How to tell if a server is Windows/ Linux for blog installation?
August 22, 2006 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Trying to figure out whether a server is a Windows or Unix/Linux server

I know this may sounds vague, but I am trying to find out whether a server that is hosting my web databases and pages is Windows or Linux. I want to install a Movable Type blog, and it seems there are two different versions (Windows / Linux) to install.

The technical support for my hosting has been busy for the last hour or so, and I can't get through to ask about specifics. Nonetheless, I really need to get this up for a client. Any suggestions? Should I assume its a Linux server? Does it really matter?
posted by dvjtj to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Probably some flavor of Unix, but ask Netcraft "What's That Site Running" to be sure. The entry box is a bit hard to spot - it's just under the "Secure Server Survey" banner right at the top center.
posted by pocams at 11:41 AM on August 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

Check out Netcraft and type your website address into the box in the upper-left ("What's that site running?"). That should tell you the type of server the site is running on.
posted by mezzanayne at 11:41 AM on August 22, 2006

Sorry pocams, I previewed and everything...I swear.
posted by mezzanayne at 11:43 AM on August 22, 2006

I don't know what Netcraft's methodology is, but webservers can easily be setup to lie about what OS (and other software) they're running. This is sometimes useful for security purposes. The best tool out there for accurately identifying server OS's is p0f. Both windows and linux versions are available, and its very simple to use: p0f
posted by gsteff at 11:53 AM on August 22, 2006

You could always upload a php page that contains this:
< ? phpinfo() ?>

(Without the spaces between the question mark and the brackets -- I just had to do that to make it display here.)

That'll give you all the relevant details of the server...
posted by ph00dz at 12:11 PM on August 22, 2006

a bit of a long shot -- but try telnetting to port 22. Usually (but not explicitly) SSH is running on *BSD/*NIX machines but not windows
posted by gadha at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2006

nmap will also fingerprint the machine, if you have it.
posted by baylink at 12:51 PM on August 22, 2006

Umm... Where did you see that? I think there is no windows or linux version, the download page doesn't mention it, it just provides you with a zip or tar.gz file. I did not find anything related to that in the docs either.

And I downloaded both archives, extracted them, and they have the same number of files, exact same size.
posted by a007r at 2:35 PM on August 22, 2006

You're right a007r - MT is provided in two different compression formats, not two different versions. So you can just go ahead and install, dvjtj. (Though, since it sounds like you're new to this stuff, it's worth pointing out that installing MT takes longer and can be trickier to do than other comparable CMSs.)
posted by jack_mo at 3:11 PM on August 22, 2006

Sorry, when I say 'you can go ahead and install', I mean you can pick either the .zip or tar.gz file, depending on which is best for your computer (Windows or Linux/Mac respectively), unpack the archive on your computer, then FTP the contents to your server.
posted by jack_mo at 3:13 PM on August 22, 2006

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