Linux being open-source, has been in demand by various companies as the operating system of their servers. The main reason to use a Linux server is the low cost of maintenance and running the server. It is also helpful in delivering the content, apps, and number of services to the customers. Linux is open source and has a strong community that is always ready to provide other users with their help and knowledge to solve a problem.
But how is the Linux server different from the others? In this article, we will find out how Linux servers are considered the best option and how you can implement them in your workforce. So let’s begin!
Difference Between Linux Server and Windows Server
Linux and Windows are the two main web-hosting services. Linux, as we said, is an open-source software server, making it a much cheaper option than a Windows server. Windows server is a Microsoft product, and it is developed by the company to generate revenue.
That’s one of the reasons that separate two of them quite apart from their implementation, usage, running, and maintenance. With the use of a Windows server, you are getting a lot more range and support from the company than you get from the Linux servers.
On the other hand, Linux is a standard choice for startup companies. At the same time, Windows servers are preferred by those who are well established and can invest big amounts of money in their servers. On the other hand, companies that are in between these two are likely to go with the Virtual Private Server (VPS) option. Linux and Windows both come with the feature of VPS hosting, as it runs a duplicate operating system on the user end to make it easier for them to use the server space.
Linux Server Advantages
- Linux is more reliable as it rarely gets malware, cyber threats, or any form of security error.
- It is not demanding on the client’s hardware, and consumers have less power and resources to complete the work.
- The performance rates are amazing because it has low infrastructure requirements.
- The server administrator can customize the server according to the company requirements and use different tools or software to get the required work done.
- It provides seamless open source support to the server.
- You can have cooperative work without exposing the program’s core.
Windows Server Advantages
- Windows server is more beginner-friendly due to the presence of an intuitive graphical user interface, and it comes with out-of-the-box functionality.
- When you buy a Windows server license, you get 5 years of maintenance + 5 years of extended support as well.
- It comes with the support of third-party apps that work with Windows OS.
- Less admin monitoring is required and maintenance because of its robust approach and automated updates.
Linux Server Cost
Linux is a lightweight OS that demands less hardware to handle more workload; this also means Linux server has less infrastructure cost. Moreover, you need no licensing, except for Red Hat and SUSE. The money you will be investing in the Linux server goes into hiring an in-house administrator who is competent to deal with the Linux configurations and any other form of potential issues.
Windows Server Cost
Windows servers come with a higher demand for resources; thus, you have to provide them with higher infrastructure costs compared to Linux. Besides, for Windows servers, you will have to pay the licensing fee, which differs from edition to edition and from vendor to vendor.
The latest Windows server edition in 2022 starts at $1,069. The data center edition starts at $6,155. When you opt for cloud configurations, you will have to pay the annual cost. Likewise, Microsoft also provides users with Microsoft Software Insurance that you can include in the purchase plan or as an add-on for your purchase.
For efficiency, you need to choose a Linux server distribution, which is undoubtedly a much superior option to Windows as there is no additional fee required to run the operating system. On the other hand, if you have no experience handling a server, then using a Windows server is a much safer option.
Installing WordPress is easier on Linux due to the support of PHP and MySQL. You are also getting easier access to HTTP, Apache, and other tools that are used for site development.
Benefits of Using Linux Server
Given below are the five main advantages of using a Linux server:
1. Open Source
This is the giant in the room; Linux or GNU/Linux is free for everyone to use; you can see the source code which is used for the development of the Linux Kernel (the heart of Linux). You can locate the bugs present in it, explore the security vulnerabilities, or you can simply go through the code to study what the code is performing.
With Linux, you have the freedom to develop your own program and install it on the operating system because there are several interfaces that you can use to get this type of work done. You can customize the Linux operating system to your needs with all the above features. All the basic working levels can be suited to your needs, which is hard to find on any other server form.
2. Higher Reliability
Linux is based on Unix, and the main reason for developing Unix was to provide power and a stable and reliable environment that is easy to use in the first place. Many Linux servers have been running on the Internet for years without having a single failure or being restarted. The question here is, what makes Linux so stable? Well, many determinants include management of systems and the program configurations, process management, security implementation, and more.
As we said earlier, with Linux, you are free to tweak around the Kernel and customize it according to your need. The updates or changes can be implemented without rebooting the server. This is something you cannot find on Windows servers. Linux is highly secure and restricts any external resource’s influence.
A server works by accepting the request for the services it is providing to remote clients. This makes the server always vulnerable by giving the clients access to its ports. However, Linux shields use various security mechanisms to secure the files or services from attacks or other forms of abuse. There are firewalls, TCP wrappers, and Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) that help in limiting the resources a service can acquire from the server.
4. Flexibility Keeping in Mind the Future
Linux can be molded into whatever you want; you can install a GUI or use the terminal to operate your server. Thousands of tools can be installed in Linux to help you perform system startup and manage many services, add users, manage networking, install new software updates, and more.
The most powerful program which is present in every version of Linux is Shell, it is a program that creates the environment for you to run complex software programs in Linux OS, and it helps you by being the bridge between the Kernel and the user. Thus, you can use Shell to interact with Kernel and change it if desired. Besides this, Shell also comes with practical programming constructs which allow you to make decisions, execute commands one after the other, create new functions and automate daily server administration tasks.
