Best linux distribution for web server

Even though Linux and Unix are considered as the core foundations of modern servers, there still exist several more younger ones (CentOS and Debian based) that are making a place for themselves. These implementations of operating systems have gained the support of many big-time server applications providers like Google, Twitter and Facebook but also have significant market share in smaller circles. The most important characteristic of all these Linux distributions is their support for web servers.

Open source software is quickly growing in popularity, and the Linux operating system is a key part of this trend. But which Linux distribution is best to be used as a web server,best linux server for beginners,types of linux servers? Read on to find out.

Best linux distribution for web server

Linux is free and open-source, this has emanated into the low total cost of ownership of a Linux system, compared to other operating systems. Although Linux operating systems (distributions) are not entirely doing well on desktop computers, they are commanding the stats when it comes to powering servers, mainframe computers as well as supercomputers in data centers around the world.

There are several factors attributed to this: the first and most important that you might have thought of, is the general freedom associated with it, stability, and security among others.

Read Also: 10 Most Promising New Linux Distributions to Look Forward

In this article, we will list the top 10 Linux server distributions of 2020 based on the following considerations: data center capabilities and reliability in relation to supported functionalities and hardware, ease of installation and use, cost of ownership in terms of licensing and maintenance, and accessibility of commercial support.

1. Ubuntu

Top on the list is Ubuntu, an open-source Debian-based Linux operating system, developed by Canonical. It is, without a doubt, the most popular Linux distribution out there, and many other distributions have been derived from it. Ubuntu server is efficient for building top-performance, highly scalable, flexible, and secure enterprise data centers.

Ubuntu Distribution
Ubuntu Distribution

It offers remarkable support for big data, visualization, and containers, IoT (Internet Of Things); you can use it from most if not all common public clouds. Ubuntu server can run on x86, ARM, and Power architectures.

With the Ubuntu Advantage, you can get commercial support and services such as a systems management tool for security audit, compliance, and the Canonical livepatch service, that helps you to apply kernel fixes and many more. This is coupled with support from a robust and growing community of developers and users.

Read Also: Livepatch – Apply Security Patches to Ubuntu Kernel Without Rebooting

2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

Second on the log is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), an open-source Linux distribution developed by Red Hat, for commercial use. It is based on Fedora, which is a community-driven project: a great deal of software that is available on RHEL is first developed and tested on Fedora.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RHEL server is a powerful, stable, and secure software for powering modern data centers with software-oriented storage. It has amazing support for cloud, IoT, big data, visualization, and containers.

RHEL server supports 64-bit ARM, Power and IBM System z machines. The Red Hat subscription enables you to get the latest enterprise-ready software, trusted knowledge, product security, and technical support from engineers.

3. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is an open-source, stable, and secure server platform built by SUSE. It is developed to power physical, virtual and cloud-based servers. It is well suited for cloud solutions with support for visualization and containers.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

It runs on the modern hardware environments for ARM System on Chip, Intel, AMD, SAP HANA, z Systems, and NVM Express over Fabrics. Users can get technical support and services under various categories including priority support, dedicated engineer among others, with SUSE Subscription.

4. CentOS (Community OS) Linux Server

CentOS is a stable and open source derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is an all-round community-supported distribution and is therefore operationally compatible with RHEL. If you want the use of RHEL without paying a considerable amount of money via subscription, then you have to use CentOS.

CentOS Linux
CentOS Linux

Since it is free software, you can get support from other community members, users and online resources as well.

5. Debian

Debian is a free, open-source and stable Linux distribution maintained by its users. It ships in with over 51000 packages and uses a powerful packaging system. It is being used by educational institutions, business companies, non-profit and government organizations.

Debian Linux
Debian Linux

It generally supports a larger number of computer architectures including 64-bit PC (amd64), 32-bit PC (i386), IBM System z, 64-bit ARM (Aarch64), POWER Processors and many more.

It has a bug tracking system and you can get support for Debian by reading through its documentation and free web resources.

6. Oracle Linux

Oracle Linux is a free and open-source Linux distribution packaged and distributed by Oracle, intended for the open cloud. It’s remarkably engineered for small, medium to large enterprise, cloud-enabled data centers. It offers tools for building scalable and reliable big data systems and virtual environments.

