There is no preferred OS for HDF, use the one that you have the most knowledge. I will say that LINUX is the most tested OS used.
There is documentation that cover OS specific tuning and best practices. The only required software is JAVA 8.
The minimum system resources will be driven by the volume of data, size of files and how much processing will be done on the data.
Here is a link to documentation that provides a good starting point and hardware sizing recommendations : Planning your deployment