Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two birds with one cloud

For some time now, I've been needing to set up a new machine to do Derby development on. My current machine (a 6 year old laptop) is still running, but it's no longer powerful enough to use as a Derby development machine.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking that I really need to learn more about the cloud. I understand a lot of the principles and techniques, but I need to get more hands-on.

So, I'm going to try to set up an Amazon EC2 machine to use for Derby development. Has anybody done this before? Anything special I need to know? My plan is to set up the smallest possible Linux VM on EC2, then learn how to sign on and access it, then set up the necessary software to be able to build Derby and run the tests (Mostly that just means: Subversion, Java, JUnit, and Ant -- pretty simple).

More on this as it develops; let me know if you see any roadblocks standing in my way...

Update: So far, so good. Herewith, a few notes about stuff that was useful along the way:

  • The built-in Amazon VM has the 1.6 JRE, not the JDK. Since I wanted 1.5 anyway, I was off to the Sun website where they still make a JDK 1.5 download that installs on Linux. Thank goodness.

  • Ant was easy -- just grabbed the 1.7.1 binary from

  • I needed subversion. This was a bit trickier, but I eventually figured out that sudo yum install subversion did the trick.

  • Derby still uses the 3.8.2 version of junit.jar, which happily I found without too much trouble at SourceForge.

In the end, it took me only about 2 hours to get far enough with EC2 to create a virtual machine, connect to it, load it up with Java software and with Subversion, download the Derby source code, and build it.

Tomorrow, when my head is fresh, I might even try running the Derby test suite!

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