Tired of VMWare’s emulation slowing you down? Topologilinux has the solution. Topologilinux allows you to install its image into a single file in your Windows file system (Anyone remember BeOS PE?) This allows you to run the Slackware-based distro without spending the system resources on a VM. While the idea seems plausible, LinuxForumsDOTorg’s Jeremy wasn’t very impressed.
Submitted by sarumont 2004-11-16 Linux 16 Comments
Maybe it’s not perfect, but it looks like a smart way to get windows users used to linux. I also like it slackware foundation.
I wholeheartedly agree with Jeremy. If you really want to get ‘into it’ and start using linux, resize your win[9x/2k etc] partition and install linux. You simply learn a lot more dealing with the problems usually involved when setting up some distribution (debian, suse, or even fedora) like some hardware doesn’t work after trying to do what’s written in the 5th HowTo than setting up linux in a virtual machine under a win32-environment.
Regarding the loss of productivity you might experience using a new OS: of course using VMware and booting linux sometimes or just keeping it as a pet-OS is an option. But Xen, Topolinux et al. isn’t. I’d rather recommend the maybe expensive but proven and well-done VMware than something like this.
PS: Using linux since ’98, it took me at least the last two years to fully migrate from windows to linux… and there are still a few applications (e.g. a few professional Adobe products) I have to launch a VMware session for under linux.
I use topo 5 as my only linux install- I can’t find a safe free program for repartitioning my windows install. I did have an error like he mentioned installing a Gnome lib file, but it isn’t really a problem since I prefer KDE anyway.
For those of you who have tried Topo 5 in “real mode”, do you think it is slower than a real slackware install? If so, by about how much?
Also Jeremy said near then end that, “Also, there are other solutions that offer the same functionality and are easier to configure.” What are those solutions? I would like to try them if that is possible.
I seem to remember years ago Mandrake had something like this (talking before version 8). I think there were a couple of other dedicated distros too?
I can’t find a safe free program for repartitioning my windows install
while it’s not freeware, BootItNG is $30 shareware that will resize NTFS or FAT. the boot manager does require one primary partition (which matters if you run BSD or Solaris) but both the partitioner and manager can be run from floppy or CDR.
i never use Topologilinux, Phat, or WinLinux, but i use ZipSlack occasionally. ZipSlack + Slack 10 CD will get you a working system very quickly, albeit FAT support only.
Thanks for the note about a repartitioner. If anyone knows of a free one please let me know.
What is WinLinux? Does anyone have a link?
I downloaded the slack 10 disk, I may try and get an old comp to install it to and work with.
free ntfsresize, worked for me but you need to have some console experience!!
What specifically were you indicating on the first link?
For the 2nd one, should I just download the System Rescue CD?
Also, would you recommend slackware or debian (I have used slackware but have heard great things about both)?
topogolinux (or whatever its current name is) is a Linux distribution running in coLinux – http://www.colinux.org – a working, reliable, GPL piece of software that allows you to run almost any Linux distribution under Windows (2k, XP, 2003), in a fast and reliable way.
Think of it as a free clone of VMWare, or as Linux running in UML mode, except this UML is running under Windows, if that helps you. the actual story is a bit more complex.
other distributions available for coLinux include Debian, Gentoo, Fedora, Slackware…
the reviewer did not mention coLinux at all. so that is like reviewing, say, PHP without even mentionning Apache or IIS. not exactly dumb or inexact, but something close to that.
so, Topologilinux is a distribution tailored, adapted to be run in coLinux instead of a ‘real’ native Linux environment. one needs to adjust some bits and configuration files here and there, and that is what the reviewer complains. so yes, you need to manually edit /etc/hosts or /etc/resolv.conf. anyway, if that is too much, do yourself a favor and forget about Linux right now.
so why use it instead of a “real” Linux ? well, with this one you don’t need to partition your system. and you main environment will still be Windows – usefull at work. you can test Linux-only software from Windows while being able to use Google and all from Windows. you don’t have to reboot like you would have to with Knoppix or another LiveCD. a “good” point is that you don’t have to worry about hardware support, because there is none : no need for 3D support or sound support because you won’t be able to use it (hardware locked by Windows), but network and X (2D) support is there.
and last, you can keep a dozen of images of distributions around and back them up easily, since they are just plain files. just as with VMware.
well, the possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination, as they say. you will know if you need it, and don’t bother if you don’t.
I have been trying to get winlinux downloaded for about a week. Can’t seem to get past 58 meg.
I have in the garage I think Mandrake 7.2 that did run in a virtual file. I don’t think it ran on top of windows however. It was more like Beos PE. You had to reboot. Might be wrong.
After being on Ubuntu for the past month, I’m back on my XP patition. Until MonoDevelop, KDevelop, or something else can give me the nice C# development that VS.NET affords me I’m not willing to give up XP yet.
The second post on this thread re-iterated my belief that the reviewer and many others just don’t like this approach just for the sake that your’re running Linux with Windows. Is Gentoo or even Slackware any easier to install?
My questions are where can I find some more technical information on how this works exactly. I guess googling for co-linux would be my best bet. And is there anything like this but based on debian. I wish Ubuntu would put something like this out.
Well shame on me for not reading all the comments before my post. Thanks for the info. Can you point me to gentoo or debian isos based on co-linux?
Woh. I downloaded the colinux installer and it gives you a choice of what distro to use. Very cool. I’m gonna give gentoo a shot.
I´m still amazing about the test when he “boot into the “free mode” version” does he have a commercial version that I don´t know anything about ?
As far as I know it is still free and so the source..(but he might know better )
And he talks about installing SP2 and so on.. it doesn´t matter.. if you have SP1 or SP2 or not SP at all..it does even work on a old dos system it you prefer that (but can not use the colinux and the bootmanager who require win2k or xp)
he also have gnome 2.8 included.. (I only have gnome 2.6.1 included)..
and another nice line “Finally, while the concept of a single file containing your entire file system may at first seem like a viable solution, imagine what would happen if a user deleted that file! ”
exactly the same thing as if you delete another file in windows.. what does he think would happend?
perhaps your definition of free is different than the accepted one. BootIt has a 30 day trial period in which it’s fully functioning. So it resizes for free, period.
if you want to delve into semantics, use ntfsresize(), ASP disc 1, or Mandrake disc 1.
“My questions are where can I find some more technical information on how this works exactly.”
I would be happy to answer any questions that you have. An easy way to do this is sign up for a free user account at
http://www.videohelp.com . Then you can Private Message me with your questions, my username is Garibaldi.
Tobias, you are the creator (or something close to that) of topo aren’t you? I have a couple questions. First, is topo basically the same as having a real slackware install only in an image file (its not any slower or anything, is it)? And, would it be possible to make a version of topo based off of Debian?