You have built your web application using Django or any other framework.
It is time to deploy it.
What does a server do?
Well, it hosts your web application files on a cloud instance with an OS, for example, Ubuntu, so that the files and folders reach millions of people worldwide.
Thus, choosing the best operating system that will handle requests made to your application while maintaining server stability, performance, and reliability is critical.
Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu provide stability, reliability, security, speed, and optimization for your web application, making your web application fast while handling an exponential number of requests.
Why is Linux preferred for web hosting?
There are a ton of reasons to choose Linux to manage hardware resources for your web application. All these reasons boil down to:
- >99% guaranteed uptime
- Less downtime
Which Linux distribution (distro) is best for web hosting
I don’t know why I love Kali Linux, but today seems like I will not have to mention it in this article.
Today, we talk about Ubuntu operating system.
Ubuntu OS is named after the Nguni philosophy of Ubuntu (humanity to others).
By the way, In Africa, Ubuntu means “A person is a person through other people”. “We’re all connected, a community.”
What a thing!
Away from Africa, Ubuntu is one of the best Linux distros you could ever use for your web applications.
Not to say that you can’t use it on a desktop machine.
It is one of the best beginner-friendly Linux operating systems on desktops and servers.
It serves the philosophy:
Creating an easy-to-use Linux … that serves everybody around the world.Canonical Ltd.
Using Ubuntu as the operating system that allocates and manages resources for your web application could be the best decision you could ever make.
The OS comes with all the advantages Linux offers – performance, reliability, security, and flexibility.
Ubuntu has been one of the most widely used web server operating systems.
Why is this?
Well, Ubuntu, through vigorous tests, has promised to be one of the most secure and stable operating systems.
Ubuntu kernel, through the support that comes from the open-source community, implements enhanced file access, filesystem organization, and user privileges.
Generally, computer vulnerabilities such as viruses and worms exploit file access and permissions by automatically altering access privileges and replicating themselves throughout the file systems.
In the case of Linux filesystem organization and access, viruses do not stand a chance because of the enhanced file access and permission granting.
That’s why Ubuntu offers the best security for your web application.
Another thing that Ubuntu outperforms other server operating systems is its stability.
Ubuntu has been tested to be the most stable OS as it can scale in terms of handling a large number of requests without showing a significant decrease in the level of performance.
Here are the 10+ reasons why you should choose Ubuntu for web hosting
Reason #1. Ubuntu is Easy to use
Just open the Terminal and start typing!
Though, you shouldn’t forget to use SSH for a secure connection to your Linux instance.
It is as easy as that, and it’s fun.
I know you may be asking: Who is this dude enjoying seeing a bunch of white gibberish text scrolling on a dark background?
After setting up a Linux instance for your web application, you just need to open a secure Terminal connection with SSH, set up a virtual environment, install dependencies, connect your web application to a web server, and you are good to go.
Setting up these steps requires only two utilities or applications, as many of you may call them: A Terminal and a Text editor (mostly nano).
However, you should be familiar with basic Linux commands that involve opening files, creating files and folders, and navigating the Linux file system.
This link should take you to an article with all the details about the basic Linux commands.
If you are good with using the Linux Terminal and familiar with most of the Linux commands, setting up a web application should take a few minutes.
The first few setups would take some time, but it should be easy when you get accustomed to the process.
Reason #2. Ubuntu is Fast
What comes into your mind when you hear the words “blazingly fast” uttered by someone? … (curiously waiting) a cheeeetah? Oh noo!
A LINUX machine! Huh
(Curiously waiting for your aha! Moment, but then you say, hmmm! I didn’t know that. Jamani (dammit in Swahili), reader!)
Linux systems have been proven to be one of the blazingly fast operating systems.
Linux operating systems, especially Ubuntu, outperform other operating systems regarding response time and speed.
What does that mean for your web application? Speed! which equals less load time … and probably more traffic that leads to more conversion rates for your website.
