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Published: December 5, 2020

Linux and Windows are two different operating systems for a computer.  Much like you have an operating system running on your desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device, web servers run operating systems. The two main types of servers are Linux, which is open source, and (often) free, and Windows which is a closed source operating system created and owned by Microsoft.

The vast majority of web servers run off a Linux operating system, due to its flexibility and power, and their ease in setting up “shared” servers, which are common for most inexpensive hosting plans. Overall, Linux hosting tends to be less expensive, since because of its free and open source nature, there is no requirement for the web host to pay for licensing fees.

Whichever operating system you use at home has no bearing on which type of web server, but it does make a difference considering the type of languages you wish to run on your website. Most languages will run on a Linux host (it is common for the Apache web server) without trouble, however if one wishes to run .NET applications, you will need to use a Windows host. Similarly, if you need to use MSSQL which is owned by Microsoft, you will need to run this on Windows.

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