Should I get a computer solely for programming only?

Should I get a computer solely for programming only? by BJ Black

Answer by BJ Black:

I'm going to parrot others, but be much more concrete with the steps:

  1. Download and install Oracle VM VirtualBox on your PC.
  2. Download the ISO for a reasonable Linux distro (Ubuntu server is a good one).
  3. Install it on a VM with 1GB RAM (unless you're doing something really weird, you don't need more). 20GB of disk allocated is also likely plenty.
  4. Get through the install, log in to the console (no GUI!), and run ifconfig to find your VM's IP address.
  5. Take a snapshot of your VM from the virtualbox UI. Get comfy with snapshots; they are your bestest friend ever 🙂 .
  6. Now minimize virtualbox and download PuTTY from the PuTTY Download Page. You might also want a copy of WinSCP from the Official Site :: Download.
  7. Using PuTTY, SSH to the IP you discovered in step 4.
  8. Get to work!

Make sure to snapshot before you make any major change. Btw, one of the nice things about virtualbox is that, when you close the window, it will give you the option to save the state of the VM so it pops right back to where you were the next time you open it up. You don't even have to shut the VM down.

Are there higher-performing VM solutions? Sure. But who cares? This isn't production or HPC research. Virtualbox is the best for exactly this situation, and an aspiring Linux geek really needs to get comfy with SSH…

P.S. WinSCP is used to transfer files on/off your VM. There are other solutions out there; this is just a good beginner one.

Should I get a computer solely for programming only?

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