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I've been trying to figure out how to determine the use of the .Net stack compared to Open Source OS's.

I have read that Netcraft.com is one place to find out. But when I put in one of my own sites (which is .Net), it comes up as unknown, and when I put in StackOverflow.com, it comes up as a Linux OS and "unknown" server. I thought SO was .Net MVC (has that changed)? Given that Netcraft came up with wrong/incomplete answers in these instances, do you think their statistics overall are still reliable?

http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://stackoverflow.com

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is a pretty good overview of the StackExchange network and their technologies http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10369/which-tools-and-technologies-build-the-stack-exchange-network

There are probably more reliable ways to determine the operating system of a server such as using nmap and try and see what ports are open on a server. It's not a 100% guarantee but probably more than what Netcraft uses.

Netcraft also goes over their accuracy and specifically OS detection http://uptime.netcraft.com/accuracy.html#os

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Builtwith seems to be pretty good for this.

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You might want to fix the link. It goes to builthwith.com. VERY nice page, but I do not see the server info. I think I'll get alot of use out of it nevertheless. Thanks! –  Dave Jul 25 '12 at 14:18
    
Darn fat fingered spelling mistakes! Yes, it doesn't usually flat out say it, but you can usually suss out what it can and can't be based on what it finds. –  patricksweeney Jul 25 '12 at 14:20

Surveys like Netcraft just take a sample of what they can find and what servers make available to them.

There's no way to be 100% certain of what stacks are really used, for the following reasons:

  • Any server can alter the Server header it sends (and any header in fact).
  • URL-rewriting could can hide the mechanism used to render the page, e.g. .asp or .php. You're never actually sure that a .html really is a static file (and twisted webmasters could very well choose to call their PHP scripts .asp and make them run by mod_php on an Apache Httpd server).
  • Some more complex configurations could involve reverse proxy servers for part of a site, whereby the actual handling of the request may be done by different stacks.
  • Reverse proxy servers (load balancers) can hide the real server technology used.
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