The best Linux web hosting, available from the best web hosting (opens in new tab) services just as the best Windows hosting (opens in new tab) is, provides hosting packages covering all levels. From shared hosting up to dedicated servers, you can find plans that are tailored to accommodate for all experience levels, and varying levels of hosting resources.
Many hosting providers (opens in new tab) will leave OSs out of feature lists or comparison tables, leaving users stranded without this information. While for many novices this won't be an issue, those with more experience and technical knowledge may want to take advantage of Linux-specific hosting for their machines running Ubuntu or Debian.
An advantage of the best Linux web hosting for these users is that you can have more control over your server, such as allowing you to port over a preferred distro or control panel. Most Linux hosting providers can accommodate requests, and often include advanced extras like firewalls, private DNS, mail servers, and high-quality technical support.
Below, we've outlined the best Linux web hosting services available, comparing each across their level of included features, pricing, performance, and much more.
The 3 best Linux web hosting services right now
InMotion Hosting: reliable, top-end Linux hosting (opens in new tab)
InMotion Hosting's reliable, high-quality Linux hosting provides user control, beginner-friendly features, advanced plans and tools, as well as support for multiple databases and the ability to manage WordPress installations: all at reasonable prices.
SiteGround: leading support and great tools (opens in new tab)
SiteGround's technical support is market-leading, with custom solutions available if your demands don't fit their plans. Multiple databases are supported, alongside smart Linux containers, and a raft of top features across shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting plans.
Hostwinds: customizable, user-controlled hosting (opens in new tab)
Hostwinds provides total control to the user with its plans, suitable for a range of Linux OSs and accompanied with user-friendly tools and features. With managed and unmanaged options available, it's up to you how much control you'd like over your hosting.
What are the best Linux web hosting services?
The best Linux web hosting provider, in our opinion, is InMotion Hosting. It's known for reliability, and for Linux it offers high-end plans providing users with advanced controls, while its shared hosting gives entry-level users a helping hand with a raft of top features and tools.
SiteGround, Hostwinds, Liquid Web, and OVH all offer advanced Linux web hosting across a range of web hosting types, whether managed or unmanaged.
The best Linux web hosting services available
InMotion Hosting is widely known as a reliable Linux web host, offering top-end packages that give users ultimate control over sites. Its shared hosting is packed with features ideal for novices, including regular backups, free website migration, and a website builder.
Technical users are very well-catered for too, with plans that include support for PostreSQL and MySQL databases, Ruby, Perl, PHP 7, Python, and SSH (secure shell protocol) access. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
For example, as well as having PrestaShop, WordPress (opens in new tab), and Joomla pre-installation options, you also get WP-CLI, enabling you to manage numerous WordPress installations via the command line. And all of this comes at a very reasonable price: InMotion’s plans start at just $2.49 a month on a three-year plan.
The more powerful upgrades are just as reasonably priced—you can get optional self-managed cloud VPS (opens in new tab) hosting from $5 a month for year one. This plan enables you to choose your OS and firewall and then install, configure, and optimize the server in any way you like.
We were pleased to find that even its managed VPS hosting provided users with root access, enabling a good degree of low-level control. You have a choice of OSs, including CentOS, Debian, or Ubuntu, and if you come across any problems during the setup phase, InMotion’s Launch Assist gives you a two-hour time slot with qualified tech support to help you iron out any issues.
Read our detailed InMotion Hosting review (opens in new tab).
SiteGround takes advanced technical support up a notch. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in its standard products, the company can build you a custom solution. Its website lists a range of the technologies it can support on its platform, including smart Linux containers, bespoke private clouds, database replication, and advanced technical knowledge of MySQL, PHP, WordPress, Drupal, Apache, Nginx, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, Redis, Memcached, Solr, and others.
Of course, home users can’t expect this degree of support, but SiteGround's shared hosting plan has a lot going for it too, with cPanel (opens in new tab) and SSH access, free Let's Encrypt SSLs, unlimited emails and databases, Cloudflare integration, HTTP/2-enabled servers, daily backups, and open-all-hours support via phone, live chat, and a ticket system. All this comes at a cost of just $4.99 a month plus tax for year one, then $14.99 afterward.