Oracle Linux
Oracle Linux

It runs on all x86-based Oracle engineered systems and the Oracle Linux Support program enables you to get top-rated support with premier backports, extensive management, cluster applications, indemnification, testing tools, and plus so much more, at a reasonably lower cost.

7. Mageia

Mageia (a fork of Mandriva) is a free, stable, secure Linux operating system that is developed by a community. It provides an enormous repository of software including integrated system configuration tools. Importantly, it was the first Linux distribution to replace Oracle’s MySQL with MariaDB.

Mageia Linux
Mageia Linux

In case you need any support, you can contact the Mageia community which is made up of users, makers, and advocates.

8. ClearOS

ClearOS is an open-source Linux distribution derived from RHEL/CentOS, built by ClearFoundation and marketed by ClearCenter. It is a commercial distribution intended for small and medium enterprises as a network gateway and network server, with an easy-to-use web-based administration interface.

ClearOS Linux
ClearOS Linux

It is a smart, full-featured server software which is highly flexible and customizable. You receive premium support at an affordable cost and get additional software from the application marketplace.

9. Arch Linux

Arch Linux is also a free and open-source, simple, lightweight yet secure Linux distribution. It is flexible and stable; provides the latest stable versions of most software by following a rolling-release pattern and uses both official package and community-supported package repositories.

Arch Linux
Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a general-purpose distribution that is optimized for the i686 and x86-64 architectures. However, because of decreasing popularity among the developers and other community members, support for i686 has now been dropped.

It has a formal bug tracking facility and you can get supports from a thriving community and other online resources.

10. Slackware Linux

Last on the list is Slackware, a free and open-source, powerful Linux distribution that strives to be most “Unix-like” in design simplicity and stability as well. It was created by Patrick Volkerding in 1993 and is best suited for Linux users who aim at technical proficiency.

Slackware Linux
Slackware Linux

It doesn’t offer a graphical installation method, has no auto-dependency resolution of software packages. Additionally, Slackware uses plain text files and a number of shell scripts for configuration and administration. And has no formal bug tracking service or public code repository.

It has a wide range of development tools, editors, and current libraries for users who want to develop or compile supplementary software on their servers. It can run on Pentium systems and the latest x86 and x86_64 machines.

Slackware has no official support term policy, however, you can find help from comprehensive online documentation and other related resources.

best linux server for beginners

Linux Mint

Best Linux distro for beginners

Linux Mint

What’s a Windows 10 user to do? They should turn to Linux Mint, in particular, the version using the Cinnamon interface.

Unlike Chrome OS, Mint with several desktop environments like Cinnamon, looks a lot like XP or Windows 7. It uses a Windows Icon, Menu, and Pointer (WIMP) interface much like the one you probably already know and love. It’s not a one-to-one match with XP or Windows 7, but most Windows users will find Cinnamon a comfortable fit.

Linux users who grew up with the GNOME 2.x style interface will also love Cinnamon. Another worthwhile alternative for people who are fond of GNOME 2.x, and which is also integrated into Mint, is MATE. While Cinnamon rests on the foundation of the GNOME 3.x desktop, MATE is an outright GNOME 2.x fork. MATE is also available on Mint.

Be that as it may, my current favorite desktop operating system is Linux Mint 20.2. I can highly recommend it to anyone. 


  • Free
  • Windows-like interface
  • Open source code
  • No data collection


  • May not be compatible with all programs or games
  • No proprietary drivers included (Nvidia, ATI, etc.)

View now at Linux Mint

Chrome OS

Easy-to-use, affordable computing without Windows headaches

Chrome OS

Do you use the web for everything? Do you write with Google Docs, use Mint for your personal finances, and Gmail for your email? If that’s you, then what you want is a Chromebook.

Chrome OS, the operating system behind Chromebooks, is based on Gentoo Linux. Gentoo is an experts-only Linux, but you don’t need to know a darn thing about it. While you can get to Linux from Chrome OS, you’d need never look under the hood. 

Anyone can use Chrome OS. I mean, if you’re reading this article via a web browser, which you almost certainly are, you already know how to use “Linux” enough to work with a Chromebook. 

You also don’t need to buy a Chromebook to use Chrome OS. Neverware, formerly an independent company and now a branch of Google, offers CloudReady With this free Chrome OS variant, you can convert pretty any PCs or Mac that’s been built since 2007 into a much safer and more usable Chromebook clone. No-fuss, no muss, and a lot more useful than whatever you’re currently running on an older PC.

