Thursday, February 28, 2008

Compiling and installing software from source in Linux [Tuxfiles.org]

< Installing software from source in Linux - 1.2 >

So you've downloaded a software package with tar.gz or tar.bz2 extension and have no idea what to do with it. Or perhaps you already know that it's most likely the source code of the program you want to install and you have to compile it, but don't know how. Don't worry, compiling and installing software from source in Linux isn't as hard as it may sound!

Author: Nana LĂ„ngstedt < nana.langstedt at gmail.com >
tuXfile created: 13 July 2002
Last modified: 22 September 2005

contents

* The procedure
* Step 1. Unpacking
* Step 2. Configuring
* Step 3. Building
* Step 4. Installing
* Cleaning up the mess
* Uninstalling


back to

* Linux software
* Linux help
* tuXfiles home


< The procedure >

The installation procedure for software that comes in tar.gz and tar.bz2 packages isn't always the same, but usually it's like this:

# tar xvzf package.tar.gz (or tar xvjf package.tar.bz2)
# cd package
# ./configure
# make
# make install

If you're lucky, by issuing these simple commands you unpack, configure, compile, and install the software package and you don't even have to know what you're doing. However, it's healthy to take a closer look at the installation procedure and see what these steps mean.

< Step 1. Unpacking >

Maybe you've already noticed that the package containing the source code of the program has a tar.gz or a tar.bz2 extension. This means that the package is a compressed tar archive, also known as a tarball. When making the package, the source code and the other needed files were piled together in a single tar archive, hence the tar extension. After piling them all together in the tar archive, the archive was compressed with gzip, hence the gz extension.

Some people want to compress the tar archive with bzip2 instead of gzip. In these cases the package has a tar.bz2 extension. You install these packages exactly the same way as tar.gz packages, but you use a bit different command when unpacking.

It doesn't matter where you put the tarballs you download from the internet but I suggest creating a special directory for downloaded tarballs. In this tutorial I assume you keep tarballs in a directory called dls that you've created under your home directory. However, the dls directory is just an example. You can put your downloaded tar.gz or tar.bz2 software packages into any directory you want. In this example I assume your username is me and you've downloaded a package called pkg.tar.gz into the dls directory you've created (/home/me/dls).

Ok, finally on to unpacking the tarball. After downloading the package, you unpack it with this command:

me@puter: ~/dls$ tar xvzf pkg.tar.gz

As you can see, you use the tar command with the appropriate options (xvzf) for unpacking the tarball. If you have a package with tar.bz2 extension instead, you must tell tar that this isn't a gzipped tar archive. You do so by using the j option instead of z, like this:

me@puter: ~/dls$ tar xvjf pkg.tar.bz2

What happens after unpacking, depends on the package, but in most cases a directory with the package's name is created. The newly created directory goes under the directory where you are right now. To be sure, you can give the ls command:

me@puter: ~/dls$ ls
pkg pkg.tar.gz
me@puter: ~/dls$

In our example unpacking our package pkg.tar.gz did what expected and created a directory with the package's name. Now you must cd into that newly created directory:

me@puter: ~/dls$ cd pkg
me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$

Read any documentation you find in this directory, like README or INSTALL files, before continuing!

< Step 2. Configuring >

Now, after we've changed into the package's directory (and done a little RTFM'ing), it's time to configure the package. Usually, but not always (that's why you need to check out the README and INSTALL files) it's done by running the configure script.

You run the script with this command:

me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$ ./configure

When you run the configure script, you don't actually compile anything yet. configure just checks your system and assigns values for system-dependent variables. These values are used for generating a Makefile. The Makefile in turn is used for generating the actual binary.

When you run the configure script, you'll see a bunch of weird messages scrolling on your screen. This is normal and you shouldn't worry about it. If configure finds an error, it complains about it and exits. However, if everything works like it should, configure doesn't complain about anything, exits, and shuts up.

If configure exited without errors, it's time to move on to the next step.

< Step 3. Building >

It's finally time to actually build the binary, the executable program, from the source code. This is done by running the make command:

me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$ make

Note that make needs the Makefile for building the program. Otherwise it doesn't know what to do. This is why it's so important to run the configure script successfully, or generate the Makefile some other way.

When you run make, you'll see again a bunch of strange messages filling your screen. This is also perfectly normal and nothing you should worry about. This step may take some time, depending on how big the program is and how fast your computer is. If you're doing this on an old dementic rig with a snail processor, go grab yourself some coffee. At this point I usually lose my patience completely.

If all goes as it should, your executable is finished and ready to run after make has done its job. Now, the final step is to install the program.

< Step 4. Installing >

Now it's finally time to install the program. When doing this you must be root. If you've done things as a normal user, you can become root with the su command. It'll ask you the root password and then you're ready for the final step!

me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$ su
Password:
root@puter: /home/me/dls/pkg#

Now when you're root, you can install the program with the make install command:

root@puter: /home/me/dls/pkg# make install

Again, you'll get some weird messages scrolling on the screen. After it's stopped, congrats: you've installed the software and you're ready to run it!