The possibilities couldn’t fit in one line sentence.
Reason #3. Ubuntu comes with a Minified and optimized kernel
Linux owes its speed to its minified kernel, which requires less storage and memory resources.
Linux OS even fits handheld devices such as wearable watches with limited storage capacities.
The Galaxy Watch uses the Tizen operating system, a Linux-based mobile operating system.
Tizen fits on 8GB of internal storage while using only 1 GB of RAM.
Moreover, the Linux kernel reduces bloatware applications by installing essential applications, utilities, drivers, and services required by a web application.
Less bloatware means that your Linux will have a faster response time, minimal background services, and require minimal resources such as memory and CPU usage.
Reason #4. Ubuntu requires minimum resources to run
You would think that the faster and better an operating system performs, the more resources it would need.
The story is totally different regarding Linux operating systems – Linux OS requires less memory, storage, and CPU utilization to perform at its optimal speed.
Reason #5. On Ubuntu, it is easy to set up popular web servers: NGINX, Apache HTTP, Apache Tomcat, NodeJS
Besides, be easy to set them up.
Well, that is what Ubuntu offers.
Ubuntu supports popular web servers offering your web application the best web server speed and performance services.
For example, Apache has been tested to be one of the most reliable and fast-performing web servers.
On top of that, setting an NGINX or Apache web server on a Linux machine is as easy as opening the Terminal and typing:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt install nginx|apache2
Reason #6. You can easily install and connect to popular database systems when using Ubuntu
What other juicy services does Ubuntu have to offer?
The mighty relational database databases, i.e., PostgreSQL, SQLite, MariaDB, and MySQL, are excellent free Linux relational databases.
Not forgetting even No-SQL databases such as MongoDB.
Most of these database systems (PostgreSQL, MySQL) are open-source and free.
You receive a vast number of features and capabilities at no cost.
These features owe the open-source community that continues to improve these relational databases daily.
Once you become a bad[beeep] in one of these database systems, be sure to contribute to their open-source projects.
Reason #7. Ubuntu has always been optimized for stability
Everything boils down to stability.
What good of a server would it be if it outperforms but reaches a point where it crashes down.
Well, not for Ubuntu. As a Linux distro, Ubuntu is one the most stable operating system.
Ubuntu can handle a large volume of users and simultaneously process requests without compromising its performance and reliability.
Reason #8. Ubuntu requires few necessary reboots
My Laptop with Kali Linux installed has an uptime of over two weeks. I mean, I have never switched the machine off for over two weeks.
When I am bored watching some Netflix documentaries, I walk out and decide to watch the birds myself (On a much better resolution.
What’s the resolution of the human eye? 4K? Ooooover 500 megapixels. Holy chameleon! Right, a display better than an 8K TV).
After finishing my bird watch thing, I resume my work without having to power the machine again.
I just flip it open, close the VLC media player, and start typing the next line of code.
Alright, where were we?
Right, fewer required reboots. Ubuntu can go for weeks or months without having to reboot even after an update.
Fewer required reboots mean that the server uptime increases as the operating system is always running to allocate and manage hardware resources for your web application.
Reason #9. On an Ubuntu server, your web application will face less downtime and more uptime guarantee
I just mentioned this.
With fewer required reboots, Ubuntu serves your web application with an uptime guarantee of >99.8%.
That is, if your web hosting company guarantees an uptime, that is more than that.
If you choose a web hosting service that frequently faces downtimes, users will frequently have a hard time accessing your website.
Reason #10. Very easy to update Ubuntu
An ubuntu server provides an easy way to update the system.
Just open the Terminal, type
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y and you are ready to go.
Just like that, mate!
Generally, whenever you update your android phone or windows machine, you are required to reboot your device.
That is not the case for Ubuntu.
Unless required, you usually wouldn’t require a reboot after updating your Linux server.
Reason #11. Ubuntu supports major web technologies and web frameworks.
