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Which Operating System?

For more Unix vs NT info visit: http://www.unix-vs-nt.org/.

Which operating system do web hosting companies use?
Currently there are only three operating systems that are recommended for web serving, Unix (which has many variations including Sun Solaris), Microsoft Windows NT, and Apple System. Since using Macintosh servers for hosting is a rather new idea and rarely supported we will only be looking at NT and Unix hosting.

Does it matter what operating system I am running?
No, it really doesn't matter whether you are running Unix at home and choose an NT hosting company to host your web site or vice-versa, they all use the universal TCP/IP protocol. Using an ftp client such as Cute-ftp you can upload your web pages to any server.

Will my HTML/HTM pages appear different depending on which operating system the server is using?
No, the page will look the same if it is served from an NT server rather than a UNIX and vice-versa. If your site simple consists of a few html pages then you should have no preference to which operating system the server is running at this stage.

What difference does it make then?
You will notice very little difference (apart from maybe price) unless you intend to create an interactive or database driven web-site, which requires certain tools, which vary on NT and UNIX servers.

Which is the cheapest?
You will generally find Unix hosting companies are cheaper than NT hosting services, this is because the majority of Unix operating systems and software are freeware.

Which support perl?
If you intend to use a lot of perl programs on your site then we strongly recommend Unix, although Perl is available for NT is it not naturally supported. Many of perl scripts available on the Internet are intend for Unix and some will include functions that will only work on a Unix system, such as the use of Sendmail. However if you are prepared to experiment with the settings and adjust the code then you can run Perl scripts on NT, you can even program them to take advantage of ODBC database connections.

Which is best for a database backend?
Many people would argue that a combination of Perl and MySQL/mSQL on a Unix Server is the best for database access, it's cheap and can support many con-current threads. Others would argue that ASP and Access/MS SQL on an NT is better, since you can create and edit the database from your desktop and those with knowledge in Visual Basic will find this combination easier to program. However, this is a lot more resource demanding than the UNIX combination and hence searches may appear slow and/or you will be expect to pay more for an account supporting these features.

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