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I've installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my netbook and I'm wondering what would be a good IDE to use for mainly PHP development. I've used Komodo Edit in past Linux distributions but it doesn't seem to play well with Ubuntu Network Remix (it doesn't shows up in the remix "desktop", and I don't feel like opening the terminal and typing komodo every time I need to code).

I'm considering Eclipse with a PHP plugin, but I've two big problems with Eclipse:

  1. I don't like the way it forces me to create a new project when I just want to edit a file.
  2. I'm not sure which PHP plugin I should install: Eclipse PDT, PHP Eclipse or Aptana - I don't really understand the differences between Eclipse PDT and PHP Eclipse.

Which IDE would you recommend (doesn't need to be Eclipse)? Thanks in advance!

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Have a look at Netbeans. Open source, and works well for PHP, JavaScript and Ajax, Ruby and Ruby on Rails, Groovy and Grails, and C/C++.

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Thanks for the tip, I'm installing it and I'll try it out. – Alix Axel Feb 10 '10 at 7:49
Okay, I've tried it and it seems a lot nicer than Eclipse, however I've the same problem (I've to create a project every time I need to create a new file). I'll probably use this in lack of a better alternative, though. – Alix Axel Feb 10 '10 at 8:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I went with Geany: installs out of the box, integrates well with UNR, it's lightweight and supports PHP syntax among many more other languages.

Some basic features of Geany:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code folding
  • Symbol name auto-completion
  • Construct completion/snippets
  • Auto-closing of XML and HTML tags
  • Call tips
  • Many supported filetypes including C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal (full list)
  • Symbol lists
  • Code navigation
  • Build system to compile and execute your code
  • Simple project management
  • Plugin interface (see Plugins)


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Personally I use and recommend's powerful, light and totally customizable. You can find scripts and plugins to get it to do anything you want.

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