Also: Best Chromebook: Top Chrome OS laptops


  • Easy to use
  • Offered separately from Chromebooks
  • Free
  • Compatible with PCs and Macs from 2007 onward


  • No support for overclocking CPUs or GPUs
  • No support for third-party webcams

View now at Google Chrome


Simple to use


How easy is Ubuntu with Unity to use? I once got my 82-year old mother-in-law up and running on it, and we didn’t even speak the same language!

Ubuntu is simple, beginner and user-friendly, straightforward, and has a great deal of community support. If you have a question, someone out there has almost certainly had the same problem and come up with an answer. 

By default, Ubuntu uses the GNOME 3.x interface. It takes a bit of learning if all you’ve known before is Windows, but it’s really not that hard. 

The most recent long-term support (LTS) is Ubuntu 20.04. This is the one you want if you’re running Ubuntu in a business. If you want to explore Ubuntu’s latest and greatest, you want Ubuntu 21.10.


  • Great for personal computers as well as companies
  • Pay-as-you-go 
  • Encryption for cloud storage
  • Built-in device recovery and remote disk repair


  • Not free

View now at Ubuntu

Zorin OS

Easier jump from Windows

Zorin OS
Zorin OS

So, you really, really don’t like the idea of even learning a little bit of GNOME. OK, in that case, give Zorin OS a try. It’s based on Ubuntu, as is Mint. But you can use its custom Zorin Appearance app to provide the desktop with a Windows look and feel.

Zorin’s whole point in being is to help you move over from Windows, or macOS, to Linux. It comes in four different versions: Core, Lite, and Education editions are free, while Ultimate, which can duplicate the macOS look and feel, costs $39. The Core edition really gives you everything you need, while the Lite version gives older machines a new lease on life. Education does just what the name says; it comes with some education programs pre-installed The most recent version of any of the three is Zorin OS 16.

This operating system also comes with documentation that’s designed to help you move from Windows to Linux. 


  • Free and paid options
  • Windows look and feel
  • No coding experience necessary
  • Works on both PCs and Macs


  • May not support all Windows or macOS programs and apps
  • Won’t work with computers older than 15 years
  • May not receive updates and patches past April 2025

View now at Zorin

MX Linux

Easy-to-learn and lightweight

MX Linux

A few years back, one of my favorite Linux desktops was MEPIS Linux. This Debian Linux-based distribution worked well. Eventually, though, its founder and maintainer, Warren Woodford, had to turn his attention to other businesses. MEPIS’s fans joined forces with the related antiX Linux communities and revived the project as MX Linux. 

Today, it’s a good, solid lightweight desktop that uses Xfce as its interface. It works well, and it’s very popular. For beginners, what I like about it is that it’s beginner-friendly, easy to pick up, and you can run it on even ancient Pentium II gear. In short, it’s ideal if you want to get your feet wet with Linux on a PC that would otherwise be collecting dust in your closet. 

So, ready to give Linux a try? It’s worked well for me for almost 30-years, and it can work well for you for the next 30. While most desktops seem to be heading to a DaaS model–including Windows — I can guarantee you Linux will still be available for your PC decades from now.

The most recent edition available today is MX Linux 21 “Wildflower.:


  • Works with much older computers
  • Great for absolute beginners
  • Contact info for documentation and dev teams to report issues


  • No dual-boot option for Windows 8 and newer PCs
  • Doesn’t play well with Ubuntu PPAs

types of linux servers

types of linux head image

The demand for cutting edge solutions by establishments and applications that will better drive their businesses is on the increase. This means platforms like Linux Servers which have a less rigid interface are also in high demand.

The need for innovations has to be met and developers are continuously coming up with solutions to make this possible.

Have you been thinking about switching to the Linux server? Read on to see the options available out there!

What is Linux?

Linux is a Unix-like open-source operating system based on the Linux kernel for smartphones, cars, desktops, and home appliances.

Linux is a platform of choice for computers and embedded systems as it is the most reliable, secure, and worry-free operating system. An operating system handles communication between computer software and hardware.

Although Linux operating systems are not popular on desktop computers, they are the most preferred choice when it comes to powering servers, supercomputers as well as mainframe computers around the globe.

