What users are saying about
Top Rated
268 Ratings
Top Rated
782 Ratings
Top Rated
268 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 9 out of 100
Top Rated
782 Ratings
<a href='https://www.trustradius.com/static/about-trustradius-scoring' target='_blank' rel='nofollow noopener'>trScore algorithm: Learn more.</a>
Score 8.5 out of 100

Highlights

Ubuntu Linux and Windows Server are both operating systems that can be used to power individual machines, or business servers. Ubuntu Linux is an open source operating system popular with businesses of all sizes due to its light weight and high customizability. Windows Server is most popular with mid-sized businesses due to its ease of implementation with environments that make use of Windows applications, such as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office.

Features

Ubuntu Linux and Windows Server both provide essential operating system features such as providing GUI and support for peripherals, they also have some unique features that set them apart from each other.

Ubuntu Linux’s biggest advantage is that it is open source, meaning it’s source code is available for free and is worked on by a community of developers. For businesses, Ubuntu Linux can be set up for free, and customized to meet the needs of the organization given a skilled development team. Additionally, Ubuntu Linux has built in integrations with many open source software options. Lastly, Ubuntu Linux is a lightweight operating system, requiring fewer resources than other solutions.

Windows Server allows businesses to set up servers that run Microsoft software like Microsoft SQL without using an emulator. Compatibility with Microsoft software makes it easy for businesses using Microsoft technologies to implement Windows Server. Compared to open source solutions that often require command line scripting for setup or additional features like remote desktop, Windows Server is a complete service out of the box.

Limitations

Ubuntu Linux and Windows Server are both feature-complete operating systems, but they also have some limitations that are important to consider.

Ubuntu Linux offers high flexibility and potentially free implementation, but the implementation process is more difficult than Windows Server and requires a skilled development team. For businesses looking for a complete solution out of the box, other operating systems may be preferred. Additionally, while Ubuntu Linux integrates seamlessly with many open source technologies, it requires a Windows emulator to utilize software like Microsoft SQL.

Windows Server integrates well with Microsoft software, but for businesses using other server software, a different operating system may be easier to implement. Businesses that aren’t using primarily Microsoft Software may prefer the flexibility of other operating systems.

Pricing

Ubuntu Linux is an open source operating system, so its source code is available for no charge for businesses that can implement it without professional assistance. Implementation and support can be purchased from a number vendors, with prices varying depending on the vendor and the feature needs of the business.

Windows Server offers three pricing packages: essentials, standard, and data center, with exact pricing depending on the specific needs of the business.

Community Pulse

Reviewers Who Considered Both Products

Ubuntu Linux

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu server products offer more customization and are easier to replicate and use in a virtualized environment than Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or 2016, and are more cost-effective than both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Microsoft Windows Server. The ease of setting up …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

We had considered the Windows Server environment, particularly for networking. However, as mentioned previously, upfront costs (particularly for software), lag times in operating performance, system hang-ups, so-so software performance, and unexpected bugs and shutdowns were …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Historically Ubuntu has been one step forward from Red Hat and CentOS distributions about software versions and tools usability. In the last years they've caught up and it's very comparable, but at this point, my decision was already made and I will continue choosing Ubuntu, …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

We chose Ubuntu largely because of the large user base and because desktop setups can be easy to learn for people used to Windows computers and, of course, other distributions of Linux. Not a single one of the people we work with has had formal education or training with …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

So the main reason behind selecting Ubuntu among others was the easy implementation of services in it. Apart from that, as compared to other Linux its GUI is far more better to use and learn. The support of Debian packages and other software implementations are also great in it.