SiteGround’s VPS-style cloud hosting includes a well-defined CentOS system, PostgreSQL, MySQL 5, 5 PHP versions, Apache, Nginx, HHVM, an Exim mail server, a private DNS setup, and Iptables firewall. Everything is pre-installed and managed for your convenience. These packages begin at $100 a month plus tax.
If you decide a dedicated server would best serve your needs, you’ll get some serious extras, including Nginx-based cache options for WordPress, Memcached and HHVM to boost performance, along with Git integration.
Even though many of these features may be surplus to requirements, they do give users a good indication of the level of technical expertise SiteGround can offer. So for a Linux-based site that you hope to scale up, this provider definitely has the right tools for the task.
Read our full SiteGround review (opens in new tab).
With Hostwinds' unmanaged VPS plans, you are given total control over your hosting. You can take your pick from a wide range of OSs, including openSUSE, CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. What’s more, it’s possible for you to set up and configure your chosen OS in any way you choose and tweak your backup system.
It’s important to remember that deciding on an unmanaged package will require you to be more responsible for it—it won’t be the responsibility of your hosting provider. For example, if you stumble across a hard-to-solve software issue it’s you who will have to find a way to fix it. Still, experienced Linux users shouldn’t find this too intimidating.
But even with these advanced features, many components of Hostwinds' plans are still fairly straightforward and simple to use. For example, site management is conducted through cPanel, while WordPress and other installs are automated via Softaculous. You’ll also find one-click Nextcloud (opens in new tab) install, and more.
And because there are no management fees, you’ll receive 50% off your package. Regular managed Linux VPS plans start at $8.24 a month for 1GB RAM, one CPU core, 30GB disk space, and 1TB traffic, and go all the way up to $395.24 for 96GB RAM, 16 cores, 750GB disk space, and 9TB traffic.
In contrast, HostWinds' unmanaged packages start at $4.99 and go as high as $328.99 a month. Hostwinds also offers rolling contracts, so you can try the service for a month and change it if you're not satisfied.
Read our comprehensive Hostwinds review (opens in new tab).
Liquid Web has a proven track record in providing flexible VPS and dedicated servers (opens in new tab), and it’s this flexibility that attracts many technical users. Liquid Web creates bespoke solutions, enabling users to have advanced low-level control over their server.
For example, you don’t just have a single version of CentOS. Instead, you can opt for CentOS 6 (with CloudLinux if you want it), CentOS 7 (with either cPanel or Plesk), Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04, Debian 8, 9, and 10, and Fedora 30. You can choose from a mix of self-managed, core-managed, and fully managed plans too.
You’ll find you have even more control over other extras. For example, instead of a regular backup strategy, Liquid Web enables you to choose the number of daily backups you'd like to do, or fit as many backups as possible into a disk space the size of which is up to you to determine. For this feature, you’ll pay a nominal $0.08 per GB a month for the space required.
Liquid Web provides round-the-clock support, and the team is very quick to respond to any issues you may encounter. If there’s a hardware failure, the provider guarantees it will be dealt with and replaced within half an hour of the issue being identified.
These claims are underpinned by a comprehensive service level agreement. One clause states that if the company doesn't respond to your ticket within 30 minutes, you'll be credited with 10 times the amount the deadline was missed by. You’ll also find other clauses covering things like network, electricity outages, and more.
Read our full Liquid Web review (opens in new tab).
A budget provider like OVH will give you the opportunity to learn the ropes without shelling out too much capital. OVH doesn’t have great support, and there’s no way we would recommend the provider for websites that are critical to a business’s success, but it does give you a lot for the price.
The provider’s VPS plans support a wide range of operating systems, including Ubuntu 14.04 Server and Ubuntu 16.04 Server, CentOS 6, CentOS 7, Debian 7, 8, and 9, Fedora 26, Arch Linux, and Kubuntu 14.04 Desktop if you require a user interface. What’s more, you don’t have to have cPanel as a website manager as the provider also supports Plesk Onyx, Vesta CP, CozyCloud, and Virtualmin.
