Which server operating system is right for my needs?

Shane La Horie September 16, 2012
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I would like to know which is the best server OS for my needs. I would like to

  1. Setup a DHCP server.
  2. Setup a file server capable of automatic backups.
  3. Setup a media server.
  4. Setup a print server.

Recommendations can be either Linux servers or Windows servers. When giving your recommendations please say why you recommed the particular OS so that I can make a proper decision please.

Also please state if any of the Linux servers come in a live CD version so that I can test it before installation. Thanks!

  1. Patrick Jackson
    January 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Hello there.

    I feel that either Debian or Ubuntu, depending on how much you are comfortable in Linux that I think you are, would suffice.

    You can install XBMC for media server, and Ubuntu pretty much support many printers, else check your driver CD of the printer for the 'linux' driver.

    I hope this helps!

  2. Steve Chi
    October 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm


  3. Shane La Horie
    September 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks guys for all your help and assistance...

  4. Mohamed Jimee
    September 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I prefer you use, microsoft server

  5. Fernando Garza
    September 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    You should use Windows Server 2008 if you have the money to buy it but if you do not want to spend any money go for Linux.

  6. Abidhusain Momin
    September 18, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Go for Centos or Debian Server. This both flavor are widely used and also have best support via forum & other. You can use simple dhcp to VPS / Cloud environment.

  7. Dylan Brendan
    September 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Linux is great.. Especially Ubuntu!

  8. James Bruce
    September 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Amahi (http://www.amahi.org) would probably suit your needs, as would OpenMediaVault ...

  9. Shane La Horie
    September 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Thanks guys for all your responses. I'm still not sure what to do so i think that i can get to do all those things on win 7 i'll just install what ever 3rd party software i need to.

  10. Saurav Azad
    September 16, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    go for linux server redhat/fedora

  11. Erlis D.
    September 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I don't think I can give you a good opinion, since I like both Windows Server 2008, and Linux based servers...
    But if you are more for security, I would say linux server!

    • Mike
      September 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I don't see Linux being more secure unless you spent the necessary time into properly configuring it (services, firewall, ssh private key, ...) ~ but then again, Windows Server would be equally secure doing this.

      • Erlis D.
        September 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

        I think you are right! But the best to choose would be using the system Shane is more used to! So, in this case, let's leave it to him...

        • Mike
          September 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm


          I do agree with you in the (not mentioned) point that Linux may be more secure in terms of stability and is less susceptible to updates breaking or changing something up.

  12. susendeep dutta
    September 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Although,not being experienced in server OS,Windows and Linux are widely used.Recently,Windows has released Windows server 2012 in which you can perform operations via GUI or by giving commands.They also have three editions of it to suit your needs so as to make effective purchase -


    Some Linux server OS doesn't allow more features in live mode,so you can test them in virtual box by installing in it.

    The 5 Best Linux Servers for Small Business -


  13. Mike
    September 16, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Which one do you have the most experience with?

    You can setup those services on any operating system but it only makes sense to use one which you actually know how to use, administrate and maintain.

    I.e. there is no point using Linux for that if your biggest struggle is going to be editing settings and configurations in a command line text editor.

  14. ahmed Fouad khalil
    September 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Linux server for sure, because it is more secure and stable and less cost

  15. Bruce Epper
    September 16, 2012 at 7:12 am

    A Linux server, your preferred distro, simply because of the security benefits. Since you do not state that it needs to integrate easily into an existing Active Directory structure, you would be better off selecting Linux for the job. As far as a specific distribution, it is all a matter of personal preference. If you have any experience with RedHat/Fedora/CentOS, you would probably want to stick with those. Same thing applies with either the BSD or Debian lines of *nix. They probably do have LiveCDs for them, but I would recommend initially setting things up in a VM instead so you can more fully experiment before making your final decision. Also, remember when setting up a server to only install the necessary elements to perform the services you require on the machine.

    • Harish Jonnalagadda
      September 16, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Yeah, most server installations come with a lot of unnecessary features that are never utilised.

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