Choosing an IDE for the Development Vagrant


One of the things I’d like to do in my little project to make contributions easier is to add a default IDE on the development Vagrant. I thought this thread might be an appropriate place to discuss what way to go.

What do we need from an IDE?

  • Ant support
  • PHP support (d’uh)
  • Free / open source-ish


  • phpStorm - Howies personal preference, but it costs money, so I guess it’s out. At least if we want to distribute or provision it with our Vagrant.
  • Netbeans - Easy to use as far as I can remember, but it’s been many years since.
  • Eclipse - My personal favourite, once you get through the hassle of setting it up with the plugins that you want. (No problem if we provision it to the Vagrant :wink: )
  • Activestate Komodo - I have zero experience of this one. Howie says the free version is limited.

So, it’s easy to tell what my favourite is. But I’d really like more opinions. I also suppose, as long as we solve distribution/provisioning without breaking any licenses, that we could distribute multiple IDEs or set up some way to choose one when initializing the Vagrant.

Just to test the poll function on this new forum, I’ll add a small one where you can select any of the above that you’d like on the dev vagrant. Oh, and if you’d like something else included on the vagrant machine, let me know here as well! :slight_smile:

  • phpStorm
  • Netbeans
  • Eclipse
  • Komodo

0 voters


I used to use Komodo IDE (the paid one) for work, but I don’t remember what feature was missing in Komodo Edit (the free one) that made me switch to Netbeans. I think it was showing code coverage in the editor, which is quite useful. I don’t have any particular allegiance for any of these, although the refactoring tools in PHPStorm are very good, especially once you’ve added phpdoc strings in appropriate places. It also gives good completion options, once those are in place, too.

It’s possible that we qualify for free PHPStorm licenses:

Regardless, I don’t think there should be IDE-specific stuff in the git repo. If it gets put into the Vagrant dev box, then fair enough, but not a requirement of the project to use a partcular editor. So, test and build should be possible without the IDE. Also this doesn’t close the door on tools like Travis CI, if we go that route.


That’s true. Maybe I’ll make the script that adds an IDE optional to run (so that you’d have to run it yourself when logging on to the vagrant), if I even add one. In any case I’d like to make additions to .gitignore so that no IDE-specific stuff gets added to the repo.


Another possible option is Visual Studio Code - free, extendable, runs on everything, and seems quite nice. More stable than Atom, from my limited testing, and has git, javascript & php support.

1 Like

Code looks nice, seems simple to install as well. Time to start looking at making that dev Vagrant run some GUI as well :slight_smile:
Putting this here for my own reference, how to add the .deb apt repo and install vscode:

curl | gpg --dearmor > microsoft.gpg
sudo mv microsoft.gpg /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.gpg
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list'

Then update the package cache and install the package using:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install code # or code-insiders