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I just installed Ubuntu Desktop 11.10. I will be using it to work on LAMP and Java development. Here is my doubts:

  1. I want to know which edition should I install?
  2. Is there any advantage using the server edition? Also, I don't see Apache, MySQL etc (But I see Eclipse & other java development tools) in the software center?
  3. How can I get access to other packages ( Apache, MySQL, PHP etc) other than going through downloading and installing from each site?

Thanks in advance.

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for development I'd use 10.04 LTS, I've had A LOT of problems running 11.10 on my machines... basicly wasting this entire day, LTS distributions are far more stable and run without a hitch. –  HTDutchy Oct 13 '11 at 21:45

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are you developing using a GUI or not?

If you're developing on a computer where you need/want a GUI, such as Gnome/KDE, you'll need Ubuntu Desktop.

Ubuntu Server is the same as Ubuntu Desktop (even uses the same repository), but it doesn't have a GUI, and is a much more minimal install, with less overhead, primarily meant for computers that will be servers (e.g. a webserver).

Also, instead of downloading packages from sites, just use apt-get to install packages from the main repository. If needed, you can find other repositories with deb packages on launchpad.net, and add the repository (looks like ppa:abc/123) with the command add-apt-repository.

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Thanks for the explanations –  Abdel Raoof Oct 13 '11 at 19:33
1  
Another point to add is that the server edition also comes with some programs pre-installed such as Samba for connecting to windows machines and other server specific tasks. –  zookalicious Oct 13 '11 at 20:38

1) Ubuntu 11.10 will work just fine.

2) Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop originate from the same Ubuntu Core. The difference is that Ubuntu Server does not have the ubuntu-desktop package installed as servers are designed to be lean machines and the GUI is too much overhead. You can do the same thing on Ubuntu Desktop as you can on Ubuntu Server. Using the Ubuntu Software Center a search for Apache2 will yield the Apache2 meta-package for installing Apache2. To add mysql just install Mysql Server.

3) Everything you need is installable from the Software Center - most as meta-packages. I would not go outside of the repositories as the packages available through the Software Center are ready-built for Ubuntu.

The one additional item that may help is to install KVM and setup a server environment in a VM to test your builds on. You can use the TestDrive an Ubuntu ISO tool to run everything you need - that tool is quite slick way to run VMs as it does all of the setup for you! If you didn't like the interface or want to build a local disk vs using the ISO you can always switch to using Virtual Machine Manager after you get everything setup.

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IMHO any non LTS Ubuntu version will not be a good server choice as it will cease get updates sooner than desired. LTS versions are supported for 3(?) years IIRC while 'regular' versions are supported for 1(?) year ahead. The latest LTS release as of writing this is 14.04. –  Boaz Rymland Aug 26 at 8:22

Anything you can do in Ubuntu Server, you can do in Ubuntu Desktop and vice versa. It's really easy to install services. Open a terminal and enter sudo tasksel. This will present you with a list of things to install, like a lamp-server, mailserver, etc. Just check the ones you want and it'll be installed, presenting you with dialogs when inputs are required for usernames, etc.

But you're right. This should be done from the software center. I filed a bug for you so you: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/software-center/+bug/873690

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