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Linux Development - (declogging the fluff)

The Background
This is my first article so be kind! I am a developer and a Linux user of over 10 years which may be surprising given my low age. One of my favourite things to do in Linux is to test out software and websites that I build because I strive to make everything as multi-platform as I can (saving on porting costs, hardware costs and software costs wherever possible).

The First Problem
One of the problems for me with Linux is that it can be hard to keep track of exactly what is installed in the system (For those of you suggesting apt, yum or alike consider there are over 25 packages just for X and well over 250 in a standard Linux install and then there are those miscellaneous dependencies we all add because programs won't function without them).

The Next Problem
My next problem is that I have multiple clients all with different needs, one person wants a .NET program (fine use MONO), the next person wants Java, the next C++, the next AIR, the problem is that the system gets clogged up with junk and I have neither the time, patience or inclination to do anything about it.

The Solution
My solution is simple I use virtual machines within VirtualBox to build and test the machines, it means that I no-longer have to reboot my entire PC if I accidentally compile and run (while(true){ continue; }) or similar. It also allows me to keep my main system as static (and therefore stable) as possible and it has a number of added advantages.

Added Benefits
If you use VirtualBox you can make all of your data transitory or "portable", you can connect it to an external E-sata hard-drive and reap much the same performance as a regular pc, you can also set up clustering within the guest by adding bridged virtual Ethernet connections to "defer" the CPU load to other computers and with VirtualBox comes one other advantage, "native mode" the application can run as if it were a native application on the host PC without any of the possible security risks (due to the VM sandboxing the App).

The End
So this is the end of my short article on de-clogging the fluff, I welcome all questions and suggestions as I'm not much of a writer and want to improve.

 

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