My laptop runs Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Desktop, but given I hope to start tackling some C# projects at home on Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 I needed to setup an environment to code under. I'm a huge fan of virtualization and given I already run a few Operating Systems on my system via VirtualBox I decided to just install Windows, SQL Server, and VS 2010 that way.
Though I haven't taken classes in a year or so my account on Microsoft Dreamspark is still active so I downloaded Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer, and Visual Studio 2010 Professional. After this I setup my Virtual environment in VirtualBox and got busy installing.
Windows Server only took about 15 minutes to install, but it took probably 2+ hours to install all the updates. Then after installing SQL Server then Visual Studio likewise the updates took forever. I also found this MSDN Blog posting showing how to use Windows Server as a 'Super Desktop' so I went through some of these tips to setup Windows Server 2008 R2 more like a Windows Desktop so I wasn't bothered by all the security crap.
After all this plus installing a slightly older version of Microsoft Office (I think 2005) I was ready to go! I grabbed the ASP.Net AJAX Toolkit which added some NICE tools to VS plus I'm reviewing two different sites to find some open source C# tools:
I need to find some open source tools for reporting and also for saving content to PDF.
So all and all my environment is now setup and ready to go, so now I just need to find time to actually start coding :)