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I'm doing some development of a website on a VirtualBox guest running Ubuntu 11.04 (host is running Windows, but I want to do the web development in a Linux environment). My development languages are primarily PHP and Javascript (using Apache and node.js). The question is this: is there a good IDE for work under these conditions that can handle running virtualized? I tried Eclipse, and was not particularly thrilled with the performance; I'm wondering if there's some other way to do this than to do all my text editing in emacs.

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First: Why do you want to develop in an environment other than the production environment? You'll be less likely to find environment-specific problems prior to deployment. Second: What are the specs of the machine running the VM? I've run both Eclipse and NetBeans in a VM (as well as over SSH+X11 forwarding, but that's another story) without a problem, so it might just be a lack of resources on the machine running the VM. –  Thomas Owens Jul 24 '11 at 20:02
Does your processor have virtualization support, and if so, is it enabled in the bios? That can have a major impact. –  GrandmasterB Jul 24 '11 at 20:12
@ThomasOwens: the production environment is a virtualized environment, eventually. –  Paul Sonier Jul 25 '11 at 6:48

4 Answers 4

I have used Eclipse on Ubuntu 11.04 installation on hard disk and also on VM. For me the performance is the same on both.

Now a days the performance of VMs is quite close to actual systems. You might have allocated less memory to the VM. If you are using dynamic storage disk option then you might try using fixed size to see if it helps.

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I can certainly give Eclipse another try. I'm currently using a dynamically sized disk; what sort of performance difference would you expect between dynamically and fixed size disks? –  Paul Sonier Jul 24 '11 at 20:04
@Paul Sonier - Sorry but I am not sure how much difference it would cause. But VBox mentions that dynamically sized disks can be slower than fixed sized ones. –  Prem Mehta Jul 24 '11 at 20:06
The performance is very close to the host OS's performance... if hardware support for virtualization is available. On a lot of consumer grade chips, it isnt. Linux GUI's tend to be very sluggish when its not available. –  GrandmasterB Jul 24 '11 at 20:10
I suggest not using dynamically sized disks. Create a vhd approx. 10-20Gb fixed size. If you need more space later, add more vhds. –  Joe Internet Jul 25 '11 at 4:10

I generally treat VMs like remote servers, in that I'll run the IDE locally on Windows, and set up samba shares for loading/saving (or load/save via sftp or something).

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I've considered doing something like that, although I'm not particularly thrilled with samba. An SSH approach has crossed my mind, however. –  Paul Sonier Jul 25 '11 at 4:16
UltraEdit will save/load over ssh - thats what I use for most of my PHP work. I'd be suprised if Eclipse cant do something similar (I'm not that familiar with it). But if you are only on a local network, its hard to beat the convenience of a simple windows share. –  GrandmasterB Jul 25 '11 at 6:15
"not particularly thrilled with samba" -- why? what's the problem? -- samba works absolutely flawless –  good_computer Jul 25 '11 at 8:12
@greengit: everything I've seen indicates that configuration can be tricky. –  Paul Sonier Jul 25 '11 at 16:04
@Paul: its really not that bad, especially on Ubuntu. There's a lot of tutorials available, and its mainly just the one config file to edit. –  GrandmasterB Jul 25 '11 at 18:23

is there a good IDE for work under these conditions that can handle running virtualized?

It's called unix and vim. It should already be installed because your using linux ;)

If not sudo apt-get install vim


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IDE: (Integrated Development Environment). Vim is not an IDE. –  Paul Sonier Jul 25 '11 at 4:14

Komodo Edit by ActiveState is a good choice for working with web languages. It's built on a Mozilla foundation, so it has approximately the same overhead as Firefox.

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Interesting idea; I'll investigate that one. –  Paul Sonier Jul 25 '11 at 4:14

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