If you’ve made the choice to go with the Linux Operating System for your web hosting needs because of its reliability, flexibility, and price, there are many types of versions to consider. When it comes to Linux, there are literally hundreds of different ‘flavors’ to choose from. To help you with your decision, here’s some information about the various Linux distributions available. By the end, you should know what version of Linux is perfect for yourÂ dedicated server and plans for the web.
CentOS (Community ENTerprise Operating System) is one of the more popular general purpose Linux distributions used for web servers. While it is a general Linux distribution, it lends itself very well to the tasks of running a web site.
Pros: Because of its popularity, it is easy to find help online regarding hosting a web site on a CentOS server. Also, if you’re hiring someone to optimize your server, going with a popular one like CentOS Linux can offer you access to a larger pool of people familiar with the distribution. Another positive is the SELinux Troubleshooting Tool, which helps with getting the SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux) part of CentOS 5 working correctly.
Cons: There aren’t too many cons for using CentOS Linux as a web server. If you’re looking for an all around powerful workhorse, CentOS is for you.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS
Pros: Red Hat is a trusted name with a long history. They have a proven track record when it comes to fixing things and keeping the community informed. This level of commitment makes them a great choice for your web server OS.
Cons: It’s been said that Red Hat is a little slow in updating to the latest Linux kernels available. Depending on your uses for the server (and what software you’re running), this shouldn’t be a problem. With the basics like Apache, PHP, and MySQL, you’re going to be covered. If you’re installing other applications, though, you’ll want to make sure the Red Hat you’re using has a high enough Linux kernel version. Also, the cost may be a bit more, since this is a commercial product.
Fedora Core 10 Linux
The Fedora distribution (including Fedora Core 10) is sponsored by Red Hat but driven by the community behind it. This makes it a special type of hybrid distribution.
Pros: One of the biggest positives about Fedora Core is the community behind the project. Red Hat helps out a lot, but it really comes down to the people in the community who all come together to make this one of the strongest distributions out there.
Cons: This isn’t a distribution primarily meant for web servers. That doesn’t mean it won’t do a good job running a web server, database or scripting language, but out of the box it may need a little tweaking here and there. This might not be a negative for everyone.
Debian Linux is one of the largest non-commercial Linux distributions available, making it a favorite in the Open Source community.
Pros: Debian Linux has really great package management utilities. If you think there may be a lot of software updating on your web server, Debian Linux might be a good choice for a distribution to use.
Cons: Any former bugs to using the Debian Linux distribution, appear to have been worked out, so that it is a very good choice for a web server.
Ubuntu Linux is a commercially sponsored Debian-derived Linux distribution.
Pros: Paid Linux distributions usually come with a higher level of support.
Cons: This is a very different hybrid of free/commercial software. If you have any friends who are purists, you may be laughed at for using Ubuntu for your web hosting needs.
openSUSE Linux is a free version of Novell’s Linux distribution that has a decent sized community behind the project. It’s well suited for deployment as a web server.
Pros: The pros to openSUSE are the pros to all the other Linux distributions – speed, reliability, and cost. While this distribution is a little less common than some of the others mentioned, it’s still more than up to the task of handling your web site.
Cons: Some might see being connected to Novell is a bad thing, even though this is a free and open source version of their distribution. Or course, this would really be more of a personal preference.
Which Linux Type to Choose?
When it comes down to it, the truth is that it really depends on your personal preference (or the personal preference of the person who is going to be managing the server.) All of the Linux types we’ve talked about do a great job, whether working as a web server, a file server, a print server, a mail server, a name server, or some other task needed online.
Since 1996, Superb Internet has been consistently rated as one of the very best web hosts by all web host rating agencies, such as Web Hosting Magazine, in all areas, especially customer support and reseller services. Superb Internet often has specials onÂ dedicated servers supporting Linux, including free setup and generally 20% or more discounts off the base server monthly costs. Check the website for details.
Superb Internet provides a complete range of managed web hosting solutions, from virtual shared web hosting through to high-volume, mission-critical dedicated server solutions. SuperbHosting.net’s core focus is customer service, and continuous service improvement, with offices and 24-hour/365-day operations in McLean, VA, Tukwila, WA, and Vancouver, BC, serving customers in over 150 countries worldwide.
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