Best Operating Systems for VPS Hosting ✅ | Find Your Ideal OS

Explore the top operating systems for VPS hosting and boost your server’s performance today. Find the perfect OS match!

Updated: 14 Apr, 24 by Susith Nonis 28 Min

List of content you will read in this article:

The VPS operating system you choose is a crucial factor that may impact your company. Even though choosing the hosting server is difficult, the work is not done yet. Your business will be impacted by the Operating System (OS) you choose for your VPS from the programs you can install to how simple it is. The needs and priorities of your company, as well as your budget, technological capabilities, etc., must be considered when choosing the ideal OS for VPS. You have a choice between Windows and Linux regarding OS for VPS Hosting.

An operating system (OS) is a software component that maintains computer hardware and provides shared services to computer programs. It functions as a bridge between computer hardware and application software. General-purpose operating systems include Microsoft Windows, macOS, and several varieties of Linux.

A server operating system, on the other hand, is a type of operating system that is specifically built to function on servers, which are computers that deliver network services to other computers or users. Server operating systems are designed to host websites, manage databases, handle network traffic, and perform other server-related duties. Server operating systems include Windows Server and Linux distributions such as CentOS, Ubuntu Server, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The major distinction between an operating system and a server operating system is their intended purpose and the features they provide. Server operating systems often have features customized for server activities, such as improved networking, security, and resource management, whereas general-purpose operating systems are intended to fulfill the needs of a wider range of users and applications.

Understanding the most popular server operating systems aids in the selection of the best platform for certain workloads and applications, resulting in optimal performance, dependability, and security. Second, expertise with common server operating systems allows for more efficient management, maintenance, and troubleshooting of server infrastructure. That's why we`re going to identify the most common server operating systems here:

1- Linux Servers 🥇

Linux is a popular choice for server operating systems because of its open-source nature, flexibility, and robustness. It provides a variety of distributions targeted to specific use cases, ranging from small-scale web hosting to large-scale enterprise applications.

Use cases:

  • Web hosting: Many websites are hosted on Linux servers due to the stability, security, and cost-effectiveness of Linux-based hosting solutions.
  • Data center infrastructure: Linux servers are commonly used in data centers to power cloud services, virtualization platforms, and container orchestration systems like Kubernetes.
  • Networking: Linux servers are frequently deployed as routers, firewalls, and network appliances due to their extensive networking capabilities and support for routing protocols.

Linux  Virtual Server
Linux Virtual Server

Starting From $5.99/Monthly

2- Microsoft Windows Servers🥈

Best server OS for windows 10 is Windows Server. It is a well-rounded solution that offers robust features for virtualization, remote access, and security. Its tight integration with other Microsoft products, such as Active Directory for centralized user control and Office for seamless business productivity, further strengthens the Windows ecosystem. Users who look for best server OS for windows 10  will find it simple to learn and manage.

Use cases:

  • Active Directory domain controllers: Windows Server is commonly used to deploy and manage Active Directory domains, providing centralized authentication, authorization, and directory services.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server: It is often chosen as the platform for hosting Microsoft Exchange, enabling organizations to manage email, calendars, and contacts.
  • File and print services: Windows Server offers robust file sharing and print server capabilities, making it suitable for file storage and printer management in corporate environments.

Windows VPS
Windows Server

Starting From $16.99/Monthly

3- Cloud-based Servers🥉 

Cloud-based servers have grown in popularity because they provide a flexible and cost-effective way to access computing power. Unlike traditional servers, which require an initial investment and ongoing maintenance, cloud servers scale up or down based on your needs, with a pay-as-you-go model that reduces IT overhead and frees up resources for businesses to focus on core functions.

Use cases:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Allow organizations to provision virtual machines on-demand, providing the flexibility to scale resources up or down based on demand.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): They offer managed services for application development, deployment, and scaling, allowing developers to focus on building and deploying applications without worrying about underlying infrastructure.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Many cloud providers offer software applications as a service, eliminating the need for organizations to install, manage, and maintain software on their own servers.

dedicated server
Cloud VPS by MonoVM

⭐ Starting From $14.99/monthly
⭐ 25+ Locations Worldwide

4- UNIX Operating System

UNIX's lasting popularity originates from its unwavering stability, security, and adaptability.  Originally built for multitasking and power users, it features a robust command-line interface and modular tools that may be used to do complex tasks.  This, combined with open-source derivatives such as Linux, makes UNIX a versatile workhorse for servers, web development, and power users that prioritize efficiency and control.

