Linux distro for Web development

By Ritwik7 ยท 12 replies
Oct 10, 2011
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  1. Just needed some advice regarding the choice of a Linux distro that I'll be using for some minor web development using Drupal. Which distro would you recommend?

    My prior experience with Linux includes Ubuntu, Arch, Pardus, etc.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I have found good results by installing Cygwin for Windows which is an emulator.
    Code developed on it frequently ports without changes and if any are needed, it is
    typically only the reference to control / include files.

    A Linux platform for development *may* need to be a Linux Server if you're working
    on Web services (aka cgi or the like). I've always advocated Redhat.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'd recommend Debian or CentOS as free alternatives. You could always virtualise the server using Virtualbox and SSH into it from your Windows desktop if that's preferable for your type of usage.
  4. Probably a bit of an over simplification, but CentOS is effectively RHEL without the branding (and the licence fee).
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Didn't realise you had a thing for Slackware, Caravel! ;)
  6. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Don't really require a server (at least not yet). So would CentOS still be a good choice?

    Also between Ubuntu 10.04 and 11.04, which is more solid?
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    CentOS would only be a suitable choice if you were running a server. If your not there are better options.

    Do you want a rock solid distro for like a home computer, or do you need to have a LAMP server or something?

    If you can use a normal distro for now I strongly suggest you head with Debian. The package management using APT and Aptitude is the same as Ubuntu (as its based on Debian) but you will get rock solid stability with Debian with packages that have served time and proven to work well together.

    FYI even Debian testing is more stable than the last two current releases of Ubuntu, and you really won't need half of the bells and whistles Ubuntu installs in a default installation.

    Ubuntu is more cutting edge and far more likely to break. You can do without those headaches if you need it for production usage.

    If you must use Ubuntu then use the older version as it will likely be more stable.
  8. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Ran Ubuntu 10.x with PHP and Apache for some HTML5 web application development a while back. Didn't have any problems with it. But I'm sure Leeky and the other Linux aficionados will know better ;)
  9. I'm not sure what a "normal" distro refers to, but Debian stable is targeted at the server market and is one of the most popular server distros out there.

    I think the confusion here is between "enterprise linux" and distros which are suitable for servers. Any major distro is suitable for running a server, just install the servers and apps you want and you're good to go - but you should prefer a stable distro rather than bleeding edge rolling releases.

    For web development, i.e. a production machine, you will also want something stable, just install the programs you want and that's it. for web development tools, google is the way to go. I've not used any personally so cannot recommend anything.
  10. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks a lot for those replies. I was very keen on Debian but I'm a little worried whether it will have the latest versions of PHP, etc. for running Drupal as they're more concerned with using the most stable releases.

    @ Arris - Thanks for that. May go the Ubuntu way again if I don't get a better option.
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I meant a normal user installation. e.g. not running as a standalone server - though admittedly I worded it badly.

    Debian 6 (Squeeze) ships with php5.3.3 in its package managers.

    This Wiki page from Debian regarding php might prove useful.

    EDIT: Have a go in Virtualbox at installing and configuring it in a VM. There is no reason you cannot run the whole project in a VM, unless it demands massive resources I'm unaware of.
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thank you very much Leeky. I am typing this out after having installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (64 Bit) on my second HDD.

    I will definitely give Debian 6 a try in VM sometime soon.
  13. pacav69

    pacav69 TS Member Posts: 16

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