5. Light on Resources
Linux, over the years, has built a reputation that it is incredibly lightweight, and there is no doubt whether it can work with bare minimum hardware or not. There is a saying that most Linux operating systems can work even on a toaster, and the same goes when you are trying to install the Linux server software. A Raspberry Pi can also run a Linux server, so it is incredibly easy for you to create a server using Linux. No need to stack up massive amounts of expensive hardware. As a result, small companies prefer Linux over Windows servers.
Besides, the total cost of owning and maintaining a Linux server is much lower than that of a Windows server. Unless you use a proprietary Linux distribution as your server’s OS, you will be getting zero to a minimum cost of running a Linux server.
Minimum Requirements for Setting Up Linux Server (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu is one of the common and most famous Linux operating systems. The number of machines that are running Ubuntu is millions, and that’s because of its user-friendly interface. Ubuntu is an open-source operating system, so there is no cost that you need to provide upfront for the licensing. The requirements to run an Ubuntu server are pretty modest. You can run it in a $10 cloud server model with 2GB of RAM and a single-core CPU.
The minimum requirement to run an Ubuntu-based Linux server are:
- 1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
- 20GB hard drive space
- 2 GB RAM
These are the minimum requirements, and they will work with 16.04, 18.04, 14.04, 22.04, and more. Ubuntu takes 1.5GB of total space in your server storage; if you are thinking about installing all the additional packages, then memory goes up to 2.5GB of disk space to meet the minimum requirements for installing the Ubuntu OS server. The official minimum requirement of RAM to run Ubuntu is 512 MB. But, we want to give our readers a little headspace; thus, having 2 GB of RAM is sufficient to run easy tasks or simply use it as a storage server. Lastly, any processor that has more than 300MHz of speed is capable of handling the processing of the Ubuntu server.
From Where to Download Linux Server Distributions?
Several websites offer Linux server ISO files. It’s up to you to choose which one is the best and the most accessible. Below are the most common Linux servers you can download for free and deploy on your server.
- Debian Linux
- Slackware Linux
- Gentoo Linux
- Ubuntu Linux
- Linux Mint
- Fedora Linux
- Rocky Linux
Tips for Using Linux Server
With the use of Linux servers, you can open doors to millions of opportunities. But, for these opportunities to show up, you first need to learn how to take full advantage of the Linux server. Below are a few tips that will help you in mastering the usage of Linux servers.
1. Learn Linux Commands
Linux purely runs on commands, and you will get a GUI from modern operating systems such as Debian, Ubuntu, and more. Still, when it comes to making changes to the Linux Kernel or testing out the true potential of the Linux server, you need to have an excellent grip on Linux commands. The commands are divided into two sets, the first one being the RHEL/CentOS. The second is Debian/Ubuntu. The main difference between these two is that they work with different package managers and follow different methods of storing files in certain locations. Click here to access the cheat sheet for Linux commands.
2. Learn About Common Web Server Tasks
Before implementing and running your web server, it is best to take your time and learn what you need to do with a web server and how you will do it. Practice the day-to-day tasks on your own before setting up a web server. That way, you are not risking anything and learning the concepts of managing a web server. Below are some of the tasks that you should be practicing.
- Create and delete files in server space.
- Changing the file or directory permissions and their own as well.
- Moving files from one directory to the other.
- Creation of FTP files.
- Management of firewall settings
- Generating SSL for your server, deleting, copying, and importing SSL certificates.
3. Understanding the Server Configuration
You need to find out the best server configuration for your system. The thing is, there is no way one server configuration is going to remain flawless throughout. Therefore, you need to make little changes to it here and there to keep the server running to its optimal speed. If you are unsure what the optimal configuration is, then we would like you to stick with the default configuration until you understand what each setting is used for; this is something you can only learn from the experience.
You can start the learning process by working side-by-side with an experienced admin, preferably the one who can handle high-traffic servers, not by simply copying and pasting the scripts for different client setups.
4. Find Out How to Resolve Server Issues
Linux can be cryptic sometimes, but most of the problems in Linux can be solved just by going through the server logs. If something is not working, you should first check the logs to see what problem the server is facing. Then research the error status online, and in most cases, you will find the solution. But, before you reach the server logs, you first need to understand how to enable logs and which server logs you need to check. Spend some time on online forums where people discuss their problems with the community and what solutions they were able to find to resolve the issue.
5. Get an Experienced Admin
Having an experienced admin is like having a great driver for your expensive car if you don’t know how to drive it. It is best to leave such a task to a professional. It happens a lot of times when you are new in server management that you will find yourself stuck in various places. Whether it is the installation of the new program, or server showing an error, or anything else, when this happens, it is best to have an administrator that can look at those issues and solve them for you without wasting any time.
The Linux operating system has become strategic, efficient, reliable, and secure, so it can be used in business systems to ensure that the data is never compromised. A larger percentage of servers that are running the Internet is based on Linux operating systems. So, are you planning to create your own server or use the virtual private server? Then going with a Linux server makes the whole thing more secure and fast without investing much money.
We hope this article has helped you answer all the questions regarding Linux servers. If you feel there are still unanswered questions, write them down to us in the comments section. We will provide you with satisfactory information; till then, happy learning!