On the Internet there is a tremoundous amount of argument over which operating system
is the best for web hosting. There are anti-windows haters, there are FreeBSD fanatics
and more. But which is the best? The truth is it depends on what you are doing.
The servers which run the web sites and the server software all run on a computer program
known as the operating system. If you are running a personal computer chances are that
you are running Windows ME, XP, NT or some other similiar computer program. That is
the operating system of your computer. With web hosting servers they also need a operating
system and there are essentially three different competing versions.
The first version is Windows. Microsoft makes an operating system especially for servers.
This operating systems allows true integration with Microsoft's products and also allows
web sites to run Active Server Pages (basically computer scripts for dynamic web site
content). Microsoft's server also allows integration with its SQL database, one of the
more powerful databases. The downside of Microsoft's server software is that it costs
several thousands of dollars for each server.
The second version is Linux. Linux is actually a common name for a variety of operating
systems. Linux was, and is, developed by a community of individuals which come together
to commonly write the main part of Linux. After this main part is developed, and continually
refined, additional parts are added to the program to customize it for whatever purposes
the end user wants. A variety of companies market Linux and you might have heard of a
few: Red Hat, Debian, Slackware, etc. Linux is good in that it is compatible with the
popular programming language PHP. It is also favored by some web hosters in that in
general it has a good security record and tends on average to be a stable operating
system. Linux software is free.
The third version is Unix-based operating systems. The last version mentioned here is
very close in comparision to the Linux versions. In fact there are probably more similiaries
than differences. The main difference is the history of how the two versions came into
being. Linux is an offshoot of the Unix operating system, where the Unix-based operating
systems are refinements of Unix itself. Linux basically is a cousin to Unix-based operating
systems. The main Unix-based operating systems are FreeBSD and OpenBSD. The selling
point of these operating system is that they tend to be very stable once installed.
The downpoint is that they are very technical to install. OpenBSD also has the reputation
of very secure in that in the last six years it had only one security hole in the software
itself. But OpenBSD does not allow everything; that it you have to sacrafice some flexibility
for security. These operating systems are free as well.
So which is the best? Well it depends on what you need. If you want the tightest security
you can get then OpenBSD is probably for you. But it is very technical to install and
you will not have a lot of frills. How about compatibility with all of Microsoft's products?
Well then Windows is the best for you, but be prepared in that it will cost a lot--the
other operating systems here all are free. How about compatibity with PHP? Well then
look at Linux or FreeBSD. You see it is not so much as which operating system is the
best, but rather which operating system is best for what you need to do.
Article courtesy www.e3servers.com.