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Operating systems and hosting: A handy guide

Web Hosting Blog

When you are searching for the right hosting solution for you, you might come across the question what operating system do you use? But what is an operating system (OS)?

Simply it’s the software that runs on your computer systems and tells them what to do. 

When you are working there are lots of programmes being executed simultaneously on your computer. The OS acts as the organiser, which makes sure that all of your programmes and devices can access important things like your CPU and your memory without any interference to you. It manages the hardware and software of your computer as well as streamlines countless other tasks. And when you plug in a memory stick the OS is the thing that recognises its input.

Additionally, it connects you to other devices such as your printer.

There are many different operating systems out there, the most common being Windows and Linux.

Windows, created by Microsoft, is arguably the most recognised OS system out there. With a lot of people expecting windows to be part of the package every time they get a new computer. 

Another well known operating system is Linux. This is open-source software so it’s free to use and programmers can configure it as they please. Typically Linux operating systems are used by those who desire more control over their OS. A lot of them have an interest in programming and experimenting with creating an OS that suits their needs. 

So how does your OS link to your hosting needs?

When purchasing web hosting, you need to make the same choice: which operating system will you use.

You’ll need to consider a different set of factors because you do not use a server the way you would a personal computer.

The default operating system for a server is often some form of Linux. Which is the complete opposite of your everyday computer.

While there are practical reasons for this, such as its robust feature set, scalability, and robust performance history, there are budgetary reasons. Linux, as we discussed earlier, is open source and therefore free to use.

According to, about 70% of servers are running Linux. 

So if Linux is cheaper and more widely used who needs Windows? Well, servers that run Windows OS are often using some variant of the Windows Server operating system. So if you are opening Windows web applications, you should go with Windows hosting.

If you are still not clear about which type of OS is best for you then chat with one of our hosting experts.