virtual private server
virtual private server

Choosing an Operating System for Your VPS

Every year, e-commerce websites suffer losses of around $2.5 million due to slow loading speeds, as The Drum and Website Builder Expert reported. 

As your website grows and traffic increases, it becomes necessary to have a web hosting service to accommodate these changes. This is where a Virtual Private Server (VPS) plan comes in handy. 

Unlike regular web hosting, VPS Hosting allocates server resources, making it simpler to manage websites and online stores for businesses. This makes VPS hosting a good choice for websites and online stores with high traffic. 

With VPS Hosting, you get more server space to support your growing traffic while keeping your site running smoothly.

When getting a new VPN plan, a compatible Operating System is essential to ensure optimal performance. Windows and Linux are the two most widely available operating systems (OS) that VPS Hosting providers offer. 

What Is an Operating System?

An Operating System (OS) is software that operates on a computer system and facilitates communication between the hardware and software. It acts as a mediator between the two components of a system. 

Examples of OS include Ubuntu Linux, Apple MacOS, Microsoft Windows 7, etc. Most application programmes, including Virtual Private Servers (VPS), require an operating platform to function. 

Let’s first explore what a VPS is before we look into the factors to consider to choose an OS for your server. 

What Is VPS Hosting?

VPS is short for Virtual Private Server. The primary feature of VPS Hosting is the virtualisation technology used to create a virtual server on top of a physical server. 

This means that even though you are sharing the same physical server with others, each virtual server functions independently and has its own dedicated server resources, such as RAM, CPU, and storage.

In contrast, with shared hosting, multiple websites share a physical server, which can result in slower loading times and other performance issues due to the high demand for shared resources.

A VPS behaves like a dedicated server but is more affordable, which makes it an excellent option for many website owners. A VPS server can also host a website or application with a large amount of data for your business. 

The VPS market size is predicted to reach $8.3 billion by 2026, and VPS Hosting is becoming one of the most significant industry segments, according to Allied Market Research.

What Is a Linux Operating System?

A Linux distribution is a popular operating system built on top of the Linux kernel — responsible for managing memory and input/output requests. This operating system is open-source and responsible for managing a system’s hardware and resources, including memory, CPU, and storage.

Along with the kernel, a Linux distribution includes additional software tools for tasks such as file management, user administration, and software package management. According to Global Market Insights, Linux runs on approximately 60% of all VPS servers.

Many different Linux distributions are available (mentioned below) for various purposes, including server and graphical versions. Typically, VPS hosting providers install Linux’s server edition.

Distributions of Linux: CentOS, Debian, or Ubuntu?

Linux consists of multiple modular parts. Its core is the Linux kernel, which is mostly the same across all distributions. Besides the kernel, a comprehensive Linux distribution contains package managers, display servers, desktop environments, and other components.

Currently, many Linux distributions are available, but not all are fit for VPS usage. This section will discuss some of the most commonly used Linux distributions for VPS, including:

  • CentOS
  • Ubuntu, and 
  • Debian.


CentOS is known for its stability and security. It is an enterprise-level operating system with packages that may not be up-to-date but have been maintained for 10 years. In addition, CentOS is specifically designed to support the installation of cPanel or Direct-admin control panels for running a website.


Debian, introduced in 1993, is a free operating system and one of the earliest operating systems based on the Linux kernel. 

Though the stable versions of Debian receive infrequent updates and contain slightly outdated software, they are thoroughly tested and remain highly stable and secure.

Debian is a good option for enterprise servers where stability and security are crucial. Its stable releases are supported for around 3 years.


Ubuntu, first released in 2004, is a free operating system based on Debian. Both Ubuntu and Debian share many features, such as the package format and manager. 

Ubuntu gets frequent updates unlike Debian. This means it has more up-to-date software and new features. However, it is not as stable and secure as Debian’s Long-Term Support (LTS) releases, which are supported for 5 years.

Ubuntu also has specific features, such as pre-installations and enabled default firewalls, that make it more user-friendly for beginners and advanced users.

What Is a Windows Operating System?

Microsoft developed Windows as a graphical OS, or operating system, that integrates well with external and internal software. Using a Windows OS does not require extensive technical knowledge. 

Windows VPS offers superior compatibility with both Microsoft-provided and third-party applications, high server speed, installable programmes, and other essential features. 

It operates in a Windows server environment and provides advanced control, security, and scalable performance, making it comparatively easy to use.

READ: Windows Web Hosting for Beginners

Windows vs. Linux VPS Server Hosting

Do you need a Windows Server VPS or a VPS with any of the available Linux distributions?

While Windows servers are generally more expensive, they are recommended if you intend to use other Microsoft-based applications. On the other hand, Linux has lower startup costs as many distributions operate under GNU or other free licensing schemes. 

