Archive for the 'Operating Systems' Category


Is Mac OS X Good for Servers?

When you think of Mac OS X, you probably tend to think of various iTunes, graphic design, music production and other artsy activities. It is primarily a desktop operating system, but Apple does sell a server add-on for its OS. The question is: Is that server version useful for real-world server operations?
Some of the advantages […]

Differences Between Windows and Linux Servers

Linux is the kernel for many free and open source operating systems. Windows is a proprietary and commercial operating system, but there are many other differences between the two. When you are choosing an OS to run on your server, it is important to know some of the technical differences as well.
1. Access – Linux […]

How to Remove Old Linux Kernels

Linux distributions that use binary packages usually install kernel updates in separate directories from previous kernel versions. Therefore, it is possible to have several instances of Linux installed within the same system. This is a precaution that prevents you from overwriting your kernel with one that may not function the way you want, or at […]

Why Use Linux for Dedicated Servers?

A recent report indicates that 97 percent of the world’s top 500 supercomputers run Linux. That statistic seems unfathomable, as if no other operating system even exists or is even worth mentioning. Most of the remaining 3 percent are some other Unix variant, and Windows barely registers at all. The question one […]

Should I Use CentOS for Business?

If you ask someone at Red Hat about CentOS, they will likely tell you that it is a great “community” distribution, but for enterprise servers, you need Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the support that comes with it. This is their job, of course, to promote their own software, but there is also some truth […]

The Total Cost of Owning a Linux Server

When purchasing a car, a home, or other major investment, many financial experts may inform you about the total cost of ownership (TCO). Beyond the sticker price, you need to know how much it will cost to maintain it, insure it, and power it for the duration of its life. Similarly, a server and its […]

Do I Need A Commercial Linux Distribution?

Your shiny new server is just begging for an operating system or perhaps even two or three, if you intend to use virtualization. You might have already decided to use a Linux-based operating system, which is popular for Internet-connected servers. What you might still need to decide, however, is whether to use a community distribution […]

3 More Differences Between Linux and BSD

In the first post on this topic, we looked at 3 key differences between Linux and BSD: the licensing, the kernel, and the package management system. The following are three more differences you should probably know.
1. Hardware support – In many cases Linux supports hardware sooner and more often than BSD. This is partly […]

3 Differences Between Linux and BSD

Linux and BSD are two of the most highly regarded server operating systems in the world, mainly for their security, flexibility, and open source development. In reality, both terms broadly refer to multiple operating systems, and it is not possible to compare the two without confusing some of their variants. There are, however, general similarities […]

Is Linux the Best for Web Servers?

Linux is a free and open source kernel that powers numerous operating systems (often called “distributions”). Many system administrators have long regarded Linux as the best option for powering web-facing dedicated servers and virtual private servers. There are, however, many other options. So, what makes Linux the best, or is it even truly the best […]

The Disadvantages of Old Proprietary UNIX

At one time, most of the world’s dedicated servers used a form of UNIX. Big mainframes were known to have big expensive UNIX installations with hefty, costly licenses. Many of those servers have gradually been phased out or have been switched to more modern operating systems like Linux or BSD. Still, some persist, and those […]

3 Linux Server Performance Tips

If this is your first time using a Linux server, you may soon find out that Linux offers many performance advantages over other operating systems. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to make Linux perform even better.
1. Use the Security Tools – You must use the securities tools at your disposal. If […]

Server OS Profile: CentOS

Sometimes you need enterprise-level software but cannot afford the enterprise-level price. Such is often the case with dedicated servers. Many individuals and companies operate on a limited budget and cannot afford to pay for licensing and support for an enterprise server OS such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Others simply may not need the paid […]

Server OS Profile: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) has a colorful past. Like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it was spawned from a commercial Linux distribution (SuSE Linux) primarily geared toward the desktop. In 2003, Novell acquired the german company SuSE Linux AG, and sought to reap the benefits from the already strong server base that the […]

Server OS Profile: OpenBSD

OpenBSD is a derivative of the free and open source Unix operating system BSD, which was first developed at the University of California, Berkeley. The OS is probably best known for its mascot, the puffer fish named Puffy, and also for its very popular sub-project OpenSSH, which is used on many of the servers around […]