Use cases:

  • High-performance computing: UNIX servers are often used in scientific computing, simulations, and other compute-intensive tasks that require high performance and scalability.
  • Telecommunications: UNIX-based systems are commonly deployed in telecommunications networks for routing, switching, and network management.
  • Financial services: UNIX servers are prevalent in the financial industry for tasks such as electronic trading, risk management, and transaction processing.
  1. 🌐 Curious about the differences between two major operating systems? Check out our detailed comparison on Linux vs Unix to learn more!

5- NetWare Operating System

Novell NetWare was previously a popular choice for file and print services, directory services, and network management in enterprise contexts. However, its popularity has fallen substantially in recent years as organizations have shifted to other platforms.

Use cases:

  • File and print services: NetWare was known for its robust file sharing and print server capabilities, making it suitable for file storage and printer management in corporate environments.
  • Directory services: NetWare offered Novell Directory Services (NDS), a centralized directory service similar to Active Directory, for managing user accounts, groups, and network resources.
  • Network management: It provided tools for monitoring and managing network resources, such as network printers, file servers, and user access permissions.

Choosing the best server operating system (OS) allows you to achieve peak performance, security, and efficiency. Understanding the essential things to consider allows you to make an informed selection. It's critical to explore and compare different operating systems based on your individual needs and intended use case. If you want to improve your server environment and ensure it efficiently fulfills your organizational goals, consider the following aspects when selecting the best server OS:

Specify your purpose

Because different server operating systems are frequently suited for specific activities or workloads, determining your purpose is the first step in selecting the best server OS free. Each use case may necessitate different software, configurations, and support, and some server operating systems may excel in specific areas. For example, if you want to host websites and web applications, Linux distributions like Ubuntu Server or CentOS are popular options due to their powerful web server software and significant community support. However, if you need compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server for database applications, Windows Server may be the better option as it is Best server OS for windows 10. 

Scalability and Performance

Determine your scalability and performance requirements. Some operating systems are tailored for specific workloads and may provide superior performance in certain situations. Consider the OS's resource requirements to guarantee it can handle your predicted workload efficiently.

Security is important

Security is vital for servers that handle sensitive information or provide critical services. Look for an operating system with a solid security track record, frequent security upgrades, and features like as built-in firewalls, access controls, and encryption choices. Linux distributions are frequently chosen for their strong security features.

  1. 🔒 Want to ensure your systems are secure? Learn more about Windows Server Security and protect your data today!

Management and Administration

Evaluate the server operating system's simplicity of management and administration. Consider the tools and utilities available for package management, system monitoring, remote administration, and configuration management. Windows Server is Best server OS for windows 10 and other Linux distributions have distinct management methodologies, so think about your knowledge and preferences.

Consider the Costs and your budget

Determine your budget for the server operating system. Some operating systems are open source and free, while others require a license cost. Also consider the expense of continuing support and maintenance. If you can't afford it, there are some best server OS free that you can pick from. 

Application Compatibility

If you have special apps or services that must run on the server, ensure that they are compatible with the OS. Check that the programs you require are compatible with the chosen operating system and that there is enough support available.

Support and Community

Consider the availability of support and a robust user community. A well-supported operating system will have regular security updates and a community where you can ask questions, read documentation, and watch lessons. Linux distributions frequently feature thriving communities and vast online resources.

Microsoft sells Windows, which has excellent interoperability with third-party and internal software. 

The Microsoft technical team creates the Windows server OS for VPS; thus, utilizing it wouldn't require a lot of technical expertise. Also, managing a Windows server environment is comparably simpler.

Its most notable advantage is the Windows operating system's user-friendly interface, simplifying hosting-related tasks. 

If your company processes are set up to rely on Microsoft software, such as if you want to build your website using the ASP.NET framework, then the Windows operating system is the obvious choice.

Using a remote desktop is yet another impressive benefit of Windows VPS hosting. It provides simple access to VPS hosting through a user-friendly interface. In contrast to Linux OS, which requires Secure Shell protocol, Windows OS offers a simple and hassle-free way to administer server operations.

Windows operating systems are administered through the Plesk control panel instead of Linux operating systems, which are managed through the more recognizable cPanel. 

