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Ubuntu Linux vs Windows Server comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on May 19, 2022

We performed a comparison between Ubuntu Linux and Windows Server based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions agree that their initial setup is straightforward..

  • Features: Users of both products are happy with their flexibility, stability, and scalability. Ubuntu Linux users like its user interface and say the solution is high performing and secure. Several Ubuntu Linux users mention that it lacks integration options with other systems. Windows Server users like the Active Directory tool and say the solution is user-friendly but needs to improve its security.

  • Pricing: Ubuntu Linux is open-source and free of charge. Most Windows Server reviewers feel that it is an expensive product.

  • ROI: Ubuntu Linux users report an ROI.Windows Server users to not mention ROI.

  • Service and Support: Since Ubuntu Linux is a free product, it does not provide support. There is, however, a large supporting online community. Windows Server users have mixed reviews for the product’s support. Some users are satisfied with the support while others say it could improve.

Comparison Results: Ubuntu Linux comes out on top in this comparison. It is a secure, easy to use, and robust solution that is completely free.

To learn more, read our detailed Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows Server report (Updated: September 2022).
633,572 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Anonymous User
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The Red Hat support is most valuable. My team and I are really good at Linux, and we can do almost everything in any kind of Linux solution, but sometimes, we have a really nasty problem, and the Red Hat engineering support at the third level has been fantastic. They know how to fix almost everything. The reason why I pay so much money to them is to have this kind of service and assurance.""The security features are better than many other solutions offer.""Its security is the most valuable. It is very stable and has many features. It also has good performance. Some of our clients were using Windows servers and products. I suggested Red Hat Linux to them and described the features. They switched to it, and they really loved it. There were around 50 servers in my last company, and they switched all those servers from Windows to Red Hat. I used to manage those servers.""One of the most important features is the package manager. It provides the ability to very easily roll back transactions when something has gone wrong. It is an easy-to-use tool that helps me in situations where something unexpected has happened. I found that this was one of the solution's major advantages over other distributions.""Its scalability and ease of setup and configuration are most valuable. When we have a hardware failure, we just save the configuration files, and in about half an hour, we have another server running with the same configuration. It is really easy to replace servers. This is the best feature.""The most valuable features are the specification and technical guides, they are most important the security.""The feature that I like the most is that we can integrate it easily with our existing infrastructure. We found that it is much easier to deploy RHEL in our environment compared to a competing distribution like Ubuntu.""This is a very robust product that doesn't require a lot of handling. It just works."

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"Stable and scalable Linux operating system that can test and run virtual machines.""It is open-source, secure, and easy to use.""I feel the graphical interface to be very user friendly, as is first time installation.""What makes Ubuntu easy to use is the large set of applications and the interface. The graphical interface is user friendly.""The solution has a very good graphical user interface.""The most valuable features of Ubuntu Linux are it is user-friendly, has plenty of features that you can develop and builds your own code. Additionally, it is secure and easy to operate.""What I like best is the way in which packages are managed.""It is a widely used and stable solution. Community members can offer support and technical guidance."

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"We use this solution for hosting applications on the server.""The support that Microsoft provides for this is very good.""The installation is not difficult. I found it to be very straightforward.""We find the initial implementation process to be quick and easy.""This is a stable product and we plan to continue using it in the future.""Most applications are compatible with this operating system.""The most valuable features are the file transfer protocol (FTP) and the secure file transfer protocol (SFTP).""The scalability it offers is great."

More Windows Server Pros →

Cons
"It is mostly better than other solutions. However, it is sometimes difficult for disaster recovery, so we have to plan accordingly.""The price is something that can be improved, as they are still being undercut.""I would like training to be added to the subscription. It would be useful for when you have to train yourself or get a certification. There are many things that we are not using because we don't know how to use them. Having training included in the subscription would help us in learning more things and utilizing the full power of the solution.""The biggest thing that is crushing RHEL is documentation. Their documentation is haphazard at best. The man pages that you can use locally are pretty good, they've been fleshed out pretty well, but the documentation from Red Hat itself really needs somebody to go through it and review it.""The Authselect tool needs improvement. This tool is used to connect your system to an identity provider or directory service, e.g., openLDAP. There is documentation and descriptions. While there are a few use cases and examples described, it is sometimes hard to use these tools to set up the configuration that we need for our specific environment. I would like it if there was more general information about the tool, not just describing a use case. For example, here is how to do it and how to connect to some kind of openLDAP service as well as more information about when you need to configure certificate services and mutual authentication.""Their pricing and documentation can be improved.""Linux overall needs improvement. They cannot go much beyond what Linus Torvalds's kernel implementation can do. I come from AIX, and there were very cool things in AIX that I am missing dearly, e.g., being able to support not only adding, but also reducing memory and number of processors. That is not supported on Linux right now, and it is the same for the mainstream file systems supported by Red Hat. There is no way of reducing a file system or logical volume. Whereas, in AIX, it was a shoo-in. These are the little things where we can say, "Ah, we are missing AIX for that."""I don't see anything that needs improvement with RHEL itself, but there is room for improvement of the support infrastructure for it. The management and updates to Satellite, which is the support update, have been cumbersome at best, including releases and changes to a release. Communication on how that will work going forward has not been great."

More Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Cons →

"The Linux operating system is very traditional, and you need to use specific commands. I think that it can be improved to be more handy.""The repository needs to be kept up to date all of the time.""There should be more integration with other operating systems applications.""The installation of Ubuntu is somewhat complicated, requires better documentation.""The solution is not user-friendly in comparison with Windows.""I think Ubuntu's performance is fine and so is its user interface. However, the latter is not as fancy as Microsoft Windows. It could be a bit fancier and easier to use.""Similar to Windows 10, I would like the ability to manage it on Azure or integrate it with Azure.""They can make it user-friendly. It is not totally user-friendly."

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"Sometimes we face some overload on the server.""The compatibility and the ease of use are areas that I would like to see improved.""Windows Server needs to introduce more dashboards.""It could be more secure. We don't like it because if you compare it to Linux, Linux is better.""It would be nice if the solution was a bit cheaper. The product is a little pricey.""The stability is not very good because you have to restart the system to keep the stability.""The solution is rather expensive and could be more affordable.""There are lots of improvements that can be brought by Microsoft, although for us Windows Server works mostly as expected. For how we're using Windows Server, security is a top priority, so when talking security, it can always be improved upon, no matter what."

More Windows Server Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Red Hat Linux is inexpensive. Linux solutions are generally inexpensive."
  • "RHEL is expensive."
  • "Because it is a subscription, you can go elastic. This means you can buy a year, then you can skip a year. It is not like when you buy something. You don't buy it. You are paying for the support on something, and if you don't pay for the support on something, there is no shame because there are no upfront costs. It changes the equation. However, we have such growth right now on the Linux platform that we are reusing and scavenging these licenses. From a business standpoint, not having to buy, but just having to pay for maintenance, changes a lot of the calculations."
  • "We have a site license on a yearly basis. Generally, we're okay with its price, but everything could be cheaper."
  • "The licensing with Red Hat is on par with other organizations like Microsoft. We have a site license, which gives us a certain number of servers, perhaps 25,000, for the type of license that we have. That works really well for us."
  • "We are an educational institution and as such, what we pay is less than the average company."
  • "It is more expensive than other vendors in terms of pricing and licensing, but because of its stability, I have to go with it."
  • "If you don't buy the Red Hat subscription, you don't get technical support, and you don't have all the updates. To have everything working like a charm, the cost that you pay for it is worth it. In Bolivia, we don't have the best internet connection. Therefore, we have a local service with all the packages, repositories, etc. We manage them locally, and because we have a subscription, we can update them. So, we have local repositories with all the packages and other things to make it easy for us to update all the servers. Without the Red Hat subscription, we cannot update anything."
  • More Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Ubuntu pricing is reasonable."
  • "It is open source, so it is free. There is no licensing fee."
  • "It is a free product."
  • "Ubuntu is an open-source Linux operating system that can be used free of charge."
  • "Ubuntu Linux is open-source and available to use free of charge."
  • "It is also manageable and financially affordable."
  • "I don't need to pay for the license."
  • "It comes as free software, where there is an option for you to buy support licenses."
  • More Ubuntu Linux Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Microsoft is relatively inexpensive compared to other database platforms."
  • "This is not an expensive product."
  • "It is an expensive product."
  • "In our case, we primarily use Microsoft, so the cost is a lot less. But some of our customers have spent approximately $12,000 a year on the operating system license."
  • "The license model needs improvement."
  • "Our current license is an enterprise license agreement which gives you a whole lot of possibility, especially when you go through an R&D process. For example, you can provision everything, spread the service use over six months, and then wrap it up. It gives you a lot of flexibility."
  • "The Windows Server standard edition is affordable."
  • "We pay yearly for a license. If you ask any vendor they will tell you that it could be cheaper."
  • More Windows Server Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Red Hat Enterprise Linux is fantastic. It is an inexpensive solution that has excellent security, performance, and… more »
    Top Answer:The integrated solution approach reduces our TCO tremendously because we are able to focus on innovation instead of… more »
    Top Answer:RHEL is a great place to go. They have a great thing that is not very well-known, which is called the Learning… more »
    Top Answer:Ubunto Linux is a complete Linux operating system that is freely available with both community and professional support… more »
    Top Answer:The tools we are using for this project are compatible with this solution.
    Top Answer:There is not a license needed for the solution. You only have to pay for technical support.
    Top Answer:It could be more secure. We don't like it because if you compare it to Linux, Linux is better.
    Top Answer:We have the product that my team works on and we need to, for example, deploy the solution on running servers. That way… more »
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL
    Ubuntu
    Learn More
    Canonical
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    Overview

    To put your enterprise in a position to win, you have to break down the barriers that hold you back. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a platform with unparalleled stability and flexibility, you can reallocate your resources toward meeting the next challenges instead of just maintaining the status quo.

