Advantage of using Linux OS over Windows 2000, Windows 2003 or Windows NT

15 pts.
Linux versus Windows
Mail servers
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Windows 2000 Server
Dear Friend I am using RED Hat Linux for mail server. So far I know, from securities point of view it is much more reliable than Windows 2000 Server/Windows 2003/Windows NT. Please come back with your opinion whether I am correct or wrong at your earliest. Please also mention some important points to justify your word as I have to face a seminar. Regards Pervez

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I can’t agree as I have only experience with Windows 2000/2003/2008 and exchange. But I think you need to look at the entire envionment before judging. From the edge all the way to the server you need to provide protection and maintenance following industry best practices. My fully patched 2000 exchange server has run flawlessly and with no security or operational issues since it was built 4 years ago.

You mention you are using Red Hat Linux for your mail server, but what MTA, MDA and user access method (POP, IMAP) are you using? That makes a difference more so that just the OS. Have you made sure that your mail server is not an open relay? Is the MTA running as a non-priveleged user? Does your mail server touch the internet or is it only internal?

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  • Wrobinson
    It is a common misconception that Linux is more stable than Windows Server 2003. I'm sorry to break it to all the open source fans out there, but credible research has shown that Windows Server 2003 is in fact more stable and easier to manage -- add features and so on, than Linux. Here is another tidbit, Microsoft SQL Server is also more secure than Oracle. Don't believe the hype!
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  • MarkK
    When you do patch your W2K3 server, how many times do you have to reboot it? Unless one wants to uprev the kernel (should rarely need to do just to keep a mail server going) one wouldn't need to reboot the Linux box. Any box will be as secure as the admin makes it. Sweeping statements saying OS A is more secure than OS B are meaningless. There are certain limitations based on the OS. but it is more often the application that you want to keep running and yet be secure that causes issues. It is much easier for something like postfix+dovecot to be made secure than MS Exchange.
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