10 Major Differences between Linux and Windows Hosting

Windows and Linux are used as two major operating systems for web hosting servers. They are very popular with computer users as well; but when it comes to web server hosting people generally get confused between a computer OS and a server OS and often misrelate them to each other.

Knowing the facts and differences about these two types of hosting are necessary before taking a step into web hosting, hence there are 10 differences here.

Linux and Windows Hosting

1. Server OS is Non-Relevant to PC OS

No matter what operating system is being used on your computer, that doesn’t even relate to the server’s operating system. The server is a separate unit with a different OS which is used only to serve the website’s purpose.

2. Ease of Use

Linux is slightly difficult than Microsoft Windows platform, but when it comes to web hosting servers – the hosting company would do most of the job. Present day hosting services mostly sell hosting accounts that are hosted in minimal levels and doesn’t require starting from the scratch – hence Linux or Windows platform wouldn’t matter much.

3. Microsoft Database and Scripts

If a website requires Microsoft based scripts and databases like ASP, .NET, Microsoft SQL etc. then it is required to have a Windows based server; as these programs wouldn’t really run on Linux OS.

4. Open Source Database and Scripts

The open source products are flexible with all OS; like – PHP, WordPress, MySQL, Perl etc. These could be executed on Windows and Linux both server OS. Using such database and scripts on a Linux based servers will minimize the cost.

5. Security Features

In general assumption, Linux is more secured. However, with proper integration of security software and patches, a Windows server could be very safe as well. Security setup on Windows servers are usually costlier.

6. Copyright and Licensing

Linux is an open source platform that encourages people to be creative and develop. Open source add-ons and plugins that are available for Linux are usually open-license based while it’s the exact opposite on Windows platform.

7. Visual UI vs. Command Line based UI

If the webmaster wants to gain control over the website from in-depth of the hosting, they might need to use the command line based UI in Linux. On Windows UI, all processes could be done via an easy-to-use visual UI; but Linux offers more functionality.

8. Freedom on Web Hosting

Linux is less constrained to hard and fast rules. Windows makes users abide by the rules they have set, hence there’s less room to grow beyond boundaries.

9. File Management on Storage

On Linux based web servers, file names are case sensitive. Index.html and index.html are usually two different files; while they are the same on a Windows server. The file path direction on either of these platforms will be different while hosting a website.

10. Control Panel

All the open source control panels are mostly available for Linux based servers, for free. E.g. cPanel, WHM etc. On the other hand, Windows based control panels are basically easy to use but they require money, example – Plesk.


Both server OS could do most web hosting related tasks – it’s all about preference and expenditure; there’s no such thing as a superior server OS among these two.

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