Because in this example we didn't change the behavior of the configure script, the program was installed in the default place. In many cases it's /usr/local/bin. If /usr/local/bin (or whatever place your program was installed in) is already in your PATH, you can just run the program by typing its name.

And one more thing: if you became root with su, you'd better get back your normal user privileges before you do something stupid. Type exit to become a normal user again:

root@puter: /home/me/dls/pkg# exit
exit
me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$

< Cleaning up the mess >

I bet you want to save some disk space. If this is the case, you'll want to get rid of some files you don't need. When you ran make it created all sorts of files that were needed during the build process but are useless now and are just taking up disk space. This is why you'll want to make clean:

me@puter: ~/dls/pkg$ make clean

However, make sure you keep your Makefile. It's needed if you later decide to uninstall the program and want to do it as painlessly as possible!

< Uninstalling >

So, you decided you didn't like the program after all? Uninstalling the programs you've compiled yourself isn't as easy as uninstalling programs you've installed with a package manager, like rpm.

If you want to uninstall the software you've compiled yourself, do the obvious: do some old-fashioned RTFM'ig. Read the documentation that came with your software package and see if it says anything about uninstalling. If it doesn't, you can start pulling your hair out.

If you didn't delete your Makefile, you may be able to remove the program by doing a make uninstall:

root@puter: /home/me/dls/pkg# make uninstall

If you see weird text scrolling on your screen (but at this point you've probably got used to weird text filling the screen? :-) that's a good sign. If make starts complaining at you, that's a bad sign. Then you'll have to remove the program files manually.

If you know where the program was installed, you'll have to manually delete the installed files or the directory where your program is. If you have no idea where all the files are, you'll have to read the Makefile and see where all the files got installed, and then delete them.

Learn the Basics of Installing From Source in Linux [Linux]

Learn the Basics of Installing From Source in Linux [Linux]

By Kevin Purdy on Source code

shrunk_tux_scaled.jpgFew things can be as frustrating to non-expert Linux users as seeing the phrase "... or compile from source packages" on the download page of that killer app to try out (and we know that's often the case for you patient non-Ubuntu users out there). If you're looking for a nuts-and-bolts guide to installing software from those strange-looking Whatever.tar.gz files, Tuxfiles.org has a pretty good one. While the link takes you through the unpacking, compiling, installing, and cleaning up, there's a basic command line method for almost any package (replacing "package" with the appropriate downloaded file name):

# tar xvzf package.tar.gz (or tar xvjf package.tar.bz2) # cd package # ./configure # make # make install

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Seamlessly Run Linux Apps on Your Windows Desktop

Seamlessly Run Linux Apps on Your Windows Desktop

andlinux-head.png
There's no doubt that Linux—particularly Ubuntu—is a killer operating system full of excellent apps, but for about a million reasons, you're stuck running Windows as your main operating system. We understand, these things happen. But what about all those killer Linux apps you've left behind when you decided to live the Windows life? Sure you could dual-boot or run Linux in the confines of a virtual machine window, but wouldn't it be great if you could run those apps side-by-side with your Windows apps—like Linux users can do with WINE or OS X can do with Parallels or VMWare? You can, and today I'll show you how to seamlessly run your favorite Linux applications directly in Windows with a free software called andLinux.
What Is andLinux?
andLinux is actually a full installation of Ubuntu Linux running on top of your Windows operating system. Similar to how you can run coherence mode in Parallels or unity mode in VMWare Fusion, andLinux takes your Linux apps out of the virtual machine and creates a seamless interface in which they co-mingle with all your Windows apps. Kinky, huh?

To get you salivating, I've put together a gallery of my Windows desktop full of Windows and Linux apps giving each other sideways glances and touching in unnatural ways.

* Kate vs. Notepad Kate vs. Notepad
* Konqueror vs. Explorer Konqueror vs. Explorer
* Synaptic (Linux), Add or Remove Programs (Windows) Synaptic (Linux), Add or Remove Programs (Windows)
* IE, Linux Firefox, and Konqueror IE, Linux Firefox, and Konqueror
* Akregator Newsreader, Windows Explorer, and Konsole Akregator Newsreader, Windows Explorer, and Konsole

andLinux works with Windows 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista (32-bit only), so if you're running one of those versions of Windows, head over to the andLinux download page and find a mirror to download the installer or just grab the torrent here (the torrent download was really fast). andLinux comes in two flavors: the minimal XFCE version (143MB) and the full KDE version (665MB); for this guide, I'll be using the full KDE version.

Once you've finished your download, launch the installer and let's get started.
Installing and Configuring andLinux
01-memory config.pngMost of the andLinux installation process is relatively straightforward, but there are a few points worth highlighting. The first installation screen worth noting is the memory configuration, where you choose how much RAM you want to allocate to andLinux when it's running on your system. You can choose anywhere from 128MB to 1GB, but 192MB is actually recommended as a minimum. I chose 256MB on my system, but your choice may vary depending on what kind of free memory you have on your computer.

02-startup-ty[e.pngYou'll also run into a screen asking you to set the startup type. You can choose to always run andLinux automatically as a service, or you can require andLinux to be started manually through the command line or by starting andLinux by launching it from Windows. I chose the "run andLinux manually as an NT service" option (despite what you see in the screenshot), but if you're sure you're going to be running your Linux apps on a frequent and regular basis, you may want to set it to start automatically.

