A bit of history. Used to do all php development on a linux box using vim (without X installed). Once I started I working on larger projects with others code, I wanted to take advantage of a debugging tool to help me through their code. I started using various IDEs on a Windows box but all the code still remained on a remote linux host as it was important to have our development box almost identical to the production environment.
Fast forward to today, I am running a win7 desktop and my development environment is a debian VM running on the same box with a windows fileshare so I have easy access to the files on either system. I've been using Netbeans and xdebug works fine but could never get utilities like composer, artisan, or phpunit to run remotely through the IDE so I've just kept an SSH window open to handle those. The problem is when I run those utilities Netbeans did not know some files changed externally. I have to manually do a sync and it has occassionally crashed corrupting the entire project (not the actual files) but that still meant copying the files, deleting the project, restoring the files and reconfiguring the project from those files.
I do a fair amount of graphic work so I prefer to keep my primary workstation running win7 and I still prefer my development webserver to be as close to the production server as possible (well it 100% identical except the development box also runs samba for filesharing)
I'm told phpStorm is the answer to my problems but as best as I have been able to figure it out, phpStorm doesn't actually work on the remote servers files and instead works on a copy of the remote files. So I run into the same issues if I run artisan for example to create a bunch of new files - phpStorm doesn't seem to know until I resync (same issue as Netbeans). Even worse however is phpStorm isn't working with xdebug in this environment as it tries to pass the local win7 file path to the linux server which of course it doesn't understand the path. It is using the remote servers interpreter as I have no php installed locally and I'm sure that is where the glitch is.
I've been told to use Vagrant however I have VMware Workstation on my desktop becaues I manage a couple clusters of VMware ESXi servers and it is important for me to do testing and passing VMs to and from those clusters so it must stay and Vagrant caused problems with it so I had to abandon the Vagrant option.
Another less ideal option is to install X on the linux box and use PHPStorm directly on that box but it means jumping between the Vm and my workstation each time I want to do graphic work. Anyone else in this situation with any suggestions on how I should set up my environment?