OVH claims that it’s possible to have WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, and PrestaShop pre-installed, but we couldn’t find any reference to a one-click application installer like Softaculous. But you do have full root access, so in theory, it should be possible to configure anything you require. The most impressive thing about OVH, however, is the price of its plans, which start at only $2.20 a month minus VAT.
OVH is by no means one of the best Linux hosts on the market, but it does enable novice users to experiment with control panels and distros at very little expense. We’d recommend this to users who are ready to dip a toe in the water but not yet prepared to take the plunge with a comprehensive Linux package.
Linux web hosting FAQs
What is Linux web hosting?
Linux web hosting is web hosting that occurs via the use of a Linux-based server, with Linux an open source OS used by individuals and businesses worldwide. It's available across a range of hosting types, including cloud, VPS, shared, and dedicated hosting.
What are the advantages of Linux web hosting?
For users already utilizing a Linux OS for their machine or machines, Linux web hosting offers a targeted web hosting plan. For those with experience, it's user-friendly and adaptable, offering high security levels and advanced customization.
How to choose the best Linux web hosting for you
Most providers offer Linux hosting, but usually, unless you opt for a dedicated server, you’ll find that your plan is managed totally by the company. This means your provider will set up, manage, and service the OS and all the other corresponding features for you.
For first-time users, this is a good option, but more technical users might want to have a little more control and get frustrated by the lack of flexibility. Almost every provider aiming to offer the best Linux web hosting will promise top-end technical support. What is hard for users to do is determine which provider is genuine, and which are simply talking the talk.
A good way to figure out whether the provider you’re interested in really can deliver on this promise is to do a little research into its most advanced package. Standard plans won’t provide you with the level of support that a pro package will, but it’s very helpful to know what’s on offer should you need it.
One of the appealing things about Linux hosting is the amount of control you can have over the separate components that make up your package. But this isn’t something you can expect from every provider. In most cases, you’ll find that you are offered a default OS like CentOS and cPanel as standard, with no other options.
First-timers might struggle to choose their initial Linux hosting plan, as the range of features and optional extras can be a little overwhelming. One way to test the waters is to sign up with a provider that’s both flexible and affordable.
How we review the best Linux web hosting
When reviewing any web host, including those that rank among the best Linux web hosting services, we follow a set of steps to better judge providers.
First of all, we build a test site, either via the provider itself or with a separate platform, should the host not offer a built-in builder. Once this site is ready, we trial response times and uptimes for it with the host over two weeks. Both are key indicators of site performance, as you can lose custom and revenue should your site be unresponsive or persistently offline.
Beyond this, we test interfaces, specific features, and top tools to see both how the host's offerings add up, and to identify what difficulty level it stands at between easy-to-use to complex. We also test ease-of-use when setting up or importing an SSL certificate, and explore other security features on offer. This last point is important when it comes to Linux, as users will expect high-quality security.
For long-term site stability, users must establish the level of support and competence a provider will offer should an issue arise. We test the responsiveness of customer support and service, to see how quickly they respond to customer requests, and to outline how knowledgeable and reliable they are.
With web hosting packages well-known for their confusing and opaque pricing, we examine pricing plans in-depth, so that we can summarize them for you, and warn whether monthly costs might increase after the cheaper initial period.
Next steps with web hosting
Make sure you check out our other specific buying guides for web hosting, if you're looking for a particular type of hosting for your website. For more advanced sites and business-level hosting, check out the best VPS hosting (opens in new tab), the best cloud hosting (opens in new tab), and the best unlimited hosting (opens in new tab).
Those with WordPress sites should look into the best WordPress hosting (opens in new tab); while finally, if you're searching for hosting on a tight to non-existent budget, the best free web hosting, and the best web hosting for cheap (opens in new tab) may be helpful, though it's worth noting that we don't recommend free web hosting for business websites.