Why is Linux used for servers?

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Just like serving, servers are very important in providing services to other computers, computer programs, and human users. Servers provide services that are not limited to delivering content, applications, and web services to clients.

Clients can be humans, applications, or other computers on the Internet.

To effectively and efficiently deliver the content, a server must be

  • Fast
  • Stable
  • Responsive
  • Reliable
  • Affordable

For a server to achieve such requirements, it must really have a great operating system installed. Linux is one of the best and most-optimized operating systems for servers.

Here are the reasons why Linux is considered as the best server operating system.

  • Linux is very stable and has been known to be that for a long time. A stable operating system makes it efficient as it serves the purpose of delivering content for years without failure. Besides, run for a very long time without requiring a reboot.
  • Due to its stability, Linux is a very reliable server operating system. Also, Linux is one of the most secure operating systems making it less vulnerable to malware and web vulnerabilities. The more secure and stable Linux is, the more reliable Linux servers are when delivering web and app content across the internet.
  • Linux is less vulnerable to malware and vulnerability attacks compared to other operating systems. A secure operating system like Linux attracts businesses as the best choice for delivering their solutions in the market. Because Linux is one of the most secure operating systems, businesses trust it and prefer it for web hosting and content delivery.
  • Linux operating system is free to use. Servers running on Linux operating system require no licenses and are free for commercial use. Therefore, budget-wise, businesses prefer Linux because it is free to use and open source.
  • Linux is very compatible with the majority of the application servers, web servers, and database servers. For example, setting up an application server (Python Django), a web server (NGINX or Gunicorn), and using database systems such as MySQL or PostgreSQL with Linux is a very straightforward process. Because Linux is compatible with most of the technologies used to serve web content, it is the best choice for a server operating system. Here is a link to an in-depth tutorial on how to deploy Python/Django on a Linux server on AWS or any other VPS server.
  • Linux runs on very low resource requirements without compromising reliability, availability, and responsiveness. Linux can run on very low RAM, CPU speed, and storage. As Linux is not very resource intensive, it is more suitable for a server if you care more about affordability. In AWS, you incur costs based on the resources that you have used. Thus, installing Linux on your server instances is better because it does not require too many resources to run and serve your website and files.
  • Linux has a very lightweight kernel free from unnecessary bloatware and applications. Linux comes preinstalled with the necessary applications you may need to serve your applications and files on the server. Besides, you are free to customize the operating system to your liking. The more lightweight the Linux operating system is, the fewer resources such as memory and storage are required. Fewer resources save on cost because Linux does not have to use resources on bloatware applications that are not needed on your server.

So, why is Linux used for web servers? Linux is the most preferred operating system for servers because it is reliable, stable, fast, secure, and requires fewer resources. Besides, Linux is very compatible with the majority of the application, web, and database servers.

Which Linux distro is the best for a Linux server?

There are many different distributions for Linux; choosing them can be hard, especially if you do not have much experience in server administration.

However, as a general rule, Ubuntu operating system is the best OS for a Linux server catered for web hosting. Choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Kali Linux if you focus more on security and penetration testing.

If you are developing web applications with popular web frameworks such as Django, Ubuntu is the best Linux server. Ubuntu, with the help of a web server such as NGINX, will be responsible for serving your web application files across the internet.

Setting up Ubuntu as a server is very easy.

Basically, you would need to:

  • Purchase a hosting account with Digital Ocean. I prefer Digital Ocean because it is very easy to use and offers free credits when you create an account with them.
  • Login to your account
  • Follow the “Go to Control Panel” link.
  • Navigate to the “Create” and click “Droplets” or “Get started with a Droplet.”
  • You will be taken to a page where your should select Linux as the image of the operating system. An image is an operating system installed on your Digital Ocean account droplet.
  • Choose the latest Ubuntu version (Choose the LTS version)
  • Choose your preferred plan
  • Choose a datacenter that is near you or your users for the best performance.
  • Enable IPV6
  • Enable monitoring
  • Create a new SSH key in the next step
  • Press “Create Droplet”
  • With that, you should have a new Linux server setup to use to deploy your websites, software solutions, and web applications. It is as easy as that.

Linux has attractive features that make it the best operating system for servers. Most companies and developers prefer Linux servers because they are very stable, fast, efficient, reliable, and compatible with the technologies these companies use to develop their business solutions. Moreover, Linux servers are very affordable because they require fewer resources to operate, and no commercial licensing is needed.

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Badi here, creator of ngangasn.com— A website dedicated to providing helpful information and how-to's of web development and hosting. Inspired by a fascination to write the most efficient code to make a computer laugh, & humans, Steve has a passion for organizing characters to create code and informative content.
What makes me happy?
Well, nothing like the feeling of finally figuring out that one pesky bug that's been driving me crazy.

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