Development computer - follow-up

Just wanted to follow-up my post from a couple of months ago about best development hardware ( After a second Windows 10 Creators Update instability/re-install cycle I finally had enough of this windows-rot crap.

I am mainly developing web apps these days and use:
Atlassian SourceTree
Visual Studio Code
Sencha development tools
email (exchange server)

Toolchains are all linux based and DevOps running Atlassian tools. Xojo is mainly used for Windows development and will run in a Windows 10 virtualbox VM.

After two-hour long visit at the Apple Store I left with an empty bag and pretty disappointed and sad - their current hardware is horrible and crazily expensive. Sheeze - they have really lost all connection with the rest of the world!

A new HP EliteBook 840 G3 16GB/512GB SSD/i7 was purchased (really good value since there is a G4 out there with updated CPUs). After creating a HP Recovery USB-stick (to keep the option of going back to Windows) I installed Linux.

I first tried the Solus distribution and was blown away by the speed, compatibility with the hardware (even reporting battery status from my logitech mouse and keyboard!) and a clean desktop experience. However Solus have their own package system (oepkg) and while most of the normal desktop stuff is available, several development libraries are not available. Solus would otherwise be the perfect distribution since upgrades are rolling instead of major upgrades like most other distributions. I tried for an hour to get Xojo running, but failed with some dependencies missing.

Pure Debian, Linux Mint or Ubuntu were the options I then considered. Both Debian and Mint had issues working with HPs docking solution (I could probably fix this after hours of googling, but decided to skip this step). I finally settled for Ubuntu and my daily tools installed just fine. Apache, PHP and other development environments are all setup.

My plan is now to get an iPad Pro 10" with keyboard to have quick access to the other tools I am using to control my life (photos, sonos, email, calendar, imessage and gotomeeting) and that are too cumbersome to run in the Windows VM.

:slight_smile: /Mattias

Haha, I purchased an Entroware Apollo rather than a Apple Mac Book Pro a few weeks back for much the same reasons, Apple’s hardware was just too expensive and surprisingly underpowered in comparison.

I’d played with many Linux distributions prior to the purchase and decided on Solus as my favourite! So the pre-installed Ubuntu on my Apollo lasted for all of 30 minutes while I made sure everything was fine with the laptop and then Solus was installed quick smart!

I love Solus, and I too use PhpStorm, Slack and of course Xojo on it.

Xojo did take a few minutes of finding the right libs before it came up (mostly) cleanly, but it’s working fine for me now, building WebApps. Have compiled a few desktop apps to make sure all is well, but haven’t stress tested that.

Here’s a little script I put together while initially installing stuff to make sure I could re-install pretty quickly should I not be happy with the disk setup I used…


Update All The Things.

sudo eopkg upgrade


sudo eopkg install nautilus-dropbox vim


sudo eopkg install kitematic docker-compose mariadb-server httpd php git yarn rsync


sudo eopkg install -c system.devel
sudo gem update --system
sudo gem install compass

For Xojo (32bit).

sudo eopkg install libgtk-2-32bit gtkhtml

Third Party.

sudo eopkg install slack-desktop skype


sudo eopkg install steam[/code]

I installed Xojo in ~/bin and added the following ~/.local/share/applications/Xojo.desktop file to get a menu entry and the ability to pin to a panel.

[Desktop Entry] Version=1.0 Type=Application Name=Xojo Icon=/home/ian/bin/xojo2017r1.1/appicon_128.png Exec="/home/ian/bin/xojo2017r1.1/Xojo" %f Comment=Xojo IDE Categories=Development;IDE; Terminal=false StartupWMClass=Xojo

Cool! What desktop-flavour of Solus did you settle for? Budgie / GNOME or MATE? I went with Budgie and perhaps that was my mistake?

Also - I got into problems with HP’s docking station and Solus. After docking, ethernet and external monitor wasn’t found…

I’m using Budgie.

Can’t really comment on your docking station issue apart from to say that it sounds like that’s something a bit more lower level that luckily Ubuntu can handle. I’d stick with Ubuntu for a while if I was you, sounds like it’s working well on your particular laptop.