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Windows vs Linux Hosting

Znote

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Yeah I may just use WSL since it's already configured. I also built TFS side by side in WSL vs a Hyper-V container both running 20.4, the Hyper-V container was marginally faster. Built it probably 20-30 seconds faster. It's just annoying to have to boot up a VM in general. I love the concept of WSL and might just bite the bullet. Much easier to build apps on Linux than windows... But it's also much easier to navigate around the OS in windows than a CLI Linux server 😂 I currently just have a samba drive set up where I edit on Windows and transfer to my Linux VM then build it on there, but I might look into speeding up WSL and doing it that way instead.

I have loaded my /home/znote/ directory in WSL directly into sublime text on windows. Its awesome, no need to tether a network drive or mess with sftp or anything like that. You can even do the command explorer.exe . in WSL to open that directory using windows file explorer. Super convenient! Throw in some tmux panels, save their profile and load them up using tmuxinator (loads up and configure tmux templates) and your golden.
 

Night Wolf

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You are, again as many do, looking at the topic on a too narrow space.
I also love that you googled the topic and simply copied the first result you found.
First of all, those numbers aren't for servers, but the numbers in general. So the statistics you use are useless for a servers perspective, but I get your point there. (Actually not your point since you copied it)
Going by the fact that in general a Linux user has a higher understanding of the system, is a bad approach.
This biases the whole result. You need to assume both sys admins have the same knowledge of their system.
But ok, your point is mostly about the number of viruses now. And I have pointed exactly that out. BECAUSE there are more windows users, there are more viruses for windows. This is NOT because of security or the understanding of the user. If you have a higher user number, chances are you will infect someone.
Having more viruses, also means that it's more work for Microsoft to keep track of those and update their system accordingly. But the simple fact that many issues get fixed before there is even a virus for it, speaks for itself.
Reading the article you are quoting from, they are talking about a lot of small differences which are partially wrong in the first place or ignoring a part of the actual process.
And the whole article more or less is only from a users perspective.
The fact that "the first user is root" is actually true for both cases. Installing the minimal version of a Linux distro, the first user will always be root. You need to add other users manually. This is of course standard procedure. This not being standard in windows, has nothing to do with the system though, but with the user being careless.

Less people targeting a system or more careless users does not make or break the security of an operating system.
And those are the exactly the core arguments you find when you look for "experts" saying their opinion.
And apparently that ".exe" files can just be run while Linux requires to make a file executable first?
Actually this is not true. windows only runs .exe files out of the box if they were signed by a trusted developer. If not, you will have to confirm. It will also ask you for admin permissions if those are needed even on the admin account (but technically you can avoid that using a certain PowerShell command)
On Linux you actually do not need to make a file executable first too. This is wrong. You can work around that. Quite easily. And if you are on an admin account, it will execute it as admin. Without asking. Ever.

Less attacks might be an advantage, but what happens if that suddenly shifts? Which happens only when there are more users using Linux. Which again means more careless users. See how this builds on each other?


Edit: By the way, I thought the same thing for a while. Who changed my opinion was actually a now graduated PhD student in IT-Security working for one of the most renowned IT-Sec professors in Europe and is now head of one of the security departments responsible for devices of siemens. Not that this means anything, but you told me to ask an expert :(

Edit2: Oh yeah, Linux also doesn't have certain security dependent certificates out of the box like ISO27001. This is technically possible, but much harder and more expensive to gain with Linux. And here comes knowledge into play: It is common knowledge on how to achieve this on windows, not on Linux however. So much for the knowledge factor. This really depends on the area to be honest.
I was thinking of just letting go of this discussion because it really doesn't add up at all but then you would think you're right and that I'm saying this out of my mind and copied quotes from the first results of google.

First a little background: I've graduated in one of top universities of my country with my graduation focused on basically two areas:
  • Security
  • Inteligent Systems (Data Science/Automations)

Studying in an university that only accepts people with minimum doctorate put you in contact with a lot of PhDs, and my comment is purely based on my personal experience and discussions I already had with all those experts. They are not from companies, they do the researches companies use. I just refeered to google to know actually the distribution of data people used.

