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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Entropy's picture

SOLVED the direct rendering issue.

@Fiddler: It turns out that the automatically installed restricted ati drivers DO work for direct rendering on my setup. It's explained in the last 2 theads of this thread, but to summarise, I was calling glxgears and glxinfo from the Gnome Terminal, which relies on some advanced graphical features and created conflicts with the called processes. They work fine from Konsole.

objarni's picture


I've just finished my first 10 seconds of HalfLife2 with my old save game from WinXP. Apart from a few glitches (font in console does not render correctly), it flows fine and looks nice :)

Fiddler: thanks for your USB-boot-device tip. It was that that at last got me on the boat. I burnt like 5-6 CD-Rs and at least as many hours trying to get it right, both 32-bit and 64-bit, but 64-bit didn't work much at all. I think it may have to do with me having an odd computer system (Packard Bell AMD64). So in the end I booted a 32-bit live CD-R (which wouldn't install to HD because of read-error), and then downloaded the Ubuntu 8.10 ISO to the Live Session Desktop, installed that fault-free ISO to a 1GB USB*, fiddled a little to get my odd system to boot the USB, and finally got through the Install procedure without any errors.

A few update+reboot+proprietary-driver-installs later, and a little wine+half-life-2-googling later and I'm here :)

Next steps: VirtualBox+WinXP+VisualStudioExpressEd
.. and after that: shared folder output to run my mono+OpenTK apps seamlessly! That will be fun!

* This is a simplification. First I went out to buy a f*n Cruiser 4GB USB-thumb. Avoid them whatever you do! They have some kind of auto-installing "U3"-software to automagically sync M$ Word config on whatever computer you bring the thumb to. I find it unsettling. And worse than that - ithe thumb wouldn't show up in Ubuntu. So I got hold of another, standard 1 GB USB this time. That's the one mentioned above. A long weekend!

the Fiddler's picture

You've just found out the wonderful pastime that's called Linux! Be prepared for long sessions of swearing the day you made the switch.

Just kidding :) There's a lot to like and things tend to get better as you become more familiar with the environment.

Entropy's picture

Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I've a question that's probably best asked in the context of the rest of the thread.

I finally nailed down my no-sound problem, by the way. The issue was that my second sound card was causing some kind of conflict with my onboard sound card. Once I disabled the modules supporting that one and rebooted, I discovered that I hadn't been hearing the login sound, just the question sound that plays on the login screen. Sounded like angels singing when I finally heard it. I only used the second (older) sound card for its MIDI port anyway, and I probably won't be composing music under Ubuntu, anyway.

Anyway, the question I have, by coincidence, is still about sound. When I try to include and OpenAL calls in my code, I get a very similar issue to the one I had with OpenGL until I included the *.dll.config files with the library files, except including these extra files doesn't seem to help in this case. The exception message simply reads "openal32.dll".

Any ideas about where I'm going wrong? :-/

the Fiddler's picture

Try changing libopenal.so.0 to libopenal.so.1 in the dll.config file.