There has been much debate on the server level about Windows vs Unix, Unix vs Linux, BSD vs Linux, Windows vs Solaris, and just about any other matchup you can imagine. Choosing the right one is not as easy the supporters of each OS make it seem. You have to consider many factors when choosing your operating system.
1. What is the most important aspect of a server to you? Security? Stability? Flexibility? Available Software?
2. Does your dedicated server need to run specific applications that may only be available on one OS? Will one OS run your applications better than another?
3. How important is it for you to have control over your OS code? Do you need to customize it? If so, a free and open source OS may work better for you than a proprietary one.
4. Do you need commercial support? Some operating systems come with no warranty or official support, instead relying solely on forums and other community support groups. Others, both free and proprietary, may offer support plans.
5. How important is a user-friendly interface to you? There may be plenty of documentation and resources to help you figure out your server, but if you are the type that expects it to work without having to figure out anything, you may want to find a server OS that can manage that.
6. Choose a server OS. It is not unheard of for people to use desktop OS versions to run their servers, but they usually find these versions to be insufficient for their purposes.
There are many other issues you will want to consider when choosing an OS for your server. Price, for example, may be a crucial factor. Take your time making a decision, weigh the pros vs cons, and find out what others with similar needs to your use for their servers.
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