Web hosting providers work better and easier when the host and client use the same operating system, thus it is important to choose a OS for your web hosting server at the moment of choosing the web hosting provider. The choice can be overwhelming, but never fear – we’ll help you find the best distro,best linux distro home server for your needs,best linux server for beginners,best linux distro home server!
Choosing a Linux distribution for your web hosting server is not trivial. The wrong one is going to end up costing you in the long run, and you might even lose customers. For this reason, I’ll be narrowing it down for you by presenting what I believe are the best 3 distros for running a web hosting business.
Best linux distro for web hosting
Linux is still the most popular operating system for web servers and choosing the ideal Linux server distro can be confusing. Most of the administrators are using Linux running Apache, MySQL, and PHP which is referred to as a LAMP. In some cases, the administrators can prefer Nginx instead of Apache, which is called as LEMP.
There are other web servers and database solutions as well. Linux and FOSS worlds are very huge and you can pick any of them. In this article, we are going to help IT administrators to find the ideal Linux distro for server to suit their needs. Here are some of the best Linux server distros in 2022 you can take a look at before deciding.
Table of Contents
- Rocky Linux
- Ubuntu Server
- Fedora Server
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux
After Red Hat announced that the company is shifting its focus from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream, CloudLinux, the company behind KernelCare and CloudLinux OS, introduced its CentOS alternative The experienced team managed to release the first stable release on 30 March. AlmaLinux is a 1:1 binary compatible fork of RHEL 8. Alma, which means soul in Spanish and other Latin languages, represents the diverse developer community. The project is currently backed by a $1M annual sponsorship from CloudLinux until 2029 and the company also established a nonprofit organization, AlmaLinux OS Foundation. The distribution will also get CIS and FIPS certifications to run in a secure environment. CloudLinux also stated that the community will be involved in key decision making and it will always be free and open-source.
- Read the latest AlmaLinux News
Rocky Linux is also announced after the RedHat’s CentOS decision. The project is announced by the Co-Founder of CentOS, Gregory Kurtzer. The operating system is designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with RHEL 8. The organization released the first release candidate is available for testing. The OS aims to function as a downstream build as CentOS had done previously. Rocky Linux is sponsored by various companies including, AWS, MontaVista, and Ctrl IQ. The Rocky Linux team stated that their goal is not to create a community-managed RPM-based distribution of Linux, but to ensure that it will remain freely available and always in the control of the community. The team also stated that the infrastructure is built from the ground up by many collaborators and sponsoring organizations around composability and security compliance.
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- Read the latest Rocky Linux News
Ubuntu is also one of the most popular distros. Canonical, developer of Ubuntu Servers, releases in a Long Term Support (LTS) format every two years and offers five years of guaranteed free upgrades. It is also a public cloud certified operating system, which provides compatibility in case of migrations.
Ubuntu Server’s scale-out functionality allows administrators to adapt it to their needs. Ubuntu is also known for its minimal resource needs. Ubuntu team also claims that depending on the needs, the operating system can be supported with less than the minimum recommended resources.
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- Read the latest Ubuntu News
Another popular Linux server distro is openSUSE. It offers two different release schedules. openSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling-release and recommended for developers and openSUSE contributors. openSUSE’s regular-release is called Leap and it is released annually. Leap uses a Common Base System with SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Leap is recommended for system administrators and enterprise developers. openSUSE offers a web portal that administrators can install software from the repository which allows one-click installation. Another important feature openSUSE offers is YaST, the control center allowing users to control almost all the basic settings.
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- Read the latest openSUSE News
Debian is one of the oldest distros in our list. It was started in 1993 by Ian Murdock. Debian also provides more than 59.000 free packages bundled up. Debian is also known for its easy installation and easy upgrades. It is also easy to find lots of online resources to solve issues concerning Debian.
Debian also supports most CPU architectures, including alpha, amd64, armel, hppa, i386, ia64, mips, mipsel, powerpc, s390, and sparc. Debian also offers a publicly available bug tracking system for users to submit bug reports.
- Read the latest Debian News
Fedora is a Linux server operating system packed with open-source technology. It is a short-lifecycle, community-supported server operating system. Fedora server OS includes multiple package management tools, including dnf, yum, packagekit, rpm, and yumex, thus offers a better package management system.
