Tutorial :What is the Best Windows Development OS [closed]



Question:

I am building a DEV image and am currently planning to use Windows XP Pro x64 as my O/S. Is there any reason to use a Server O/S as a development operating system or is XP the best choice right now?


Solution:1

XP only allows you to host one web site in IIS. Very annoying. I'd recommend windows server 2003, 2008 or windows 7.

Its good to use a server edition as its closer to your live environment. Its good to use 2008/Win7/Vista as they have IIS7. Its good to use Win7 as its better than the others as an OS.

The workstation operating systems (XP, Vista, Win7) have hard-coded limits on simultaneous threads/connections which mean you can't load test properly locally. This is less a problem on IIS7 boxes as they queue requests rather than failing them.

64 bit OSes can be a little quirky - e.g. I couldn't edit my hosts file with notepad as its stored in a 32 bit directory and notepad is 64bit. I had to google and find a guide to fix this bug. Other issues may arise if you go 64bit, but the increased memory capability is attractive.

You should be able to decide based on these factors.


Solution:2

I believe the answer is "No". I think you should be fine with any of the later Windows operating systems (XP on up).


Solution:3

Vista 64-bit is probably your best choice at the moment.

Heres a question regarding XP vs Vista and another regarding 64-bit OS on developer machines.


Solution:4

I would use either Vista 64 bit or Windows 7 RC 64 bit. I would use these over XP 64 bit because it seems to be easier to find compatible drivers.

I have been trying both and have had no problems with either developing with Visual Studio 2008.

When testing I use VMWare Workstation, and the extra RAM usable by 64 bit versions (I have 8GB) really makes a difference when running mutiple virtual machines.


Solution:5

Okay, here are my choices and reasons for the development system I use:

  • Windows XP Professional (x86) - because most of my users have that, and so I need to be 100% certain that my software will run on their environment. Plus, Windows 2008 Server is slow in comparison.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition - other editions only work on the Server edition so I'm kind of limited to that.
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional (x86) - because as I stated previously there's no x64 version (yet) and even if there were, most of my users are using 32 bit O/S's so there's always the worry that your 64 bit tested code may not run in a 32 bit environment - despite what the API vendor may claim.

I program in C#/VB so the single web server limitation isn't an issue for me. However, if your development environment doesn't have its own built in web server tools, then this could be an issue for you and consequently you will require either something other than IIS to host your site development or you will need a server version of your O/S (on the plus side though, this means you can use the full SQL Server instead of the developer edition). Also, as someone else pointed out - the workstation editions of Windows are artificially limited in some ways that may be unacceptable to you, if this is the case, you would also need to consider a server edition.

The advantage of taking XP/Vista/7 though are the added performance you will gain. They're much more responsive from a user perspective and you won't be frustrated sitting around waiting for code to compile and run.

In my opinion the virtualization that everyone is raving about is a ridiculous waste of resources. At the end of the day, you've still got the same amount of cores and they're still sharing time slices between application threads, regardless of how many virtual machines you are running. You're limited by the same hardware shared across multiple environments. The key advantage of virtualization is that you can try out other environments without risking your primary environment by running untested software builds. It's not going to buy you any noticable performance gain as is often suggested.


Solution:6

I use Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V. This means I don't need a "dev" environment separate from my local box. We still use a test environment for integration issues and a production environment. There is no NEED to work in a non-server environment.

I think this is a preference. If you are working on a server application... Do you prefer to develop in the environment you will deploy to? If you are working on a desktop application then I would recommend you develop on the platform it will popularly be deployed to.


Solution:7

Don't use a server OS for development. I'm using either Vista x64 or Windows 7 RC x64 (which is the best, in my opinion).

EDIT

With Windows 7, you get multiple sites allowed in IIS, better performance, and a more productive user interface (the 32-bit versions would do just as well, but I haven't found a good reason not to use x64 if your processor supports it).


Solution:8

Use the Windows 7 RC. I know Vista sucked, but 7 is going to be the dominant operating system once it comes out. It is much better than most people though it was going to be (myself included).


Solution:9

Are you asking if you should be running Windows Server on your development machine? If so, the answer is:

No, no you shouldn't.


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