So, you’ve just decided that you need a cloud server or a dedicated server for your business. That is awesome! Now it’s time for the next step. What operating system (OS) you should use, knowing there are plenty of options out there?
Let us introduce you to all the OS options of Neterra.cloud and find out which one is the best for you.
Debian-based Linux distributions
Debian is a favorite Linux distro of plenty of users and has been around for around 30 years already!
It is a free, open-source, and community-driven distro and has three branches.
Unstable, which serves for bleeding-edge packages and could be very unstable.
Testing is the middle ground and serves for testing new packages, and the final one is Leap. Debian Leap is the stable branch that people use for servers.
Debian Leap offers a stable environment for servers, thanks to the advanced security features, multiple built-in packages, and long-term support.
Thanks to the decades of development, they have an extensive collection of software packages that other distros are highly envious of. Here, you will find a package for every need.
It uses the APT package manager, but you can also install .deb files, which are specific to Debian.
It is easily one of the best choices for everybody who is looking for a stable Linux distro with long-term support.
Kali Linux is based on Debian Testing, and it has a specific purpose. Yes, you can use it for an email server or web server, but its best characteristics are focused on cybersecurity.
It includes plenty of testing tools like vulnerability analysis tools, security tools, penetration tools, network tools, and more, for penetration testers, and security experts.
You can use Kali Linux to gather information about the target, scan its vulnerability, use different tools to crack passwords, make an analysis of the network, and find points for exploits.
This distro offers regular updates, that can add even more and better tools.
Ubuntu is probably the best-known Linux distro out there. It is based on Debian and can use the APT software package, and .deb packages too. You can expect plenty of software packages out there for all your needs.
Ubuntu is very user-friendly and easy to use. There is wide community support and even a whole company – Canonical Ltd. You can find plenty of forums with information and Ubuntu specialists who can help you for a fee.
One of the key advantages is the long-term support. You can expect years of support and a very stable build that you can use for your servers.
Many use Ubuntu for their web servers, mail servers, database servers, and more. It supports a huge variety of programming languages, and this makes it a great distro for developers.
By the way, if you are into Linux, check out these 5 excellent Linux distros.
Red Hat Linux-related distros
Red Hat is a huge American software company that provides open-source and closed-source software. This company was created in the 90s and it is still one of the big players when it comes to enterprise Linux distributions. Red Hat stands behind Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, and CentOS Stream.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has incredibly long-term support and a whole team behind it. It is an excellent choice for every mission-critical server. It is not free, but the price is worth it.
Fedora is the upstream of RHEL. It has the latest features, but it is not as stable.
CentOS Stream is one step above RHEL and one step below Fedora. It came from the original CentOS, which was downstream of RHEL. Now, CentOS Stream is a good distro, but it lost its main selling point – the excellent stability of CentOS.
Today, CentOS is already an outdated OS, and you should check some of the other OSs.
Many other distros are based on some of the Red Hat distros. Among them are: AlmaLinux, Amazon Linux 2, Rocky Linux, ClearOS, Oracle Linux Server, Scientific Linux, Springdale Linux, and VzLinux.
AlmaLinux is based on RHEL, which makes it really stable, and it’s also free, which is a great benefit!
Amazon Linux 2 is a great distro if you are planning to use Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Oracle Linux Server is another enterprise-class Linux, based on RHEL. What sets it apart is its custom kernel called “Oracle Unbreakable Kernel,” which makes it very stable and secure.
Springdale Linux is based on RHEL, but it has add-ons that give extra functionality, some of which are great for scientific computing.
ClearOS and Scientific Linux haven’t received updates in a while, so you’d better check the rest of them.
VzLinux is a very good alternative for CentOS 8 users. They can easily migrate to it.
Gentoo is one of the most popular Linux distros for servers. This OS uses Ebuilds, which are pre-built configuration text files that include all the dependencies that a specific software needs.
It has its own package manager called Portage. It has been inspired by FreeBSD and includes compiling, installing, and managing software packages, which allows users to customize their software stack.
