Linux vs. Windows Server: The Ultimate Comparison

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March 26, 2022

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Choosing a server for your use that fits your utility and level up your efficiency is not easy. It is an important factor while working in an Operating System. Settling on an Operating system is a confusion that developers and tech users face. This is because every user, business, firm, and enterprise have different goals to be taken care of. To make a correct choice between Linux and Windows servers, read this article till the end. This article has edged out the ultimate differences that you should know before settling for any type of server.

Linux Server

Based on the Linux Operating system, the Linux server is open-source software built around the Linux Kernel. Linus Torvalds developed this Linux server in 1991. The main function of Linux is to manage and allocate software resources, and their artifacts. Till the late 1990s, Linux was not used in web servers of big business enterprises. However, at present, this is used by major vendors like IBM and Oracle.

Pros

  • The greatest feature of Linux is its portability- this means the code can be transferred from one system architecture to the other with high compatibility.
  • It supports multitasking which makes it more versatile and flexible.
  • The security system of Linux is commendable making it very less prone to cyber-attacks.
  • Along with being open-sourced and thus freely available, it also provides community support for the maintenance and implementation of new versions.

Cons

  • It is not as user-friendly as Windows Server.
  • It is not advisable to use Linux for any gaming or entertainment sector. It is far less compatible in comparison to Windows.
  • Linux cannot provide technical support at par with Windows.
  • It becomes very clumsy to create drives and manage storage and clouds with Linux.

Pricing

Linux does not require a high infrastructure cost due to its lightweight operating system that doesn’t demand much hardware resources. Linux is open-source, freely available software. There are licensing costs involved along with the cost of buying the hosting package. A cost is involved in maintaining and installing to deal with Linux configuration and other issues.

Related: 10 Crucial Linux Terms That You Need To Know

Windows Server

Windows is a commercial server developed by Microsoft to build a user-friendly, beginner-friendly, reliable GUI-based operating system. Windows is a brand name encircling Microsoft Operating System.

Pros

  • Windows is the most beginner-friendly Operating system with an attractive user interface.
  • It easily supports third-party applications and is compatible with all Microsoft applications.
  • The licensing gives guaranteed maintenance of five years and extended maintenance support of five years.
  • Due to its automated updates, it requires less monitoring and maintenance as compared to any other operating system.

Cons

  • High licensing fees of Windows OS make it the least cost-effective.
  • The security of Windows is not as strong as Linux. Thus, a strong third-party antivirus is required to protect the OS from viruses, malware, and other cyber-attacks.
  • The GUI of Windows makes it more resource-intensive.

Pricing

Due to the high resource requirement and allocation, the windows server is linked to higher infrastructure costs. Along with that, a licensing fee is included, varying from vendor to vendor, edition to edition.

Related: 5 Reasons why You Should Upgrade To Windows Server 2012

Tabular comparison of Linux and Windows Server

A tabular comparison is set below to understand the basic difference between Linux and Windows.

 LinuxWindows
DefinitionLinux is open-source software built around the Linux kernel.Windows is a product of Microsoft and is a brand for a group of server operating systems.
ArchitectureLinux server is considered a combination in a form. It is called Linux distribution and it can be used for desktop and serverWindows server is a set of operating systems, developed by Microsoft
Cost DifferenceThe cost is lower as compared to a Windows server but there are license costs involved when you opt for a cPanel control panel.A huge licensing fee is included during the installation of this operating system. In this case, the end-user must purchase the licenses for use
User ExperienceIt is based on the command line of operation. So it requires an experienced Linux administrator to work with.It is based on Graphical User Interface. This makes Windows more interesting and user-friendly than Linux. Even, a beginner with less tech knowledge can use it easily.
SecurityLinux is protected from malware and cyber-attacks. Since users are not given access to the core system settings, any violation of security is quickly detected and resolvedBeing more user-interactive, Windows is more prone to viruses, malware, and cyber-attacks.
SupportAll the commonly asked questions are answered by the community.Community support for long-term with documentation. However, they are costly as compared to Linux.
Database supportMySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLiteMicrosoft Access, Microsoft SQL, SharePoint
Script supportPerl, PHP, Python, and other Unix languagesASP, ASP.NET

Which one to choose: Linux vs. Windows

While choosing between a server operating system, consider the criteria like:

Your Utility: This is the first thing you should consider while choosing a server operating system. Since you know that Linux operates on the command line, it supports MySQL and PHP. Therefore, installing WordPress on a Linux server would be a wise choice as you can get easy access to Apache, HTTP, NodeJS environments, Java Scripts, Perl, Python, and other site creation tools.

Cost: When it comes to any service, the cost is always one of the factors which affect our choice. From a cost perspective, Linux is no doubt the best option since it is open-source software that doesn’t incur a heavy licensing fee. You just need to pay for the installation and maintenance.

User Experience: It entirely depends upon who is going to operate and work on the system. By now, you know that Linux server operating system requires an admin who would have prompt skill in command lines. If you are not a veteran in managing and allocating the resources through the command line, it is better to pay for the licensing fee of Windows. Windows can be used even by an administrator who is using it for the first time.

Conclusion

Microsoft Windows and Linux are growing their market share in the use of server operating systems. According to Statistics of Statista 2019, the Windows Operating system was used by a large percentage of 72.2% of servers worldwide while Linux accounted for 13.6% of the market share. Though Windows significantly captures more market share, Linux is gaining popularity over the years due to its scalability, portability, security, and flexibility. Though it cannot compete with Windows, Linux has its fan base with its utility. If you need a server that is secure, stable, cost-efficient, and allows customization, choose a Linux server. On the contrary, windows servers are more user-friendly and easier to manage.

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