[cod] Linux vs. Windows

Christopher Choo chrischoo at fragnetics.com
Sat Nov 20 13:33:23 EST 2004

Ahhh a Windows vs Linux discussion!

I'm one of those small-time hosts but so far it appears that at least for CoD,
the Windows and Linux versions are on-par, although the sample size I have is
pretty small (2 Windows CoD servers vs 1 Linux CoD server). The plus on the
Linux side is that Ryan is extremely quick on the patches and it beats the pants
off the Windows developers.

As for another game such as CS Source I'd have to disagree it runs better on
Linux than Windows. In most cases Linux servers are an afterthought so it's not
surprising to me that Windows appears to run many games better. It is due more
to politics, in terms of the M$ monopoly, rather than a real technical advantage
IMO. Our CS Source 32-player Windows server runs at about 15% (of a P4 3.06)
while a comparable Linux machine (P4 2.8C) runs it at 25%. I've not come across
many cases where the Linux server runs more efficiently.

Given that, I don't think there is a clear winner because there are good things
both systems offer. Linux has better security by default, whereas the learning
curve for Winblows is significantly lower in terms of n00b-friendliness. There
are a number of developers who release Windows game servers first, so the
first-mover advantage is there for the taking for Windows hosts. Cheap versions
of Windows (eg XP Home, Pro) are less stable than their equivalent Linux
counterparts, and appear to crash much more often. The point about free (gratis)
software is more attractive with Linux, but there are many GPLed or low-cost
Windows equivalents too.

Overall I would personally recommend keeping a fair share of both types of
machines, but if you're out to make a point, I guess Linux rocks your boat
unless you were one of those who were dying to run a Doom III server on Day 1.

Flame on! :P

Christopher Choo

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