Before discussing Server OS vs. Client OS, let’s first understand what an Operating System (OS) is. Simply, an OS is a mediator between the hardware and application software. We interact with the software part, and any command we give to the application software is translated into binary code by the OS, which then processes the function. Hardware itself doesn’t comprehend how to perform logical operations; it requires the OS to execute any task.
We have two types of operating systems: client OS and server OS. These operating systems have their differences in features, functions, optimization, hardware requirements, application compatibility, and resource management.
What is Server OS?
Server OS is designed to efficiently manage resources such as files, databases, applications, and hardware while providing services like email, web hosting, file sharing, printing, and network printing.
Server OS is used to manage many resources and computer networks, offering a range of services based on your company’s requirements. Additionally, Server OS supports functionalities like load balancing, clustering, and virtualization, and you can enhance its capabilities by adding roles such as Active Directory. For more information on Active Directory, please refer to “What is Active Directory“.
A Server Operating System runs on dedicated server machines, which are powerful systems capable of securing and managing multiple client systems concurrently. Its primary function is to authenticate and serve authorized users. Common examples of Server OS include Red Hat, Linux, and Windows, all of which enable the provisioning of services to multiple clients.
Please note that Windows Server 2008 was the last 32-bit operating system released by Microsoft. Subsequent Microsoft operating systems are 64-bit and remain compatible with 32-bit applications.
What is Client OS?
A Client OS is specifically designed to run seamlessly on personal computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. It efficiently manages local resources, including files, printers, and peripheral devices.
Client Operating Systems are installed on client machines such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and more. These systems are used to access services provided by servers. The server could be running Windows, Android, Firefox, Symbian, or macOS.
Please note that as of May 13, 2020, Microsoft ceased offering 32-bit versions of Windows 10 to OEMs for new PCs.
Also Read: Serverless computing
Difference between Server OS and Client OS :
The difference between the client and the server OS depends on various factors such as requirements, purpose, services, optimization, and hardware requirements.
Here is a comparison table for better understanding:
|OS||Server Operating System||Client Operating System|
|Role||The primary role of the Server is to authenticate and provide services to authorized users and client machine.||Client OS that runs on the desktop and is used to obtain services from the server.|
|Security||It offers more security.||It offers less security.|
|User Interface||Typically includes both GUI and CLI interfaces.||Primarily focused on a user-friendly GUI interface.|
|OS Structure||Complex OS structure that help Admin to manage configuration settings, GPOs, networking resources and more.||Less Complex OS structure as compare to server OS.|
|Processing Power||It requires more processing power.||Require less processing power.|
|Hardware Structure||Server OS are robust hardware to handle heavy loads and manage resources. It contains 1000+ GB of Premium SSD and RAMs.||Client OS are less powerful hardware an doesn't contains 1000+ GB RAM|
|Architecture||Windows Server OS 2008 was the last 32-bit operating system.||Microsoft stopped releasing 32 bit Windows 10 OS.|
|Stability||It is more stable and efficient.||It is less stable and efficient.|
|Hardware Requirements||Server OS manages resources and provides services to other computers on the network.||Client OS manages local resources|
|Examples||Redhat, Linux, Windows etc.||Windows, Android, FireFox, Symbian, MAC etc.|