Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· krzochalski

Front-end on Ubuntu? Why not?

The biggest problem with all Linux systems is: "There is no photoshop". That's why most of us chose to work on macs, or still some microsoft systems.

When I started a new job I got a laptop with Windows 8. I didn't like it, and it didn't like me, and what's even worse, it didn't even have an i3. Solution? Ubuntu. I chose the newest one, number 14, Trusty Tahr. Why this one?

1. Terminal
You can do most of the job with Terminal. Git commands, sass, ruby stuff. When you want to install some software, just copy three lines of commands to the terminal and the job is done. I think that terminal is the feature that I love the most. Well, there is one in windows, but somehow, I didn't like it.

2. Appearance
I like the design, I like the way it looks, I like the way it works.

3. Performance
Everything works faster with no crashes and slideshow when more than one psd file is opened. And it's stable as hell. If your PC is even slower than mine ( Pentium B960 @ 2.20GHz × 2, 4GB RAM), you can try Xubuntu or Lubuntu which are lighter distributions.

4. Focus
I can focus more on my tasks. I don't really know how this works, but I get job done faster than on win8.

5. It's free!
Nothing to add, download it once and install on as many machines as you want!

Software you ask?

1. There ain't no photoshop
My solution was to use Virtual Box, instal winXP and run photoshop there. And it works, perfectly. For license reasons I run CS4.

2. Code editor
No surprises, Sublime Text, but you can also try Brackets.

3. Browsers
Chrome, Opera, Firefox. IE and Safari needs to opened on winXP. Not a big deal.

4. Local PHP server
I use XAMPP and it works just fine on Ubuntu.

5. Archive stuff
Packing and unpacking archives is built-in.

6. FTP Client
There is one built-in, I also use FileZilla.

7. Additional software
Skype, Spotify, Dropbox, GDocs...

10 Responses
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I've been using Ubuntu for web development for over 4 years and don't feel like switching for anything else.

The absense of a native version of Photoshop for Linux has been the biggest missing part, but I managed to run a portable version through Wine, it worked pretty well. Anyway, I'm glad when I don't need to use Photoshop for the job at all (yes, sometimes this is the case!).

As for IE and Safari, a virtual machine is one solution. Another is to use a service like Browserstack

over 1 year ago ·

Gimp is ok after installing photoshop-like UI extension.

over 1 year ago ·

I installed CS6 on Ubuntu 14.04 using Wine, and have had no trouble at all with it. Definitely no reason for resorting to Windows or Mac.

over 1 year ago ·

I do a little front end on Linux, Krita, Gimp and Inkscape do the job, Aptana and Geany for my code edition.

over 1 year ago ·

You don't need XAMPP, ubuntu has packages for php and web servers

over 1 year ago ·

Totally agree with you, Piotr!...

Ideally, I prefer working on a 27" iMac; I have to admit Apple does offer the best ergonomics money can buy: lots of screen real-estate (a pleasure to make use of livereload), Apple's wired keyboard is fantastic (I hate their mice, though)... and one can use Sketch + Pixelmator instead of Photoshop + Illustrator.

But since they are so damn expensive, for the rare occasions when I have to be mobile, I decided to go for an Acer V5 with Ubuntu 14.04. Since I mostly do web development with Node.js and I like to automate some of my tasks with bash scripts, Windows 8 really wasn't an option.

There are few things I really miss in Ubuntu; the absence of a real vector-based design solution (like Sketch on Mac) is the only real big pain. Inkscape is good and becoming better, but nowhere near Sketch, and its unnatural 0y axis direction is kind of a show-stopper for web mockups...

over 1 year ago ·

Sketch is the only thing that makes desktop linux not ok for front-end work. There is always the hackintosh route, My old dell machine runs Mavericks very well and the only app I have yet to have no luck with is Parallels. Vagrant and Virtualbox work as expected, though.

over 1 year ago ·

Exactly, I was waiting for someone to say Gimp!

over 1 year ago ·

One more thing - thanks to Alin Andrei from WebUpd8, you can now use Atom in Ubuntu 14.04...

over 1 year ago ·

But I use windows 7,and Ubuntu in virtual machine.It's also very awesome!

over 1 year ago ·