    For SAP workloads, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions combines the reliability, scalability, and performance of Linux with technologies that meet the specific requirements of SAP workloads. It’s certified for integration with SAP S/4HANA and built on the same foundation as the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  For more information on Red Hat's portfolio of solutions for SAP workloads visit www.redhat.com/sap.

    Super-fast, easy to use and free, the Ubuntu operating system powers millions of desktops, netbooks and servers around the world.

    Windows Server is an operating system that is designed to run on servers and service networked applications. It includes technology that was inspired from their experiences in the public cloud. When compared to earlier Microsoft products, Windows Server 2016 is greatly improved in terms of its security, software-defined infrastructure, and technologies. It enables developers to build modern microservice-based applications in the cloud or on premises.

    Windows Server has many features that make it a most effective product. Included in these are a wealth of security features that enable administrators to both protect their networks from attack and limit the potential damage if malware does enter their system. It has a feature called the Local Security Authority, which protects user credentials from being stolen and exploited. All credentials are authenticated in a digital space that is kept separate from the rest of the system. This virtual space prevents any code not belonging to the Local Security Authority from running. It also has security tools that identify, isolate, and limit any potential system damage should an intrusion take place.

    Benefits of Windows Server

    Some of the benefits of using Windows Server include:

    • A wide array of security features that allow administrators to both secure themselves against digital intrusions and limit the damage should a breach occur. The Device Guard allows administrators to dictate what types of applications can run on their servers. This ensures that only applications that are trusted will be active in their systems. However, should a breach take place, administrators can use features like the Distributed Firewall to isolate the problematic software and prevent it from infecting the rest of the system.
    • Windows Server 2016 allows you to automate various server management tasks. The PowerShell feature enables administrators to turn over some of the more routine server management operations to this software so that they can focus their attention and resources on more complex and pressing tasks.
    • The ability to engage in innovation without having to compromise your security and efficiency. Application and software creators are able to run their software on the server without first having to modify it. In addition, any business looking to run proprietary software has a place where they can safely conduct their business.

    Reviews from Real Users

    There are a number of characteristics that make Windows Server an extremely effective solution. Two major ones are its inherent flexibility and its user-friendly nature.

    PeerSpot user Antonio D., a sales manager at INFOSEC, takes note of Windows Server 2016’s flexibility when he writes, “The product is a good operating system. The features fit our needs very well. For example, with Windows Server, you can use a machine for printing, accessing the internet, or using some applications. You can do it all with one server. You don't need several servers. One is enough.”

    Himanshu T., a system administrator and DevOps engineer at a tech-services company, takes note of the various way in which Windows Server 2016 is easy to use when he writes, “This solution is very user friendly, easy to use for any system administrator, simple to deploy applications, has a wide range of applications available, great UI, and takes less technical skills to operate than some other competitors. Additionally, the active directory has great functionality; if we want to integrate any assets, then we can easily do it.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
    Learn more about Ubuntu Linux
    Learn more about Windows Server
    Sample Customers
    Travel Channel, Mohawk Industries, Hilti, Molecular Health, Exolgan, Hotelplan Group, Emory University, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, HCA Healthcare, Paychex, UPS, Intermountain Healthcare, Brinker International, TransUnion, Union Bank, CA Technologies
    Samsung, eBay, AT&T, Walmart, Cisco, Time Warner Cable, Bloomberg, Best Buy, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Ericsson, Orange, Wells Fargo
    Rakuten, Rackspace, Tyco
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm19%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Government14%
    Computer Software Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company16%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Government11%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider20%
    Computer Software Company18%
    Financial Services Firm8%
    Educational Organization6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider25%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Government9%
    Educational Organization8%
    REVIEWERS
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider30%
    Computer Software Company15%
    Government8%
    Educational Organization6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise50%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business47%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise37%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business20%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise59%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business40%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise40%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise59%
    Buyer's Guide
    Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows Server
    September 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows Server and other solutions. Updated: September 2022.
    633,572 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Ubuntu Linux is ranked 2nd in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 84 reviews while Windows Server is ranked 4th in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 140 reviews. Ubuntu Linux is rated 8.6, while Windows Server is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Ubuntu Linux writes "Low-cost open source operating system with better security and quick support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Windows Server writes "Easy to use, simple to set up, and scales well". Ubuntu Linux is most compared with Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, CentOS, openSUSE Leap and Windows 10, whereas Windows Server is most compared with Windows 10, Oracle Linux, CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise and Oracle Solaris. See our Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows Server report.

    See our list of best Operating Systems (OS) for Business vendors.

    We monitor all Operating Systems (OS) for Business reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.