03-windows-file-access.pngandLinux isn't able to access your entire Windows filesystem by default (yet), so in order to share files between Windows and Linux apps, you'll need to set up Windows file access during set up. I've chosen to do so using Samba (as you can see in the screenshot). Here's how it works.

04-config-file-access.pngYou need to set up a shared folder somewhere on your Windows computer (anywhere, really) by creating a folder, right-clicking it, and selecting Sharing and Security. Then just enable sharing for this folder and allow users to change the folder contents. Make sure your share name doesn't contain spaces or andLinux will complain. Hit Apply to save those sharing preferences, then just give the andLinux installer the name of the share, then the username and password to your Windows account.

When you're finished with the installer, you'll need to restart your computer before you start using andLinux and running all those Linux apps on your Windows desktop.
Run Applications with and Linux
startandlinux.pngIf you didn't set andLinux to start automatically you'll need to start andLinux with the helper app in the screenshot before you do anything with it. After it's started, you can now launch any of the pre-installed applications you want. You can do this in a number of ways, but I'll highlight a couple.

kde-start-menu.pngFirst, you'll notice that you've got a new system tray app running; it's a little KDE Start Menu, giving you access to several default KDE apps, from Konqueror (a file manager, web browser, et al) to Synaptic (a package manager from which you'll install new apps). I'm highlighting these two in particular because you can browse and launch more apps from Konqueror and you can install new apps from Synaptic.

applications-in-konqueror.png
First, if you launch Konqueror and go to the Applications tab, you can browse some of your installed Linux applications by category, from Entertainment and Games to Internet and Multimedia. If this is your first time playing with Linux, I'd recommend trying out a few different apps to get a feel for what's available.
Install New Linux Apps with andLinux
install-apps.pngNow that you've done that, you've probably got an itch to install new apps. To do so, click your KDE start menu and launch Synaptic, which is sort of like the Add and Remove Programs app in Windows—but way more useful. From Synaptic, you can browse the mind-boggling wealth of Linux apps. Use Synaptic to search for specific apps or just browse for apps by category. If you find something you like, mark it for installation, then apply the changes. Synaptic will automatically download and install everything you need to run that app, and when it's all installed you'll be able to launch it from Konqueror. Handy, huh?

context-tweak.pngandLinux even tweaks your right-click context menu in Windows, so if you click on a text file, for example, you can open it in the default andLinux app for that program. That means you can open a document or folder from Windows in the parallel Linux environment in any of those supported applications. I had some trouble getting this functionality to work correctly, so your mileage may vary.

Keep in mind that andLinux is currently in beta, the release at the time of this writing being beta 1 release candidate 6, so this is pretty bleeding edge stuff. Most of the core functionality is there, but it can be a little buggy at times, so not everything will work perfectly. If you're not ready to take that jump, it's understandable... just keep your eyes open, because once this hits a more stable and well-tested release, those OS-lines that were once so strict will become that much more blurry on your Windows box—as if those lines weren't already blurry enough now that you can installed Mac OS X on your Hackintosh PC and then run Windows seamlessly from the Mac.

Linux lovers, let's hear what apps you'd recommend Windows users try out on their newly Linuxed Frankenstein PCs in the comments. Likewise, if you've tried out andLinux, let us know how it's working for you.

Adam Pash is a senior editor for Lifehacker who won't rest until there is peace and harmony among all his operating systems. His special feature Hack Attack appears regularly on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Hack Attack RSS feed to get new installments in your newsreader.
Read More:

* Make Stuff
* Manage Overachievers
* Remember Your Dreams

Feature

9:00 AM ON THU FEB 21 2008
BY ADAM PASH
66,970 views
Comment

Tagged:
FEATURE, HACK ATTACK, HOW TO, LINUX, TOP, UBUNTU, VIRTUAL MACHINES, WINDOWS, WINDOWS VISTA, WINDOWS XP
Comments

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No commenter image uploaded by muralick at 09:31 AM on 02/21/08

Unbelievable. Just saw the info on andlinux on digg yesterday. Was planning to try it out...This guide is a definite time-saver!!!
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Image of xint by xint at 09:37 AM on 02/21/08

I dunno 'bout joo MOFOS but I don't wanna run LINUX apps on WINDOWS.
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Image of fishlips20 by fishlips20 at 09:42 AM on 02/21/08

What a cool trick.
I know that's I've ventured into Linux territory two times, and reverted back to Windows out of fear of the unknown.

I think this app is a good start to getting acclimatized. Cant' wait to try it out.
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No commenter image uploaded by amishsniper at 09:44 AM on 02/21/08

Then you must not be aware of the massive collection of free, quality software that is available for Linux.

This is much easier than dual-booting. Thanks for the article.
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Image of superbryant88 by superbryant88 at 09:49 AM on 02/21/08

nice once you use konquerer or Dolphin file manager its hard to use Windows Explorer.....I especially miss the ability to split the window
defiantly gonna give this a try!
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Image of holymogwai by holymogwai at 09:56 AM on 02/21/08

@xint: Why not? Some of us have software that is Windows only, and are no suitable replacements in linux.
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No commenter image uploaded by IckesTheSane at 09:56 AM on 02/21/08

I'll check it out when I get home, but would this work for something like MythTV?