Gentoo is a rolling distro. It gets updates quite often, and with these updates, you can access all the latest features too.
There are some drawbacks to this Linux distro. It has a steep learning curve. While there are plenty of manuals and configurations, it could be challenging for Linux newbies because it is a bit less user-friendly. It is a distro best suited for advanced users, who want to squeeze the best performance out of their servers.
SUSE-based Linux distributions
OpenSUSE and SUSE Linux have a similar relationship to the one of Fedora and RHEL. The first is the upstream distro, that gets the latest updates and features.
OpenSUSE is a rolling distro. That means that you will get a new version quite often.
It is open-source and community-driven and it is relatively user-friendly even for Linux newbies.
It includes tools for development, various programming languages, development libraries, and more.
SUSE Linux is the company that supports it and adds to its development.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is its corporate edition. It is a platform for mission-critical computing. It is very stable and secure.
Many enterprises choose it for virtualization, high availability, live kernel patching, system rollback, excellent support, and many more interesting features that make this distro very robust.
Slackware Linux is one of the oldest Linux distros that is still alive. People use it because of its simplicity, stability, and more traditional UNIX-lie approach to minimalism.
It is a bit harder to install if you are a Linux novice because you will need to use a text-based installation.
Slackware is perfect for server use. It is one of the most stable distros out there. It also provides precise control over the system, which is a great plus.
Thanks to it beinglightweight, you can expect excellent performance, even on not-so-top-of-the-line servers.
This distro has a lack of dependency resolution. It does not have a built-in dependency resolution system, and users must manage package dependencies on their own. That could scare some of the people, but it can also be a benefit. The user knows exactly what is installed on their system.
BSD-based operating systems
BSD is not Linux. It is a different OS, although you can use a lot of the packages that you can find in different Linux distros.
Here we have two suggestions for you, FreeBSD and pfSense (based on FreeBSD). Both benefit from some of the same features:
Stability and reliability. FreeBSD is a solid choice for anyone who is looking for a stable OS for server deployment. It is good for critical infrastructure too.
Security. The development of FreeBSD is focused on security and proactively fixing vulnerabilities. This OS has a feature called Jails. It insulates applications in a similar way as containers in some Linux distros.
Performance. This OS has excellent performance, thanks to the efficient use of system resources. It is suitable for high-demanding server environments.
Licensing. This operating system has an open-source license (BSD License).
FreeBSD is a very good option for your server. It is a very reliable OS, that can also be very versatile. You can use it for a firewall, router, FTP server, DNS server, web server, mail server, media server, web content filtering proxy, database server, and more.
Read more about FreeBSD.
pfSense is a very specialized OS that is primarily used for routing software and firewalls.
It provides additional features and robust network security like advanced package filtering and traffic control. Thanks to its traffic management capabilities, it is often used in load balancers to distribute the traffic across different servers.
Small to medium-sized businesses use it as an all-in-one solution for their network security and routing needs, whereas enterprises usually implement pfSense for a segment of their IT infrastructure.
Neterra offers servers with: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022.
When should you choose Windows for your server? When you need the Windows ecosystem. If you need Active Directory, the .NET framework, Microsoft SQL, SharePoint, and Exchange Server, this OS can be your best choice.
You will find that it has a familiar interface to the desktop version of Windows. It has excellent support, and it often gets updates and patches.
Windows is also good for virtualization and Hyper-V. Using it, you can implement virtualization technology within your infrastructure and manage multiple virtual machines.
As you can see above, there are different versions of Windows Server. You might think, “Why would I choose an old version of Windows, instead of the latest one?”. An older Windows Server will give you proven stability, and it will require fewer resources to run. On the other hand, a newer Windows Server will have better security, and many new features at the price of reduced performance, and additional fees.
The biggest disadvantage is that it costs additional money. It is not free as most of the Linux distros.
These are the operating systems that you can use on your Neterra.Cloud server. Check out our offers and we hope we can start working together very soon.