Should I run a separate Dev system?

Forum Forums New users New Users and General Questions Should I run a separate Dev system?

  • This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Mar 30-11:12 pm by BobC.
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #138117

      I’m converting my main system to antiX 23.1 if all goes well. In the past I’ve done all my development on my main system, but having all the dev stuff there makes upgrading a lot more involved. In addition, if it were to happen that I would botch something playing Dev (on Linux I’m not a Dev, more like a good guesser that is insanely persistent), I might trash my main system. It hasn’t happened, but maybe I should be anticipating the possibility…

      Options for separate environment:
      1. Use a different volume, still might be dangerous if I trash the drive.
      2. Use virtualbox, not sure if I still risk the drive.
      3. Use a different laptop, definitely safer, but the others are not as big/fast and have different screen setups.



        Hum, my take on the problem:

        1- If using a different partition you have to try really hard to “trash the drive”, so it’s relatively safe
        2- I think that if you are running a virtualized system, unless you are somehow mounting the host system inside the virtualized one, you can’t trash de drive, so I think it’s (nearly) 100% safe
        3- Using a different computer is definitely 100% safe


          I know a lot of people use things like Docker and DistroBox for this. It gives you better integration with your main install than using a full virtual machine, but is otherwise similar.

          Another option for isolating your dev environment is to use a frugal install with root persistence. That way, until you do a remaster, any changes can be reverted just by creating a new rootfs persistence file.

          You can also set up multiple persistence files for different projects that you want to be isolated and switch between them, archive old ones, etc.

          Those persistence files can be mounted when you’re running another instance if you want to recover files from them or fix something you borked. They’re some kind of specially formatted ext4 filesystem.

          You can even make a frugal clone of a running system just by using the mksquashfs command to create a new linuxfs archive and then boot that using antiX’s live/frugal initrd.


            I have a long history with virtualization, so, it is my go to solution. Virtualization means learning whatever virtualization product you select and with it comes increased complexity. Most times, I just use my laptop which has two hard drives, so I use a combination of multi-boot and virt-manager (kvm/qemu). I am exploring other options including antiX frugal installs.

            Brian Masinick

              Back when I was a developer I had a server available and 2-3 workstations dedicated most of the time.

              One of the workstations I would use to test daily builds so it was important to be able to copy or move things in place so I had a file to select individual files and directories to save and copy.

              I also was able to select which system or systems to use in copying and also the mount points to be selected.

              With all of those things designed in the tools it’s possible to move or copy information to and from any devices that are mounted or any source available over a network resource.

              I hope this is useful. It’s definitely possible with some thoughts and consideration to save things from one system and extract them or copy them to another system. If you know exactly what you need, copying them to removable media is perfect.

              Brian Masinick


                Yes, to use separate machines, I’d need a good way to resync, and a good way to distribute the finished results to my other systems. I don’t have anything doing that now. I just use the Live-usb-storage folder on a flashdrive and move it between machines. If I separate it, that is high on the needed list.

                A good note: My conversion from antiX 21/22 using the packagecomp utility I cobbled together a few years ago worked well, and the conversion took one try each for the save, install and restore, and three passes for the software install to load all the additional packages to the new volume. I’ve been on it all day, have everything working, including the java based stock market charting software. I don’t know about the bluetooth sound stuff, its been the most trouble, but it isn’t that critical. I have been working on it in the living room from the exercise bike, and am thinking of keeping it in here, since I seem to spend more time on the computer in here once I got the bike and TV stuff all situated.

                Thanks to the Devs and testers for things that work!

              Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
              • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.