MythTV can't run in a virtual environment because of the abstraction that the hardware goes through. Does this work in a similar way, or can it actually 'see' the hardware?
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No commenter image uploaded by ghostwind at 09:58 AM on 02/21/08

I am currious as to whether they will create a version running gnome.
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Image of AnthoMacP by AnthoMacP at 09:59 AM on 02/21/08

I guess i can see some practicality in this, It would be nice to stay consistent on my windows partition (that has been collecting dust for about 6 months) but other than that, I see no real use for this. I know so many linux users trying to emulate windows apps, I find it such a strange concept for a windows user to want to use linux apps. On top of that, most linux/open source apps are already ported to windows (pidgin, gimp, OO.org, etc.)

It's a novel idea, but at the end of the day, you're still having to use the windows platform which IMO defeats the purpose.
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No commenter image uploaded by TGHW at 09:59 AM on 02/21/08

The 32-bit requirement is only next to Vista, but I have a feeling it applies to XP as well. Can anyone confirm this?
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Image of keeblerelf by keeblerelf at 10:02 AM on 02/21/08

This is based on CoLinux (aka Cooperative Linux), which allows for running just about any Linux distribution in the same way.

It seems that the andLinux guys have put together a ready-to-go package using Ubuntu.

Anyone who's tried this, does the sound work? Thanks.
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No commenter image uploaded by bobbydale at 10:05 AM on 02/21/08

I do the exact opposite. I run Ubuntu and use SeamlessRDP to load Windows apps from a remote Windows server.

For people without access to a remote Windows machine, you can also use SeamlessRDP with VirtualBox or VMWare.

Check out: [www.cendio.com]
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No commenter image uploaded by arglebargle at 10:05 AM on 02/21/08

going to try this with amorak...goodbye wmp!
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No commenter image uploaded by dtanderson at 10:07 AM on 02/21/08

I just saw something similar to this but the other way around, running Windows in Linux

[ctfblog.977mb.com]
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No commenter image uploaded by robroy911 at 10:08 AM on 02/21/08

I am running andLinux and really like it. I can keep my Linux skills sharp without sacrificing the multimedia features of my Laptop. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn Linux or to college students who are learning Unix.
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Image of Joshiii-Kun by Joshiii-Kun at 10:21 AM on 02/21/08

Hey, this is very neat! I'm gonna try this right now :)
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Image of morningkarma by morningkarma at 10:22 AM on 02/21/08

It's well done, but I just can't remember a single linux app I want to run on Windows :) I think this project is a bit l'art pour l'art.
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No commenter image uploaded by bnbeckwith at 10:23 AM on 02/21/08

@KEEBLERELF, I installed andLinux and amarok and can say yes, sound does work though the pulseaudio drivers.
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Image of Logical Extremes by Logical Extremes at 10:28 AM on 02/21/08

OK, who's going to be the first to try this within Parallels/coherence or VMware/unity on a Mac? Oh yeah, then also do some nested VNC screen sharing on top of that. I have a straight jacket with your name on it.
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Image of Equis by Equis at 10:32 AM on 02/21/08

/me wonders what would happen if he used andLinux to run WINE to run andLinux to run WINE to run...
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Image of Adam Pash by Adam Pash at 10:35 AM on 02/21/08

@Logical Extremes: Erm, short of the VNC sharing... me! I installed andLinux on a VMWare machine and then went into Unity mode. It was weird. :)

Also, for what it's worth, it didn't seem to work in Parallels (caused a crash loop on my Parallels VM). Don't know if that's par for the course or just my install.
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No commenter image uploaded by lwdallas at 10:36 AM on 02/21/08

BasKet Note Pads is my favorite KDE Application. Komodo is nice, too. This would bring a better version of Pidgin to the Windows OS for sure. For those who have tried this, what is the performance like?
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Image of mawcs by mawcs at 10:46 AM on 02/21/08

Beautiful! Marvelous! I can't wait to get home and try getting Amarok running.... wooohooo!

Thanks Lifehacker!
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No commenter image uploaded by RoamingBison at 10:48 AM on 02/21/08

Looks interesting, I may have to check it out. If I can get my X-fi sound to work, unlike Ubuntu, I would be happy.
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No commenter image uploaded by ghostwind at 10:50 AM on 02/21/08

just installed it, and I am getting errors when it tries to connect to x (with the firewall disabled)
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Image of Dooga by Dooga at 10:52 AM on 02/21/08

It would be awesome if something like this for Mac Applications existed too
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No commenter image uploaded by d0lph1nK1ng at 10:57 AM on 02/21/08

Does there exist a Gnome Ubuntu version for running programs like gEdit and Rhythmbox?
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No commenter image uploaded by okcomputer360 at 11:09 AM on 02/21/08

So is like other VM's where windows xp home edition gets left out in the cold? I really notice an improvement in quality when using Ubuntu's built in video player over VLC on my windows. I use dual-boot and will only use Linux to watch movies, tv shows etc.
I think it could be a particular setting I've done in windows (by accident) that lowers quality of video, cause i tried a DVD straight from the disc and some of the background appeared in those low-bit blocks, maybe i should reinstall my video card driver? again it is a noticeable improvement w/ Ubuntu's player, same machine same hardware, dual boot.
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No commenter image uploaded by jeffeb3 at 11:12 AM on 02/21/08

what gno gnome? (read it twice, it's tricky)
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No commenter image uploaded by d0lph1nK1ng at 11:12 AM on 02/21/08

is there a Gnome Ubuntu version of this (to run gEdit and Rhythmbox)?
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No commenter image uploaded by mickbw at 11:21 AM on 02/21/08

Is there a way to uninstall this if you decide you don't like it?

