July 10 2019

CentOS vs Ubuntu. Which one to choose for your web server?

The main differences between the two free Linux distributions in the professional field.

Table of contents of the article:

In this CentOS vs Ubuntu comparison, we will try to look at the key features of both Linux distributions, which will help you choose the right operating system for your VPS. Choosing an operating system for your server can be a really confusing task due to a huge list of options available, especially if you want to go with a Linux distribution. There are many choices, but none of them are as famous as Ubuntu or CentOS. It doesn't matter if you are a professional or a beginner, it usually comes down to choosing between the two options.

It can be said with confidence that there is no simple decision. In this article, we intend to compare CentOS vs Ubuntu with the aim of understanding what might be the best solution when setting up a server.

Before we begin to highlight the differences between the two well-matched opponents, let's first give a brief overview.


CentOS is an open-source Linux distribution. Many refer to it as a replica of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is considered the most used in the corporate IT world. CentOS is a community-supported enterprise-class operating system released in 2004. A close resemblance to RHEL gives you the luxury of developing in a dominant and one of the best Linux distribution around. It could be said that this already gives CentOS an edge over Ubuntu. It's highly customizable, secure, and stable, which is also something to appreciate it for. The close relationship with RHEL has allowed CentOS to have quite a few enterprise-wide security updates, making it a safe choice for every user.


Based on the Debian architecture, Ubuntu has been a favorite for personal and professional use since its initial release in 2004. It is open-source and receives frequent updates to remove any identified bugs. It is packed with a rich set of package groups and features that are capable of meeting the requirements of any project. Ubuntu comes with a ton of applications. The Ubuntu Software Center has over 40.000 applications available! Furthermore, the operating system is highly customizable and has top-notch security features.

CentOS vs. Ubuntu

Now, let's take a look at the differences between Ubuntu and CentOS: the biggest difference between the two Linux distributions is that Ubuntu is based on the Debian architecture while CentOS is forked from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In Ubuntu, you can download DEB packages using the apt-get package manager. Meanwhile, in CentOS, you have to use the yum command to download and install the RPM packages from the central repository. CentOS is considered to be a more stable distribution than Ubuntu. Mainly because package updates are less frequent. This can also prove to be a drawback of CentOS. If you want the latest version of a certain application or software, you will have to install them manually. This does not mean that Ubuntu is unstable or unsafe; it is only slightly less stable than its counterpart. Ubuntu certainly has the upper hand when it comes to tutorials, online communities, and books. Finding solutions to Ubuntu problems is much easier than CentOS due to its fairly smaller community and less documentation available. Ubuntu server has great support for container and cloud deployment which makes it superior to CentOS in this domain.

If you are a beginner, running CentOS on your server might be a little more difficult, as RHEL-based desktop distributions are not widely used. On the other hand, Ubuntu desktop is quite famous and if you have used it in the past then getting to know an Ubuntu VPS server won't take long. If you want to use control panels to offer web hosting services then you should go for CentOS as it offers the compatibility you want. Web hosting control panels like cPanel has always focused on CentOS and other RHEL derivatives. On the other hand, Ubuntu does not support cPanel but has several alternatives, such as Webmin Virtualmin or VestaCP. The above are the main differences between the two of the best Linux distributions and it is not safe to choose one as the last for each user. Choosing the right operating system will require careful consideration of the pros and cons of the two and an analysis of the user's requirements and wishes. That said, here are our recommendations: If you're a beginner: Go with Ubuntu because it has a larger community, a bigger tank of free tutorials, and much more frequent updates to help you stay up to date. Also, if you've used Ubuntu desktop in the past, then you won't find a real learning curve as you start out with an Ubuntu VPS server.

CentOS is also a viable choice, but it may present some learning obstacles at first if you are a beginner. If you own a business: CentOS is the ideal choice between the two if you run a business because it is (arguably) safer and more stable than Ubuntu, due to its lower frequency of updates.

Ubuntu also has its pros, but there may be scenarios where you need to go back to previous versions due to a new buggy update. Additionally, CentOS comes with cPanel support, which is something Ubuntu lacks.


To wrap up this comparison between CentOS and Ubuntu, both are famous and one of the best Linux distributions that have their own set of pros and cons. Choosing one is an easy task when you consider your needs and are ready to make certain compromises. The goal of this article was to provide a comprehensive overview of the differences between these two Linux distributions to facilitate decision making. If you are using Managed Server you will use CentOS in managed management.


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