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux gives the user more control over the workings of the computer and provides fewer interruptions to a productive workday. It also does not intrude with long updates constantly for dubious features for a work environment. Long term support also means that the hardware …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

A viable, free, widely used alternative to any modern operating systems on the market. Ubuntu [Linux] is constantly improved, has an enormous user base, a very good community. It's one of the most advanced Linux distributions of today, and can be highly customized to the point …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

We mainly chose Ubuntu Linux for its broad compatibility and package availability. Where we have a choice we prefer to deploy software on a Linux platform rather than Windows. Ubuntu is supported by our backup software and we find that updates typically complete without errors. …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

We compared against Windows 10, Manjaro, and Fedora. Windows 10 lost on cost, and even usability versus Ubuntu. Manjaro and Fedora are both bleeding edge, providing great features but lacking the stability offered by Ubuntu. Ubuntu is the best of both worlds for us, providing …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

If I had to pick one server OS to use forever it would be Windows but I'm glad I don't have to do that because these are both great OSes. Ubuntu has many strengths such as being free, it's package management system, and its ability to seemingly run forever if left untouched. …

Chose Ubuntu Linux

It was free, it’s well known to be stable and has near zero issues that we can’t solve with Bash or other simple shells.

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux is a better product overall.

Chose Ubuntu Linux

All operating systems are very similar, but for the purposes of web services development, testing environments and facilities for administration within a graphics environment, Ubuntu offers us greater ease to work.

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Easier to use and install and most. The out of box support for hardware makes it a winner for me

Chose Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu is free and has excellent community support. Ubuntu is very quick to implement with development tools and the LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) stack. Ubuntu also has excellent software support, including a huge selection of free open source applications that are …

Windows Server

Chose Windows Server

It is really all about application support. The only option we really have is Windows Server, and where we can choose we continue to use it for consistency as well as compatibility with the systems where we are forced to use Windows Server).

Chose Windows Server

These are just very different products. They can all have the same functionality but the specific product knowledge with Linux is much higher. This slows down troubleshooting and can leave you with limited options for high end support. There are absolutely good use cases for …

Chose Windows Server

We have various servers or appliances that run on various flavors of Linux that do their jobs well, but we configure and manage them very lightly at the OS level. Most of the admin on these devices is sone inside the applications themselves. We don't shy away from new …

Chose Windows Server

I have used/administered several servers using systems like Ubuntu, Debian, and CentOS. While these systems are great in their own rights, you are typically using a command-line interface or shell in order to administrate the system. This requires a lot of commands to be …

Chose Windows Server

Windows Server is by far the easiest server option to get started with because they offer the same kind of interface with windows that most users are already familiar with. Plus, it's the most graphically friendly option, so it is easy to navigate. Lastly, it is the most …

Chose Windows Server

Windows Server is the only one that has an upfront cost for licensing before hardware is considered. Windows Server is generally better suited for multi-faceted approaches; however, for just backups, TrueNAS and Synology are cheaper and just as good. For standalone services …

Chose Windows Server

Windows Server is the most Enterprise/Business server around, easy to deploy and configure and to co-exist with other servers. Most if not every other server technology is usually very good for a very specific purpose but fail in the coexistence and integration when compared …

Chose Windows Server

We use both Windows and Ubuntu, or other flavors of Linux servers, in our environment. Windows is much easier to work with for less experienced admins, since it is GUI based and very closely mimics Windows end-user systems like Windows 7 or Windows 10. Since we are primarily a …

Chose Windows Server

A lot more industry-standard application support. Ease of use. Security patched happen more often.

Chose Windows Server

Windows has functions that are available to it that Linux does not as there are a lot more applications available that run on the Windows platform. Windows is widely used and is familiar to admins that don't have the experience needed for Linux. It is still a staple in …

Chose Windows Server

Windows Server offers more stability when using solutions that require domain services. It also offers more stability than third-party solutions for file services using SMB. I find third-party alternatives on Linux feature rich, however, very lacking in stability and usually …

Chose Windows Server

Choosing a server technology actually means what platform will the software product that your company uses, require.
Say that:

Chose Windows Server

Microsoft has gone from its pinnacle at Windows Microsoft has gone from its pinnacle at windows NT. Microsoft is now the second string junior varsity league company that is struggling to catch up .