I really liked the idea behind Wubi which allowed you to install Ubuntu from within Windows but it hasn't been updated to a new version of Ubuntu.
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No commenter image uploaded by jaxun at 11:27 AM on 02/21/08

@Equis: Why, hole in the space-time continuum, natch!

This post + reference to SeamlessRDP = AWESOMENESS!!!

I now have a viable migration path for my agency's move to Ubuntu.
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No commenter image uploaded by okcomputer360 at 11:32 AM on 02/21/08

@mickbw: I agree I used Wubi and have to admit that when i had a ubuntu cd and it said it would erase my HD in order to install , I was never going to attempt (risk) installing onto my main rig.

Wubi was great, although i thought it took awhile to install since it had to download for awhile.
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Image of ocdude by ocdude at 11:54 AM on 02/21/08

I'm wondering if this runs the new KDE4 libs that technically would allow native KDE apps on windows to begin with...
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Image of nintendude by nintendude at 12:14 PM on 02/21/08

Thank you! Now someone build andMac or something.
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No commenter image uploaded by Capone at 12:18 PM on 02/21/08

No thanks. I'm having enough trouble with my dual boot Ubuntu/Windows system. The more complicated your system, the more troubles you are asking for.
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No commenter image uploaded by dtanderson at 12:22 PM on 02/21/08

Here is a tutorial [ctfblog.977mb.com] that shows you how to do this. You can run windows seamlessly in Ubuntu using VirtualBox.
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Image of ahoier by ahoier at 12:22 PM on 02/21/08

@xint: lol, yea, it does seem kinda awkward ;)

Afterall, we already have sooo many other "replacements" for these..

Notepad.exe --> Notepad2...? MetaPad...? Notepad+?
Explorer --> Explorer2? ExplorerXP? others, [www.simplehelp.net] ?
Add or Remove Programs --> MyUninstaller, CCleaner, others too I think.

Alot/some of these have even been discussed here.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "bash"-ing (lol) the project/program, but it just seems awkward.

I guess, for the *NIX-user who is stuck at work, or on campus with XP/Vista machines, and wants to use *NIX software....cool idea ;)

Then again, good approach to "getting your feet wet" - since you can use, and get used to using cool *NIX software in Windows, before diving into *NIX.
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No commenter image uploaded by Meetloaf13 at 12:37 PM on 02/21/08

Never used Linux...are there any apps that are "MUST-HAVE" that I should try out with this App?
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No commenter image uploaded by watcher_b at 12:45 PM on 02/21/08

So what is the benefit of doing this over using, say, vmware player? From what I understood, this is just running Linux through a virtual machine anyways.
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No commenter image uploaded by dcraven at 12:46 PM on 02/21/08

I've been running this for a few days now at work. I'm a Linux guy, but my desktop here at work is Windows because the products we use have an SDK for Windows only. Using andLinux, I do most of my work using Linux tools, but build my project using Windows (cygwin actually).

It took some extra work to get it functioning just right, but I think it will pay off. As for using GNOME applications, I installed the minimal (XFCE) install, and used aptitude/synaptic to install the GNOME apps I wanted.

One thing to be careful of however, is that by default you are a root user. You need to create a user account and modify some startup scripts to login as anyone else.

The andLinux and CoLinux teams definately deserve some kudos for this. Thanks folks!
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No commenter image uploaded by massysett at 12:48 PM on 02/21/08

@Meetloaf13: I would try Amarok, the best music player around. There are some other Unix apps that are essential to me (like Mutt and Vim) but yanking them out of Unix would make them a lot less useful.
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Image of mrosedal by mrosedal at 12:55 PM on 02/21/08

@IckesTheSane: Why would you want to use this or a virtual machine for Mythtv? Isn't the point of the machine to be dedicated to the task of TV. Who cares if Windows is installed on that box at that point.
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Image of ma5t3rw1tt by ma5t3rw1tt at 01:01 PM on 02/21/08

I'm not linux expert but I am already for the average user. I might give this a try. Lots of great things linux offers, looks like Linux & Windows are playing nice in the little sandbox. Oh look, here comes apple to spoil the fun lol.
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No commenter image uploaded by massysett at 01:08 PM on 02/21/08

@mrosedal: I have a Linux machine that is not a dedicated MythTV box. I leave it on 24 hours, it records programs, and occasionally I watch them; the rest of the time it is just a "regular computer"; I can see why one might want that with Windows and MythTV...
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No commenter image uploaded by w3stfa11 at 01:10 PM on 02/21/08

