• 45420This month:
  • 872Today:
  • 15Currently online:

LeaseWeb CDN

10 tools for PHP developers in Ubuntu 14.04

To convert your Ubuntu 14.04 into a powerhouse for software development for PHP, you need to install some developer tools from the rich set of available software packages. I have made a top 10 of my favorite developer tools.

1) Install Eclipse 3.8 as a complete IDE

Altough everybody I know prefers the JetBrains IDE’s, I am still a sucker for free (as in speech) software. I think Eclipse and the various distributions of Eclipse you can download are just as good, when properly configured.

sudo apt-get install eclipse

2) Install Geany 1.23 as a lightweight IDE

I also often find myself using a lightweight IDE. After using way too much “gedit” I have recently (re)discovered “Geany” and I feel it is perfect. With the following commands you install it with a good set of plugins.

sudo apt-get install geany geany-plugins

You can find some Geany color schemes on Github that are worth installing as well.

tar -xvf geany-themes-1.22.2.tar.bz2
mkdir -p ~/.config/geany/colorschemes/
cp geany-themes-1.22.2/colorschemes/* ~/.config/geany/colorschemes/
rm -Rf geany-themes-1.22.2 geany-themes-1.22.2.tar.bz2

3) Install MariaDB 5.5

MariaDB is the replacement for MySQL now that Oracle has acquired it. This is comparable to the replacement of OpenOffice with LibreOffice after Oracle got their hands on it.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server

4) Install PostgreSQL 9.3

PostgreSQL may be the most powerful database around.

With PostgreSQL 9.2, query results can be returned as JSON data types. Combined with the new PL/V8 Javascript and PL/Coffee database programming extensions, and the optional HStore key-value store, users can now utilize PostgreSQL like a “NoSQL” document database, while retaining PostgreSQL’s reliability, flexibility and performance. (source)

I feel you should always consider using it before choosing any “NoSQL” or “documents-based” database.

sudo apt-get install postgresql pgadmin3

Do not forget to set the root (postgres) password.

sudo -u postgres psql postgres
ALTER USER postgres WITH PASSWORD '<password>';

5) Install Apache 2.4 + PHP 5.5 + modules

Install Apache and the default method (mod_php) to serve the new PHP 5.5.

sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5

Install PHP 5 support for MariaDB and PostgreSQL.

sudo apt-get install php5-mysql php5-pgsql

Some PHP packages for Symfony development.

sudo apt-get install php5-intl php5-sqlite

PHP packages for cURL and XDebug.

sudo apt-get install php5-curl php5-xdebug

Optional PHP packages for creating images (GD), doing geolocalization on IP address (GeoIP), encryption and Redis/Memcache caches.

sudo apt-get install php5-gd php5-geoip php5-mcrypt php5-redis php5-memcache php5-memcached

Now enable mod_rewrite and restart Apache to make sure everything is loaded.

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo service apache2 restart

6) Install Adminer 4

PhpMyAdmin is a very popular web-based database management tool. Adminer is a drop in replacement that beats it on almost all points. You can install the latest version of Adminer using:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/adminer
sudo wget -O /usr/share/adminer/latest.php ""
sudo ln -s /usr/share/adminer/latest.php /usr/share/adminer/adminer.php
echo "Alias /adminer.php /usr/share/adminer/adminer.php" | sudo tee /etc/apache2/conf-available/adminer.conf
sudo a2enconf adminer
sudo service apache2 reload

Now go here to run it: http://localhost/adminer.php

In the future you can easily update Adminer using:

sudo wget -O /usr/share/adminer/latest.php ""

7) Install Git

Install the Git source code versioning system:

sudo apt-get install git

Check out this great Git cheat sheet.

8) Install some compilers and build tools

With the following commands you get most common compilers and build tools.

sudo apt-get install gcc build-essential libc6-dev autoconf automake

9) Install the Microsoft fonts

There are always people that rely on the standard Microsoft fonts (like Arial). Although this is bad practice and HTML5 allows you to embed fonts, still it may solve some problems to just install these:

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

10) Upgrade your Office experience

A developer also needs to read or write some documentation or specifications. Libreoffice Writer is IMHO better than the real thing (Microsoft Word).

sudo apt-get purge gnumeric abiword
sudo apt-get install libreoffice


Did we miss some really important package? Let us know in the comments.

10 Responses to “10 tools for PHP developers in Ubuntu 14.04”

  • claudiu:

    tools, if you are a php developer :)

  • Maurits van der Schee (Innovation Engineer):

    @claudiu: True, but only #5 is specific for PHP I guess. Adjusted the title to avoid any discussion.

  • Personaly i use Bluefish, it’s a great “text” editor with understanding of different languages and their functions.

  • “MariaDB is the replacement for MySQL now that Oracle has acquired it. This is comparable to the replacement of OpenOffice with LibreOffice after Oracle got their hands on it.”

    this is not correct. it doesn’t replace. it’s just a new fork!
    you can still use the other one. MariaDB has some new features wich Mysql hasn’t. but Mysql is still being devoloped.
    it’s more a personal flafor.

  • Maurits van der Schee (Innovation Engineer):

    @Arnold: You are correct, both are available. I wrote “replacement”, because large corporations (like Facebook and Google) are replacing MySQL with MariaDB.

  • Maurits van der Schee (Innovation Engineer):

    @Arnold: Interesting, I will give Bluefish a try..

  • @Maurits sorry incorrect again (i believe) Facebook, Google and Twitter are also using a fork and develop thair own database

  • Maurits van der Schee (Innovation Engineer):

    @Arnold: Thank you, well spotted! I believe we are both correct. First they replaced MySQL with MariaDB and now they released their own fork WebScaleSQL.

  • No reason to install v5.5 (MySQL 5.5) of MariaDB when 10.0 (MySQL 5.5 with 5.6 features) is available (I cast suspicion on 5.5-with-5.6-features). 10.1 (MySQL 5.6 with 5.7 features) is in alpha, so we’re using Percona Server 5.6 (MySQL 5.6). I was reading MariaDB has an engine made for write-intensive job, which would be perfect for 1 of our use.

    PostgreSQL ain’t an option, at least for us, and I won’t waste resources of any kind on it.

    PHP 5.6.x is out, no reason to use <5.6.x.

  • Maurits van der Schee (Innovation Engineer):

    @Jouni: Thank you for your comment. Are all these new versions available in the standard Ubuntu 14.04 repo?

Leave a Reply