When you work as a web application developer, one thing you’re sure to find pretty much everywhere is Linux. There’s no way around it. Even if you happened to work off a Windows computer, you will at the very least have to use Linux at the command line while interacting with a remote server. Up until now, I’ve learned just enough Linux to get the job done, picking up a few things from here and there. That’s why when I saw a free class on Linux being offered by edX.org I just had to enroll myself in it. There was only one little problem: I no longer had Linux.
Some time ago, I installed Ubuntu in an old computer I had that was pretty much on its last leg. I used that machine for learning and experimenting, and I just loved how easy it was to install everything I needed using rvm. But as luck had it, my older son’s computer broke a couple months ago and I loaned him that machine until his was repaired. Terrible mistake! He immediately proceeded to install all sorts of junk in it, from Windows emulators to gaming clients, among a whole lot of other things, and when the time came to give it back he simply refused. And why would he want to give it back?! That computer, although old, has a very nice nVidia graphics card that makes gaming a real pleasure for him. Sigh…
So, rather than continue fighting for the box, I decided to try other venues. I didn’t really want to do a dual boot of my Windows 7 computer or mess with the macbook pro that I use for work, specially after all the effort it took to setup my development environment in it, so I went with the virtual box option.
First, I tried to create a virtual machine using VMWare, which was very highly rather, but couldn’t make my installation of Ubuntu 14.04 work, so next I tried Oracle VM Virtual Box. I followed the instructions I had found in a few blogs that advised creating the virtual box without support for usb, network or python, simply to make your life easier. That seemed to do the trick. The window is a bit smallish, but it’s better than no Ubuntu at all. And, I’m once again able to use rvm to easily install, among other things, multiple versions or Ruby and Rails. 🙂