Linux is still the most popular operating system for web servers and choosing the ideal Linux server distro can be confusing. Most of the administrators are using Linux running Apache, MySQL, and PHP which is referred to as a LAMP. In some cases, the administrators can prefer Nginx instead of Apache, which is called as LEMP.
There are other web servers and database solutions as well. Linux and FOSS worlds are very huge and you can pick any of them. In this article, we are going to help IT administrators to find the ideal Linux distro for server to suit their needs. Here are some of the best Linux server distros in 2020 you can take a look at before deciding.
Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Developed by CloudLinux, CloudLinux OS is one of the most popular Linux server operating systems that powers over 20 million websites. With its multitenancy abilities, it isolates each tenant and gives them allocated server resources. These isolated partitions are called “Lightweight Virtualized Environment” and limit memory, CPU, and connections, for each tenant. It also helps to reduce operating costs and churn rates.
CloudLinux OS also offers increased stability with its LVE Manager feature which gives the administrator full control over resources and MySQL Governor feature which monitors MySQL usage and prevents overloading. With the “cage” approach, it also limits the users’ access to safe files preventing them to see other users on the server. CloudLinux’s HardenedPHP and SecureLinks features also improve the distro’s security. CloudLinux is one of the best options if you are looking for a high-performing and profitable server distro.
CentOS is also one of the most popular Linux server distro. Since 2004, CentOS Linux has been a community-supported distribution that is derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Currently, CentOS is developed by a small but growing team that is supported by an active user community. CentOS protects its users with Security-Enhanced Linux, an access control mechanism.
CentOS also offers extended support. Major versions receive security updates for 10 years. It also offers Yellowdog Updater Modified, package manager allowing administrators to easily add and remove features.
Ubuntu is also one of the most popular distros. Canonical, developer of Ubuntu Servers, releases in a Long Term Support (LTS) format every two years and offers five years of guaranteed free upgrades. It is also a public cloud certified operating system, which provides compatibility in case of migrations.
Ubuntu Server’s scale-out functionality allows administrators to adapt it to their needs. Ubuntu is also known for its minimal resource needs. Ubuntu team also claims that depending on the needs, the operating system can be supported with less than the minimum recommended resources.
Another popular Linux server distro is openSUSE. It offers two different release schedules. openSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling-release and recommended for developers and openSUSE contributors. openSUSE’s regular-release is called Leap and it is released annually. Leap uses a Common Base System with SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Leap is recommended for system administrators and enterprise developers. openSUSE offers a web portal that administrators can install software from the repository which allows one-click installation. Another important feature openSUSE offers is YaST, the control center allowing users to control almost all the basic settings.
Debian is one of the oldest distros in our list. It was started in 1993 by Ian Murdock. Debian also provides more than 59.000 free packages bundled up. Debian is also known for its easy installation and easy upgrades. It is also easy to find lots of online resources to solve issues concerning Debian.
Debian also supports most CPU architectures, including alpha, amd64, armel, hppa, i386, ia64, mips, mipsel, powerpc, s390, and sparc. Debian also offers a publicly available bug tracking system for users to submit bug reports.
Fedora is a Linux server operating system packed with open-source technology. It is a short-lifecycle, community-supported server operating system. Fedora server OS includes multiple package management tools, including dnf, yum, packagekit, rpm, and yumex, thus offers a better package management system.
Fedora also uses the Bell-La Padula Mandatory Access Model which is an effective multi-level security model allows having different levels of security user can choose. Fedora is also called a bleeding edge distro, which means it is always rolling out with the latest software, driver updated, and Linux features available.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Price: Starting at $349/year
Money-back guarantee: None
Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL for short, was also found in 1993 and became a major player in the Linux server distros. It also has a lifecycle of 10 years, which includes kernel stability, ABI and API compatibility. RHEL also allows kernel patching without system reboots. RHEL subscriptions come with Red Hat Insights, IT analytics service that detects potentials issues.
Red Hat also offers many paid tools to help administrators. Unfortunately, the basic subscription doesn’t include customer support, can only be deployed on physical systems and can’t be stacked with other subscriptions.