Otaqui.com Blog

You should be using a Virtual Machine for local development (instead of WAMPP / MAMP / etc)

I think I’m not the only one who’s caused themselves headaches on their main working computer by either using an off-the-shelf server stack like MAMP, or by manually installing the parts you need to develop dynamic websites.

Since I worked at the BBC, and specifically on the Forge platform, I’ve become completely convinced by developing on a local virtual machine, which runs whatever OS you are deploying to. This immediately resolves all sorts of issues, completely freeing you from ever worrying about the differences between Mac / Windows / RedHat / Debian / etc.

You also get other benefits like really easy snapshots of your setup, the ability to create very heavily customised setups without any side effects on the rest of your system, and so on. It’s also replicable, so you can give other developers a copy of your whole platform very simply.

The next from here is using something Chef to manage your environment provisioning, but that’s probably still not streamlined enough for the average developer to sort out themselves.

So – my advice is that all web developers would almost certainly benefit from downloading VirtualBox and creating themselves a VM-per-deployment-target. Here are some other hints: