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A development machine in VirtualBox - (Debian-min vs Arch Linux vs recommend-one)

A development machine in VirtualBox - (Debian-min vs Arch Linux vs recommend-one)

I have few years of experience on Linux, mainly Ubuntu (dual-boot). Now I am shifting to Windows, and installing Linux in VirtualBox, Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). I am looking for a light-weight distribution for a development machine setup. I thought of using debian-unstable-minimum, and installing build-essentials, openbox (or a little more feature light-WM, ps recommend), ssh-server, Ethereal, iptables, Nmap (maybe), Vim, Python 3. That is all what I can think of now mainly.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 45
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"I'm a fan of fine tuning, so out of all of those I'd have to pick Arch. Start at a minimum and install only what you'll use. Arch also has the most up to date packages, which can be very important on a development machine. If you want to be very productive and minimalistic, check out a tiling window manager like xmonad, ratpoison, or awesome. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts of the window managers and your editor, you're like a black hole of productivity. Your hands never really have to leave the keyboard and everything is very customizable.

FreeBSD 8, is it possible for minimum

Depends on what you mean by minimum. You can grab just Disc 1 and install what you need.

And recommended. Recommendations for
other i686 optimized linux, if any, or
lets say i386 is also fine, as will
only use it for coding

Gentoo without a doubt. Heavily optimized and very popular among the programming crowd. Very small distribution with great support for programming related packages.

For system admins - I would like to
know if ArchLinux keeps the potential
to penetrate companies for production
systems, and replace redhat/debian/bsd
in servers for hosting apps/portals.

Doubtful. Those distributions have a massive community behind them and tons of support. Not to mention the commercial support behind some of those distributions, hence why they are popular with big companies. Support is always great to fall back on if you are in trouble, and with big corporations, getting back on your feet sooner than later can make thousands of dollars difference."
Guest [Entry]

"As far as a development box goes, I crave stability and flexibility and tool compatibility above all else. If you are likely to be coding in a variety of environments and languages, then a Debian-based distribution is a good choice because it has such a large repository. You can almost always find a package waiting for you right when you need it.

Yes, some distributions are more lightweight than others, but I would pick a distribution you are familiar with first and tune it to make it efficient. Pick a lightweight window manager like xmonad or Fluxbox. Arch Linux is likely to be a choice you'll hear a lot about on this thread, which is fine. Any time you switch to a very new distribution (Debian vs BSD based for example) you will have to invest some time learning the ins - and - outs of how to administer that type of system - this is where the largest differences are between different types of GNU/Linux.

That said, I have had good experiences developing under both Debian and Fedora."