A month ago, a trial version of a little-known Linux application called “CoLinux” was released that is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. It’s the work of a 21 year-old Israeli computer science student and some Japanese open source programmers; in Israel, analysts are already saying it could help transform the software world.
Introducing “Cooperative Linux” – Linux for Windows, No Less
2004-04-12 Linux 21 Comments
Have been using coLinux 0.6.0 to run Fedora Core 1. Works very well. It seems like FC1 under coLinux runs faster than under VMWare.
Someone should put together an iso which would mostly be knoppix, but include the ability to run it in Windows through colinux. Maybe it should be part of the basic knoppix iso.
Wonder if you could combine their patches with some of the openMosix patches (or something along that line) in order to easily cluster lots of Windows desktops.
A bootable demo CD such as Knoppix et al has probably done more to help Linux’s cause. If you can easily run Linux within
Windows, why would Joe Average ever switch?
As a training tool, this is great but don’t expect this to trigger migration. If anything, this will only help cement Windows domination. Their take on it will be ” So you’re thinking of using Linux? GREAT!! Here’s this coLinux software that you can use from the comfort and safety of Windows. And, just remember, we’ve got the best hardware support, and only we have Microsoft Office, on which millions of companies depend, and it’ll be right there when you need the stability of Windows, no need to reboot.”
I think M$ won’t lose any sleep over this; what, I believe, will really scare the pants off of them would be a FREELY AVAILABLE ( or dirt-cheap) sandbox that will efficiently and stably run Windows under Linux.
If that happens, I bet they’ll have a team dedicated to making sure that future versions of windows ( or present ones via service pack “fixes”) will be somewhat less than reliable when running in a sandbox.
“we’ve got the best hardware support”
That’s either the Linux kernel together with appropriate utilities or NetBSD OS.
This project is great for the following reasons:
* A safe way for one to try out a Linux distribution without sacrificing performance, without being unable to run Windows (software) during the transition. See the difference between that and a Live CD (which isn’t able to run Windows programs at the same time, which does sacrifice performance, which hasn’t got the ability to save data).
* I think it is slighly more simple than a Live CD. Easier than this it can’t get.
* It renders the (slow, proprietary) VMware product which is used for running Linux under Windows completely USELESS. It competes with it, and it shatters it to pieces.
* It doesn’t give some advantages Linux distributions give: less / no cost, no dependancy on proprietary software. So it is a nice bridge to get started when one considers to move over.
If you want A and B to be more together near each other, you can tool on A to become more near B. You can also tool on B to become more near A. And, you can do both.
The distance between A and B is like a bridge, which should be as short, compatible, easy as possible. This comes from 2 sides.
Anything which shortens the bridge worries Microsoft, either directly or indirectly. This one should imo be added on the list. Sure, a project like WINE or Win4lin would worry them more than a project like this — but the easy way this can be used to start a learning curve which includes a Linux distribution (“Linux”) is something Microsoft doesn’t like.
and why do you think joe average will ever switch anyway?
there are dozens freeware and shareware apps available for Windows with nothing equivalent for Linux. (and – yes, most of them do NOT work under Wine). given the choice ‘windows or linux’, your average joe will certainly stay with windows.
so the best we can expect from the regular ‘home user’ is to user Linux as a complementary system and slowly explore it, without giving up on all the functionality provided by window-based apps.
it’s just the fact of life, you see. I have dual boot, wind xp and rh 9.0. I’ve spent sufficient amount of time exploring different apps I want to use, and found that majority I’m interested in are still under windows – freeware or shareware, either is fine with me. Don’t know if I can be considered as a “joe average”. Wrote a few linux kernel loadable modules. does it qualify me?
so – I use dual boot, which is in fact a major annoyance. considering getting VMware Workstation to run linux as a guest. But of course, if Cooperative linux does the same, and with less overhead – I want it.
Actually, this is not the first I vaguely remember reading about something named win4lin, a little googling makes me think it was named something else thought, or something along that line several years ago that allowed linux to be installed the same partition and allowed it to run while windows was.