It will interest you to know that 90% of the world’s cloud infrastructures run on Linux and this means that Linux is here to stay and is making a huge impact by providing the perfect cloud-based solutions.

Types of Linux server

Types of Linux Server OS

Linux is the world’s most popular web server. It is usually bundled with Apache, MySQL, and PHP also referred to as LAMP configuration. Linux server is a high-powered variant open-source operating system designed to handle more demanding needs of business applications like web services, database management, network, and system administration.

Linux servers are usually selected over other operating systems for their stability, flexibility, and above all security advantage.

Leading Linux server operating systems include the following:

  1. 1. Ubuntu
    Ubuntu is an open-source Debian-based Linux operating system developed by Canonical Ltd. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution and best known for bringing Linux to the masses with a server variant that is also extremely competitive.
    Ubuntu is built as Long Term Support (LTS) versions of the Ubuntu Server, which like the desktop version can be updated up to five years after the date of release. This saves the user the stress of updating the server repeatedly.
    According to Canonical, over 55% of the Open stack cloud already runs on Ubuntu. They also periodically release versions of Ubuntu server at the same time as the latest desktop distribution.
  2. 2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is an open source Linux distribution developed by Red Hat for commercial use. Red Hat provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing products, including Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, a management option that is used to build and manage cloud solutions.
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux is stable, powerful, and secure for powering modern data centers with software oriented storage. It also has amazing support for big data, visualization, cloud, and containers.
  3. 3.OpenSUSE
    OpenSUSE Linux enterprise server is an open-source, stable and secure server platform built by SUSE. It was formerly known as SUSE Linux and it is purposely designed for developers who wish to run their own server. It is developed to power physical, virtual, and cloud solutions with support for visualization and containers.
    SUSE provides free online and offline documentation for SUSE Linux Enterprise server features. The use of SUSE is free and comes with a 60 days free trial period.
    Users can get technical support and services under various categories including priority support, dedicated engineer among others, with SUSE subscription.
  4. 4.CentOS
    CentOs is a stable and open source derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and it is operationally compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    It is an all-round community-supported distribution without paying a sizeable amount of money for a subscription.
  5. 5.Debian
    Debian is a free open source and stable Linux distribution maintained by its users. It comes with 51,000 packages and a powerful packaging system.
    It is used by business companies, government establishments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.
  6. 6.Fedora
    Fedora is a community developed an operating system based on commercial Linux Distros Red Hat. Fedora operating system comes with a powerful PostgreSQL Database Server.
    It is a good choice for big businesses and establishments who want a powerful and secure platform.
Features Of Linux Operating System
Features of Linux OS
  • Open Source – Linux source code is available for free. It is a community-based development project and there is no restriction on usage. Developers around the world work as a team to enhance the capability of the Linux operating system and it keeps evolving.
  • Security – Security is the principal concern of every user. Linux security is one of the top features that make it unique. Linux provides users security using authentication features like password protection, data encryption, and controlled access to specific files. Linux servers have a high level of security because they have an efficient firewall and strict file access system.
  • Stability and durability –Linux servers are very stable and rarely crash. Linux servers are highly durable and can run for years, so long as the configuration are done properly, they don’t need periodic reboots and further updates devoid of any service interruptions.
  • Multi-programming – Linux servers support multiple software applications because of its in-built technical strength.
  • Multitasking – Linux servers are built with the ability to run multiple programs simultaneously. Linux servers enable the programs to continue to run in the background while the user works on some other programs. This feature makes Linux web servers to have multitasking capabilities.
  • Economical – Linux is an open-source operating system, its versions are available with a lower cost when compared with other similar web servers.
  • Ease of administration – Linux server administrators have no need for special software to help them set up. They can be controlled and managed remotely across multiple places.
  • Operational efficiency – Linux servers have the ability to handle high user volume efficiently. Linux servers are ideal for networking purposes and perform well with connected devices.

Linux servers have so many powerful features and users will agree that the Linux operating system for web servers will continue to be popular as the go-to solution for operating servers.

Knowing that web servers need a high level of security, and Linux has high security as its strongest feature, more establishments will definitely be maintaining or switching to Linux.

With the security threats and the need to keep customer information safe, Linux has definitely won the hearts of many. With Linux, security repairs usually come out much faster than they do on commercial operating systems, making Linux Servers a perfect platform when security is of great concern.

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