Although, the most common and popular operating system platforms for Dedicated Servers are Windows or UNIX based, there are several operating systems and sub-operating systems to choose from when it comes to selecting your Dedicated Server configuration.
Windows Based Dedicated Servers include Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server environments, Mac, Solaris, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Netware, NetBSD, FreeBSD (Unix Like), and both Unix and Linux with their different distributions; DarkStar, Debian, Fedora Core, Gentoo, GoboLinux, PLD Linux Distribution, Red Flag, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Redhat Server, Ultima and Xandros Desktop OS
The most popular operating system for dedicated servers is normally Linux or UNIX. Some people do however use Windows because of the applications that they wish to use that are only supported on a Windows platform.
Since there are pro-Microsoft Windows and pro-Linux movements, it is hard to determine which of both related operating systems could be the best to run on your Dedicated Server, but these 2 platforms are the most popular when selecting an operating system is needed. Windows supporters claim that Linux has a higher total cost of ownership with less guaranteed support and complex to setup for anybody except experienced users, while Linux supporters say this operating system is more secure, cheaper and easy to use, as well as is virus- and spyware-free in contrast to Microsoft Windows.
Debian, a widely used distribution developed through the collaboration of volunteers from around the world. Since its inception, the released system, Debian GNU/Linux, has been based on the Linux kernel, with many basic tools of the operating system from the GNU project.
SuSE, a founding member of the Desktop Linux Consortium is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc.
Fedora Core is an RPM-based Linux distribution, aiming to be a complete, general-purpose operating system from open source software.
Mandriva Linux, formerly Mandrake Linux or Mandrake Linux, is a GNU/Linux distribution created by Mandriva (Mandrakesoft).
Solaris is a computer operating system, based on the open-source UNIX SunOS developed by Sun Microsystems.
Windows Server 2003 is the successor to Microsoft’s Windows 2000 Server, booting up with none of the server components turned on, to reduce the attack vectors for new install.