Thanks to its user-friendly GUI, the Windows operating system outperforms Linux regarding user comfort.

When is Windows VPS hosting the ideal choice?

There are numerous OS choices available for Windows VPS servers, but just one is the optimal OS for VPS. 

Not every business website can function in every situation. Windows is the greatest VPS operating system and is specifically required by some apps. Windows VPS stands out from other operating systems because of its fantastic features and association with a reliable brand. 

You must select Windows as your preferred operating system for the VPS server under the following circumstances or circumstances: 

Windows has been specifically created to handle applications like ASP.NET, MySQL, MS Access, and others when they run on those platforms.

Whenever you require FTP access to move files from your computer to a network and vice versa, you can access online software archives with FTP access.

Windows is the best VPS operating system to ease your working style. Plesk is typically the preferred control panel for Windows. Out of many control panels, Plesk has a reputation for having a user-friendly interface.

Since Microsoft supports Windows, there are no questions about its IT support.

Best Windows OS for VPS Hosting

Here are some of the best Windows Server OS for VPS hosting with a brief description of each:

  1. Windows Server 2022 - The latest version of Windows Server with advanced multi-layer security, hybrid capabilities with Azure, and a flexible application platform. It introduces secured-core capabilities to help protect hardware, firmware, and Windows Server OS capabilities against advanced security threats, and also provides secured connectivity with faster and more secure encrypted HTTPS connections. It also improves hybrid server management and Windows container capabilities.

  2. Windows Server 2019 - The latest version of Windows Server with improved security and hybrid capabilities for cloud integration.
  3. Windows Server 2016 - A stable and reliable OS for VPS hosting, with added security features and support for containers.

  4. Windows Server 2012 R2 - A popular choice for VPS hosting, with enhanced virtualization capabilities and improved storage management.

  5. Windows Server 2008 R2 - While no longer supported by Microsoft, it is still a viable option for legacy applications and provides stable performance.

  6. Windows Server 2012 Essentials - A cost-effective solution for small businesses with limited IT resources, providing simplified management and easy integration with cloud services.

Remember that the best Windows Server OS for VPS hosting will depend on your specific needs and requirements, such as the type of applications you plan to run, the amount of traffic you expect, and the level of security you require.

Linux is an operating system's kernel, or core, which handles all of the system's related tasks, including memory management, hardware, data control, etc. The kernel is the foundation of any distribution, and the kernel is also the most crucial and significant component of every operating system.

Torvalds also created the original Linux kernel, a major factor in the changes. When we refer to Linux, we mean the open-source distribution of the Linux kernel.

Since there are so many different Linux distributions, users can create their own by altering the code.

There are numerous Linux OS available for various purposes. There are server and graphical variants of Linux. Typically, the server edition is installed by the providers of VPS services. 

You need to understand how to use SSH commands to use Linux Server.

Two Linux-based VPS operating systems that are simpler to use and great for beginners are Ubuntu and CentOS. Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, and OpenSUSE are options for more tech-savvy users.

When is Linux VPS hosting the ideal choice?

Depending on the kind of need, the user bases of Linux and Windows can differ. Like Windows, Linux also ensures increased efficiency and all the other advantages of a VPS host. But there are situations when Linux as an operating system is preferred:

  • Linux is the ideal OS for VPS if you don’t have access to that many resources.
  • When you want to avoid rebooting daily because it gets hectic under heavy workloads.
  • When you need greater flexibility.
  • When using a reliable control panel, such as cPanel.
  • When you need both FTP and SSH.

Best Linux OS for VPS Hosting

Discover the top OS for Linux VPS hosting in this comprehensive list that includes popular options like Ubuntu Server, CentOS Stream, Debian, and Fedora Server, as well as community-driven alternatives like Almalinux and Rocky Linux. Get a brief overview of each OS and recent versions to help you choose the ideal one for your VPS hosting needs.

  1. Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS (latest), 20.04 LTS - The latest and previous version of the popular Linux Server OS with long-term support, a large community, and extensive documentation.

  2. CentOS Stream 9 (latest), 8 - The latest and previous version of the cutting-edge Linux Server OS with rolling updates that enables you to test and develop new features before they are released in the stable version.

  3. Debian 11 (latest), 10 - The latest and previous version of the reliable and flexible Linux Server OS that is highly customizable and suitable for a wide range of applications. It is known for its package management system and security features.