Is there a difficult process in uninstalling? Does it screw up your Windows installation when you uninstall?
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No commenter image uploaded by w3stfa11 at 01:13 PM on 02/21/08

@mickbw:
Ubuntu Alpha 5 due out Friday (Feb. 22) has fully working Wubi. I've been running 8.04 using Wubi for a week now. :) There's a thread on the ubuntuforums if you need help.
[ubuntuforums.org]
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No commenter image uploaded by Meetloaf13 at 01:24 PM on 02/21/08

Crapper, no Vista x64 support, I was looking forward to this...I guess I could always load up Linux virtually.
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No commenter image uploaded by johnnullstream at 01:32 PM on 02/21/08

"...Linux in the confines of a virtual machine window, but wouldn't it be great if you could run those apps side-by-side with your Windows apps-like Linux users can do with WINE or OS X can do with Parallels or VMWare?"

Not to be picky but andLinux uses XMing as its X Windows Server to achieve the 'coherency' style mode you are talking about. There is no reason you couldn't use XMing to achieve the same effect with a virtual instance of Linux or a remote machine for that matter. I currently use it this way with the free VMWare Player to run Ubuntu along side XP on my laptop. That being said I've always wanted to give CoLinux a try, but it was just too much work to setup. andLinux looks like the best way to play with it.
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No commenter image uploaded by yachius at 01:34 PM on 02/21/08

I use this to synchronize my music prefs. I have a home office and my personal computer runs Ubuntu Linux, using Amarok as the media player, with a MySQL database for the Amarok information running on an always on server (ironically a windows server, but such is the life of a .NET developer). The music collection also resides on the windows server. By running andLinux on my development box and pointing Amarok at the same MySQL database, I get 'synchronized' playlists, play counts, and file ratings. Very convenient.

For all those on here commenting that they see no purpose for this, somebody saw enough of a purpose to sink a lot of time and effort into creating this and many of the commentors on here seem to have found nice uses for it as well.
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Image of greeze by greeze at 01:52 PM on 02/21/08

@xint: ...and I don't let my MEATLOAF touch my MASHED POTATOES either! It's filthy and unnatural.
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Image of marksman7328 by marksman7328 at 02:08 PM on 02/21/08

you had me and then you lost me with the memory issues. i need my whole gb of memory just to run windows. i wish this was backwards so that u could run windows apps in linux. yes i know there is wine, but wine sucks. as a matter of fact, just about everything in linux sucks. linux would be the superior os if it ran like it was supposed to without you spending 48 hours scouring forums to fix it everytime it broke. just bricked my ubuntu installation trying to get it to recognize my nvidia graphics card.
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No commenter image uploaded by daddydave at 02:13 PM on 02/21/08

There are a couple of Linux apps I'd like to play with in this configuration. They are vym (a mind mapping program) and granule (a Leitner box flashcard program). The best Windows programs for these functions are payware: Mind Manager and Vtrain. Mind Manager is rather expensive, and although Vtrain is reasonable and I am a registered user, but I would still like to play with granule because of my interest in Leitner systems. Last I checked, vym had been poorly ported to Windows, and the Windows port of granule wanted some DLL I didn't feel like scavenging.
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No commenter image uploaded by Tank at 02:29 PM on 02/21/08

@daddydave: For windows, Freemind is a great, free, mind mapping program, or you could give Personal Brain a try - the pay version is awesome, and a pared down version is available for free (i'm still waiting for my 30 day free trial to expire so I can't tell you how well it works.)
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No commenter image uploaded by daddydave at 03:02 PM on 02/21/08

@Tank: I'm aware of Freemind, but the graphics support seems pretty weak. I'll look into Personal Brain, thanks.
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No commenter image uploaded by Averain at 06:23 PM on 02/21/08

I installed it immediately and I love it! Who cares about usefulness!
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Image of harmful by harmful at 06:38 PM on 02/21/08

Lets be honest, shared folder suck. Here's how to mount partitions onto andLinux:

*the following was extracted from [wiki.gp2x.org] at 6:35PM PST on Feb 21st 2008*

" * go into your andLinuxPreBeta folder, open the file settings_static.txt and add the line

cofs1=E:\

at the end. Make sure, you have a newline at the end of your settings_static.txt

* start andLinux
* open a shell
* create the folder

/mnt/e

(with the command: mkdir /mnt/e)

* open the fstab (e.g with the command vim /etc/fstab)
* insert the Line

1 /mnt/e cofs defaults 0 0

the one at the begining of the line represents cofs1. If you want do add more partitons to access you can precede with cofs2= and 2 /mnt/ ... and so on. (do not use the zero's. It is used by the andLinux boot script.)

* restart andLinux
* now you can access the partition with Windows and andLinux at the same time. Make sure you do not edit the same File with Windows and andLinux at the same time. "

Now, repeat the last line aloud. Do yourself a favor and don't try to open the same file simultaneously in windows and andLinux (that sounds funky).
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No commenter image uploaded by dbr at 07:54 PM on 02/21/08

Many many Linux/etc applications have been ported natively to Windows already - it'll run quicker, look more-or-less seemless, take less resources and such.

