Many of you are going to question some of the decisions made when I selected the tools, platforms, and techniques for the development of Coyote Linux 4. I am going to write up a post as a preemptive set of answers which I will refer to when the questions, comments, flames, etc start pouring in.
One of the biggest changes to this release of Coyote Linux is the use of C# as the primary development language used for most of the administration, configuration, and maintenance utilities. Previous implementations of Coyote Linux made heavy use of C, Pascal (namely Delphi), and Bash shell scripting for this purpose. The change is being made to C# after nearly 2 years of working with the language in a cross-platform setting which involved the use of both Red Hat Linux and Windows 2003/2008 servers. The ability to use a single development environment (in my case, Visual Studio 2008) and produce executables that will execute in unmodified form on both Linux and Windows has seriously put the “R” in RAD programming. I am still actively involved in projects that require the development of cross-platform utilities and am already paying for all of the necessary licenses to provide my company with a full array of software and hardware to develop applications that work in a mixed server OS environment.
I have spent a great deal of time testing C# applications under Linux using Mono as the executing environment. While this is not necessarily the best choice for small, embedded hardware (486 / ARM class processing power) it works very well for anything using i686 or better technology. Another wonderful advantage of using this technology is the ability to run the same set of executables on both 32 and 64 bit hardware without the need for compatibility libraries to be installed. The installation of Mono dictates the 32/64 bit execution environment, preventing the need to recompile the full Coyote Linux software package.
Coyote Linux 4.0 will target 2 installation platforms. The first release of the Coyote Linux security suite will be as an add-on to existing installations of Red Hat or CentOS 5. After the suite has stabilized as an addon for existing distributions, a new installation OS will be added to accommodate the install on bare metal hardware and as both a Xen and VMWare hypervised guest.
The web sites that make up the Coyote Linux and Vortech Consulting customer services, product distribution sites, and e-commerce transaction processing consist of a mix of both Linux and Windows 2008 servers. The design chosen allows me to make use of the last 2 years of my work developing e-commerce and software delivery systems.
If you have any further questions or comments, you are welcome to visit the forums or post a comment to this blog.