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Getting Your Software onto Linux

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Do you think Linux is solely for sys admin professionals? Or do you think that getting a Linux system up and running isn't worth the hassle? Truth is, it's surprisingly easy to get a Linux platform installed and loaded up with your favorite software. In this article, Stephen Morris, author of Moving Your Career Up the Value Chain, describes an easy process for getting a development environment set up on Linux.

Software is a tough business these days. There really isn't a single dominant platform anymore—just look at the explosion in the use of small mobile devices such as PDAs, iPhones, Blackberrys, and so on. Aside from these devices, there is also a rich mix of Linux variants (and don't forget Windows and the Mac, of course).

Many Platforms Make Light Work

Each of these platforms has its own foibles and knowledge base, but unfortunately we as programmers are increasingly tasked with getting quickly up to speed with one or other of these new (to us!) environments.

Just recently, I was involved in a substantial development project involving OSGi on Linux. It's never easy trying to keep up to date with the many platforms. But it is possible.

In this article, I'll be looking at getting a development environment set up on Linux. I'll use VMWare as the platform for a virtualised Linux, but there's no reason why the same steps can't be used for a native Linux installation.

A point worth noting is this: It's often just knowing a few key rules and conventions that makes the difference between a successful and a stalled project. So, let's get those rules covered.

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