
For people outside of Development and IT, learning the management of Linux servers is more time consuming than that in Windows servers.
Windows OS :
Since Windows is owned by Microsoft, it is not open source and hence cannot be edited, changed or modified by anyone.
Files are not case sensitive.
Control Panels: Plesk.
The OS is unstable if given multiple file and web servers, databases, scheduled tasks, and separate applications. It needs to be rebooted more frequently than Linux.
Script languages and database apps supported are: ASP classic, ASP.NET, MS Access, MSSQL, SharePoint, FrontPage, Visual Basic Development, MS Exchange, etc.
Linux OS :
Many of Linux OS versions and programs are free & open source, thus the code can be customized to anyone’s liking.
Files are case sensitive.
Control Panels: cPanel, WHM, Plesk.
A majority of configuration changes can be done without a reboot.
Linux has a huge support structure for NGINX or Apache web server, and tools like PHP, Perl or Python with a MySQL database.
It is evident from the above points that there is no clear winner in the battle of the OSes although Linux has an edge over Windows. For shared hosting, the issue of choosing a server OS is redundant as already the website owners get limited options. But in higher hosting plans like VPS or Dedicated, with more control over every hosting aspect, selecting an OS becomes important. It essentially boils down to the needs of the website, your budget and some technical factors like control panel, database apps etc.