Linux is also recognised for its superior performance compared to Windows Server and its more modular nature. In addition, it is the prefered option for web hosting due to its superior performance, scalability, and stability.

Unless you have a specific requirement that necessitates using the Windows platform, we recommend one of the many Linux options.

Factors to Consider While Choosing an Operating System for VPS

Selecting the best operating system for your VPS is not straightforward. It requires evaluating the specific needs of your organisation and the resources available to you. Enlisted below are the top factors businesses must consider when picking out an operating system for their VPS server. 


With the rise in cyber-security threats and DDoS attacks, it’s important that your VPS’s Operating System offers high-level security. Linux is relatively more secure due to its open-source and open-community features. 

These features help identify and fix bugs and backdoors promptly. Additionally, Linux is less susceptible to attacks because it has fewer users than Microsoft, making it less of a target.

READ: Password Security and Size is Important! Keys to Making Your Password Safe

User Friendliness

Regarding user-friendliness, Ubuntu is widely regarded as one of the best Linux distributions. Its desktop environment is intuitive and allows users to perform tasks without relying on the command line. 

The distribution is also easy to install and free of technical jargon, making it accessible to a wider audience. The popularity of Ubuntu has led to a large community of users and developers who provide additional support for the OS, further enhancing its usability.

Site Performance

Website performance, like loading time, can be improved with a fast and stable server. This can positively impact the user experience and your site’s credibility.

The performance of Windows and Linux servers differs significantly. Since Windows uses a graphical user interface (GUI), it requires significant resources that can affect your website’s performance during high-system loads. 

In contrast, a Linux VPS is generally faster and more stable because it uses fewer resources. Linux is designed to work with a command-line interface (CLI), and it’s less likely to experience a high system load. 

Linus VPS also needs fewer system restarts following updates, which contributes to more stable server uptime.

Availability of Features

In terms of features, the available options in each Linux distribution are comparable and dependent on the installed packages.

Red Hat Enterprise has the most extensive functionality because it has several pre-installed packages. It is one of the few commercial Linux distributions available.

That’s why many users prefer Ubuntu, considered the most feature-rich choice for VPS Hosting plans.

Installable Applications

Different Linux distributions may have varied applications available for installation, depending on the developers’ preferences. But if an application is not on your chosen Linux distribution, it may be unavailable yet. 

If you’re looking for a Linux distribution with the broadest range of exclusive applications, Ubuntu is a good choice as it is trendy.

Technical Support

No matter your team’s level of technical expertise, sometimes you need technical support for your operating system. This could range from minor bug fixes to more severe issues like security breaches. 

Windows receives regular updates that have been tested beforehand, so problems with system updates are rare. However, Linux is open source and relies on the community of developers and testers for support.

If you’re new to Linux, it might be challenging to find a Linux operating system. But as you gain experience with it, finding solutions becomes easier.

Pre-Installed Packages

Every Linux distribution OS has its own set of pre-installed packages. You can use specific commands to check which packages are included in your Linux installation. 

If you’re using Debian or Ubuntu, use the command “apt list –installed,” while for CentOS, use “sudo yum list installed.” 

These commands can provide a helpful list of installed packages. Still, the variations available can give you more specific results, such as searching for a particular package or creating a file with all the installed packages listed in it.

Configuration or Server Access

Linux and Windows VPS Hosting services offer root user access but have different access methods. For example, in a Linux VPS, you can access the root user through Secure Shell (SSH) by running commands in the command-line interface (CLI). 

On the other hand, Windows VPS provides access to the root user via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), a built-in application. The choice depends on personal preference. If you prefer using commands in the CLI over a graphical user interface (GUI), a Linux VPS is a good choice.

Ubuntu’s hardware detection feature makes it easier to configure the operating system, and the distribution as a whole is user-friendly. Even the server version can have a GUI interface. This makes it simpler to deploy and configure the necessary packages, such as the web server, database, and PHP support.

Elevate Your Online Presence with the Right Infrastructure

When considering a VPS host, choose between Linux and Windows operating systems based on your needs. While Windows offers efficiency, Linux is prefered in certain situations. 

For instance, if you have limited resources, want to avoid frequent reboots during heavy workloads, require greater flexibility, and need to use a reliable control panel like cPanel, Linux may be the ideal choice. It is also recommended if you need to use both FTP and SSH.

For online businesses looking to launch or expand, selecting the right web host provider is essential. Choosing a web host provider, like Freeparking, positively impacts your return on investment (ROI), as our plans enhance page loading speed, website security, and more. 

If your website experiences high-resource usage, it’s time to upgrade to cloud VPS Hosting or a cPanel server. With our VPS Hosting plan, you get more tools to grow your online business and greater control over your hosting resources.


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