  4. Fedora Server 35 (latest), 34 - The latest and previous version of the cutting-edge Linux Server OS that is designed for developers and advanced users. It offers the latest software versions and innovative features for virtualization and containerization.

  5. Almalinux 8.4 (latest) - A community-driven Linux Server OS that is a 1:1 fork of CentOS 8. It offers long-term support, stability, and security features.

  6. Rocky Linux 8.4 (latest) - A community-driven Linux Server OS that is also a 1:1 fork of CentOS 8. It offers long-term support and is designed to be a stable and secure alternative to CentOS.

Keep in mind that the best Linux Server OS for VPS hosting will depend on your specific needs and requirements, such as the type of applications you plan to run, the level of technical expertise you have, and the level of support and documentation you require.

Learning how to choose the finest server operating system (OS) for small businesses allows you to ensure that the server OS you select fulfills your company's specific needs. This knowledge enables small firms to optimize their server architecture, improve performance, strengthen security, and efficiently support their operations, resulting in enhanced efficiency and success. We've included some questions that, if answered, can help you understand how to select the finest server operating system for your small business. Let`s get started! 

What is your primary goal of having a business server?

Selecting the appropriate operating system for your server is critical to getting the most out of it. Understanding your key purpose is essential before making any IT infrastructure decision. Do you emphasize impenetrable security for critical data? Streamline teamwork for your staff. Running critical programs to keep your business running? With a defined goal in mind, you may choose an OS that properly corresponds with your needs, assuring best performance and outcomes. By focusing on capabilities that directly contribute to your goals, you may get the most out of your server investment.

How much workload are you expecting from your business server?

Don't underestimate the power of planning for your server's workload! Analyzing the data storage, user traffic, and application needs helps you choose the right OS and hardware setup. This foresight prevents performance issues, costly downtime, and disruptions. By proactively building a server that can handle your current demands and future growth, you ensure a smooth and responsive IT environment that empowers your business.

Do you prefer an On-premise or Off-premise server?

The on-premise vs. cloud server debate hinges on your budget, security needs, and in-house IT muscle.  Owning a server means upfront costs and constant upkeep, but offers total control. Cloud servers are hosted by others, requiring less initial investment but with ongoing fees and potentially less customization. Weighing these factors alongside your company's priorities and growth plans ensures you choose the deployment model that best supports your success.

What type of server do you want?

Choosing the type of server architecture for your business improves resource consumption, performance, and administrative efficiency. Which one of the following servers are best for you?

Dedicated servers: A dedicated server is a physical server that is solely dedicated to one user or organization. It provides comprehensive control and resources for server hardware, ensuring high levels of performance, security, and customisation. Dedicated servers are great for resource-intensive applications, large-scale websites, and enterprises who want complete control over their server environment.

Virtual Servers: Virtual servers, often called virtual private servers (VPS), use virtualization technology to divide a real server into several virtual instances. Each virtual server functions autonomously, with its own operating system and dedicated resources. Virtual servers give a cost-effective alternative by balancing performance, control, and affordability. They are ideal for small to medium-sized organizations that demand dedicated resources but lack the funds or necessity for a dedicated physical server.

Cloud Servers: Cloud servers operate within a cloud computing environment where resources are distributed across multiple physical servers. They offer scalability, flexibility, and high availability and can be quickly provisioned and scaled up or down based on demand. Cloud servers are suitable for businesses that value scalability, redundancy, and pay-as-you-go pricing models. They provide the ability to scale resources dynamically and are often utilized for web applications, software development, and data storage.

Here is a list of Best Server OS for Small Business:

Here is a list of some of the best server operating systems for small businesses, along with their appropriate uses:

Windows Server

  • Suitable for businesses heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Ideal for running Microsoft applications like Active Directory, Exchange Server, and SharePoint.
  • Offers robust security features and seamless integration with Windows desktop environments.

Ubuntu Server

  • Ideal for small businesses looking for a cost-effective, reliable, and easy-to-use server OS.
  • Supports a wide range of applications and workloads, including web hosting, file sharing, and database management.
  • Offers long-term support (LTS) releases with regular security updates and community support.


  • Well-suited for businesses seeking a stable and free alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  • Excellent choice for running web servers, email servers, and database servers.
  • Provides strong community support and compatibility with RHEL packages.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

  • Suitable for businesses requiring enterprise-grade reliability, security, and support.
  • Ideal for mission-critical workloads, such as database management, virtualization, and high-performance computing.
  • Offers extensive management tools and support options through Red Hat's subscription services.


