Dev Environment Setup

I recently installed a fresh copy of Xubuntu 14.04 LTS along side of Windows 7 on my desktop. I find myself trying to recreate my "development comfort zone" across many different platforms, VPS', etc. for many different reasons that I wont get into. I wanted to document what my typical development environment looks like, and what I generally go through everytime when setting up a fresh box.

Xubuntu 14.04 LTS

All of this was done in Xubuntu 14.04 LTS (Ubuntu using XFCE), so YMMV.

Vim, cURL, Git

sudo apt-get install vim curl git

Vim is my go-to editor. It can be a pain in the ass when you're bouncing around on different machines because the configuration can be such a hassle. To remedy this, I recommend keeping your .vimrc in a repository on GitHub, or using Janus which I do below.

cURL and Git are now only used a lot in my regular workflow, but they are required to install much of the rest of my environment below so we install them first.


sudo apt-get install ruby-full

This gets mostly everything I need in regards to Ruby.


cd ~/.vim && curl -Lo- | bash

Janus installs a lot of awesome plugins for Vim and organizes Vim configuration in a pleasurable way. Checkout their GitHub page for more information.

Monokai colorscheme

cd ~/.vim/janus/vim/colors && git clone

If you've ever used Sublime Text, you're familiar with this sexy colorscheme.

Edit: I've since switched to a heavily modified version of Monokai called wells-colors

Node.js and NPM

curl -sL | sudo bash -

sudo apt-get install -g nodejs


sudo npm install -g- express express-generator

This installed Express.js and the Node.js Express-Generator so that we can use commands such as "express my-website"


sudo npm install -g angular


sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv 7F0CEB10

echo "deb "$(lsb_release -sc)"/mongodb-org/3.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-3.0.list

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org

Run all of these commands seperately. Mongo is now accessible using

sudo service mongod start
sudo service mongod stop
sudo service mongod restart


gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 409B6B1796C275462A1703113804BB82D39DC0E3

\curl -sSL | bash -s stable --ruby


gem install rails


Java might take a little more legwork via Google-fu. I would generally recommend using OpenJDK and installing via their documentation, but since I want to use Java 8, I installed it via the source code available from Oracle.

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/jvm
tar -zxvf jdk-1.8.0_40.tar.gz
mv jdk-1.8.0_40 /usr/lib/jvm/jdk-1.8.0_40

After you install it to /usr/lib, export the path to your JAVA_HOME:

export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-1.8.0_40

Then add that to your PATH:


I recommend adding those settings to you .bash_profile, or in Ubuntu's case, ~/.profile.

GNU Screen

sudo apt-get install screen

After you get disconnected from your ssh session a few times you'll really come to appreciate the value of GNU Screen or Tmux, even if you don't use it for their other amazing features. I mainly use screen to switch between windows and save the session for picking up at another time. I will post a short post later on the basics of GNU Screen if there's any interest.


sudo apt-get install irssi
mkdir ~/.irssi ~/.irssi/scripts
cd ~/.irssi/scripts && wget

IRSSI is by far my favorite IRC client in linux. When using IRSSI in GNU screen, I also load the script to show the online nicklist to the right of the channel and bind '[' and ']' to scroll up and down the list. still has a lot of very smart people hanging around.

Any suggestions?

I'm sure there is a lot I could improve on in the way that I do things, and as I use this configuration I'll find better ways of doing things and will update this document accordingly. I really needed to document this for my own use since I'm always forgetting little things here and there and wasting precious time searching for answers to my environment setup problems rather than coding.

What would you do different?

Written on March 9, 2015