Taking a quick look around these VPS are usually Linux or Windows based. Can the Java programs run on these as a standard?
Yes, both OS's are very well supported by Java, and can run Java to a high standard.
Of the two I would recommend Linux, because:
- Windows VPS typically costs more, and the cost isn't worth it, unless you _must_ use Windows.
- Base install of Linux typically has a smaller footprint then a base Windows install (although this is less of an issue today, and custom Windows Server installs/setups can be made to be pretty slim).
- A real website often relies on other software living around it, and generally these always support Linux first, and Windows second (Ruby is a good example).
- Lots of website related setup guides are written for Linux.
I mean they need to have Java installed and be capable of running the JVM. Or do you explicitly need to look for VPS that provide this functionality for Java?
A VPS won't provide you with Java. Instead it provides an OS, and you install Java yourself on top of it, and set it up to be a web server. This is the downside of using a VPS, because your setting up the whole server yourself, from the ground up. This even includes things like backups (although VPS providers often include backups services, for a price).
I also use Linode, and highly recommend it. I have used several shared hosting sites and have had issues with all of them (even the good ones). I have never had an issue with Linode. There was also a VPS performance benchmark blog post done a year or two ago, where Linode came out on top
. I know many web developers who also use Linode, and find it to be excellent.