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Operating Systems Windows Linux

A Virtualized Linux System For Windows 280

Posted by kdawson
from the bill-in-the-middle dept.
getupstandup1 writes "Ulteo today unveiled their Virtual Desktop (screenshots, download) which is a free, full Linux desktop that runs seamlessly on Windows. It's interesting because it's not running under Xen or VMWare, but instead uses the coLinux patch, which they claim allows the system to achieve 'great performance, close to a native installation on the PC.' No need to reboot the system anymore to switch from Windows to Linux." We discussed Ulteo when the Ubuntu-derived distro was announced a year back.
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A Virtualized Linux System For Windows

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  • by Briareos (21163) * on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:04PM (#23468528)
    Is it just me, or did this already exist [andlinux.org]? Doesn't sound that new to me...

    np: Saul Williams - Grippo (Saul Williams)
    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:22PM (#23468740) Journal
      Yep - and for a very long time, too [phatlinux.com].
      • I don't know... (Score:5, Informative)

        by tehBoris (1120961) on Monday May 19, 2008 @09:01PM (#23469536)

        But isn't that project you linked more like Wubi?

        Instead of being a Windows port of the Linux kernel (yeah... weird) like and/coLinux is, it is a Windows based Linux installer, which stuffs the whole distro's file system into a single file in your Windows' partition.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, Ulteo is kde, andLinux is gnome. Otherwise identical.
      • by redxxx (1194349) on Monday May 19, 2008 @08:20PM (#23469222)
        I believe you may have that backwards. I run andLinux, cause it is useful for certain stuff and I can't just run linux, and it is KDE. There is another xcf or something version.

        KDE in windows is going to be the better bet down the road for a lot of stuff, because you have to leap through fewer hoops with the filesystem, at least as far as most applications are concerned.

        It's kinda amazing being able to get an awful lot of stuff just running apt-get from a terminal, while inside XP. A real VM is far secure of course. Security decent hardware firewalls and no small amount of obscurity doesn't bother me too horible.
        • by hedwards (940851) on Monday May 19, 2008 @10:12PM (#23470068)

          It's kinda amazing being able to get an awful lot of stuff just running apt-get from a terminal, while inside XP. A real VM is far secure of course. Security decent hardware firewalls and no small amount of obscurity doesn't bother me too horible.
          I was trying to figure out what the point of this really is.

          Running Win apps on Linux is because there isn't a replacement for it or one that interoperates. Running Linux in a VM on Windows is good for things like security, but running Linux apps on Win just because, seems like an odd choice to me. Especially since one can get OO.org for Win, Firefox for win, Thunderbird for win, Gimp for win etc. Ok, so the last one is kind of cludgy. (Or it was last time I checked a few years ago, I'm sure it's much less so now)

          There probably are a few which don't have Win versions, but VMs can be had for free, if you're a home or non-commercial user.
          • by Korin43 (881732)
            Windows programs aren't that great. It would be nice to be able to run Gnome when I'm forced to use Windows though (for things like Illustrator).
          • by andrikos (1114853) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @06:32AM (#23473074)

            OO.org for Win, Firefox for win, Thunderbird for win, Gimp for win etc
            Did you mean OO FTW, Firefox FTW, Thunderbird FTW, Gimp FTW, etc?
          • by loftyhauser (1149267) on Tuesday May 20, 2008 @07:11AM (#23473266)
            I'm an engineer/professor, and I teach computational fluid dynamics. I develop, test and run numerical simulations on UNIX systems, but I require a Windows system (for applications, mostly). I've found that andLinux is great for developing the applications on my Windows system. I tend to use command line tools, mostly, which are a pain in the MS world. Have you ever tried building a UNIX makefile code on Windows? And cygwin just doesn't cut it (OpenMPI doesn't work).
    • by PhotoGuy (189467) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:32PM (#23468832) Homepage
      I'll vouch for the underpinnings of andLinux and Ulteo, which is coLinux. I've been using it for years (an Ubuntu distro) and it's extremely solid, reliable, and efficient. It's a great way to have your Linux dev world near at hand, while needing a Windows box for other reasons. (In fact, I run my home PBX smoothly in a coLinux service on an XP PVR box.)

      I hear so little about coLinux, I feel like it's one of Linux's best kept secrets. It's cool that we're starting to see meta-distributions based upon it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kesuki (321456)
      "Is it just me, or did this already exist [andlinux.org]? Doesn't sound that new to me.."

      What worries me, is this runs in 'system managment mode' sounds like colinux is a perfect system to design a 'stealth' rootkit around...

      http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/11/2044216&from=rss [slashdot.org]

      great just great, as if paid hackers needed any help designing and deploying system managment mode rootkits, with colinux they can put a full LAMP server on somone's windows box and they'd never notice, except that their
      • great just great, as if paid hackers needed any help designing and deploying system managment mode rootkits, with colinux they can put a full LAMP server on somone's windows box and they'd never notice, except that their bandwidth and memory keep getting used up...


        It might be better though. With a LAMP server it is traceable, which would make it much easier to take down then say Storm which uses P2P for communication.
    • Indeed, coLinux has existed for several years. And for much of that time there have been distros specialized to use it. But the way these things work is that some new feature starts out in obscure specialist projects and slowly migrates to the larger distributions. When Ubuntu itself picks up coLinux support, that will also be newsworthy.
  • No 3d acceleration (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:07PM (#23468568) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, unfortunately the video output is as snappy as VNC or VMWare. Virtualize the 3d graphics driver already.

