Dedicated Servers: Windows vs. Linux

We are often asked which hosting platform one should choose, Linux or Windows. Below, we've listed the major differences between the two that you should consider in making your final decision. In the process, we have also tried to dispel any common misconceptions regarding these platforms.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to run Linux on your own computer in order for you to host your site on Linux platform. That is not true. Which operating system you run on your computer is irrelevant in making your decision. This means that if you are running Windows on your computer, you can still choose Linux.

Ease of Use
Integrated with both Solutions
Free / Open Source Software

Ease of Use

Over the years, many resources have been poured into both Linux and Windows platforms to make hosting as easy as possible. Today, there are no differences in terms of ease of use between these platforms. If you are an advanced user who prefers to work in shell environment, then Linux is your choice. However, if you are a beginner, you will find both platforms user friendly.


The industry consensus is that Linux is more reliable. However, HomepageUniverse has made sure that the reliability of the Windows platform closely matches that of Linux's. What this means is that you can make your decision based on the differences in features rather than on reliability.


There is no difference in terms of speed between the two platforms.


This is where two platforms differ the most. There isn't much that can be achieved in one platform that can't be on the other one. The main difference is how the end is achieved. For example, if you need a database driven Web site, you can choose either PHP/MySQL combination under Linux or ASP/MS SQL combination under Windows. The trend is for solutions to be supported in both platforms. For example, Microsoft FrontPage, one of the most popular Web site editors out there, is supported on both Linux and Windows. Please see below for the list of supported features.


Here Linux holds an edge due to the fact that the most of the software licenses are free and that it's easier to maintain Linux servers than Windows servers for the same level of reliability and performance. Traditionally, Windows hosting has always been more expensive, however, HomepageUniverse is breaking down those barriers and all our shared hosting packages are offerred on both Linux and Windows without any price differences. Unless you specifically plan to use Windows platform specific features (see below), it probably makes sense to choose the Linux platform.

Supported Features

Features Linux Windows
MS FrontPage 2000,2002 x x
Flash x x
Shockwave x x
RealAudio / Video x x
CGI-Script x x
Perl x x
PHP x x
SSH x  
Remote Desktop   x
MySQL x x
Miva x x
ASP x x
MS Access   x
MS SQL   x
Visual Basic Scripts   x
Windows Media   x