Linux server vs Microsoft Server

If you had a choice and could get either free?

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7 Replies - 2630 Views - Last Post: 12 July 2010 - 09:14 AM

#1 DrzNight  Icon User is offline

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Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:22 AM

I want to start learning a thing or two about networks and hosting and I was wondering which two of these operating systems I should run on my old computer (IP4 cpu 2.8ghz , 512mb ram, 500 gig drive) so that I could get the best results for my purposes. I plan on hosting a website off of the machine and perhaps in the future taking it offline and settup a home network for which all of my computers at home will have access to. If someone also could point me to some start up tutorials for setting up servers via their recommended OS would be great. :helpsmilie:

Sidenote: I have never used any flavor of linux before so there will be a learning curve if i go that route but I have free time this summer so I'd be more than willing to learn if need be.

This post has been edited by DrzNight: 11 July 2010 - 11:24 AM


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#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:28 AM

I use FreeBSD for servers. The ports system allows for easy management/upgrades, & I much prefer the psfw Firewall to iptables & whatever Windows has.

If I had to choose between Linux or Windows, I've installed Linux CentOS for customers. The answer will always be depended upon someone's background, so I don't know that you'll find the answer your looking for.

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#3 DrzNight  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:38 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 11 July 2010 - 10:28 AM, said:

I use FreeBSD for servers. The ports system allows for easy management/upgrades, & I much prefer the psfw Firewall to iptables & whatever Windows has.

If I had to choose between Linux or Windows, I've installed Linux CentOS for customers. The answer will always be depended upon someone's background, so I don't know that you'll find the answer your looking for.

hmm I didn't even think of that as an option and I will surely check it out. Like i said I have basically all summer with no school and an aptitude to learn some web hosting/networking/ programming skills so all opinions are welcomed and I'm not looking for a definitive answer.
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#4 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:46 AM

A lot of it depends on what kind of site you're making. If it's PHP then it makes sense to go with a *nix flavor, however if you're wanting to use something like ASP.NET then you're going to have to use Windows
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#5 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 11 July 2010 - 02:11 PM

It depends on if you have to do proprietary windows type stuff, particularly a Active Directory, being a member of a windows Domain, Windows style shares, IIS or ASP.NET. In which case, you're pretty much stuck with windows. There are some things, like Samba, that can fake some windows services, but it's never quite right.

If you want to do standard, non proprietary, services. FTP, DNS, Apache, PHP, Python, Perl, MySql, etc, then your options are open. In this case, a Linux or *BSD server is a better choice due to both architecture and less overhead.

You can remotely administer a Linux box from just a command line with SSH. A windows box pretty much requires a remote desktop / terminal services setup to get anything done.

For work project, I'm in a windows shop and it's windows. However, they're buying the software and maintaining the hardware. For personal projects and things that are exposed to the internet, I prefer a nice Linux box. I'd second Cent OS for this; a rock solid clone of Red Hat. Though an Ubuntu server is dead easy to install and has a lot more internet support.
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#6 DrzNight  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:22 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 11 July 2010 - 01:11 PM, said:

It depends on if you have to do proprietary windows type stuff, particularly a Active Directory, being a member of a windows Domain, Windows style shares, IIS or ASP.NET. In which case, you're pretty much stuck with windows. There are some things, like Samba, that can fake some windows services, but it's never quite right.

If you want to do standard, non proprietary, services. FTP, DNS, Apache, PHP, Python, Perl, MySql, etc, then your options are open. In this case, a Linux or *BSD server is a better choice due to both architecture and less overhead.

You can remotely administer a Linux box from just a command line with SSH. A windows box pretty much requires a remote desktop / terminal services setup to get anything done.

For work project, I'm in a windows shop and it's windows. However, they're buying the software and maintaining the hardware. For personal projects and things that are exposed to the internet, I prefer a nice Linux box. I'd second Cent OS for this; a rock solid clone of Red Hat. Though an Ubuntu server is dead easy to install and has a lot more internet support.


Can you elaborate on that part? whats wrong with using remote desktop or terminal?

I appreciate the input from all but I don't understand why linux would be > ms Server. It seems like ms Server can do everything Linux can do + more (its proprietary services)... I know this assumption is wrong but can someone tell me why?
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#7 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:31 AM

Just personal preference, but I prefer to log onto a Linux (or FreeBSD) server via ssh, & can start issuing mysql commands in a minute or two. Anytime I've had to work with MSSQL, it's more realistic around 10 minutes before the Graphical remote desktop & the GUI for Enterprise manager can finish loading & I'm ready to start typing sql statements.
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#8 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Linux server vs Microsoft Server

Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:14 AM

View PostDrzNight, on 12 July 2010 - 07:22 AM, said:

View Postbaavgai, on 11 July 2010 - 01:11 PM, said:

You can remotely administer a Linux box from just a command line with SSH. A windows box pretty much requires a remote desktop / terminal services setup to get anything done.


Can you elaborate on that part? whats wrong with using remote desktop or terminal?

I appreciate the input from all but I don't understand why linux would be > ms Server. It seems like ms Server can do everything Linux can do + more (its proprietary services)... I know this assumption is wrong but can someone tell me why?


MS Server does do more and that's part of the problem. A web server, file server, DNS server, PDC, etc, hardly needs a windows desktop running, does it? From another windows machine, you can run manager, configure all the services, look at all the shares, everything you need. But, still, that desktop is running, waiting for you. An MS server will automatically look at all packets flying by and, if you aren't careful, answer some you may not want it to. A windows server in a DMZ needs to be hardened considerably to be deemed safe. Most places have to proxy an exposed windows box through a firewall to satisfy their security policy.

To remotely administer a windows server effectively, you need remote desktop. This is a brutal amount of overhead, maintaining a graphic screen, mouse support, usually through an encrypted tunnel. Microsoft has recognized this in the past and tried to offer headless options, but the result was mostly just crippled windows.

To remotely administer a Linux box effectively, you only need a command line. The traffic amounts to key strokes. You can move those packets through a tunnel, wrapped in a tunnel, wrapped in a VPN session and still have not latency issues. This simply cannot be done with a windows remote desktop session.

Windows a chatty box no matter what you do. It answers any and all requests by default. It will also broadcast all kinds of crap you don't need a in dedicated server. Worse, for things like MSSQL or Exchange, it opens a new port for each request. Not only does this make it near impossible to firewall, it allows a DDoS to be that much more effective.
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