Kafka should run well on any unix system and has been tested on Linux and Solaris.
We have seen a few issues running on Windows and Windows is not currently a well supported platform though we would be happy to change that.
You likely don't need to do much OS-level tuning though there are a few things that will help performance.
Two configurations that may be important:
We upped the number of file descriptors since we have lots of topics and lots of connections.
We upped the max socket buffer size to enable high-performance data transfer between data centers described here.