Most hosting companies provide the option to choose between Linux and Windows as the operating system for their server. Although Windows is the most popular OS for personal use, Linux is the clear winner when it comes to server OS. Linux is an open-source platform where different organisations contribute to developing different software. Linux VPS Hosting also comes in many distros which can be opted depending on your needs.
What is Linux Distro?
A Linux distribution or distro can be considered a Linux kernel-based operating system. As pointed out earlier, different organisations compile codes for different parts of the Linux platform. One can develop their own platform using such codes. However, not only would that be time-consuming but also require an in-depth knowledge of coding. Linux distros provide an alternative. It provides an operating system by compiling the codes from different sources.
Types of Linux Distros
There are many types of distros one can make use of. There is no single best distro, but it mainly comes down to the users and their needs.
- Ubuntu: Being the most popular Linux distro, many believe it to be synonymous to Linux. If you are new to Linux, Ubuntu would seem to be the only choice available. Not only is it supported by large organisations but is also compatible with most-used public clouds. It has the potential to work on different protocols and devices and is one of the most stable environments for servers. It is suitable for gaming and multimedia server. It can support architectures like X86, S390X and ARMhf.
- Fedora: Based on Linux distro Red Hat, it is a special implementation of its commercial counterpart. It comes in-built with FreeIPA, which allows its users to perform auditing and authentication. It also supports many architectures like Ubuntu and has various database services like PostgreSQL. It can work in various environments such as KDE and Gnome. The dashboard of Fedora is outstanding and is more suitable for big enterprises.
- Debian: First launched in 1993, and considered the king of Linux distributions by many, has stood the test of time. The stability of servers running on Debian Is unmatched and comes with a bug tracking system. It provides over 5100 packages and is mostly used by business and educational institutions. Many other distros have been built based on Debian including the Ubuntu. It can be installed easily on the primary server.
- CentOS: it has captured around 30% of the market among Linux users and like Fedora is based on Red Hat distro of Linux. There is also a minimal version of the distro available that avoids unnecessary packages. The developers have also promised to roll out updates till 2020. It has an additional RPM package.
- OpenSuse: Introduced first in 1993, comes in two variants, namely Leap and Tumbleweed. The Leap variant is known for its stability and suitable for both home and web server. It provides Linux Kernel and SAMBA which are up-to-date packages. It is considered to be the best server for power users and has a user-friendly desktop environment.
As pointed out previously, there is no single clear winner when it comes to choosing a Linux distro for your server. It depends on your requirement and needs. It is very important to understand the basic features of each of them before taking the plunge on one.
Opting for a Linux VPS ensures that you get a cost-effective solution with root access, integrated cPanel, low consumption of resources, etc. Every Linux Distro comes with SSH Access which minimise the load on the hosting infrastructure and significantly improve performance.
Out of all the mentioned Linux DIstros, you may go for Ubuntu if you need to set up a multimedia or gaming server and need a device-agnostic setup. Fedora can be the distro of choice for big enterprises that need audit support. Educational institutions and businesses that need time-tested stability with bug-tracking support can go for Debian. For a lightweight distro, opt for CentOS, while you may go for OpenSuse for a power-intensive use.