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?


3 Answers 3


This is a pretty good overview of the StackExchange network and their technologies https://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


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.

Builtwith seems to be pretty good for this.

  • 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
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 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. Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 14:20

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