The majority of the websites on the internet are served by running on systems in Linux Server. Most of these servers run on Linux Server and Apache, with a few other scripts. One of the best Linux server for web servers is Ubuntu Server. There are many great features that this server comes with in default. Anyhow, In this article, I will list up some of the best linux operating system for web server to help you take care of your task and Best linux os for web server and best linux server for beginners.
If you are aiming for a career in web development, you need to know how to install and use a Linux operating system. In this article, I will give you information about the best Linux operating systems for web server.
Best linux operating system for web server
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 os 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since it is free software, you can get support from other community members, users and online resources as well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In case you need any support, you can contact the Mageia community which is made up of users, makers, and advocates.
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.
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 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.
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
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