Chose Windows Server

The clear advantage is that Windows Server is less intimidating to the uninitiated novice being that it has a GUI, well-documented process that you can see and follow rather than just executing commands in a terminal. At the same time, the growth and scope of Powershell allow …

Attribute Ratings

  • Ubuntu Linux is rated higher in 3 areas: Likelihood to Recommend, Likelihood to Renew, Support Rating

Likelihood to Recommend

9.2

Ubuntu Linux

92%
44 Ratings
8.6

Windows Server

86%
64 Ratings

Likelihood to Renew

10.0

Ubuntu Linux

100%
1 Rating
4.0

Windows Server

40%
5 Ratings

Usability

Ubuntu Linux

N/A
0 Ratings
5.8

Windows Server

58%
6 Ratings

Support Rating

8.8

Ubuntu Linux

88%
11 Ratings
4.7

Windows Server

47%
33 Ratings

Implementation Rating

Ubuntu Linux

N/A
0 Ratings
3.7

Windows Server

37%
4 Ratings

Configurability

Ubuntu Linux

N/A
0 Ratings
9.0

Windows Server

90%
1 Rating

Likelihood to Recommend

Canonical Ltd

If somebody whishes to be an IT professional, learning the basics of Linux is amust. Ubuntu [Linux] is one of the most beginner-friendly, widely supported, easy-to-use-relative-to-the-fact-that-its-still-linux OS on the market. As somebody who learned the basics of UNIX/LINUX on Ubuntu, it was a very good experience. It is customizable, has a lot of improvements over the years, and live up to be a viable alternative to any modern OS in 2021 as well.
Read full review

Microsoft

If you have one user or 1000's of users (especially using Windows), Windows Server is a no-brainer! The only reason I would suggest going with a Linux server is if you have old hardware (Windows Server is more process intensive than Linux). But, Linux is open-source, so anyone can publish updates/security updates, but on the flip side, malicious people also have full access to Linux's codebase allowing for much easier writing of exploitations/viruses/malware/ransomware.
Read full review

Pros

Canonical Ltd

  • PACKAGE MANAGEMENT. You can update everything - OS installed software, you name it with either a few clicks in a GUI or a single command.
  • No bloatware.
  • No need for antivirus software.
  • Certainly the price is right.
  • My 83 year old grandmother has been using it - and because of this I rarely need to provide tech support. But I still visit my grandmother.
  • You can choose from a variety of user interfaces or rock it in the terminal.
  • Generally speaking, Ubuntu is as polished an OS as any you might pay for.
Read full review

Microsoft

  • Easy to use due to its intuitive graphical user interface.
  • Very popular and makes integration easier.
  • Lots of software drivers available.
  • Has many functionalities such as Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, VPN, RDP, VDI server, etc.
  • Many patches and updates available. Maybe abit too much too often.
  • Cost effective and with budget.
  • Remote desktop feature simplifies remote access to this server.
  • It has a built in VPN and ssl certificate feature.
  • Event viewer is available for alerts, although it seems too cumbersome to go through the logs.
  • If you got too many Windows systems to manage, then SCCM is an option.
Read full review

Cons

Canonical Ltd

  • The repository system could be a little better, as some of the software needed is not easily available there.
  • Ubuntu sometimes does not play nicely or easily with some modern firmwares.
  • Some people report slow responses with newer versions of Ubuntu, although we have not experienced any.
Read full review

Microsoft

  • DHCP Server could be better - we use the router for DHCP Routing
  • Print Server - not a fan of using the server as a print server since you have to license it. Direct access to printers via IP addresses is a much more efficient way to go
  • Better backup program - we utilize a third-party program that gives us more flexibility when restoring individual files.
Read full review

Pricing Details

Ubuntu Linux

Starting Price

Editions & Modules

Ubuntu Linux editions and modules pricing
EditionModules

Footnotes

    Offerings

    Free Trial
    Free/Freemium Version
    Premium Consulting/Integration Services

    Entry-level set up fee?

    No setup fee

    Additional Details

    Windows Server

    Starting Price

    Editions & Modules

    Windows Server editions and modules pricing
    EditionModules

    Footnotes

      Offerings

      Free Trial
      Free/Freemium Version
      Premium Consulting/Integration Services

      Entry-level set up fee?

