What OS to Choose For Your Server

Tech Qiah

Operating system is a fundamental condition for deploying your digital projects on your server. 

What OS to Choose For Your Server

What you choose, a cheap Ubuntu VPS or an expensive Windows VPS, generally depends on what kind of projects you are going to develop and what operating system your and your developers are used to working with. In today’s article we are going to look at some basics of choosing an operating system for your server.

Why is it so important to pick the right operating system for your server?

For any modern computing device, the operating system is the foundation for all subsequent applications that will be installed and run on that computing device. Since a server is a business critical computing device, selecting the right operating system is highly important. Nevertheless, there can’t also be a fully wrong choice of an operating system, as any OS has its own specificity, reason to use it or to use something else. It’s generally more critical to consider who is going to use the operating system and which are the general goals of the server.

Linux OS and its distributions 

While in the case of desktop PCs, Windows is one of the most widely OS used, Linux is most widely used operating system for servers. This is provided by a couple of valid reasons:

Cost: While Windows is a corporate and paid operating system, most Linux distributions are fully free and open sources. This means that with Linux on your VPS, you pay only for hosting and you don’t have to consider extra charges for the operating system. On the one hand, for large corporations some extra dollars won’t make a big deal, the absence of such expenditures makes hosting a websites much more affordable for smaller and more independent projects.

Developer oriented: One of the main reasons for the prevalence of Windows for desktop PCs is that it has a pretty simple interface that everybody knows. When it comes to developing stuff, priorities change. Linux offers a lot of benefits that are highly praised by developers. When working with the command line, Linux is more transparent and intuitive and creating applications with it is often an easier task. This is in many ways due to its open-source nature, so there is more clear communication between those who develop the system and those who eventually use it as well as the possibility of active community participation for everyone.

Stability: Due to the reason expressed above, Linux is a highly stable operating system with apps on it less likely to reveal bugs and errors.

Configurability and customizability: Due to its open source nature, Linux can be fine-tuned for an extremely broad range of use scenarios, can be scaled up or down, with some features added or removed. Professional developers can even create their own custom builds of Linux that can be ideal for the projects they want to create.

Variety of distributions: Linux is not a single operating system under the name “Linux”. Linux is in fact a whole family of operating systems, with each single operating system presented in the form of so-called distributions of just distros. Every distribution has its own developers that have their approach to developing and supporting the distro, its cycle of development and more. Every distribution has its own community of users and enthusiasts that provide a great deal of support in different forms. Finally, every distribution has its own unique features that make them suitable for this or that task. Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian are just a few of widely used Linux distributions.

Light-weight: With Linux you don’t have to give up additional resources for the functionality you don’t need. For example, in server environments Linux distributions are usually installed without the graphic interface, since resources are precious and everything can be done with the command line, especially by experienced users.

Overall, Linux is a family of, with just a few exceptions, free and open-source operating systems, that are generally considered highly stable and flexible and are highly often the preferred choice of developers. Also, Linux provides a great deal of possible configurations, which is especially due to a huge number of Linux distributions. All this makes Linux a versatile, reliable and affordable option for the majority of possible projects.

Windows Server

Windows Desktop has also its counterpart for server use which is known as Windows Server. Like Windows Desktop, you have to pay to buy and install it on your server. Also, there are many points where Windows is generally behind Linux. It’s more clumsy, it is harder to work with when it comes to development, it is more resource intensive, it’s again not free, and it’s not open source, so it cannot offer nearly as much customizability as Linux does. Nevertheless, Windows is still frequently used and there are many use scenarios for it.

Microsoft ecosystem: This is in the first place provided by Windows’ native integration into Microsoft Windows ecosystem, so it will work well with such products as Exchange Server, SharePoint, and SQL Server.

Active Directory:  Active Directory is a robust identity management and authentication solution offered by Windows Server as well.

GUI: Some users may find Windows graphic user interface an easier way into starting to work with a server.

Management tools: In addition to that, Windows offers numerous handy management tools such as Server Manager, PowerShell, and Remote Desktop Services.

Windows exclusive applications: There are also numerous applications that are designed to work with Windows, particularly .NET Framework applications.

Hybrid Cloud Capabilities: Windows has also native integration with Microsoft Azure cloud solutions.

Overall, as you can see, Windows is far not that bad as it might seem and has indeed many cases where it can easily be the preferred operating system. Generally, Windows is a more suitable option when we talk about enterprise-grade projects, where its integration with the Microsoft ecosystem and networking management tools can be quite helpful.


Operating systems are a crucial choice for starting a project on the web. Linux with its numerous distributions is a favorite choice of many users and developers and this choice is pretty much justified. Nevertheless, Windows Server has its niche and a range of usage scenarios where it can make pretty much sense as well. We hope that this brief article has clarified for you the general specificity of selecting an operating system for your server, so good luck!


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