Pointed Development

My New NEW Development Rig – CentOS/Windows

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I spent a couple of weeks in October building a Hackintosh. It was fun. I then paved OS X and installed CentOS. It was more fun.

Sometimes you have to admit you’re wrong.

I spent weeks standing up a new development rig with the intention of running OS X. First, I like OS X. It’s a beautiful operating system and it’s stupid-easy to use. Second, I wanted to tinker. The desire to do something unique and fun, however, overrode the need for practicality in this case. Once I stepped back and thought through my actual needs rationally, I decided to do away with the Mountain Lion partition and repave the whole thing, which I did last Thursday morning.

Part of being an Enthusiast is geeking out with cool new toys. Running OS X Mountain Lion on non-Apple hardware is such a cool idea! And it works! It works GREAT, in fact. Yes, I had a few issues and not everything worked in my favor initially, but once the system was running, it was running flawlessly.

Sometimes, being an enthusiast is a curse!

I had a nagging feeling about something. Something really bothered me. And it started bothering me a lot.

Without starting a whole flame war about ecosystems and lock down and changes and long-term stability, I’ll just state this: I need a host operating system that will be completely stable for years. And by years, I mean forever.

OS X just isn’t that operating system.

My new goal, and one which I believe aligns extremely well with my personal backup solution, is to run all of my development work in VMs. This is a much bigger topic, so I’ll just gloss over it here: I’ll run additional guest Linux/BSD operating systems withing multiple VMs, I’ll run Windows 7 and 8 in VMs and (if I can get it to fly) OS X Mountain Lion in a VM. That last one is going to be challenging, so I’m not holding my breath, but we’ll see. If I get it working, I’ll write about it.

VMWare Workstation is my VM solution of choice. It’s amazing. I have nothing but great things to say about it. Of course, as of version 9 it doesn’t support AHCI, so I may need to use Virtual Box for OS X, but whatever, we’ll see how things go. I’m not going to be heartbroken if I can’t get OS X to work in a VM.

I love the idea of running multiple guest VMs. It grants me a tremendous amount of development flexibility. In fact, you might wonder why didn’t I do this from the very beginning? Sometimes, being an Enthusiast is a curse!

Telling myself No when I want to Do Something Cool at the expense of practicality really sucks.

I suppose it’s part of that whole wisdom thing.