Fedora also uses the Bell-La Padula Mandatory Access Model which is an effective multi-level security model allows having different levels of security user can choose. Fedora is also called a bleeding edge distro, which means it is always rolling out with the latest software, driver updated, and Linux features available.
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- Read the latest Fedora News
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Price: Starting at $349/year
Money-back guarantee: None
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL for short, was also found in 1993 and became a major player in the Linux server distros. It also has a lifecycle of 10 years, which includes kernel stability, ABI and API compatibility. RHEL also allows kernel patching without system reboots. RHEL subscriptions come with Red Hat Insights, IT analytics service that detects potentials issues.
Red Hat also offers many paid tools to help administrators. Unfortunately, the basic subscription doesn’t include customer support, can only be deployed on physical systems and can’t be stacked with other subscriptions.
best linux distro home server
OpenMediaVault is the best and most lightweight home server OS built using PHP-AJAX. OpenMediaVault is a network-attached storage (NAS) solution built on Debian Linux with a very interesting modular design. The modular design means that its features can be extended through plugins, just like how you would add plugins to your web browser.
OpenMediaVault has a web-based administration that is easy to understand with support for multiple languages and scheduled jobs. Networking support includes IPv6 support and Wake On LAN.
OpenMediaVault can support hard drives with GPT partitions, EXT file system, and its different types and multiple features for volume management. Being a server OS, it supports the SSH, FTP, TFTP, SMB, CIFS, Rsync, and BitTorrent services and protocols, which can be expanded with plugins.
FreeNAS is the first recommendation for the Linux home server OS by many people with experience with home and small-scale servers. FreeNAS is the most popular server OS focused on power users, so this may not be recommended for people making a home server for the first time.
FreeNAS’ latest version supports the ZFS file system with support for different RAID configurations but requires a lot of RAM. For every terabyte of storage, FreeNAS requires 1 GB of RAM. Because of this, you will need newer hardware to make a server.
FreeNAS is recommended if you make an enterprise-grade server for your home or small office. FreeNAS supports plugins like Plex, Transmission, and Subsonic FreeNAS also supports backup services like PC-BSD Life Preserver, Windows Backup, rsync and can encrypt and take snapshots of your entire storage. FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD.
Based on Linux, Unraid is a proprietary OS with a primary objective to allow quick and easy access to all files on NAS or Network Attached Storage devices. You can also use this operating system for hosting various virtual servers for applications like multimedia or games within a single network.
This operating system comes with a fee-based (one-time) pricing structure, which entirely depends on how many storage devices you will be linking to your network. With their basic package, you can hold up to 6 physical storage devices. Their Plus package allows you to hold 12, and the Pro package has no limits.
With this operating system, you have the ultimate control over your data, desktops, applications, and media without worrying about what combination of hardware you want to use. It’s an excellent choice for all gamers, multimedia aficionados, and heavy data users.
4) XigmaNAS (Previously NAS4Free)
XigmaNAS (previously called ‘NAS4Free’) is very similar to the FreeNAS server OS if you want to make a server with low-powered hardware. It is a lightweight OS highly recommended for people who want to make a home server with old components.
XigmaNAS is essentially a modified and customized build of FreeNAS, which is being developed, maintained and supported by the community. XigmaNAS supports both simple and advanced file systems for file servers.
The only thing not in XigmaNAS is the support for plugins, like FreeNAS and Amahi server OS, which can be very useful if you want a home server.
Proxmox is another Linux home server you can use for free. Of course, there is a paid version available for additional support. It allows you to link your virtual machines along with storage devices conveniently. The best part is that this operating system supports all OS methods and major storage devices.
Setting it up is pretty simple for basic home usage. However, you will notice it is missing some desirable features, like a specific web portal for managing all the devices.
If you want to run a repository of software programs that can work in some app store or something, you can use their premium support option for a nominal fee.
With the increase in support you need, the price of the packages will go up. So, premium packages are available based on your business size and CPU sockets running under the software programs.
best linux server for beginners
Best Linux distro for beginners
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.
- 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
Easy-to-use, affordable computing without Windows headaches
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
- 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
- Encryption for cloud storage
- Built-in device recovery and remote disk repair
- Not free
View now at Ubuntu
Easier jump from Windows
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
Easy-to-learn and lightweight
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