What is one thing that comes easy when using an Ubuntu server? Installing packages, drivers, and utilities.
Ubuntu supports almost all of the popular programming languages, database systems, web frameworks, and libraries.
Whatever it is you’re building (Django, NodeJs, Laravel web applications), Ubuntu supports that web framework and programming language.
Another thing, installing the dependencies and libraries is very easy.
On top of that, setting up virtual environments could be one of the easiest tasks you could perform on an Ubuntu server.
Reason #12. Using an Ubuntu server saves on cost
As I previously mentioned, most of the features and packages that Ubuntu supports require free licenses as they are open-sourced.
Besides, Ubuntu requires fewer resources in terms of storage, memory, and CPU utilization to run optimally.
Fewer resources mean that you incur fewer monthly bills from your cloud resource provider, especially when using AWS Linux instances.
Reason #13. Ubuntu is one of the most secure OS
Ubuntu offers the best security to your web application when it comes to well-known web vulnerabilities.
Before releasing a server distro, the open-source community vigorously tests Ubuntu for OS-based and Web-based known vulnerabilities.
Be assured that your web application receives one of the best security when it comes to almost every known vulnerability on the web.
Reason #14. Ubuntu is a Beginner friendly OS
I know, I may be overstating things.
Linux, being beginner-friendly?
Well, it depends on whether you have ever tried it.
Familiarise yourself with the common and basic bash commands and you will realize how beginner-friendly Ubuntu is.
In terms of server management, it is very easy to perform the majority of the task required to keep your Ubuntu running optimally.
For example, you already know how easy it is to upgrade the system.
Moreover, it just takes a few commands to install and set up the packages and utilities required by your web application.
Not forgetting: Most web hosting companies provide cPanel, which is used to manage server resources, set up web applications, manage domains, and set up email services and accounts.
cPanel is a graphical-rich interface that can be used to manage resources on your Linux server.
Reason #15. Ubuntu has a large community of contributors and users
The larger the community is, the more regular updates are released.
Each new update release guarantees your web application enhanced security and performance.
Besides, you are likely to receive more support from the community of open source developers, maintainers, and contributors.
Reason #16. Ubuntu sports multithreading and parallelism
Parallelism happens when a task is subdivided into multiple smaller sub-tasks that can are processed simultaneously.
Therefore, multiple requests made to your web application can be handled simultaneously because Ubuntu OS is able to use multiple processors to increase throughput and computational speed.
Be sure to select a hosting service with two or more CPU cores.
Best hosting companies providing Linux servers
What good of an article is it if you have no idea where to get cloud resources?
Before deploying your web application, you will need a cloud resource (Linux instance) that will reside on your web hosting servers to allocate and manage resources.
Whether you are running a Django, PHP, or NodeJs web application, you will need to purchase a web hosting service.
Just the same way, you need a hosting plan if you are setting up a WordPress website.
For web applications, you can opt to choose a shared hosting plan or a VPS dedicated hosting plan.
When you would choose a shared hosting plan
- You get minimal traffic on your website. You do not expect a huge number of users and traffic, such as social media platforms.
- Your web application does not require a large number of resources such as computing power
- You do not need immense bandwidth and memory for your web application
- You have a medium-sized web application.
When you would choose a virtual private server (VPS)
- Your web application requires lots of server resources, especially computing power
- You have a large web application that is likely to use large server resources and a team of developers
- You have a team of developers that can efficiently manage a customized hosting setup
- You expect your web application to process a vast amount of requests and handle many users simultaneously
Here are well-known companies that have proven to provide reliable VPS dedicated resources.
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I have a tutorial on how to set up a Django application on shared hosting using cPanel and another on a dedicated Linux server.
That’s it for this article.
I hope you have enjoyed it and that you are now ready to deploy your next web application on an Ubuntu server.
As per the African philosophy: “A person is a person through other people (Ubuntu golden rule)”, let’s create a community of Linux developers.