Server OS Profile: Debian GNU/Linux

Although it is not specifically designed for servers, Debian GNU/Linux is a popular choice for system administrators because of its stability, security, and long stable release cycle. Debian has also been around for a very long time (19 years) and is regarded as one of the most reliable operating systems in terms of staying true […]

Server OS Profile: Red Hat Enterprise Linux

For many years, some people believed it was impossible for a free and open source operating system like Red Hat Linux to be profitable. With the formulation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the company Red Hat proved that theory wrong and also established Linux as one of the most widely-used Unix server alternatives. It now […]

How to Install and Remove Packages in FreeBSD

If you have used Linux servers, you are probably very familiar with the package management systems, such as YUM or APT. Unless you used Gentoo, however, you may find the package management system in FreeBSD to be noticeably different. What follows is a quick start guide to FreeBSD’s package management system called Ports Collection and […]

Linux Terminology You Should Know

Continuing our series on server-related terminology, Linux terminology seems to be a sensible choice. Many of the world’s servers run Linux, especially in the web hosting industry, and a great deal of the terminology common to Linux may be unfamiliar to users who use Windows. The following terms are ones you should know.
Kernel – This […]

How to Change Directory Colors in CentOS

When you log in to your dedicated server via SSH and run the ls command to list your files, you may notice that directories and files are color-coded. Directories are probably dark blue along with light blue symbolic links, and bright green executables. For some users, especially those who prefer a dark or even black […]

Working with Hidden Files in Linux

Linux dedicated servers have a very easy system for making files hidden. In general this is not an ironclad security measure but can be used to prevent users from accidentally disturbing critical configuration directories or files. You might also use it to trim down directories to make only the files you actually need access to […]

Back to the Basics #9: File Systems

Unix and Linux servers are much more common than Windows servers, so there is a good chance that you will encounter at least one during your time as a system administrator. Therefore, it is a good idea to be familiar with the peculiarities of the file systems, which differ in many ways from Windows desktops.
Since […]

Back to the Basics #3: Server Operating Systems

In the third part of our “Back to the Basics” series, we will look at the operating systems that power today’s servers. Just as there is a diverse amount of hardware available on the server market, so too are there a great number of operating systems. They are not all equal in all aspects of […]

Which Linux Distribution Is Best for Servers?

Recent reports have indicated that Linux continues to gain a larger share of the server market, while Microsoft Windows and variations of Unix continue to lose significant market shares. Linux has become the dominant server OS type of choice, and for web servers in particular, Linux is almost the default.
Nevertheless, to call Linux a single […]

A Basic Introduction to the Linux Command Line

If you are managing a Linux server for the first time, you are probably using a web-based control panel, such as cPanel/WHM.  While a control panel may fill most of your basic needs as a system administrator, there are some tasks best left to the command line. On a remote Linux server, you can access […]

Is a Commercial Linux Distribution Worth the Price?

Deciding to go with Linux as your dedicated server’s OS of choice is only a first step. Linux, after all, is only the kernel of a wide variety of operating systems, called distributions. While all of them pretty much have the same security and stability benefits that likely caught your attention in the first place, […]

4 Reasons to Go Open Source on Your Server

When you decide to get a new dedicated server, you will be faced with many software options. You could easily pay big money for a proprietary Unix variant or for Microsoft Windows Server, but there are also plenty of good reasons to go open source. Saving money is just one of them.
1. Stability
Linux and BSD […]

Paying for Linux Server Support

Some people who are new to Linux dedicated servers have the mistaken perception that Linux must necessarily be free of charge. Linux is definitely free software, but when Linux users talk about it being free, they are usually referring to its free and open source license, not its price.
When you pay for commercial software, one […]

SUDO vs SU: What Really Matters

If you spend a decent amount of time talking to people in the Linux and free software community, you are bound to stumble upon the sudo vs su debate.  Some system administrators swear by sudo and argue it is the only way to truly keep your administrative account secure.  Others argue in favor of su, […]

Moving from One OS to Another

In most situations, an individual or company will keep the same operating system for the entire time they use a server.  While there may be occasional upgrades, these usually do not involve switching to another OS completely.  At the end of the server’s life, however, you may decide to go with a different OS.  If […]