Linux vs. Windows Servers

I saw an article that someone posted on digg about this. I thought it was a bad article and so did most of the people that commented. I thought I would write up a little brief about each of them.

I’d like to start off saying that Windows servers can replicate most of Linux’s functionality (like using Perl and other programs that are meant for Linux). On the other hand, Linux can’t replicate most of what’s Windows specific (Access, ASP.NET). I’m not sure if Mono can be used on Linux for ASP.NET programming on a server.

I might seem like I’m heading for Windows here, but I much rather have a Linux server. My main reason is the stability/reliability. Linux servers have been known to stay up for months without restart. Windows servers need to restart and refresh every once and a while. Another reason I like Linux hosting is that it’s dirt cheap, at least for shared hosting. It’s cheap because the data center doesn’t have to buy licenses to Windows machines. Most large hosting companies run their own flavor of Linux (or at least customized from something like Fedora or Gentoo).

When you are looking for Linux hosting, I suggest you check what the features are and up-time are. You will probably be able to tell if they’re overselling by checking their up-time *cough* DreamHost *cough*. Not just them, but other companies and other non-professionals that use their own Cable connection for a server and just got a reseller hosting package. Those hosting providers usually go out within a month or two. That’s a good reason to backup data to YOUR computer not just the server. I tend to make full backups monthly of my whole home directory and all MySQL databases.

Usual features you see with Linux hosting are, PHP, MySQL, Perl, FTP, and some type of control panel. I think cPanel is the most popular choice, but their are free options like VHCS or zPanel. Usually these control panels come with some type of statistics program, but if you don’t have one you can always buy something like Mint. If you have cPanel, I would recommend you check out if they have Fantastico. It’s an automatic script installer, but the hosting provider has to buy it. I think its worth it to check and it’s pretty easy to setup WordPress installations and many other applications.

I would really only suggest Windows for certain things. If you have enterprise solutions that need some type of premium support, I would go with Windows. Most distributions of Linux don’t come with commercial support, with some exceptions like Ubuntu. Also, if you have a need for Access or MSSQL databases, then you need Windows. This going along with ASP. I’ve gotten ASP to work with Apache through Apache::ASP, but it’s really annoying. With Windows, you are probably going to get IIS anyways, not Apache. Most of the installation of IIS and the database is automated and quick. Unlike Linux, where you have to configure a lot of stuff, which requires some experience. With Windows, you just press a couple of buttons and its up and running. I’ve gotten Apache, PHP running, MySQL, and some other programs running on Windows that are mainly for Linux, but it defeats the purpose of running Windows when you install programs that work better on Linux.

The control panel that you get with Windows servers is usually something along the lines of Plesk. That’s the only one I’ve ever used for Windows. Although there is a cPanel version for Windows coming soon, I doubt that because it’s been “coming soon” for a couple of years. It’s rich with features and it’s easy to do administrative tasks.

So, if you are looking for servers, I would recommend Linux if you’re looking for cheap and reliable hosting. If you are looking for ease of use and enterprise-level support, I would go with Windows. The decision is ultimately up to you (or your employer). I hope this article helped with some of the decision making.

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Call for Topics

I was hoping to get some feedback on my previous articles and some suggestions for new ones. I have opinions about a lot of going ons in the web. I’ll post my opinion and credit it you for the idea if you email me or comment on this post. I hope to post a new article every week. My next article is going to be on web programming languages like Ruby and others.

Internets and Dumptrucks

Yea, so the jokes have been overused. I see them used on Slashdot almost every day and they are always modded +5 funny. I mainly just wanted to say that I think people have been wrong about the whole “the internet is not a dump-truck” thing. So that makes Ted “Tubes” Stevens wrong still.

Apparently sploggers and and spammers think the Internet is just a dump-truck. They just dump all their advertising right onto the web. I can’t stand all this stuff anymore. I get about 30 emails every day that are just spam. It’s Japanese spam too, so I can’t read it, but I know it’s spam. I figure that most of these spammers live in China or Indonesia, or some places in Africa where they can make good money.

I think the problem with spamming and splogs is that it pays too well. I mean you might not like it, but these people get paid money to generate random words with links and put them on a page. So that YOU, the consumer, will hopefully buy their product. I’m 16 years old, I don’t think I’ll be needing Cialis anytime soon. Any potential for new and innovative ideas on the net will always be brought down by people who figure out a way to use it for evil.

I’ll take a look at wikis for example. It’s a great idea, but when people start editing the pages with spam and false information (I’m looking at you Colbert), it just becomes annoying and wastes my time. Any product has the potential to be abused in some way. Whether it be software or hardware, someone wants to copy, cheat, lie, and just generally screw over the public.

