Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged linux

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What is the difference between Windows and Linux for web hosting, in other words, what are the pros and cons of each, each’s limitations, performance development environment and deployment between Windows and Linux?

Any and every operation you perform on a Linux server can be trivially automated by copying the commands you ran in to a text file. I haven’t managed a Windows server in years and I hear PowerShell is pretty great these days but an OS based around a GUI is always going to be harder to automate than one based around a command line.

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How can I download a web server’s directory and all subdirectories with one command?

Use wget (you can install it with apt-get install wget)

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What is a painless way for a non-Unix programmer to get started learning Unix or GNU/Linux?

I’d suggest getting yourself an Ubuntu virtual machine running on your own laptop—VirtualBox is free, so that’s a good starting point. That way you can play with Linux all you like without fear of breaking anything, since you can always delete the image or roll back to a snapshot.

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Enter the hedgehog

The Ubuntu community have released Hoary Hedgehog, otherwise known as Ubuntu 5.04. If you haven’t tried Ubuntu yet, it’s an excellent Linux distribution based on Debian with a strong focus on desktop usability. Unlike most Linux distros, Ubuntu comes with just one desktop manager (Gnome) and one obvious default application for each of the essentials: Firefox for browsing, OpenOffice for office work, Evolution for mail.

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Security and coding style

A couple of good web development security resources:

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