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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objarni's picture

I choose the "Best contrast" font config ... it's highly readable. The LCD-adapted config was a little blurry on my screen.

Thanks for all great tips, I'm starting the installer as we speak (from within Ubuntu 8.04 .. gotta love it!)

Mincus's picture

I use Xubuntu, so the config is a little different, but I find the font Deja Vu with slight hinting looks very nice.
Might not be for all though, I have strange tastes in desktops (I think the OS X decorations look ugly for example).

objarni's picture

Fiddler/other Ubuntu people - if I go 64-bit instead of 32-bit - will I still be able to

1) install HalfLife2
2) problem-free Ubuntu experience (regarding drivers for gfx-sound-etc.)

Can I install 32-bit ubuntu now and go 64-bit later? (I'm doing the /home mount on a separate partition as you suggested)

Thanks for all help,

the Fiddler's picture

The 64-bit version can install and run 32-bit programs, including wine. Going 64-bit will get you support for 4GB+ ram and 64-bit VM support. Staying with 32-bits will get you slightly better flash support - and that's it.

I'm not aware of any straightforward way to upgrade to 64-bit later. However, reinstalling should be simple with a separate /home.

Mincus's picture

Other than occasional problems with flash, I've not had any other problems with 64-bit that 32-bit didn't also have. Which is to say none other than a long uninteresting story involving the Ubuntu kernel missing a specific Intel sound codec related to certain Dell Vostro 1500 / Inspiron 1520 machines (which is now fixed). So I'd say go 64-bit.

objarni's picture

Thanks for all helpful hints. The install has not gone so good so far -- a read error on the CD-R (darn why didn't I verify the burn process to start with?!). Now I'm running the Live, so I can't use the CD-burner program.

What does "slightly better flash support" mean? I can't watch youtube if I install 64-bit ubuntu is that it?

the Fiddler's picture

You can. I sometimes encounter a glitch when playing multiple flash videos back at the same time, where some of these may turn gray and stop working. Easily solved by reloading the page, but a bit annoying nonetheless.

Do you by any chance have a spare 1GB+ usb stick? If so, go to System -> Administration -> Create LiveUSB and install from there. Much faster and much more reliable.

Mincus's picture

Adobe haven't released a 64-bit compatible flash plugin, the result is that some clever folk wrote a 64-bit wrapper for the 32-bit plugin called nspluginwrapper (quick google indicates it works for PPC and other plugins as well, although that's not something I've tried).
The result is that most of the time flash works normally and you'd never know the difference, but on occasion flash support breaks. Last few updates on Xubuntu seem to have broken my flash support for example so I'll probably need to uninstall and reinstall nspluginwrapper (which is in the repository) and the "non-free" flash plugin (again in the repository).
On the other hand it's perfectly possible you'll never encounter a problem with it (as I haven't with past installs). It's no big deal, just something to be aware of.

Entropy's picture

Well the latest ati drivers changed nothing with my 3D support - it's still indirect rendering. :-p

According to http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/DriTroubleshooting, "dmesg | grep drm" should return some text, but I get nothing from my terminal, so it seems I don't have the direct rendering module installed. I'm following their instructions now on how to compile the drm.

the Fiddler's picture

Your Xorg.0.log could also have some useful information on why it fails (System -> Administration -> System Log and search for errors).

Another possibility is to switch to the open "ati" driver. First, uninstall fglrx by enabling and then disabling the driver under System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers (this is the easiest way to fix symlinks etc modified by fglrx). Then "sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf" and change the video driver from fglrx to ati:

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Configured Video Device"
	Driver		"fglrx"   # modify this to "ati"
	BusID		"PCI:1:0:0"

Edit: If you don't have an xorg.conf, create one with: "sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg"