As I am forced to use a Windows machine for my desktop for support purposes and I develop purely for Linux I have been in a non optimal situation.
I have tried using a remote server, an emulated server running VirtualBox , Dual Booting and using a windows based WAMP stack. Each of these have certain advantages and disadvantages.
- Remote Server: This works really well. It is the same platform as I am targeting and can be put live on the net for remote testing. However it means uploading after every edit for testing and requires net connectivity. There are also delays when ftp’ing sometimes.
- Virtualbox: This is also excellent as you have the same platform. It does suffer from problems in speed and networking difficulties.
- Dual Booting: I can’t use this solution as no sooner do I get into Linux than I am needed back on my windows system.
- WAMP: This is the closest I have come to the ideal solution however it does have some compatibility problems and it’s not as easy to manage under windows.
Now I used to have a development server sat next to me which was the perfect solution, but power, space and portability are an issue these days.
I have just found this server, well tell a lie I saw it a year ago but have only just remembered it. The Linutop seems ideal. It is very low power (8W) small (14 x 14 x 3.5cm) and will run centos server easily. Due to it’s small size lobbing it in my bag along with a laptop is easy and with that power rating I can leave it going all the time. At €280 which by my calculation is under £250 its a good price for a development server.
Please note if you develop in C then its not such a great idea but for php dev its perfect.