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Linux for Windows ???

Posted on 2003-12-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15

I know Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. Could anyone give me a list
of all Linux-like OS for windows?

and, according to your experience, which one is the best?

Question by:codenamecharlie
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

pjedmond earned 400 total points
ID: 9865685
OK - You have a number of choices here:

a.   Set up your system to multiboot - however, you would need to reboot every time you wanted o access Linux. However, you can do this with any of the Linux distributions. You just need to gain a little knowledge about an appropriate boot loader (the piece of software that decides which OS to boot (GRUB/lilo and others).

b.  You can use a demonstration distribution  - basically it runs completely from the CD that you use. I personally use Knoppix

The Bootable Business Card is also excellent, but more focussed towards recovery than the casual user I feel.:

Alternatively there are mechanisms to boot a system as a thin client - connecting to a server somewhere!:

c.   You can go for the Cygwin option that provides a Linux posix type environment within Windows. Another commercial alternative to this is winlinux or WinAxe(Which enables you to run linux on your desktop):

d.   You can go for a Linux environment and attempt to run Windows programs using Wine (Windows emulator)...not always that easy to do unfortunately. See here for more information:

What I really think that you are asking about is category a (multiboot) options, but with the requirement not to mess about with partitioning and file systems. If which case you have the following options:

Dragon Linux:

ELoop may be of interest, but I've never tried it:

You may also be intrested in Lindows (a linux based OS with the functionality of WINE enabling it to run windows programs) (Not free:( ):

Personally I've tried and used dragonlinux, knoppix and cygwin, all of which I've found useful and reasonably easy to use. (Plus they are all free:)   ) The other links are just items which I think may be of interest to you.

HAve fun!
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9866128
There is one other option: You can run vmware ( on your Windows system. This will create a virtual machine that can run a number of different operating systems. In your case, you would run Linux on top of Windows. I actually use vmware to run different Linux systems on top of my Linux system without any problems.

On my Win2000 machine I have cygwin installed. It's free, it's powerful and it gives me access to all the Linux/Unix tools I need.

Author Comment

ID: 9866286
Thanks alot for the updates, since both of you use Cygwin, I just wanna ask
one more Q:

how come in Cygwin: when I type "man socket" it does not gimme man page?

I think "socket" should be a standard system call routine in Unix/Linux system, right?

Thanks again,

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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9866440
Probably because nobody provided a man page for this call. If you check the header files, there is a socket.h in /usr/include/cygwin/socket.h so I woudl assume that it's supported.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 9868577
You've got to remember that Cygwin, along with much of the linux culture consists of, and is put together by people on a voluntary basis. Yep - I'm sure that socket isn't the only thing that we'd love to have a man page, but no-one has created one. Fancy volunteering? :) Remember that cygwin is continuously evolving:)

Expert Comment

ID: 9871220
"Probably because nobody provided a man page for this call" - hardly correct

"apropos socket"  results include:

socketcall           (2)  - socket system calls
accept               (2)  - accept a connection on a socket
bind                 (2)  - bind a name to a socket
connect              (2)  - initiate a connection on a socket
getsockname          (2)  - get socket name
getsockopt           (2)  - get and set options on sockets
listen               (2)  - listen for connections on a socket
recv                 (2)  - receive a message from a socket
recvfrom [recv]      (2)  - receive a message from a socket
recvmsg [recv]       (2)  - receive a message from a socket
send                 (2)  - send a message from a socket
sendmsg [send]       (2)  - send a message from a socket
sendto [send]        (2)  - send a message from a socket
setsockopt [getsockopt] (2)  - get and set options on sockets
socket               (2)  - create an endpoint for communication
socketpair           (2)  - create a pair of connected socketsi

man aropos


Expert Comment

ID: 9871228
should have ended
 man apropos

Author Comment

ID: 9871608

I tried "apropos", but it gives me nothing:

$ apropos socket
socket: nothing appropriate

I believe I run setup.exe provided by and did install everything, how come
there is no man page for socket?

Also, i am curious, can not they just copy GNU's man pages into cygwin(non-commercial version)?
I thought this is allowed, right?  Was Cygwin developed by volunteers over the world or it was
developed by Redhat company?????


Expert Comment

ID: 9871715
apropos ls
if thisalso gives "nothing appropriate", you need to man apropos
BTW, did you:  man socketcall ??

Author Comment

ID: 9871767
OK, this is what I just got:

$ apropos ls
ls: nothing appropriate

$ man apropos

       apropos - search the whatis database for strings

       apropos keyword ...

       apropos  searches a set of database files containing s
       of system commands for keywords and displays the resul

       whatis(1), man(1).

                                 Jan 15, 1991
I just tried "man socketcall" also, give nothing

Expert Comment

ID: 9874976
"apropos  searches a set of database files "


man whatis
      The whatis database is created using the command /usr/sbin/makewhatis."

makewhatis -?
     " Usage: ...............        "

Author Comment

ID: 9879425
well, first apology, I wanted to split the points since i want to thank all of your three guys,
however i made a mistake and directly clicked "Accept" button.

Anyway, thanks again, pjedmond is so knowledgable about all the Linux for Windows choices,
i am really impressed.

Also, khkremer and arn0ld's helps are valuable.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9879653
You can submit a request in the Community Support area and have them change the points distribution.

Expert Comment

ID: 9891359
try Microsoft Windows services for unix

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