Jaunty, Karmic, or Lucid???
April 29, 2010 2:29 PM   Subscribe

I want to set up Ruby on Rails development environment on my windows laptop at work, and plan to set up Virtual Box and install some version of linux, probably ubuntu, as a guest OS. I use windows mostly for work and OS X at home, but havent done much with linux (my office's production environment is linux, so I do a tiny bit). Which version of ubuntu should I go with right now? I see "Lucid Lynx" has just been released (I love the naming), should I go with that or a previous recent version?
posted by pretzel to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would say Karmic has a higher probability of working fine straight off, rather than Lucid (see known issues here). It's super easy to upgrade, if that influences your decision.

I used Karmic a bit as a non-linux expert and I find it great, as well as being nice and fast.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 2:41 PM on April 29, 2010

Another option would be to check which Linux distribution will be used in production for your project and use the same one in your development environment.
posted by agregoire at 2:48 PM on April 29, 2010

I echo agregoire. You'll probably spend most of your time interacting with the vm via an ssh or sftp client anyway, so might as well keep the environment as close to production as possible to avoid future gotchas.
posted by roue at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2010

Most of the issues with Lucid seem to be related to hardware support, which is less of an issue with a VM.

Still, for Rails development, it's going to depend a bit upon the workflow you have planned: the factors here are less the underlying OS than the supporting cast -- the web server, the version of ruby and Rails, etc. Having a clone of the production environment is best for staging, which implies a "server"-style setup with no GUI; you can probably get away with installing X on a development system, but it's probably better to treat the VM as if it were a server and work through ssh/sftp.
posted by holgate at 2:57 PM on April 29, 2010

Makes sense - the production environment is Red Hat Enterprise 4.0. I was thinking ubuntu only because someone else here was running ubuntu on his desktop (for java development) and I figured it might be a good choice since it seems to be the popular choice.
posted by pretzel at 2:59 PM on April 29, 2010

It really does depend on your workflow. Got a preferred editor/IDE in Windows with the capacity to work on remote files? Then you should be fine working with ssh/sftp and a browser. Interested in playing with Linux's desktop development tools?

It shouldn't be too hard to replicate the production environment on the server side in Ubuntu -- Apache (or an alternative) plus ruby plus Rails, all with the right versions. (Your Java dev is probably using cross-platform compilers and runtimes for testing.) What you don't want, though, is code that runs on your dev platform but won't work in production, especially if it's on account of Ubuntu's semi-automated version updates. So get the production specs and config from your sysadmins and see which distribution is the best match.
posted by holgate at 3:36 PM on April 29, 2010

If licensing is an issue CentOS is and exact open source version of Red Hat, pick the corresponding version to your production RH box.
posted by sammyo at 5:25 PM on April 29, 2010

I'd install Karmic. There always seem to be a few bugs that don't quite get quashed before the release deadline. It's a simple procedure to upgrade later. I always wait a month or two and haven't gotten bitten in the ass yet.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:00 PM on April 29, 2010

Go for as close to the production environment as you can get. Particularly, make sure you've got the same version of Ruby and Rails (and whatever db and webserver you're using) -- there are incompatibilities between Ruby 1.8 and 1.9, and the Rails devs seem to love backwards incompatibility. (These things will probably end up being more important to you than what flavor of Linux you're using.)
posted by Zed at 10:27 PM on April 29, 2010

« Older Food Subsidy Inverse of Food Pyramid   |   Brooklyn to . . . Austin? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.