Mac OS X Native or Ubuntu virtual Machine

alanburke's picture

Hi all,

While my main development machine at work is a Desktop running Ubuntu,
I also have a macbook at home.

Up to now, I've been doing development at home using VirtualBox with a Ubuntu guest OS.
It works pretty well, but at times a little cumbersome - having to boot up twice, the Ubuntu OS isn't as smooth as Mac OSX etc.
But it means my environment is pretty much exactly the same, and almost exactly the same as the VPS I use for a few sites.

I'm just curious what others are up to, and especially how they test in multiple browsers.




elv's picture

I think with MAMP you could reproduce your server environment too, or get very close, without messing with OS X's default Apache and PHP.
But regarding the desktop side, your editor/IDE of choice may not be available for OS X.

To test multiple browsers I run a Win XP with VM Ware, and have Multiple IE installed. I give VM Ware only one core and 512Mb of RAM and it runs smoothly enough for what I do.

I develop on Ubuntu. Up

mrfelton's picture

I develop on Ubuntu. Up until last week I had been using vmware to do the cross browser bit. Until I discovered PlayOnLinux. Beats vmware and IEs4Linux hands down. I just wrote a short article about it actually:

Well worth a look if you develop on Ubuntu, or any other Linux

Tom -

Tom - drupal development. drupal training. drupal support.


elv's picture

This reminds me of a somewhat similar app for OS X, called Crossover. Also based on Wine, but it's a commercial app.
I gave it a try, but not having a real Windows under the hood leads to lots of small but annoying issues: the rendering is a bit different (in particular I think fonts are different because of licensing issues), some apps or plugins won't work... You also still have to somewhat manage the "file system", and it's noticeably slower than VM Ware.

So it kinda works, It's way cheaper than VM Ware + a Windows license and if you just need to test the functional parts of a website it may fit your needs.
But if you're a themer or really want to be sure you see what a Windows user sees, it's not a good solution imho as it's not close enough to the real thing.

Yeah, agreed it's certainly

mrfelton's picture

Yeah, agreed it's certainly not the real thing (I too noticed a slight glitch in the rendering of some fonts). But for the most part it does a good enough job. Of course, I would always fire up the VM for a final once over! Actually, Crossover is also available for Linux, but it's commercial whilst PlayOnLinux is free - one more thing in its favour.

Tom -

Tom - drupal development. drupal training. drupal support.

+1 virtualbox

ngstigator's picture

I use Ubuntu server via VirtualBox on a Macbook, and I don't see much performance degradation. Works great, although I have to admit that I've also compiled PHP via MacPorts to get the GD libraries to use local environment as well.

Been on Ubuntu 9.04 for a

nicholas.alipaz's picture

Been on Ubuntu 9.04 for a while (work and home) and running VM's for other testing purposes. Nice find on the playonlinux.

virtualbox + sshfs

greggles's picture

I've got a Drupal Planet coming up about my setup. I'm using MacOSX host with Ubuntu in a Virtualbox. I use sshfs to create a mount point between my host and guest so that I can use Eclipse and other tools in a Mac native environment to get good performance from them while still working with a true LAMP stack that properly mirrors my servers (well, and clients' servers). I think it's the best of both worlds...

The other benefit here is that I keep the guest OS image in an encrypted disk image that I have to mount every time that I want to boot it. Sure it's an extra step that's a slight pain, but it's a nice piece of comfort to know that all those databases full of client information are a bit safer.

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Hi Greg Did you ever post

alanburke's picture

Hi Greg
Did you ever post that?
I didn't spot in the Planet feed?