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Operating System

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notice - This information is outdated

While some details may still apply in specific situations, this page was written for packages of TYPO3 that are no longer current.

The differences when running TYPO3 on Windows or Unix

This list is a collection of good reasons why Windows is not optimized for running a webserver, with or without TYPO3. note: This page is not complete and not all arguments are reasonable or even correct. Read this page with a wink. I would like to suggest to test the opionions on this page by yourself to see how it works in real-world.

Historical reasons

Every software component which is required by TYPO3 (including TYPO3 itself) were originally concepted/developed for Unix systems. Windows compatibility came later and is often botch.

Logging / AWstats

It is not yet possible to create logfiles with TYPO3 that can be used by AWstats.

Hint: Will be solved in TYPO3 3.8.0

Indexed search can not index external files (PDF, DOC, etc.)

You are wrong here, TYPO3 on Windows can index external files... --Clonedyke 16:54, 3 Mar 2005 (CET)

@Clonedyke: I've just seen on mailing lists that this seems not possible for many people. Maybe a link would be good. --stucki 09:44, 7 Mar 2005 (CET)

No symlinks possible

Symbolic links (symlinks) offer a great possibility to solve redundancies inside of TYPO3.

Hint: There is a solution called Junction which offers something like symlinks on Windows, however file junctions are not an integrated solution (but directory junctions are) and requires an NTFS file system:

Logfile sizes

There is no tool like logrotate which compresses/deletes logfiles after a given time.

Clonedyke writes: Apache/IIS are providing logrotate tools.

File system properties

With Windows NTFS you must defragment your partitions regularily or they will become slow. Defragmentation under Windows will work only if you have at least 15% free space on your partition. So you maybe must delete files before you can start the defragmentation of the files. With UNIX Filesystems this is not necessary. And on Unix you can choose among a lot of filesystems even over a network NFS as if they would be on your local computer (mount the filesystem under a path name of your choice). You only need to enter the full path containing the server name in the /etc/fstab file. Under Windows you can use only NTFS or FAT32 from your local computer. If you want to use the filesystem of another computer under Windows you need always to use the full name containing the server name to access the file system.

Security / ImageMagick

(Can someone confirm this?) On a Windows server you have to grant access to cmd.exe for the IIS in order to use ImageMagick (which is needed for graphics generation). That is something most administrators won't feel comfortable with ...


On Linux you can build chroot jails for every service, vhost, site, whatever and allow only shell commands you want to. You can even install UML (User Mode Linux) or Xen as a system within a system which will then be on a separate /dev with it's own root system. On Windows you need extra software to get such security features. All the internet traffic can get filtered in the Linux kernel with iptables. And you can run Linux under different security levels of the kernel.

Software configuration

Let's be honest: Why would you want to use Windows? I guess the reason is mostly that you don't want to learn how to edit config files and prefer to use the mouse for this.

But there is one thing to consider: Apache, PHP and MySQL are configured exactly the same way on all platforms. So although you see a mouse you can still not use it for configuring your server.

However, Linux servers can still be easily configured remote by the webmin tool which gives you a graphical environment to configure your webserver with any webbrowser. To configure a windows server you need to have local access or must buy extra software for remote configuration. Maybe there are more tools that do the same but bottomline is that this doesn't turn out to be a cause to use Windows anymore.

[Impi writes:]Terminal Client (Remote Desktop) is included in Windows Server OS for administrative purposes and can be bought as commercial products.

Logs / Details

Linux really babbles a lot in it's logs, and they tell you everything. After Googling you know what to do to solve it, and since it has an open architecture you can really edit anything. On Windows, everything is packed into .dlls and .exes so you have to depend on the manufacturer to release patches. Which usually they do pretty rarely.

What information do you miss in Windows' logging facility? Have you ever configured logging for your needs and are you able to do so? --Clonedyke 17:02, 3 Mar 2005 (CET)

Software installation

On Linux you can install new software with graphical tools or the command line tools 'rpm' and 'apt-get'. In many cases you just have to copy the program and data files to your server. You only need to restart some services afterwards. The software can be freely downloaded and updated from a lot of Internet mirrors. You only have to restart, when you want to change your kernel version.

On Windows you often have to restart your computer after the installation of new software. You can only start Windows software when there is an entry in the Registry Database for the application. When the registry entry has been deleted, you have to reinstall the application again. To install new Windows software you must in most cases insert a CD in your CD drive and type in licence numbers. This will get difficult, if the server is not located at your office. And it is very difficult to automate this process.

Bolson 00:04, 15 Mar 2005 (CET)

Not entirely correct. If your Windows server installation is made after the book, you don't need any CD's. And there is no problem with rebooting from an distance. In two years I have probably restarted my server 8 to 10 times after installation of software upgrades and installation. How do you think organisastions with 70 - 100 windows servers are doing it.

Every time after makeing an update to Windows 2000 Professional it tells me that I have to restart the computer. And even if I want to change to Windows XP Professional I would have to reinstall all the software and drivers. Or is this wrong?

Wrong. I upgraded from 2000 to XP and didn't reinstall anything.

You can run Windows services linked to a user and not as "system".

If you stop a service before upgrading, you generally don't have to reboot. Many times you will be asked to reboot, but it's not necessary.

I have found there are more similarities between Linux and Windows once you put a GUI in front of Linux than differences. I think some things are unnecessarily difficult (i.e. sendmail config) than need be.

If you have a system crash, you can make an update installation with the Install-CD to repair your system under LINUX to make your system applications work again. Under Windows 2000 you can try to use your security floppy, but if this does not help you must make a fresh install together with a new installation of every software.

Personalised Operating System

Under linux you can compile your own kernel, which means that you can adapt the operating system to your needs and your hardware. You cannot adapt and compile your Windows OS. After the startup of your computer you can choose among different Linux kernel versions. This advantage means that in case of a driver problem or after an error coming with a system update you can change to another kernel version without deinstallation of the other kernels.

Naming of partitions

If you build a new harddrive into your Windows 2000 computer, the names of your partitions are changed automatically. This is bad, because all the installation is done via the system registry database, which is very hard to edit. So some of the already installed programs might not work any more or a special reparation of your Windows 2000 system will become necessary.The same problem will occur when you remove a harddrive or create new primary partitions.
Under Linux you do not have this kind of difficulties. Linux does never change itself the name under which a partition has been named which means mounted. If you use an external tool to resize partitions and create new ones among them, you just have to edit the file /etc/fstab. And under Linux you can rename more than one partition in one step via a script. There is not script command for this in Windows.

Multi User

On a Unix machine multiple user can log in via a terminal program and execute any programs on the server simultaneously. On a Windows machine only one person can log in at one time.

user and administrator

The Unix machine usually runs with the permissions of a simple user. When you have to work on it as an administrator, you open a command shell and change only this to root priviledges. A Windows server instead has to run always with the rights of an administrator or your have to log out and log in as an administrator for configuration work. But some programs will stop running when someone logs out. This is also a security issue.

Recovery after the Change of Hardware

When you have a big hardware damage and you must change the motherboard of your computer you will probably have to buy a new processor and another motherboard because you cannot buy the one you had before. The LINUX system will autoinstall the needed drivers after having started the computer for the first time after the change the motherboard. However when you start the Windows 2000 system you will end up in a blue screen. This means that you will have to reinstall all your software again under Windows 2000.
The same problems with Windows 2000 you will get when you only want to upgrade your current system to other hardware.