objarni's picture

Ubuntu as a development environment?

Hi everybody.

I'm currently using WindowsXP and Visual Studio Express 2008 as a development environment.

While I am quite pleased with Visual Studio, I'm starting to grow tired of Windows (viruses+slowness+hassle+security).

So I'm thinking - could I go Ubuntu and still keep Visual Studio? Eg. via a VirtualBox+minimal Windows XP (only Studio! no network). Then I could develop using Studio and have a Shared Folder from which I run the result, hardware accelerated (NVidia graphics cards work fine in linux world..).

The alternative is MonoDevelop, which I tried a year ago or so and it was not up to par with Visual Studio yet (mostly because of IntelliSense being a lot less attractive). Maybe it is a lot better nowadays? For example I sure would appreciate better scripting possibilities than Visual Studio Express.

Does anybody have experiences to share?

Really off topic: The other thing I would miss from my windows environment is HalfLife2 :) Does anybody have any experience getting H/W acceleration under Virtual Box? That's the only way I can thing of to make it work under Ubuntu (don't tell me to use Wine -- I've had bad experiences regarding that software).


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the Fiddler's picture

You will probably run into problems with such a small /home. Many programs store data in hidden directories and you will quickly fill it up. In the past, I got by with 5GB (one DVD - you have a DVD buner, right?), but I've since moved to a 32GB partition (even though I only use 5-6GB).

objarni's picture

DVD-burner yes, but I find DVDs less reliable than CD-Rs.

OK I'll go for something like 4.5 GB thanks

Kamujin's picture

700mb sounds tiny. I expect many problems if you really use it as your daily driver.

Linux is so trivially easy to backup anyway. You just tar your home folder to a usb drive.

Mincus's picture

If you intend on using wine, 700MB definitely won't be enough unless you tell wine to store its data elsewhere.
By default it puts it in .wine in your home directory, so I'd question even 4.5GB being enough if you intend on dropping HL2 on it.

objarni's picture

Mincus: thanks for advice. But help me a little - exactly what kind of files are put under /home?

My perception was that /home was kind of "Documents and Settings" for linux/ubuntu? That is, application config files/data, user home folders/desktop.. And HalfLife2 would go there and not somewhere else, of course since it is part of WINE data files I guess? I mean it is not a linux-program after all :)

Maybe 32 GB is something more like it for /home?

the Fiddler's picture

Correct on all points. Home is for documents and settings. As you guessed, wine puts its virtual "C:" drive under a hidden folder in home (~/.wine/drive_c IIRC). So does firefox with its cache, google earth and many other things.

16-32GB should be just fine (backup to an external hard disk I guess? :) )

In any case, I'd suggest starting with wubi so you can easily reinstall if need be. Once you are happy with the installation, you can move the wubi disk to a real partition for a small speed gain.

objarni's picture

Haha that's an idea Fiddler :)

But my windows does not even start anymore (taskmanager won't show, so the virus has got the best of my system within seconds I'm guessing..), and I'm not upto reinstalling xp on the hard drive.

I'm going to reinstall ubuntu on my already existing ubuntu-partition, repartition after your suggestions and then save the files I need from the windows partition. After that, I want to reformat the windows partition for some additional space, maybe for the virtual win xp I'm going to have inside ubuntu.

the Fiddler's picture

@Entropy: Fglrx 8.11 is out, try installing that and see if it fixes 3d acceleration! Remember to use the graphical installer, as the package scripts do not work correctly with this release.

Just make the driver executable and run it from a terminal with "sudo ./ati-driver-blah-blah.run"

Edit: Download link

Entropy's picture

Thanks for the tip, Fiddler. I'll be sure to try it out when I get home.

EDIT: No ALSA sound support still, though, and judging by all some posts I found last night on bugs.launchpand.net for onbard Realtek soundcards, it *might* be a kernel bug. I'll look into the possibility of compiling a different kernel version as I found what looks like a sound HowTo for newbies on how to do that.

the Fiddler's picture

Could be, but then again you do have sound on the login screen. Maybe some application is using ALSA directly, locking PulseAudio out.

Now that I think of it, I did have some issues with sound, but it turned out I was un-muting the wrong channels in Volume Control (I had erroneously connected my speakers to the side channel which is not shown on Volume Control by default).