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andLinux; Running Linux within Windows

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1 andLinux; Running Linux within Windows on December 26th 2010, 9:22 pm

I recently had a craving for Linux one day while working in my Windows infested file-system. I had tried to run my crappy version of Micro$oft Office 2003 and was greeted with an exceptional amount of yelling when I was told that my copy of Office was not registered for the 4th time Mad (BTW, NONE of my other programs do this, only Office) instead of skipping over to find my copy of Open Office for Windows I got an idea in my head. What if I could use Linux programs in Windows while still in Windows? The first idea that popped into my head was Emulator, but I shook that thought right out of my head immediately. So I went on a Google hunt and came across andLinux, a Linux kernel ported to the Windows system. Apparently, this is based off of the CoLinux project and allows you to run the Linux kernel and Windows Kernel side by side as a merger. The program is not for development and runs most Linux applications without a hitch. It also comes complete with the Konsole too, an added bonus (In my opinion)

I decided to also post these, mostly because I'm partial to being lazy so in case you didn't want to check out the website here

Requirements

* OS: Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 / Vista / 7 (currently only the 32-bit versions are supported)
* Memory: at least 128 MB (192 MB or more is recommended)
Note that you should have enough memory left for Windows (at least 128 MB for Windows 2000 / XP / 2003; at least 512 MB for Windows Vista / 7)!
* Hard disk space: 2.5 GB (XFCE version) / 4.5 GB (KDE version)
Note that you need an NTFS file system (which is default since Windows 2000) because you can't create files larger than 2 GB on FAT(32) file systems!
* A good internet connection (to be able to install further applications via apt-get / Synaptic)
* Some basic Linux skills to proceed once andLinux is installed

What you will get

You will get:

* a fully functional Linux system, however without the usual desktop (you've already got one from Windows)
* a second panel (e.g. at the top of your Windows desktop) or a second start menu (in the system tray next to the clock), from which you can start Linux applications
* Linux applications and Windows applications can be used simultaneously and you can cut and paste text between them
* apt / Synaptic to install further applications

You will NOT get:

* another desktop
* the bench of applications that usually ship with Linux distributions (you have to fetch whatever you want)
* trouble with further drivers ;-)

Limitations

* Security warning: It is recommended to use andLinux only on single-user-PCs or in a trustworthy environment because the communication with the X-Server and the launcher is not secured, i.e., every user who can login to Windows can access andLinux.
* andLinux is not suitable for high-performance realtime graphics such as required by most 3D games. Although some users managed to get openGL applications to work on recent hardware, you will most probably experience problems doing so.
* If you have a multi-core CPU, you will only be able to use one of these cores for andLinux (due to technological limitations, as all andLinux processes are encapsulated in one Windows process).

I've proceeded to check for any reviews on the subject currently and found that in my online travels this idea is quite popular in Germany.

I retrieved this from the digg site from a poster explaining the differences between Cygwin and andLinux. So read below for the info (thank me for being lazy later)

alestan
"Cygwin allows you to compile linux source to use windows system calls. This provides a series of .dll files, which can be distributed along with the compiled linux app without needing cygwin installed (Think firefox). While this is nice, when it works, you have to build your system essentially from the ground up, compiling dependencies of dependencies of dependencies of what you want from source. AndLinux, on the other hand, has a version of the kernal that runs in Windows, this does require more memory than Cygwin, and has a slower startup, but it is far more compatible. It is running a debian/ubuntu system, so you can just install .deb files. As for speed, it seems slightly slower than cygwin, but much faster than windows. Using Xming as the graphical shell, it does sometimes take a while to start graphical programs. I have both cygwin, and andLinux, and I recommend andLinux, unless you are trying to compile programs to run natively in windows. Oh, and, andLinux has virtually no online help, but after you get used to the differences in hardware configuration, you don't need it. Treat it like a normal ubuntu system and ask the ubuntu people for help. Cygwin, on the other hand, is a pain to get help. Asking a program developer for help with cygwin, they usually tell you it is a cygwin problem and go ask the cygwin devs. Asking the cygwin devs often leads to a 'it's not a cygwin problem, go ask the program devs'. If you know what you are doing, this shouldn't be a problem, otherwise, stick with andLinux. One thing is that the latest version of andLinux installs ubuntu 6.x, or maybe 7.x. You have to update to the latest version on your own. update-manager -d or -c will do this, but expect problems. Updating to 8.10 broke my xming shortcuts and locked root because it didn't auto log in anymore. (I had no root password set, needed auto log in to get root access.) Before upgrading, make a backup of the .drv file.Regards!"


I'll write my own review in time when I get the time to download and install this on a spare machine. But this definitely looks like a keeper for those who *need* Windows or don't want to fully switch over.

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