05 March 2013

I have a long love affair with my Linux development environment. Among other things, Konsole is by far my favorite SSH client, and having command-line access to both the local and remote systems makes life so much better. However, the reality is that Windows is basically a job requirement in terms of testing to ensure that the system works properly for the majority of our users. I've dealt with the diverging objectives in a number of ways over the years from remote desktop to virtual machines. After managing the complexity for so long, it started just to feel like stubbornness that taxed me a little too much for the small benefits I received. So I committed to a Windows-only workstation that could manage my Linux servers in the cloud in a simple and efficient manner. My computer is more responsive than ever, and I will soon forget about the small perks that I've lost. Nothing here is novel, but this will be my record when it comes time to reinstall on the next computer.

Compare and Contrast

It is shocking how few factors affect my workspace. I prefer to interact with source control over SSH such that many project management features don't really help. In fact, my code base is large enough that both Zend and Eclipse choke on the build phase when included as a normal project. Working on the code as a remote system works far more smoothly in both environments. So I just need a solid SSH client, autocomplete and reasonable source code formatting configurations.

Factor Kubuntu + Zend Windows + Eclipse
SSH Client Konsole MTPuTTY + KiTTY
Effect of selecting text No effect - keystroke to copy Automatically copy to clipboard
How to paste Ctrl-shift-v Shift-Insert or right-click
Effect of a random/accidental right-click none paste
SSH client color control customizable customizable
Clipboard history built into KDE none
Source code formatting (the only real downside for the IDE change) excellent and addresses all concerns ~80% of Zend's capabilities and lacks ideal options for arrays and switches
Autocomplete excellent excellent
Cost (beyond operating system) $300 $0
Resource consumption 2.0G (varies by VM configuration) 0.5G (varies but avoids VM overhead)

References



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