Using Ubuntu as local web development box, Mediatemple Dedicated Virtual as live environment

by oneafrikan on December 1, 2006

We’re in the process of sharpening up our infrastructure so that we can be more efficient, and at the moment it seems that having a local Linux box is actually going to be a good thing as opposed to always working off a dev server somewhere on the internet. When things are fluid and dynamic, it’s always good to have something you can tinker with locally, rather than always having to login to control panel, ssh in, ftp in, or whatever…

So, we’re looking at the different linux distros, and being African and fanatical about Ubuntu (we wish all our clients knew what Ubuntu was however) we’re obviously keen to use it as the local linux box.

That said, we’ve got a Mediatemple Dedicated Virtual server which is our live environment, so it makes sense to use a local linux flavour which will in as much as possible look and behave the same was as the (mt) box will.
Now, we know that (mt) runs Red Hat Enterprise with the following stack (last I checked):
* Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS release 3 (Taroon Update 1)
* PSA (Plesk) – v7.1.5
* Apache – v2.0.46
* PHP – v4.3.2
* GD – 2.0.12
* MySQL – v3.23.58
* Perl – v5.8.0
* Python – v2.2.3
* Spam Assassin – v2.63
* Horde – v2.2.5
* Bind – v9.2.2
* Qmail – v1.03

On top of that, we use a combination of linux, mac and windows machines here, so being able to work directly with files through a SMB share on the local linux box is an absolute must (which is where we get our productivity and efficiency gains) – easiness to do this would probably be a factor then I guess.

So I guess the question is whether Ubuntu is the best choice, the right choice, an OK choice, or just plain wrong; and not being the *nix guru I would like to be, I’m not sure of the answers… Hence the blog post ;-)

Can anyone offer any comments / help / experience / suggestions at all? ;-)

One comment

Ubuntu is a fantastic choice for a linux distro, but judging from your existing mt setup you’re gonna struggle to mirror similar versions of software on Ubuntu. Bear in mind that Ubuntu is a very bleeding edge distro, so the versions of software provided are the latest (and greatest of course).

If you want a truly Redhat Enterprise style distro without the related price tag I’m guessing you’d have to look in the direction of Centos or White Box Linux. It should have reasonable tools for configuring the likes of Samba, and the software versions should be a closer match to your currently deployed software – Apache, PHP, MySQL and Python being the major concerns here.

If the software stack versioning is not a major concern, go for Ubuntu – it’s a pleasure to use.

by Shaun Dewberry on December 1, 2006 at 4:12 pm. Reply #

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