Running Linux in Windows

I’ve been using this for weeks: coLinux.

Basically it’s just like paravirtualized Linux. Or Linux in Jail/Zone. The speed is relatively good except on shared disks IO. Neither using Samba nor its built-in COFS gives good performance. It’s stuck at 8 MB/s using Samba and even slower when using COFS. Nevertheless it feels relatively lightweight especially on this laptop where the processor doesn’t have VT-x thanks to Intel being cheap.

Installation is relatively easy. Basically it’s down into:

  • Install the coLinux
  • Download and extract root image somewhere (can be downloaded at installation or manually at their site)
  • Copy required files for booting up image from coLinux installation (initrd.gz, vmlinux, vmlinux-modules.tar.gz)
  • Adjust the configuration
  • Do a test run, configure the OS
  • Install as service
  • Done

Note that as I said before, even though there’s COFS for sharing data between Guest and Host, I suggest using Samba instead for better performance (about 1.5x the speed).

Or you can just use VMWare or VirtualBox… :p (which I believe have at least 20 MB/s IO speed on shared disks)

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