While Linux itself is open-source and free for personal use, many Linux data center-orientated enterprise distributors are not. That can make finding free Linux hosting a challenge.
But there are free Linux server hosting services out there, and I'm going to help you find them.
For several months, I've tirelessly trawled the bargain-basement providers of the internet to find out which web hosts provide free and usable Linux servers. My top 5 choices are:
- 000webhost (Super reliable)
- Flaunt7 (Solid privacy options)
- GoogieHost (Outstanding customer support)
- FreeHosting (Handles high-traffic well)
- Viewen (Good for large sites)
Recommended for: Reliable free Linux server hosting
Fortunately, 000webhost ($0.00 Web Host) is actually a free offshoot of a well known and loved internet host, Hostinger.
Thanks to Hostinger's reputation, you can rest assured you're in safe hands with 000webhost.
Hostinger makes it crystal clear that 000webhost's free plan is here to stay, and that you will never have to add payment information to use it.
You can enjoy a super stable hosting environment with 000webhost's shared hosting packages - they're managed using CloudLinux so you'll be assigned a virtual environment with its own partitioned physical resources.
Combine that CloudLinux management with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and you begin to get a picture of the super reliable and totally free hosting 000webhost provides.
As well as packages like WordPress, the latest version of PHP and MySQL is included with all 000webhost plans, letting you create and manage powerful open source databases.
With the free plan, no domain registration is included, but a free subdomain is, and it's easy to assign a domain registered elsewhere. You'll also get 1GB of storage and 10GB bandwidth, which is par for the course with free hosting. If you ever decide to upgrade, 000webhost offers unlimited storage and bandwidth for just $2.15/month (with current discounts).
- Highly reputable
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- PHP and MySQL included
- Paid plans very affordable
- Free subdomain
- Restricted storage and bandwidth
Recommended for: Free Linux hosting with high privacy protectionFlaunt7 is an awesome option for high-privacy free Linux server hosting.
That's because Flaunt7 is a specialized offshore host with server locations around the world, granting your free site numerous legal protections depending on the data center you are assigned.
While the free plan doesn't include the anti-hack Cloudflare software that's standard with other packages, it's still a good option for security-focused free hosting thanks to the free SSL certificate which Flaunt7 throws in.
The free plan also includes powerful Linux management software options in the form of CloudLinux, Apache, and NGINX, so you'll be able to pick your favorite Linux flavor.
And what's more, Flaunt7's free plan comes with unlimited storage, bandwidth, and support for unlimited domains, giving you more room to grow than you'll receive with most unpaid hosts. Note that your site will only get 64MB of RAM though, so it won't handle big software or many visitors at the same time.
If you decide you need more resources after testing the free plan, Flaunt7 also offers some of the best Linux dedicated server hosting on the market. Dedicated prices begin at $299.99/month for a powerful Elanza Core 2 Quad system.
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain support
- Great privacy features
- Free SSL certificate
- DMCA Ignored policy
- Limited RAM
Recommended for: Free Linux hosting with round-the-clock supportGoogieHost is an India based partner company and reseller of Interserver's hosting services. It offers CloudLinux based hosting for absolutely nothing.
To me, there are three features that help GoogieHost standout from the competition.
The first is its customer support - most free Linux hosts fall short in this area, meaning you have to rely on forums for support. But not so with GoogieHost, which lets you contact its support team 24/7 via a ticket service. Apparently, a live-chat service is also in development - great stuff!
The second is that 1GB of SSD storage is included. SSD storage isn't common-place with free hosting plans, so its great to see it here. 100GB of bandwidth is also thrown in which should be suitable for fairly high-traffic levels.
And last, but not least, you'll receive Cloudflare privacy software and an SSL certificate. That should give you confidence your site and data will be protected from DDOS and hacking attacks.
Of course, almost all free hosts have drawbacks of some kind. And in the case of GoogieHost - although my testing revealed that GoogieHost response times are excellent in the USA, they are not globally.
- Good customer support options
- SSD storage
- Free SSL certificate
- Cloudflare protection
- 100GB Bandwidth
- Poor international response times
Recommended for: High-traffic Linux websitesFreeHosting is a service totally dedicated to providing free hosting. The free package comes with a fully featured set of Linux based server management packages like Apache and PHP.
I highly recommend FreeHosting if you need the capacity to deal with a large amount of traffic. That's because the free package includes unmetered bandwidth, while 10GB of storage is also thrown in - which is well above average for a free plan.
And if you want a streamlined hosting experience, FreeHosting lets you build your site using its included site-building software.
Another excellent feature FreeHosting offers are one-time billed add-ons. So, if you find the free plan too limiting, you can pay for an upgrade without having to commit to monthly payments.
Unfortunately, FreeHosting does not offer domain registration or a free subdomain. That's not the end of the world though - registering your domain with a separate service is normally quite cheap.
- Generous storage and unmetered bandwidth
- One-time billed add-ons available
- Site building software
- No free subdomain
Recommended for: Great add-on software options
Thanks to its powerful cPanel management page and Softaculous installation software, you can easily install hundreds of open source Linux scripts on Viewen hosted sites.
It's a particularly good choice if you want technical help with your free Linux site - tickets can be submitted to Viewen's support team through a ticket system 24/7 and are normally answered within a few minutes.
And Viewen also gives you plenty of room to expand without paying for an upgrade, as unlimited disk space and domain support are included with the free cloud hosting plan.
However, if you do get a lot of page-views, you will need to upgrade to the $2.95/month 'Prime' package for unmetered traffic.
- Live support service
- Softaculous software installer
- Unlimited disk space and domain support
- Free SSL certificate
- Limited traffic with the free plan
Which is the Best Free Linux Hosting Option for Me?
When deciding on which is best for you, make sure you consider your personal needs first. Here's the rundown on all providers to help you make that decision:
- 000webhost is ideal for incredibly reliable free Linux servers
- Flaunt7 is the best for protecting your privacy
- GoogieHost offers 24/7 support for your free site
- FreeHosting is awesome for high-traffic Linux sites
- Viewen has amazing extra software features and can store large Linux sites
As is always the case with free hosts, most providers that offer free Linux hosting place some kind of restriction on your usage. A good way to make your choice is therefore to decide which standard hosting feature you need the least, and choose one of the providers who omits it from their package.
And of course, in many cases, you may find that no free Linux hosting is good for your needs. In that case, I strongly suggest doing a small investment and picking one of the premium hosting provider packages. They can do much more - and if you look well enough, you can find some great deals there.
But speaking of free Linux hosting packages, what did you think? Do you like any of the options here? Drop me a comment below if you think I've missed out an amazing free Linux server host!