I can't think of any Linux applications that haven't either been ported to Windows natively, or have good alternatives (either ported, or regular Windows applications)
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Image of Terry by Terry at 08:27 PM on 02/21/08

Have to admit I installed this just to play Frozen Bubble. After a few games, however, I remembered why I stopped running a Linux machine. The simple fact is that Windows is better and faster in every way. I know my fellow Geeks out there will rebel against this idea, but facts are facts. The best Linux build out there functions on a par with Windows 98SE. Sad but true. There are many reasons to use and support OSS, but Firefox is the only app that's ever managed to live up to the promise. Otherwise, most open source apps function well below par.

Just sayin'.
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Image of Terry by Terry at 08:38 PM on 02/21/08

BTW -

Add or Remove Programs seems to take of the uninstall just fine.
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No commenter image uploaded by sikamore_studios at 08:46 PM on 02/21/08

I can tell you all one app that was once but no longer made for windows and is a valuable part of my visual effects pipeline and that is Shake compositing application. I usually always need Maya, Houdini, Photoshop, Illustrator, Shake all on the same machine, not one OS runs all of those apps unfortunately. But this will now allow me to run Shake on my Windows which is awesome! haven't tried it yet but hope it works.
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Image of nikoPSK by nikoPSK at 08:52 PM on 02/21/08

@xint

linux is great man, pop in a live cd, try it out.
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No commenter image uploaded by karenkleen at 09:51 PM on 02/21/08

Sweeeet! I'm going to go try this out right now.
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No commenter image uploaded by kobewan at 10:03 PM on 02/21/08

Man, I'm thinking about doing this to run IE6 on Vista. Sad, isn't it?
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No commenter image uploaded by dvschnk at 10:12 PM on 02/21/08

@ dbr,
I'm a researcher in academia and this may help us out a great deal. All of our major data crunching programs are linux based due to the very nature of open source (free, promotes collaboration, etc), and actually most windows ports for a lack of a better word, suck. However in my lab, and in most labs the computer demographic will be dominated by windows machines, with linux boxes being number crunching workhorses (ie clusters). With this program, we can use our windows machines to access the linux programs, especially since more often than not, the linux boxes are in a continuous number crunching state.
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Image of Bob Brown by Bob Brown at 10:31 PM on 02/21/08

Sounds great for a Linux lover stuck at a Windows machine.
But, for all the occasional playing I do with Linux, I cannot think of a single application that is worth the amount of resources this would take.
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No commenter image uploaded by ecltech at 11:08 PM on 02/21/08

This is a nice setup. It works well for me because I do need a bunch of Windows apps but like the ability to use Linux and this is pretty close.

Anyone who needs Windows apps and are stuck with windows, give this a try if you like Linux. You will not get the fancy graphics/etc but you can run applications.
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No commenter image uploaded by aphexbr at 01:46 AM on 02/22/08

@Terry:

"The best Linux build out there functions on a par with Windows 98SE."

To use a cliche: you're doing it wrong. Linux runs faster and more reliably than my XP partition. Not small apps either - Half Life 2 has benchmarks 18% higher in my Mandriva partition than in XP. It helps to be allowed to turn off and uninstall the crap you don't need, whereas Windows forces you to have IE, etc.

"There are many reasons to use and support OSS, but Firefox is the only app that's ever managed to live up to the promise"

Only if you deliberately discount Apache, PHP, MySQL, AmaroK (way better than iTunes IMO), Blender and Inkscape. Maybe you mean higher profile apps like GIMP and OpenOffice, but even they're getting there in a mo noplised market (name commercial apps that are competing with MS Office successfully right now...).
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Image of Terry by Terry at 05:35 AM on 02/22/08

See? I told you the geeks would rebel.
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No commenter image uploaded by aphexbr at 06:02 AM on 02/22/08

@Terry

Not rebelling: correcting misinformation. There's a big difference...
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No commenter image uploaded by TheRabbi at 07:10 AM on 02/22/08

What about cygwin? That suits 99% of my linux needs, doesn't involve a virtual machine hogging my memory, and even lets me run things on top of X (for all you people who want gEdit or something).

I can't tell why I'd use this over a regular virtual machine if I needed the entire Ubuntu OS.
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No commenter image uploaded by drooney57 at 08:03 AM on 02/22/08

Well, I guess this reply is to Terry and people like Terry, true, Linux is par with Win98, for GAMES, but for REAL people who do work, not play games, Linux works great. I am a systems admin, I run Windows 2000, 2003 servers and Linux servers, I *have* to reboot my Win servers at least once a week, or they crash, and this advice came from MS, so don't go spouting about configuration blah blah blah, my Linux servers run for months without a hick-up, I have one, an FTP server that is going on a year, yes a year, without reboot, try that on a windoze machine, I dare you, bottom line is Windows SUCKS because Redmond is more interested in MONEY than their user base, why do you thing they let their user be the beta testers? Oh yeah, they call it a release, but it is buggier than an ant hill, and everyone with half a BRAIN knows it, now don't get me wrong, I think MS has some decent stuff, and I am a Microsoft Partner, but they suck big time at OSs, and don't even get me started on the crap of IE7. So you lamer gamers put away the games and do some real work, if you know how, kids these days need to learn a work ethic, but that is a totally different rant.
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Image of mb by mb at 09:06 AM on 02/22/08

@AnthoMacP: To you it's useless. To me, it allows me to experiment with Linux without dedicating a machine to it. And it allows me to use my knowledge of Windows to compare the various ways Linux and Windows do things (that is, I can draw parallels between the two with my own eyes ).

