Linux web hosting refers to web hosting services that are based on a server that is running the Linux operating system. It is probably the most widely used type of web hosting, especially for individuals and small to medium sized businesses, simply because Linux web hosting is cheaper than other options like Windows based hosting. The reason for this is that Linux is an open source software product and as such does not incur the high licensing fees that other operating systems do; you can freely download and use it at no cost. On the other hand, a web hosting service that offers Windows based hosting has to pay for the software and maintenance fees.
Some of the advantages of Linux web hosting are: cheaper than Windows, support for PHP scripts and MySQL databases and some hosts may offer telnet accounts at no or little additional cost. In many circles Linux is believed to be more secure than Windows, and for that reason it is also the more popular choice for web designers and programmers. Linux web hosting also offers users many configuration and customization options.
The Linux operating system is also very stable, so you can expect high uptime from a Linux web hosting service. Linux supports most scripting languages and types of web files, and you can use files with all the following extensions: .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .asp, .xml and others. The biggest disadvantage of a Linux based web hosting solution is that it is not compatible with Microsoft technologies, like ASP scripts.
On the other side of the coin is Windows based hosting, which is generally more expensive, but it does support ASP and, usually for an extra fee, can support Cold Fusion, Access databases and SQL Server databases.
In conclusion, if you are new to building websites and web design, Linux web hosting is the better, and cheaper, option. However, if you need specialized services that are Windows specific, then you will have to use a Windows web hosting service.