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What do you think about having a separate environment with it's own parsers (Python, Ruby) and different versions of them within a Linux distro. I'm sick of having to stick with distro's versions of these dependencies (eg.: Red Hat's old versions of PHP, Python, Ruby)

If you do that, how do you do? Do you use some tool like RVM for Ruby? Do you deploy using some package format (RPM, DEB, etc?). What issues do you encounter?

I may see some issues, but I never tested this approach myself to check those.

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chroot could be used for this, but it requires duplicating all the dependencies and keeping them updated (though most package managers can install to specific directory, not necessarily "/") –  Hubert Kario Oct 5 '10 at 18:19

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Just install the custom ones into /OPT/ . Webhosts had different versions of php before and they have different versions of python. You could just call the different one using the shell script declaration like #!/opt/pytho3/python

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