Web Hosting FAQs - Linux Web Hosting

Q: What is Linux Web Hosting?

A: Linux is an operating system. It’s known in term of stability. Linux is popular because there are many free versions. It consumes less resources than Windows operating system. Most popular web hosting control panel, cPanel, runs on Linux. WordPress and other PHP web applications also run well on Linux.

Q: What is the difference between Linux hosting and Windows hosting?

A: Linux and Windows are two different operating systems. Both Windows hosting and Linux hosting have their own advantages and differ in functionalities. Linux is suitable to host web site and web application that run on PHP and MySQL database. Windows is best for hosting ASP.NET and MSSQL database websites.

Q: What is the difference between UNIX and Linux?

A:The UNIX operating system was developed in the early seventies and rewritten in the programming language 'C' which gave it the ability to outlive the hardware it lived on which was a very significant development. Then many years later a man named Linus Torvalds developed the operating system kernel for the FSF's project to develop a free version of UNIX which Linus then named Linux. There are many versions or flavors of UNIX and Linux which have different strengths and weaknesses regarding speed, security and features, etc

Q: If I use a web host that runs Linux will Windows users be able to see my website?

A: Yes. Because the website will send out information using standard languages (HTML, XML) that a browser like Internet Explorer or FireFox can read it's no problem for someone using Windows to see a website running on a Linux server and vice versa

Q: What are the advantages of using Linux?

A: In terms of web hosting, Linux supporters will tell you that Linux offers a lower cost of development than Windows because most Linux hosting plans are cheaper than Windows hosting plans. Why? Because most web hosts use a free version of Linux (like Linux or FreeBSD) so they don't have to pay thousands of dollars to buy the operating system and associated tools to run the server or pay to upgrade their licenses every few years. Microsoft will tell you that the reverse is true however with the time and energy you spend supporting yourself offsetting any cost gains in the free OS.

Linux is an open source operating system so anyone who wants to look at the code and change it is free to do so. This means that when a problem is found such as a security flaw, anyone with the skills can fix it and send out the patch. With Microsoft, you have to wait for the company to fix it and you can't be sure just exactly what they've done to fix the problem since they don't let you look under the hood. The ability to have total control over what you are doing and its reputation for stability and security are a large part of what makes Linux such a popular choice. Linux is also features a command-line interface which doesn't waste a lot of system resources. Thus, with 32 or 64 MB of RAM a Linux machine can still run multiple programs with perfect stability.

The UNIX/Linux community is very supportive. Think about your favorite sport and then imagine the team with the most rabid, loyal fans. Linux users are pretty similar except that if you show up at the game cheering for Microsoft 'flame' you (post nasty messages on their forums about you) instead of beating you up in the parking lot. On the flip side, if you are new to Linux you will generally be cheered on and encouraged as a new member of the family. Just make sure you read the instructions or try to find easily accessible information you need yourself before asking. This is a big point of etiquette among the open source folk.

Q: What are the disadvantages of Linux?

A: There is no clicking "Next, Next, OK, Finish" in Linux. Windows became popular by creating a graphical user interface that is easy to use. It is very much orientated towards ease of use. While a Linux fan will tell you this is a Linux advantage because the Microsoft way allows you to do a lot of things when you may not know the consequences of your actions, it can be intimidating staring at a blinking cursor on the command line not knowing what to do next. i.e. you will have to educate yourself a bit to use Linux.

Linux is less popular and there is less software available. While Linux tools and applications are often free, there are less of them out there. Microsoft is a giant corporation with thousands of developers constantly working on creating new products or improving different aspects of the Redmond software empire while Linux enjoys less prolific software production.

Q: What is the difference between CGI and CGI-BIN?

A: CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. CGI is not a programming language, it defines how data is passed between software and databases to the web page. CGI programs can be written using a variety of languages, such as Perl, C, PHP and others.

CGI-Bin is the directory where executable files are located.

Q: What is PHP?

A: It's like ASP but for Linux. i.e., PHP is a server-side scripting language (runs on the server instead of the user's computer) that is used primarily on Linux Web servers to create dynamic Web pages. PHP script is written into HTML web pages and when the server reads the page it runs the script which is often used to generate content and then sends it on to the end user. Web pages that include PHP script are usually given a file suffix of ".php" ".php3," or ".phtml". You can learn more about it at http://www.php.net.

Q: How do I upload and download files in Linux?

A: Typically, you can upload and download files in Linux via FTP.

Q: How can I use Linux? What are some of the basic commands?

A: Linux uses the command line or a simple cursor. man - man will bring up information about the command or the instruction manual. "man cd" will bring up instructions on using the cd or change directories command.

cd - Move to the directory.

mkdir - Creates a new directory named

rmdir - Removes the directory

mv - Moves the file to the directory .

mv - Renames a directory.

pico - Pico is a text editor like notepad.

ls - This command will list the directory that you are in.

pwd - pwd prints the path of the directory that you are currently in.

You can easily find many Linux command references on the internet or you can go to this site for a list of commands and definitions. http://www.computerhope.com/unix.htm

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