We currently run CollabNet Subversion on a Windows server. I recently got the opportunity to move the Subversion server to another machine, and I basically have the choice between a Windows server or a Linux server for it. We are primarily a Windows shop, so I'd probably go with a Windows server with all things being equal, but I was wondering if there are any benefits to putting it on a Linux server instead. I'm not looking for a dispute between Windows and Linux servers, but rather specific features, documented performance differences, or any other reason I might prefer Linux for the Subversion server.

Our clients use TortoiseSVN, and, if it matters, the server versions would probably be Windows Server 2008 R2 or Ubuntu 10.04, but this is probably flexible, too.

Edit: A few extra comments after some answers: the licensing isn't an issue for us for this, our VMWare cluster has plenty of spare resources, so that's not much of an issue, and I'm comfortable with both Linux and Windows, so that doesn't affect this either. It sounds like I'm hearing there isn't a difference though, so that might be my answer.

3 Answers 3


We original ran Collabnet on Windows for around 12 months, and then we switched it to a Linux SVN system. Then, we split the repositories onto two seperate systems - one runs Ubuntu and one runs Windows Server 2003 R2.

There is absolutally no difference between them, they both run Active Directory integration brilliantly, they're both VM's and are just as fast as eachother, and none of our users have ever had an issue with either system.

So go with the OS you know the best.

  • This is pretty much what I was hoping to hear from someone (go Serverfault!). That was my assumption, but it's good to hear a real-world example of this.
    – Paul Kroon
    Jul 22, 2010 at 1:18

One difference would be that a base OS for Ubuntu will most likely need less memory/storage when compared to a 2008r2 system. If don't need a vendor support then your Linux license will cost less compared to Windows.

But if you are not already familiar with maintaining a Linux box then you can easily eat up any of the savings from hardware and licence costs in support it on Linux.

  • 1
    +1 Most *nix will run in 64 to 128MB of RAM. Win2008R2 needs about 256. RAM is really cheap and Windows Web Edition doesn't cost much either, so you'll save more going with the OS you already know.
    – Chris S
    Jul 22, 2010 at 0:07

If you're familiar and comfortable with Windows, then run it on a Windows server. There's no major performance drawbacks, and you apparently aren't having problems with your current install. Why change what works?

  • This was pretty much going to be my plan if it seemed like there was no difference. When you say "no major performance drawbacks," do you mean there is some drawback, or it's only the performance of the OSes that differs?
    – Paul Kroon
    Jul 22, 2010 at 1:17
  • I'm not familiar with the Windows subversion server, but I can't imagine that it's going to be significantly slower than the normal subversion daemon (or apache, or svn+ssh, or whatever you'd use in Linux). Jul 22, 2010 at 1:56

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