I also worked very closely with IT Security Experts in the company I work and we actually use windows for everything (also due the contract we have with them) but that's mainly because WE NEED someone to provide support (and be responsible) in case things go down. It's not that we do not endorse open source, but we need a guarantee that open source does not give you.

Apart from that, you must imagine that people that studied with me are all in top companies by now, as myself. There are several MS employees that studied with me and they always said that even them used Linux. Yes, inside MS. Guess why? Because it's safer.
I'm not saying that, MS is saying that.

One google and you would have find that too:
1594404933788.png

It's common sense that having more attacks would actually make you better in identifying issues but since we talking about different systems, with different kinds of validations and corrections this does not apply at all.
It's like comparing the immune system of someone from Asia and someone from Brazil, we have different kind of diseases so one's immune system is completely different than anothers.
Your argument however backfired at you since I can simply point out that having an open source code make Linux an even better choice since attackers can literally study the source code and exploit things. Shouldn't this make Linux evolve even better in security than his adversaries?
It's actually what a lot of studies show, it's also what a lot of invasors say. But who are them compared to a guy that has a IT professor?

MS also has a way of not dealing well with big issues they gone in the past, just see how they reacted to ransomware attacks: they add a functionality that blocked "root access" but it's not enabled by default, as blame the users for not updating their systems.

If you have the bare minimum knowledge you probably won't have problems regardless of what SO you use but if you prefer something that is being constatly reviewed by everyone, there's no further discussion.

As of your last question, what if we had more careless users on linux? Well, this is happening already and the only "exploit" they found in Linux so far was in a specific distribution in a not updated version that would require the attacker to actually plugin something phisically in your driver.
Not even spectre and meltdown affected Linux since they patched it the very next day when it turned public.
 

skulls

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What are the advantages besides the fact that Linux/GNU is a superior operating system for hosting?

I've been running a development server on Windows and am wondering if it would be better to host on Linux. I've compiled the sever on both and it feels relatively the same.
Bro, if you're hosting go for linux. I don't know one single serious company that have their hosts in windows, tbh. Even webservers, linux is win/win. I could give you the pro/cons, but you can easily find it in the internet with much more details than I can give.
 

Merrok

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Wrote this after I was finished: You can just skip over it and read the end if you don't wanna read the rest. I enjoy having discussions like this though and am forced to educate myself more in doing so. So thanks :p

First of all, I don't care what you studied or say you studied or whatever. I only put that part in my text because you said to ask an expert.
Why didn't you start with that though and instead quote literally the first website found when googling? Oh well, doesn't matter.
And I don't care about being "right". In fact I'd love to see you prove me wrong. I don't like windows really that much. I would hate to work with a windows server and am happy I don't have to. This isn't about what I want or what I belive. This is about what I know, I might be wrong of course, but your arguments aren't exactly convincing.

One google and you would have find that too:
You're comparing apples with oranges. It makes no sense using windows for IoT. Their systems made for these kind of systems is simply not good enough. A much better argument would have been that they use Linux servers themselves. Which they actually do.

Your argument however backfired at you since I can simply point out that having an open source code make Linux an even better choice since attackers can literally study the source code and exploit things. Shouldn't this make Linux evolve even better in security than his adversaries?
It's actually what a lot of studies show, it's also what a lot of invasors say. But who are them compared to a guy that has a IT professor?
What backfired there? I never questioned open source being more secure. Of course it is. It has so many advantages and I support it 100%.
Whenever I have the choice, I will go for the open-source solution if there isn't some kind of huge downside.
Linux distros as well as all the most important services being open-source is freaking awesome. Makes them a lot more secure and stable and the licencing should not be unmentioned as well.

