It goes without saying that Linux is full of a wide variety of useful applications that aren’t found anywhere else. Ubuntu in particular is a good example of a Linux package full of these applications. Linux itself is a very good operating system to use. However, what happens when a Linux user, for whatever reason, must use Windows? Luckily, just as Linux can with WINE and Mac OS X can do it with VMWare and Parallels, Windows can run Linux applications seamlessly on its own operating system. This is possible with a piece of software called andLinux.
What is andLinux?
andLinux is actually more than just a piece of software; it is a full installation of Linux that runs on top of the Windows operating system. It takes the Linux applications straight out of the virtual machine and creates an interface that allows them to run seamlessly with Windows. andLinux can run on Windows versions 2000, XP, 2003 and 32-bit Vista.
Download the executable file from here or get the faster downloading torrent instead. Two different versions are available, one being the full KDE version and its lighter brother, the minimal XFCE version. This guide will follow the full KDE version.
For the most part, the installer is pretty straightforward. There are a few instances that may be worth mentioning, however. For one, it will ask how much RAM should be dedicated to andLinux. Choice range from 128 MB to 1 GB. Linux is a relatively lightweight operating system, so while a full gigabyte may not be necessary, do not skimp too much and go with the minimal option. If looking to give the minimum amount of RAM, go with 256 MB.
Another screen that will come up is the one that requests start up preferences. The options are indicated as follows:
- start andLinux manually in a command prompt
- run andLinux manually as a NT service
- run andLinux automatically as a NT service
Assuming these applications are going to want to be run at any given time for long periods of time, sometimes right when starting up, just check off for andLinux to run automatically as an NT service.
Another option that will come up is whether or not andLinux can access files in the Windows partition. The options include not sharing files, sharing files by means of COFS and sharing files by means of Samba. If wanting to share files, and some of the files might have special characters in them, choose Samba.
In order for this to work, create a folder anywhere in Windows after installing andLinux. Right click and select Sharing and Security. Simply enable the folder for sharing and fill out the information. Just make sure not to have any spaces in the folder name or else andLinux will have something to say about it.
Restart the computer after installing.
Running Linux Applications
For those who did not choose to start automatically, andLinux can be found in the Start Menu.
Once andLinux is running, it comes with a few preinstalled applications that can be run at any given time. Clicking the new tray icon that has appeared will offer access to these applications. Two in particular are vital to one’s success with this application. Konqueror is a file manager and web browser that shows all installed applications and Synaptic is an application browser.
To install an application, open Synaptic, find all of the desired applications and checkmark them. Apply changes and they install instantly. This is the very simple mechanic behind running Linux applications with Windows operating systems.