Plus it allows me to test my websites in a WebKit browser without resorting to Apple's stuff.
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No commenter image uploaded by Webran61 at 09:42 AM on 02/22/08

Microsoft has the largest user base between any computer-based company. They have to worry about satisfying the needs of more people than Apple and Linux. No one single operating system will cater to everyone's needs, but undeniably, Windows is the standard to which all others are compared, and for a reason.
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Image of mrosedal by mrosedal at 12:00 PM on 02/22/08

@massysett: I see your point. I have mythtv, but I went ahead and dedicated a box specifically for that purpose. So I never log into it except to watch tv. I use Linux anyway so it doesn't really affect me.
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No commenter image uploaded by rapid.fish at 12:32 PM on 02/22/08

wow, nice one, very excited to get it work on the windows XP. Initially whenever I try Konsole, or any KDE app, I get the popup: Error: could not launch 'Konsole': could not connect to 192.168.11.150:81 , it got fixed, when I restarted the PC & logged into console as root & then started the apps. How could I make the konsole & other apps launched from the andLinux menu using any user other than root ?
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No commenter image uploaded by popemello at 01:47 PM on 02/22/08

Sounds great! Question, however, referring to memory... Vista uses a max of ~4GB RAM. Does andLinux take from that 4GB? If my machine has 8Gb physical, will andlinux take from the greater pool, leaving vista to use its 4gb max? Sorry for my naiveté, but I have all this extra RAM...
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No commenter image uploaded by omegakumar at 03:17 PM on 02/22/08

"There's no doubt that Linux-particularly Ubuntu-is a killer operating system full of excellent apps, but for about a million reasons, you're stuck running Windows as your main operating system. We understand, these things happen."

Adam Pash, you SHOULD doubt it because I'm not STUCK using Windows. I PREFER Windows to *nix and OSX. One thing I liked about Lifehacker was you guys weren't in the habit of getting in petty digs at MS or whoever. A largely platform agnostic place where all of God's computing children could frolic under the light of our monitor glow. I'll thank you for not disparaging my educated choice of platform with continued readership, thanks. Having gotten that out of the way, this is a pretty nifty implementation of VM, I'll have to check it out next time I don't want to reboot to use Ubuntu.
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Image of Terry by Terry at 08:48 PM on 02/22/08

Be careful folks - your Dorks are hanging out. Allow me to be more specific (and, while I'm at it, correct at one mistaken assumption) -

I have not been, at any time in this discussion, referring to (or even thinking about) games. What I have been talking about is all the aspects of computing that matter to people who AREN'T geeks. While Linux may (in many cases) handle better 'under the hood', it's the 'over the hood' aspects that 90% of the population care about. And this is precisely where Linux falls short (and when the attempt is made to measure up, we usually end up with resource hogs like Gimp or Open Office).

What most people want out of their computer is the same thing they want out of their car - they just want the damned thing to WORK. They don't know what's going on under the hood and they don't want to know. And they don't give a rat's ass about whose car runs more efficiently (they do, however, care about whose car has electric windows and locks, or whose car is convertible).

And this is where Microsoft really delivers. When you plug in a new printer, it just works. When you buy new software and put the disk in the drive, little windows pop up and tell you what to do about it. Microsoft has been so incredibly successful because they've realized that this is what people want - they just don't want to think about it. This is also why people like you can make a living as network admins - the people who use the network don't care about anything other than whether or not the network WORKS. That's what you get paid for. The people who are paying for it probably couldn't care less which operating systems are involved.

And for the record, I do like video games, although I rarely play them on computers. I also, like you, work with computers. I do not, however, feel that this circumstance gives me the right to pass judgement on people who choose to play games on the computers that they paid for and have every right to use as they please.
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No commenter image uploaded by deSelby at 01:32 PM on 02/23/08

I'm a bit baffled by the comments above. andLinux is an incredible innovation!
I have it running Ubuntu apps seamlessly with both Vista and XP. And I mean seamless. Lovely.
I always like messing with linix - now I can without teh dual boot nonsense!
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No commenter image uploaded by desipenguin at 04:20 AM

@massysett: Vim is available as native windows application. I've been using gvim/vim 7.0 on XP for more than a year now, it is my default text editor, so I would know.
... and so is mutt (Google "mutt windows"), but may not be as easy as gvim/vim.
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Image of superbryant88 by superbryant88 at 07:30 AM

Okay I have tried to download this numerous times with no succes I have done the torrent and the normal download....it always ends up a a unknown filetype any body else have this problem
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Image of -emory- by -emory- at 12:44 PM

@xint: please... get off the internet. You can leave your computer at the door. Come back when you learn English