Well, this is happening already and the only "exploit" they found in Linux so far was in a specific distribution in a not updated version that would require the attacker to actually plugin something phisically in your driver.
First of all, a growing user base is not the same thing as the majority of the userbase.
Second: Multiple zero-day "exploits" were found in 2019 alone.

But I don't understand how any of this really compares. It's not that simple. Can't just compare the amount of exploits found in a year in each system. Or the amount of successful attacks (per 1000 systems). There are way more factors playing a role in comparing numbers like this than just the numbers themselves.

Not even spectre and meltdown affected Linux since they patched it the very next day when it turned public.
I get your point, it took Microsoft about a month to release a patch there. I don't know the specifics of why this is. But you are looking at a really specific, really hard to replicate vulnerability within not the system but actually the processor here.
Besides, actually patching spectre and meltdown isn't even that simple or was possible at the time of publication. I didn't follow it anymore like a month later anymore to be honest and don't know what the current state is.
The patches released were not fixing it. They were slowing meltdown down to a level where it was as slow as spectre. For spectre itself, and the rest of meltdown, there was no patch. This is after all an issue with how the processors load predicted code and data prior to it's actual executing and the permission checking at that point, which simply doesn't exist.


Of course most bigger companies will use Linux for their bigger infrastructure.
Its scalability is way better. No question.
There are many reasons to use Linux over windows for public systems. Now excluding any internal infrastructure for employees. But that doesn't make it the more secure system over all.

But same as you said at the beginning. I don't even know why I bother answering anymore.
To be honest, this topic is way too diverse to discuss it on such a general level.
I think we can agree that in general, an average employee is simply not educated enough in this topic or too comfortable which will often result in an attack even being possible.
Plugging in a USB-Stick which was on the floor
Starting a macro because the document said so
Rolling back a company-wide update for security because there were issues and it's more convenient than fixing it.
 
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Aoxomoxoa

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I have loaded my /home/znote/ directory in WSL directly into sublime text on windows. Its awesome, no need to tether a network drive or mess with sftp or anything like that. You can even do the command explorer.exe . in WSL to open that directory using windows file explorer. Super convenient! Throw in some tmux panels, save their profile and load them up using tmuxinator (loads up and configure tmux templates) and your golden.
That's badass! I'll give that a shot. Thanks for that tip with explorer. That's a game changer.

Also, guys. I didn't mean to cause an argument. Y'all need to chill out. Linux and Windows both have their strong suites. I was just wondering if, considering the small size of the server itself, it would be alright to host on a Windows machine. I'm not gonna go and setup RHEL8 on a VPS or something for a small at home project.

So far, Znote has the best advice here. You get the best of both worlds. I don't have to have to boot up fucking VS every time I wanna make a minor change to the source, but I can still clicky clicky my server online in 3 minutes while I'm baked. Try it out, it's great.
 

Znote

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Another thing with (at least WSL1) is that daemons arent started automatically(after windows reboots). So I have a small startup script for bootup, status and shutdown of running services. Usually in Linux you barely have to think about this. (such as php-fpm to get website working correctly).

start.sh
Bash:
sudo service mysql start
sudo service php7.2-fpm start
sudo service nginx start


stop.sh
Bash:
sudo service nginx stop
sudo service php7.2-fpm stop
sudo service mysql stop

I remember having quite the brain scratcher trying to figure out why stuff wasn't running after a windows reboot. Figured out quickly that mysql and nginx had to be started, but forgot about php service. Its usually something you install and forget when working with a linux VM.

You get the best of both worlds. I don't have to have to boot up fucking VS every time I wanna make a minor change to the source, but I can still clicky clicky my server online in 3 minutes while I'm baked. Try it out, it's great.

Haha, yeah. :) I like to use editors such as Sublime Text, Atom, Notepad++, VS Code to edit source files. And then just do a make -j 8 command to compile it instead of using a bloated IDE windows compiler. I also like to go clicky click in windows file explorer, as well as use other windows client software. The strengths of both worlds!
 
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