  • Recommended for businesses prioritizing stability, security, and open-source principles.
  • Suitable for a wide range of server applications, including web hosting, email services, and file sharing.
  • Provides access to a vast repository of software packages and strong community support.


  • Ideal for businesses needing a robust and secure server OS with a focus on performance and stability.
  • Well-suited for serving web content, managing network infrastructure, and running custom applications.
  • Offers advanced networking features, including firewalling, packet filtering, and traffic shaping.


  • Suitable for businesses looking for a flexible and user-friendly server OS with a focus on reliability and innovation.
  • Ideal for running web servers, application servers, and virtualization platforms.
  • Provides a choice of stable releases and rolling release models to cater to different needs and preferences.

The correct operating system can ensure that your website manages traffic efficiently, is safe from online attacks, and has manageable recurring maintenance expenses. By taking into account the following aspects, you can establish the groundwork for a dependable and scalable web server to support your online presence:

1- Servers' Performance

Consider the traffic volume your website expects. High-performance OS options like Linux distributions known for efficiency (e.g., Ubuntu) can handle heavy loads. For smaller websites, a user-friendly option like Windows Server might suffice.

2- Security

Prioritize an OS with robust security features like built-in firewalls and permission controls. Linux is known for strong inherent security, while Windows Server offers integration with security solutions from the same ecosystem.

3- Regular Updates

Consistent updates are crucial for patching vulnerabilities. Opt for an OS with a reliable update system and a track record of prompt fixes. Both Linux and Windows Server offer regular updates, with some Linux distributions releasing them more frequently. 

4- Price Point

Factor in licensing costs and ongoing maintenance needs. Open-source options like Linux are free to use, but require technical expertise for setup and management. Windows Server comes with licensing fees but offers user-friendly management tools. Cloud-based servers eliminate upfront hardware costs but incur ongoing subscription fees.

Selecting the perfect VPS operating system hinges on your specific needs. Are you a Windows whiz or a Linux guru? What programs will your VPS power? Popular picks include:

  • Linux: King of the VPS castle, Linux offers rock-solid stability, top-notch security, and a dizzying array of choices (Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora anyone?). You'll find great performance, vast software libraries, and a supportive community ready to lend a hand.  
  • Windows Server: Feeling more at home with Windows? No problem! Windows Server provides a familiar interface and seamless compatibility with Microsoft tools like .NET and SQL Server. Perfect if you're already a Windows pro or rely on specific Windows-based applications.
  • FreeBSD: This Unix-based warrior is known for its ironclad security and stability. It shines in networking tasks and is a great pick if you have FreeBSD experience or need its specific functionalities.

Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the optimum server operating system for a virtual private server. It is critical to assess your individual requirements and preferences in order to pick the OS that best meets your demands and provides a stable and secure environment for your VPS.

The best OS to choose for your VPS is not as simple as it may seem, as was mentioned earlier in this article. 

First, you must evaluate the unique requirements of your organization and the resources—both human and financial—at your disposal. More adaptable, compatible, and developer-friendly will be Linux OS for VPS. 

On the other hand, the Windows VPS operating system will be incredibly simple to use, with an intuitive UI, increased control, and better and faster support.

You must ascertain your precise demands and abilities because each operating system provides unique advantages. 

Choose an operating system that most closely matches the needs and objectives of your organization.

🚀 Ready to take your VPS hosting to the next level? 💪 Visit our VPS hosting page now to learn more about our lightning-fast performance, unbeatable reliability, and 24/7 support. With flexible and scalable plans, a user-friendly control panel, and a wide range of operating system options, you can customize your VPS to meet your specific needs. 💻🔧 Click here to visit our VPS hosting page and discover the perfect plan for your website. 🤖💻


It depends on specific needs and preferences. Popular choices include Linux distributions like Ubuntu Server, CentOS, and Debian, as well as Windows Server for those heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.

Linux is the most widely used server operating system globally, with distributions like Ubuntu, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux being popular choices.

Linux-based server operating systems like CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu Server are often praised for their robust security features and active community support.

Linux is the dominant operating system running on most servers worldwide. Popular distributions include Ubuntu Server, CentOS, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Susith Nonis

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.