My Development Setup

Kevin Petit Apr 11, 2016

Everybody has a certain way they like to work - always suited to the project and how you like to work yourself. Today, I’m going to talk about how I like my development environment set-up.

So first, I’m going to talk about how I used to work. In a long since gone past, an age when animals could still speak, I worked with FrontPage. After that Dreamweaver. Don’t lie about it - we all used it! But, thank god, we’ve moved on to decent software now! After that, I used XAMPP/WampServer on my PC, which, while it works, it’s something I would not recommend. The reason for this is that it installs quite a lot of software - some of which is quite heavy on your PC too - that you probably will only use some of the time. You don’t need Apache, MySQL and other packages running constantly in the background. But before I get to that, there’s another software package I would like to mention.

WebMatrix. It’s a tool released by Microsoft - but unfortunately, as of the time of writing this, it hasn’t seen an update in over 2 years. Which is too bad, as it’s actually a great tool that will install PHP, MySQL and other tools for you. It works with IIS Express though, so it’s not exactly the same as a usual WAMP-stack. It works quite nicely though, and runs the required software only when the “site” itself is only running. It has a very nice GUI and it is pleasant to work with - though I used it in combination with an IDE, since it’s not such a good editor.

The current set-up I have is something that I’ve been using over the last few months and it’s something which really works well. No software (save for 1 package, which I already had installed) is installed for this, nothing is running in the background. And the best thing of all is that I’m using a Linux machine for my development - which is set-up in the same way as my production machine (with some alterations ofcourse). Now how does it look like? To keep it simple, I’m running VMware (VirtualBox works too) with a Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Virtual Machine that has my LAMP-stack installed, but also uses Samba. I’ve got a Samba share set up in /var/www - this means that I can simply use my Windows Explorer to mount this share to a network drive. That’s the way I have set it up - I can access all of my files in Windows, hook it up in my PHPstorm editor, and work on my “live” files. All edits are directly visible.

So, why don’t I use Vagrant? That uses the same principle, no? Yes, it does. But most Vagrant boxes go out of you hosting a single/project per virtual machine. While this does work, I have a lot of projects I like to keep on the same machine. Call it a preference :). I also like using VMware instead of VirtualBox. But both approaches work really well (I’ve used Vagrant before).

So… as I’m curious now, what’s your development set-up?

  • Kevin
Kevin Petit

Just Kevin