Actually it is the other way around: win4lin allows you to run Windows while you are in Linux, and it is faster than VMware.
You mean line. If i understand correctly colinux uses some code from it and the reason line wasn’t developed further was that it couldn’t be made bugless because there is some missallignment in the way linux and windows uses memory and colinux just soves it by sandboxing linux inside windows. Another reason was that pickup at that time was not particulary high. IMHO for two reasons. Line was much harder to get to work and there was no good, free X server for windows.
Like I said, I did not think it was the right name. But there was a distro that did this a few years ago.
Mandrake had (maybe still has) lin4win. It was a loopback file system in a windows fat partition and technicaly not very interesting. You can use it also as a base for colinux system with some editing
Well, I used it in the past, when I used win95. I could boot/reboot to DOS and boot Mandrake from my D: drive. The Mandrake file was a loopback filesystem, so it was much faster then UMSDOS. Later, when I moved to winme(which I installed 98Lite on), I had to abandon lin4win, because I could not use windows to boot to DOS mode anymore, and I had a partition layout which allowed me to install my secondary Linux system on its own partition. I think it makes a nice way to show off Linux, but the spread of winme and xp has made it no-so-useful anymore…
Any user who is technical enough to bootstrap an iso file of Knoppix already has a partition devoted to linux. It might be useful as an introduction to linux if they instead made this colinux a single exe that loaded a fully GUI-based linux without any explicit instructions or arm-twisting.
Yet another example of why linux fails to pull over the average joe. They would’ve been better off writing a Window demo-app like Microsoft did to demonstrate what Windows95 would look like for Win3.1 users.
The only use I can see for this is a way to make sure my web pages browse properly on Konqueror or not without rebooting.
OMG! This is just what I was looking for, not having to reboot if I have a small work under linux. Any experiences with it here? Is it fast? Does X work ?
CoLinux with WiX as the installer, installing into an NTFS file – wrap a distro or three or so, with Microsoft’s own Open Source installer, burn onto cdrom, and give it out at the MSDN meetings.
I expect Microsoft will fume and rage, but … that’s not our problem.
I just tried it!
Unfortunately, currently It does not have Xserver support, but it’s on TODO list.
Rignt now it’s only available through Cygwin. I’ll still keep an eye onthis. Because
command line and shell worked very good for me so far.
You just need an xserver for Windows, like cygwin’s Xfree86, and you have xserver support. I don’t think it will ever need a xserver running ontop of colinux because running a xserver on windows will be, with some hacks, as fast as running a xserver from colinux.
I tried this out a week ago and it doesn’t let you mount/see actual physical harddrives, which even vmware can do. It seems to use some pieces of vmware drivers as well. The “console” was very rough and too easy to crash. It’s a great idea, but it needs more work.
Just fire up the ssh server and use something like putty or the cygwin x terminal and ssh to colinux. I don’t think the console is there to do your day to day work on. Personally I have been devloping unix/linux perl software on my windows P.C. for work using cygwin (have to use windows for my vpn client to work). This will allow me to use a proper environment as some features are not in cygwin. BTW installation was simple on XP.
> I tried this out a week ago and it doesn’t let you mount/see actual physical harddrives, which even vmware can do.
No. coLinux 0.6.0 allows you to access physical partition just as vmware does. You just have to explicitly list the partition in the config file (unfortunately, the documentation isn’t quite accessible handily). It is on level ground compared to vmware. VMware won’t let you accessible the whole physical disk also and any partition that you want to use with the guest machine in vwmare must be first setup in the config also.
In fact, some people already have success in setting up on linux install that can run directly and via coLinux from the same partition.
Why bring over the joe avg user, when they want to learn of the light side of the force they will traverse over.. Let the dark side deal with the flaws of Microsucks… Like if you want to use linux use linux.. Windows use windows.. if u want to use both BUY TWO BOXES Wow problem solved.. But better give windows your faster machine coz its a HOG. I honestly find no use switching between the two.. One or the other is all I need.