I have always wondered why most companies and web developers prefer to use Linux instances when deploying their applications.
I thought that Linux being open-source could be the reason.
But, there is much more than Linux has to offer as a server.
Linux is preferred for server deployment as it offers enhanced security, better flexibility, reduced required reboots, improved stability that handles more functions, and low cost.
Why is Linux preferred over Windows servers?
Compared to Windows, Linux is an open-source platform that offers applications and services for free.
Open-source operating systems are more reliable and efficient because they have undergone a thorough source code review.
On the other hand, Windows servers are closed systems meaning that you would require some licensing to run some services.
Other times, one would be required to find some workarounds to some functions.
Also, the cost of running a closed-source system can be much higher than the open-source options.
Major Linux distros such as Ubuntu are preferred for deployment because they simultaneously support a load of operations, functions, and services.
Handling more functions means that the operating system would require more hardware resources such as memory and CPU load.
That is not the case when it comes to Linux operating system. It can run on low ram and storage.
According to Ubuntu Server documentation, an Ubuntu server uses a 1 GHz processor and only 2.5 GB of disk space.
For Windows servers, you will need a 1.4 GHz processor and 32 GB of disk space.
Also, Linus systems run on legacy devices.
Fewer resource usage means companies will have to save on costs when running Linux instances that support their applications.
Why do we use Linux servers?
1. Linux servers save on cost
As we have seen, Linux servers require less storage and memory requirements.
They do not need extra resources to run efficiently.
An instance using fewer resources is cheap to run and maintain.
2. Linux servers are efficient
Besides saving on cost, Linux servers are majorly used because of their uptime efficiency.
Linux servers can run 24/7 for weeks or months without constant reboots.
Little or no required reboots reduce overall server downtime.
3. Lightweight Linux kernel
There is another reason that Linux servers are being used widely. They are lightweight.
The kernel has crept into every device you can think of—your android device, car system, cameras, wearables, etc.
A lightweight operating system such as Linux has very minimal bloatware and crapware.
If you need a very lightweight operating system, you can uninstall pre-installed applications that you may not need.
On closed-source operating systems, you cannot do that because the developers have limited changing of the operating system or parts of it.
On a Linux operating system, you can freely remove applications, libraries, and packages you may not need on your server.
However, you must thoroughly test your final kernel to avoid dependencies issues when some of the libraries or utilities are removed from the kernel.
4. Linux servers offer improved performance
Here are some of the reasons that contribute to the fast performance of a Linux operating system.
- The OS is lightweight, meaning it does not need extra resources and execution time running bloatware applications. On top of that, it does not have to run too many applications in the background.
- Linux operating system has a very organized operating system. A file system defines how files, directories, and links are stored and organized. Better file system organization means that the contents can be accessed efficiently. Deploying efficient algorithms to access files and directories would require less resource usage, document retrieval, and execution time.
5. Linux is more stable and secure
Here is another reason to love Linux when deploying your application online.
Linux systems have been rarely reported to be infected by malware.
The reason Linux systems are very secure is that – their source code undergoes constant review and scrutiny from a global open-source community.
The constant source code scrutiny has enhanced user privileges.
The superuser owns all the privileges, while other users can be granted special permissions to perform common tasks.
Another thing that makes Linux less vulnerable to malware attacks is allowing fewer automatic file access rights.
Therefore, viruses cannot spread through attachments or files.
Due to fewer malware threats, Linux distributions are known to be very stable to run.
Linux servers offer highly secure, performance-scalable, and efficient resource usage compared to other servers.
Because of these reasons, they are much preferred by companies and developers when deploying their applications.
Moreover, Linux systems are very lightweight, stable, and free.
One rarely needs to install anti-malware products and software as Linux kernels profoundly enhance security defenses.