Do I need Ubuntu?

Hey guys,

I’ve just started front end development this year and would like to host a simple portfolio site on digitalocean.

My question is this - What is the difference between Ubuntu and a server like Apache? I thought Ubuntu was an Operation System? Do I need to install Ubuntu for a simple static website? I have a mac so I’m not sure even if I can do this… Also, I know this is a really dumb question but will going through the steps to connect to an Ubuntu server mess up my iOS operating system?

If you were in my shoes and wanted to host a simple static website on digital ocean, how would you go about doing so (Distribution or One-Click Apps)?

Thank you in advance,



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Hi @scottcwebdev

So to put it in relation to what you know. Ubuntu is an OS (Operating System), just like OS X on Mac. You need an OS to do anything on a computer/server.

Apache (or Nginx or ISS or …) is a web server, which is essentially a program that runs on the computer - but the main goal of that program is to deliver content to the outside world.

You don’t need to install anything on your local computer to run a server here on DigitalOcean - but you need a client program, so you can manage the server, but that’s already included on OS X and it’s called Terminal, which includes SSH (on Windows you would download PuTTY).

But unless you want to spend time on administrating a server and learning about the “engine room” - which might be a little much, when you’re also starting to learn about front end development - then I would probably recommend that you start with a regular webhost (like SiteGround etc).

Running your own server requires a bit of skill and time, and you’re responsible for maintaining, updating and securing the server - so some of your time would be dedicated to that instead of the front end.

When you feel like you want to dig deeper or if you feel constrained by a regular webhost, then something like DigitalOcean will be a great tool.

You could use the One-Click Apps to get up and running in a jiffy, but you still need to maintain the server - and for what you’re asking for (a static site) it seems like overkill.