What is the Difference between Linux and Windows Hosting?

Linux and Windows are two different types of operating systems. Linux is the most popular operating system for web servers. Since Linux-based hosting is more popular, it has more of the features web designers expect.  So unless you have websites which need specific Windows applications, Linux is the preferred choice.

Windows Specific ApplicationsWindows Hosting

Windows applications which require a Windows server:

  • ASP Classic
  • ASP.NET
  • MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server)
  • MS Access (Microsoft Access)
  • Visual Basic Development
  • C#
  • Remote Desktop (dedicated server only)

Windows Dedicated Servers can support additional Windows-specific applications. For some applications, you may need to purchase a license and install the software on your Windows dedicated server.

  • Microsoft Exchange (requires license & Installation)
  • Microsoft SharePoint (requires license & Installation)
Software not included with the server is not supported by our technical support staff since HostGator would not know how your server and applications are setup.

Linux Specific ApplicationsLinux Hosting

Applications that require a Linux-based server.

  • SSH
  • FrontPage Extensions
  • Scripts or applications that require specific Apache modules

Control Panels

Windows servers and Linux servers use different control panels.

  • cPanel is available on all Linux-based hosting plans, such as Linux Shared, Reseller, VPS and Linux Dedicated Servers.
  • WHM (Web Host Manager) is available on Linux Reseller, VPS and Dedicated Servers.
  • Plesk is available on Windows Shared and Dedicated Servers.

File Names

Another difference  between Linux and Windows servers is that Linux files are case sensitive while Windows files are not.

For example:
  • On a Linux server, home.html and Home.html are different names.
  • On a Windows server, home.html, Home.html and HOME.HTML are all the same name.

Server Security

Although many people consider Linux to be more secure than Windows, both operating systems are equally secure. Security really depends more upon the server setup and the administrators running the server. All of HostGator's managed servers are maintained with the latest security and performance patches and configured for optimal security.