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Developping on Unix : What OS to start ?  RSS feed

 
Alex Mulder
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Hello everyone o/,

I have 2 years experiences on developping on Windows OS and I would like to start learning developping on Unix but I'm not sure what Unix OS to choose to get the basics of it? I have some skills on Linux but I have never tried to do some Java on it.

Thanks !
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Alex Mulder wrote:I have 2 years experiences on developping on Windows OS and I would like to start learning developping on Unix but I'm not sure what Unix OS to choose to get the basics of it? I have some skills on Linux but I have never tried to do some Java on it.

So I'm puzzled: do you want to learn about Unix/Linux, or do you want to learn how to write Java programs for it?

In theory, the latter should be very simple: load Java on a Linux system and start playing. The language will be no different, and other than the different line and directory separators (which you should hopefully be using generically anyway), there really is very little that you should need to "do differently". The whole point of Java is to be platform-independent. File paths are slightly different, since *xes don't have any concept of "drive letters".

For an entry-level Linux to learn on: try Linux Mint. It's absolutely wonderful, and very Windows/Mac like - ie, you generally use the desktop and rarely need to venture behind the scenes to the command line; but you can if you want.

For a more command-line driven experience, you might want to try something like Debian or plain Ubuntu (both "flavours" of Linux) or, if you specifically want Unix, look for downloads of Solaris, AIX or HPUX. I believe Solaris is available for free to play with, but (of course ) Oracle don't want you running it in production without paying them scads of money for a support contract. Don't know what the policies are for the other two, but probably somewhat similar.

The fact is that the differences between Linux and Unix are fairly small, so a good grounding in one will give you a big head start on the other.

So: best of luck; and welcome to the world of OS's that:
  • Don't crash. EVER. (welll...not quite true; but certainly not with the regularity of Windows )
  • Don't require rebooting for every stupid little change.
  • Don't need defragging every week.
  • Don't start slowing down after a year or two of adding new things (see next).
  • Don't have that nasty "registry" monster lurking in the background.
  • Actually multi-task everything.
  • Provide SSL/SSH as standard.
  • Are tuneable in ways you never dreamt possible.
  • (nowadays) Provide the capability to partition and boot several "virtual systems" on a single box.

  • Winston
     
    Alex Mulder
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    Winston Gutkowski wrote:

    So I'm puzzled: do you want to learn about Unix/Linux, or do you want to learn how to write Java programs for it?


    I have some knowledge on Linux, but I'd like to learn about the development environment on Unix/Linux, like for exemple which IDEs are available, how classpatch and command line work there for compiling (and yeah in the meanwhile I want to dig my unix/linux skills). I know about the whole Java's WORA thing :p.

    I want something command line driven so I'll go ahead and try Debian. Thank you very much for your complete answer .
     
    Winston Gutkowski
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    Alex Mulder wrote:I have some knowledge on Linux, but I'd like to learn about the development environment on Unix/Linux, like for exemple which IDEs are available, how classpatch and command line work there for compiling (and yeah in the meanwhile I want to dig my unix/linux skills).

    Well, one thing I would definitely do is use the standard package manager if there is one (not sure on Debian; I suspect there is) look for something like Eclipse or IntelliJ and just install it. Alternatively, if you want to do it "the command line way", download a Debian-compatible package of same, bang it onto a stick drive and use pkgadd. Those sorts of things are generally better done with a package manager though, because it will usually:
    (a) automatically resolve any conflicts for you.
    (b) choose the latest compatible "stable" version.

    When I loaded Eclipse onto my Mint box, it was as simple as that. Next thing I know, an icon appears on the desktop and I'm running Eclipse; and it looks exactly like Windows apart from some minor font differences (actually nicer).

    I want something command line driven so I'll go ahead and try Debian. Thank you very much for your complete answer .

    You're most welcome. Best of luck.

    Winston
     
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