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The Advantages of Linux Hosting
The Linux platform offers tried and tested stability and the speed for operating web server applications. Linux has traditionally been the operating systems of choice for most advanced Internet users. The reason for this is mainly because of its reputation as a very flexible and capable operating system. In laymen's terms, Linux web servers will crash less often than Windows web servers, meaning they can generally guarantee a greater amount of uptime for your website.
Beyond reliability, Linux hosting also offers many server applications and programs that have been written exclusively for use with Linux. Since Linux is an open source platform, tons of developers have already created a wide variety of CGI scripts, PHP scripts and MySQL applications that will work on nearly any Linux system.
Linux offers the following main benefits
Stable: Linux/Unix operating systems have traditionally been believed to be very stable and robust. A web site housed on a Linux server will have very high up time (of the order of 99.9%). Of course, other factors such as power supply, network admin skills, and network load etc. also matter when it comes to maintaining the system uptime.
Economical: Since all of Microsoft's applications are proprietary. Hosting companies have to pay for using them, whereas with Linux most applications are free to use. Linux comes free of cost or at very insignificant cost, usually cost of distribution. Also, Windows servers usually require more server resources hence more cost. In the end, this means Windows hosting is more expensive for the average hosting account.
Interoperable: You can use almost all types of file extensions (or scripts) when using a Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions are supported: .cgi, .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .asp (requires additional plug-in), .xml, and others. Basically it means that you can host web sites that use different types of server side scripts including .cgi, .pl, .php, and .asp (with plug-in).
Compatible: A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true. This provides flexibility in changing hosts as required.
Scalable: A web site is dynamic. Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customer's requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping these requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes.