Website Design Tools for Linux

I’ve been running a copy of Ubuntu for a while now, from Feisty Fawn to Hardy to the newer 9.04 Jaunty.

Tools that can be used in Linux when designing Websites

Tools that can be used in Linux when designing Websites

I moved over from Windows at the beginning of my University life and I haven’t moved back. Ubuntu has everything that I need…

- Emails are read online at Gmail
- Music is Streamed from a radio station
- Open office is used to text documents
- Firefox for web browsing
- VLC for media

There’s nothing else that I really need to do…or is there?

What about designing websites – something that I have taken a great interest in lately and even begun part-time work around.
So – to help some people out there who may be thinking of switching over to Linux, I’ve compiled a list of programs that can help on your day-to-day design work.

PHP – CSS – HTML Editor

After doing a lot of Java Coding for a University Project and using the Netbeans IDE, I decided to stick with Netbeans and do all of my PHP/CSS/HTML coding with it. I haven’t looked back since.

Netbeans is a great development environment and can be used for a wide variety of programming languages. It has a built in FTP Client, meaning files can be right clicked and uploaded. There is no need to save, locate the file, move the file over to the server as Netbeans does this for you.

As Netbeans is coded in Java, it can be run on virtually any platform, meaning it can run on Linux (as it is doing now on my desktop!).

Although this is an advantage, it can also cause a few minor problems when running Netbeans. I have found that on the odd occasion it will crash, nothing serious but rather annoying.

Graphics Design

This is there area where a Windows or Mac machine may prevail over one running a Linux platform. The program that can be used for Graphics Design in Linux, GIMP, don’t get me wrong – is a great program, but not on the same levels as Photoshop. I have used GIMP to design the whole of my portfolio, however, after searching the web for tutorials, I have found myself looking to get photoshop. Photoshop performs better on Windows machines (you can use WINE on Linux but I don’t) meaning the options are limited for those of us running Linux.

However, there is an alternative. A Virtual Machine. If you have a copy of Photoshop, why not get a Virtual Machine setup and run it on there? (As long as you haven’t installed it anywhere else before – licensing reasons!) I use a Virtual Machine for a lot of work – including checking my websites work in Internet Explorer.

I use VMWare when running my Virtual Machines and as long as your computer has enough RAM to set asside and a decent processor, the VM should run fine. If you want any help setting this up – don’t be afraid to ask.

FTP Client

Having the ability to use an FTP Client when designing websites is essential. Moving images or files over to the web server is a necessity and has to be done quite often. Having a quick FTP Client that can establish a strong connection is a must. In Linux I tend to use the file manager (In my case, Nautilus). It allows me to type the address in “ftp://<servername>” and then I am prompted for a username and password.

The client is quite quick the connection only seems to drop if I don’t touch it for a couple of hours.

Whistle while you work…

I like to do something while I design websites. Whether it be browse my favorite forum, listen to Galaxy 105 or watch some tv shows or films. Either way, the ability is still there in Linux!

VLC Media Player can be used for music and videos. I tend to use it to watch films and tv shows.

I can stream my favorite radio station online using Firefox.

Let me know if you disagree with any. I would like to know what people think about the programs I’ve listed. It may help me with my work!


5 thoughts on “Website Design Tools for Linux

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