This post basically just turned into a spam rant. I know my words can’t do anything to help, but it will make people angry. That’s the kind of thing I like though. Nothing is ever going to be the way I or anyone else wants it. I guess it could be called a fact of life. Nevertheless, I still sit in my chair brewing. Which, by the way, doesn’t solve anything, but it wastes time, which I seem to have a lot of.

The Future of FOSS

With large companies beginning to embrace free software, the future of FOSS looks as bright as ever. Although large software companies like Microsoft, who control most of the market, don’t tend to like their open source brethren.

FOSS encompasses many programs and people. The people that work within the FOSS community are dedicated to what they do. Linux is a prime example of what can happen when people come together for a greater cause. What about the rest of the community though? Is FOSS as a whole really thriving? Or is it just a couple of big names and that’s it?

When someone says something about Open-Source, I instantly think of Firefox and Ubuntu. Most people don’t think of WordPress or Tcl or PHP. I underestimate the power of stupid people though. Advertising is the key here. If you don’t have big company with revenue supporting your project, you are probably not going to gain a large audience in terms of non-technical people.

Advertising basically convinces you to do something. Being convinced by an advertisement means you are stupid because you don’t have the smarts to look it up and check if you actually need it and compare competing products if you do. Ubuntu has been successful because it markets itself as user-friendly and easy to use. People want to buy products that just ‘work’ out of the box and don’t require that much of a learning curve.

If a radical change in mindset doesn’t change within the youth or anybody that uses computers and software, FOSS is going to go down the tubes. Although it’s idea in theory is flawless, the reality of it is the more security people feel from getting software from the professional development teams. The leaders in the free/open source software community need to stand up for the smaller people and themselves to say that FOSS can do on par or better than the big corporate giants.

I’m a liberal, so I am biased toward believing that big business is fundamentally wrong, but we can’t stop it now. It’s up to normal citizens to decide what’s right for them. I always try to point people in the direction of FOSS, but I’m pretty sure people would rather spend $300USD on Microsoft Office Professional than to download OpenOffice.org 2. Something I like to call the Microsoft Effect. More people prefer the term vendor lock-in to the latter though. 😉

IE7: A Stepping Stone to a New Microsoft

I know people harp on Microsoft for all of their products. Internet Explorer has been one of the most common places people take shots at the corporation. I too dislike a lot of Microsoft, but you have to give them credit for what they do. When you have 90% of the market, virus writers are going to go after it. Microsoft is going through a transition right now and I think it’s for the better.

We all know that Bill Gates will be stepping down in 2008, but I think the direction of the company is already starting to change. IE7 and Vista are just there to bring along bigger and better products. They have worked hard on IE7 bringing up much of it’s compliance. Now, although it still has the worst compliance, we can all agree that it has gotten much better. The UI has also taken a step for the better. They don’t want to innovate that much now because they need to catch up to the rest of the pack. Once they are on-par with the rest of them (firefox, opera, safari), there will be new features added. It’s always going to be a game of cat and mouse. IE7 introduced an anti-phishing feature which wasn’t in any of the other browsers. Now FireFox 2 has that feature in it.

This is the same in Vista. Even though it may be a resource hog and take a lot of graphic proccessing power, it still has WAY more features than most operating systems. Although Linux is gaining steam, it will probably never catch up with the popularity of proffessional software.

With IE8 and Vienna, Microsoft should bring about a new age of innovation in the company and FOSS. As long as this competition exists and they are each a threat to each other, there is always going to be a new product or feature on the horizon.

EdgyEft Knot2

The second alpha of Ubuntu 6.10 was just released. I have Dapper installed and Edgy will be fun to play around with, but I think I’m going to stick with Dapper since even when EdgyEft comes out, it will still be less stable because of the software it uses. You can download the CD images here.

Although Ubuntu is probably one of the better Linux distros in terms of polish, there are still plenty of other distros out there. People just hear of Ubuntu since it’s so well marketed. I’ve converted some people I know and they still do use Windows for gaming and such. If only I could get Doom3 to play on Fedora…

In Chair, September 2, 2006

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the intar-tubular bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the ICANN, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Electronics and of Electronic’s God (the flying spaghetti monster) entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Off the record, this is the first post. I hope to keep this blog going for a while. My topics will range anywhere from life, the Internet, Linux, and anything else I feel that I need to bother someone else with. I might get extremely technical and I might get extremely dumb. If you don’t know me, go check out the about page, which is located on this blog and on my website.

I’ve been a fan of WordPress for a long time now, and I decided to create a blog on wordpress.com. I’ve set up many other wordpress blogs on my own, but I find this is probably easier. Installation is incredibly easy, but this makes it simpler. So, stay tuned, and watch your heads on the way out.