Developing websites solely in GNU/Linux - A Web Developer's Experience

September 13, 2006
Lets face it. Developing websites means using a mis-mash of software right from the ubiquitous text editor to full blown graphics editors, having access to a variety of web browsers and even good ftp clients to upload the files to the remote server. I have at times wondered what it is like to develop complete websites right from the designing stage to the final implementation all from within GNU/Linux. Considering that GNU/Linux and the applications that run on it have advanced considerably to be viable options for web development, I did believe that it was entirely possible.

J. Christopher - a web developer by profession has written a two part series listing his experiences in developing full blown websites entirely in GNU/Linux. In the first part, he gives an outline of why he chose GNU/Linux. He talks about using Gimp and Pixel to create mockups of the website as well as other software like Beagle which made a big difference in bringing convinence while developing websites. It felt nice to learn that his watcom tablet was detected without any problem in Linux (Ubuntu 6.06). Though he says that developing flash based sites would be a problem. In the second part of the series, he gives a run down of the different editors he uses and how he had access to Internet Explorer in Linux - (after all IE still is the dominant web browser in the world and is unavoidable while developing websites). Both the articles are peppered with links to useful web resources related to Linux.

The author after using Linux for a couple of months is absolutely pleased with the switch from Windows to Linux and considers himselves to work faster, smarter and happier since the switch.


  • My favourate is Blue fish which I use entirely for writing web code.

    Enjoyed reading the set of articles. Nice to know that there are web developers who are interested in switching to Linux.

  • Huh. I found this kind of an odd post. From the start, I've only worked on *nix platforms to develop and create websites. I can't imagine why anyone would want to use the klunkiness of working on a Windows (using what, notepad??) and transferring the files up. In fact, I remember when I first started running into folks who would ftp their files up to their server and it took me a while to work through "why didn't they just log into their shell account and do it there???" This was back somewhere in the mid to late 90's I suppose. I still have not ever done any website devel on Windows...

  • Your headline had me really confused -- may I suggest "Developing websites solely on GNU/Linux"?

    From the headline, I thought you meant he was developing it in raw assembler for Linux, or maybe c for gcc, without using a preexisting web server.

  • I've developed my site solely under *nix and using *nix apps like gimp and bluefish.

  • OK,

    So since the release of Ubuntu a while back I have been itching to leave Windows behind forever, and finally I have done so with the maintenance release of Dapper.

    I have a pretty sweet setup developing ColdFusion MX applications with Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) as my primary (only installed) editor. I use Firefox for browsing the web and Thunderbird for mail.

    I find the Debian platform to be best for my needs, with great package management tools for installing new software and easy to use tools (GUIs) for managing things I don't feel that comfortable with via the commnad line yet.

    Seriously, Why anyone would now want to develop web applications on Windows is beyond me. Unless you are explicitly developing Microsoft based web applications such as ASP.NET then go with Linux for serious development/programming.