      No setup fee

      Additional Details

      Likelihood to Renew

      Canonical Ltd

      Experience with other Distributions.
      Read full review

      Microsoft

      I've carefully reviewed the servers and services currently running on Windows Server 2012, and given the opportunity would renew them as is going forward. There are two systems I currently have in place, one is a very large Linux implementation for a large ecommerce site, and one is a very large backup solution front ended by FTP servers running Linux. Neither are well suited for Windows, but the overall network infrastructure is and will be Windows Server for the foreseeable future.
      Read full review

      Usability

      Canonical Ltd

      No answers on this topic

      Microsoft

      There are simply too many different parts of Windows Server to make it a cohesive piece of software. While some of the newer features found in Windows Server 2012 and 2016 have nice UIs that are logically laid out, there are enough parts of the system that is still based on old code with clunky UIs and confusing options to make Windows Server a particularly user-friendly experience.
      Read full review

      Support Rating

      Canonical Ltd

      We did not use the managed commercial support, but instead relied on community forums and official documentation. Ubuntu is very well documented across both instructional documentation from the developers themselves as well as informal support forums [ServerFault, YCombinator, Reddit]. It's easy enough to find an answer to any question you may have
      Read full review

      Microsoft

      Microsoft's support is hugely wide-ranging from articles online to having to contact them directly for the more serious issues. In recent years when I have contacted them directly, I have found the support o be excellent as I have found myself connected to very knowledgeable people in the field in which I needed the support. The online support available is vast and I tend to find most of the time that there is always someone out there who has had the same issue as me in the past and knows something about how to resolve it! This is the advantage of using industry standard and long-established systems such as Windows Server.
      Read full review

      Implementation Rating

      Canonical Ltd

      No answers on this topic

      Microsoft

      Make sure that you have detailed processes in place for every server instance you plan to install/upgrade, if possible get the base OS loaded and Windows Updates applied ahead of time, and if using a VM take a snapshot prior to installing each role, as well as along the way.
      Read full review

      Alternatives Considered

      Canonical Ltd

      Windows 10: Expensive, with more security problems, more difficult to keep updated and less variety of free / open source applications. Its use encourages bad information security practices. OpenSuse Linux: A different distribution at source (Suse Linux), use of rpm packages (with fewer repositories and incompatible with Ubuntu Linux dpkg packages), and whose main objective is to be a "testing ground" for its paid version / professional, SUSE enterprise Linux.
      Read full review

      Microsoft

      I didn't use any other system which gives the same functionality and I am not aware of any. The full integration between all components and especially the ability to integrate mail via Exchange or even via a hybrid setup with the Ofice365 cloud, including the ability to directly manage the cloud from the server, using Power Shell, is something I didn't see anywhere else.
      Read full review

      Return on Investment

      Canonical Ltd

      • Systems administration with Ubuntu is easy with little deep knowledge about it. Docs and community publications are great resources for any task you need to perform on any Ubuntu server and the organization can save several salaries of specialized sys admins in favor of more active roles.
      • Having been an Ubuntu user for many years personally, setting up new Ubuntu servers on my organization came with zero cost for me. I just deployed one instance from my hosting/cloud provider and started working right after it was running, no need to ask support or hire new staff for these tasks.
      • Replacing paid options with Ubuntu have also saved thousands of dollars on Windows Server licenses. I've migrated Windows/SQL Server based systems to Ubuntu/MySQL/PostgreSQL several times during my career and saved about USD 5000/year in licenses to many of them.
      Read full review

      Microsoft

      • Because of our Microsoft Campus Agreement, Windows products are fairly affordable for us and that has been a huge blessing. We are considering some Azure cloud options and some of that is covered under our Campus Agreement, making it a nice incentive to start migrating certain apps and functionality to the cloud
      • I don't have access to our budgets so I cannot give a good answer as far as the impact of ROI on our institution, but if your company can afford it, you cannot go wrong with Windows server. Not having to send your sys admins to Linux or Unix school alone is a big savings as well as not having to train your staff on using a Linux desktop instead of a Windows-based one.
      • The compatibility with end users of all varieties and platforms will definitely impact your ROI in a positive way. We have Apple users, Android, Windows, and even a few Linux end users on our campus and Windows server works quite well with all of them.
      Read full review

      Add comparison