    • I didn't find it to be all that slow from a screen refresh standpoint. I haven't tried any OpenGL stuff yet but that I mostly do on a native Linux box, not via virtualization.

      I guess "Pick the right tool for the job" is what comes to mind.
  • by Champ (91601) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:11PM (#23468624)
    I'm going to have to look into their "application balls" [ulteo.com] -- the applications I have now are all effete and neutered.
  • by DanWS6 (1248650)
    What games does this let me play?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:12PM (#23468640)

    It's interesting because it's not running under Xen or VMWare, but instead uses the coLinux patch, which they claim allows the system to achieve 'great performance, close to a native installation on the PC.'
    Doesn't VMWare (and most modern virtualization programs for that matter) run near native already? All the new major processors have the virtualization extensions built in. (I didn't mention Xen because it doesn't run on Windows)

    In fact, wiki has a list. Look under the "Guest OS speed relative to Host OS" column: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_virtual_machines#More_Details [wikipedia.org]

    Most are native or near native.
    • Doesn't VMWare (and most modern virtualization programs for that matter) run near native already?


      Yes, But I think that this doesn't virtualize the entire OS just a part of it which would make it run faster.
  • But... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:14PM (#23468666)
    Does it have native support for wine?
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:18PM (#23468696)
    Can it use your 3d card? stuff on the usb ports? firewire? other add in cards?
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:31PM (#23468824) Homepage

    Why on earth would anyone want to run Linux on a Windows box? That's like building your house on a dung hill.

    Though I suppose it comes in handy for accessing those Linux only web sites. ;)

    • Though I suppose it comes in handy for accessing those Linux only web sites. ;)


      Or linux-only apps (And here I thought Linux meant freedom).
    • by Vectronic (1221470) on Monday May 19, 2008 @07:51PM (#23469002)
      But... isnt a house on a dung hill, better than just standing on a dung hill by itself?

      Especially since, you can make the air seem a little more fresh with freshners, take a shower, get out of the sun, etc.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        But... isnt a house on a dung hill, better than just standing on a dung hill by itself?

        Actually, in this case putting the dung hill on top of the house [wikipedia.org] makes the most sense. You get the benefits of living in a house that's not built on a dung pile, and you still get the benefits of the dung pile!

      • by Joebert (946227)

        But... isnt a house on a dung hill, better than just standing on a dung hill by itself?

        Only untill you realize it's a piece of crap & try to sell it.
    • Actually, I would find it nice when I want to use one of the many free applications on Linux that are not available on winblows.  k3b comes to mind...
    • by smchris (464899)
      I suppose that means running XP on qemu is being anally retentive.
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Why on earth would anyone want to run Linux on a Windows box? That's like building your house on a dung hill.

      Sounds just as bad as running Windows on top of DOS.
  • by Dwedit (232252) on Monday May 19, 2008 @08:04PM (#23469098) Homepage
    The Ulteo Logo looks like a dead ringer for Konami's old logo.
    I guess this means you need to press Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A to get the thing to boot properly?
  • sweet (Score:3, Funny)

    by RJBeery (956252) <rjbeery&gmail,com> on Monday May 19, 2008 @08:08PM (#23469136)
    I can't wait to run WINE on it..
  • by typhoonius (611834) on Monday May 19, 2008 @08:12PM (#23469172) Homepage

    Finally, the stability and security of Windows with the application availability of Linux.

    • I know the parent was trying to make a joke, but there is some truth for the "application availability of Linux"
  • by Keck (7446)
    I tend to prefer having the MORE stable OS be the one with direct hardware access, and the flakier OS standing on the other's shoulders. Vmware is the only way I've run windows at home at all in many years, and it works out just fine for me.
    • I've found that even WINE is holding it's own now.

      Photoshop CS2 now runs great under WINE. And with it's recent 1.0 RC1 release it's gaining more and more support as it drags its feet to the finish line.

      I know it will never be finished, but it sure works great for those few programs I need (Photoshop, DVD Shrink, and, well, that's about it.)
      • by Keck (7446)
        Good point! I've used it for a few random shareware apps here and there; a .swf unpacker, etc. I did use crossover office for quite a while, too, on boxes where I didn't need a full windows installation in a VM.
  • Does it translate linux api/abi calls to windows ones or is it doing something else to avoid being an emulator?
  • Oy vey. Talk about a solution in search of a problem. WINE exists because there is a huge amount of Windows applications that would be ideal to run on Linux. What on earth is the point of this? Am I just missing something completely obvious?
  • Vs. Cygwin (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Beezlebub33 (1220368)
    I have to use Windows on my work computer, but I need to run some unix apps, primarily C++ apps that I compile using g++. So, I use Cygwin. Is this a potential replacement, and if so, why?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tangent3 (449222)
      Yes, and definitely I would say it seems that coLinux was made with being a better alternative to cygwin/mingw in mind. I've been happily using AndLinux (Kubuntu + coLinux distro) running on my Windows XP for C++ development.
  • by TekPolitik (147802) on Monday May 19, 2008 @11:18PM (#23470590) Journal
    I've been waiting for this, because what I have always really wanted was to combine the application compatibility of Linux with the operating system reliability of Windows.

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