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Linux On Windows - The Thin End Of The Wedge?

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the wine-not dept.

Linux 268

AYeomans writes: "LINE version 0.3 has just been released.'LINE is a utility which executes unmodified Linux applications on Windows by intercepting Linux system calls. The Linux applications themselves are not emulated. They run directly on the CPU just like all other Windows applications.' Could this be the thin end, to which the Linux wedge is attached, allowing people currently tied to Windows the opportunity of easily using native Linux applications?" I wonder how many Windows users are actively waiting for Linux programs to use. (TuxRacer one day maybe?) The version number is low but this is an interesting, oddball project.

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spidergoat (314405) | more than 13 years ago | (#384105)

My favorite is the one about how free as in (firewood|willy) as opposed to free (coffe|range) is suggestive of not so many licenses as YOU SAY ONE TIME. my bIG BEEF is in the big mess YOU HAVE MADE to the computing world, yet again.

Re:industry standards (2)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 13 years ago | (#384106)

The gimp unfortunately is a pale imitation of photoshop, which suits most home users fine since some of photoshop's tools are unnecessary.

...Not to mention that Photoshop carries a pretty hefty price tag, while the GIMP is free, free, free.

The GIMP is plenty fun for pure wanking around, or doing projects that aren't intended for printing. But Photoship is indeed the tool of choice for our still-not-paperless society.

"You owe me a case of beer. Sucka'."

Re:This can only hurt Linux (1)

BSOD Bitch (260492) | more than 13 years ago | (#384108)

Not to mention, where I work they guy there uses netscape in 'windows'. It throws commercials at his email client. :) Its actually funny to watch him 'click out of them' so that he can fetch his email off the server.

Let's give credit... (3)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 13 years ago | (#384110)

...for some good technical work.

Regardless of what you think of the idea, looks like some real smart people have pulled off something cool.

'Course Wine might have moved this fast with the Windows source code, but still...

LINE requires Cygwin (3)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#384112)

Well, the author of LINE just says that LINE requires Cygwin so the ones who have not heard about it have not visited LINE home page [page.http].

Re:Anyone tried to run... (2)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#384113)

No more than running VMware on a box and running a few copies of Extreme Linux on it...Get the worlds slowest cluster...

Not that we've done anything that silly, no, not us...

cygwin (2)

Zooko (2210) | more than 13 years ago | (#384114)

cygwin [cygwin.com] rocks. If your boss forces you to develop on Windows NT, just install cygwin and suddenly it is a Unix development environment! Beautiful.

Likewise, if you are developing a GPL-compatible application and you want it to run on Windows as well as on Unix, just compile it with cygwin and ship it! (If it is not GPL-compatible, then you have to buy a license from Cygnus. An interesting business model.)

Cygwin is very mature. I was using it 18 months ago for full-time development environment on Windows NT 4.



Wow, now I can swith to Windows! (2)

Karpe (1147) | more than 13 years ago | (#384121)

Now, no one can claim that they only run Linux because Windows can't run their Linux apps. Perhaps now windows will really gain market share, because we all know that what was missing in windows was apps. :)

Re:This can only hurt Linux (2)

DarkToast (18370) | more than 13 years ago | (#384123)

<p>Actually yes, this can be bad publicity, since, unlike the Linux kernel, many Linux applications are as unstable as their Windows counterparts, simply because they're in development.

<p>I even recently had to answer a newbie who said <i>"Why does Netscape and Mozilla keep crashing all the time? Wasn't Linux supposed to be more stable, advanced etc? IE never crashed on me as much."</i>. Obviously, he didn't draw the line between kernel and third-party applications.

All kidding aside... (4)

astrashe (7452) | more than 13 years ago | (#384124)

I'm not sure this software will be very useful, but I'm not sure it's as dumb as people here seem to think.

My windows 2000 desktop is rock solid. Machines that I've built myself aren't that great with windows, but my Dell never crashes. I think windows is pickier about hardware than linux.

I run linux (and BSD now) for the applications. Things like sendmail and apache, mutt, vim, and fetchmail.

Exchange might be a wonderful package (never used it), but it's expensive, and I'm running email for my own personal domain, not an enterprise -- so the thousands of dollars 2000 Server and Exchange would cost are out of the question. Outlook does a lot of nice stuff, but it won't let me read the headers (at least I haven't figured out how), things like that. Too much hand holding.

The problem with unix apps like sendmail is the learning curve. Once you know it, it really is good stuff, especially when it's free.

The whole idea that w2k isn't solid for a desktop is just silly, and the argument will only be taken seriously when you're preaching to the choir at places like /.. Whenever a linux guy says that his w2k box crashes all the time, I always assume he built it himself, or that he's overclocking or something like that. If you buy a Dell, it will work fine. To put it another way, it's certainly possible to make w2k solid, and if yours isn't, well you're not doing it right.

But at the same time, the idea that stability is the only drawing card of linux is silly too. Unix is simple, it's clean, and it's easy to use, once you've climbed up a bit on the learning curve. It's more than clean, it's elegant. And a lot of the apps are key -- if you want to run NAT, if you want to handle your email, if you want to filter net traffic, Linux or BSD is the way to go.

I'm not sure this particular software will be that useful -- it really makes more sense to me to just have two machines.

I've been looking for a program like this (1)

faldar (322614) | more than 13 years ago | (#384125)

Quite seriously, I can see where LINE will have its uses and I have been looking for something like this starting just a few days ago. I am the Network administrator and programmer for the company at which I work. We use a Redhat Linux server and almost everyone else uses Windows workstations (I use Linux/Windows dual boot). My boss asked me to find a program just like this (Hummingbird also produces a similar program commercially) since there is one UNIX/Linux only based program (the X interface of the package is what they want to use) that our company relies on for nearly all work we do. However, the couple of people who use it most are using Windows and one of them cannot switch to Linux due to the amount of software and data he also uses that relies on Windows. This type of program is just what we need to be the answer to our needs.

Ummmm...you must not be paying attention (1)

b0z (191086) | more than 13 years ago | (#384126)

There are Win32 versions of the Gimp and Tuxracer. I have tried them both. They work.

LINE is priceless! (1)

fidros (8566) | more than 13 years ago | (#384127)

When LINE is ready for prime time, it will mean
having a single executable enviorment that runs
unmodfied on BSD, Linux and Windows.

This is an alternative API which is truly cross
platform - binary compatiable for x86 and compile
compatiable with almost everything else.(S/390 anyone?)

This could mean that the Linux API may become
the France Lingua of virtual machines.

A true "write once, run anywhere" the way JAVA
and .NET wants to be.

Of course, there are many problems to overcome (GUI - X is not a normal part of Win* installs)
but if they are solved we may do unto Windows
what it once did to OS/2 - since OS/2 ran Windows
apps, none wrote for OS/2.

LINE is one cool hack for the hackers that wrote it, but one huge leap for Wolrd Domination ;-)

Confessions of a windows user (2)

evanbd (210358) | more than 13 years ago | (#384140)

OK, here I am typing in an IE5.5 dialog box. I've tried linux a couple times, and given up after a couple of days both times. The reason has always been the lack of aplications. I *like* the linux environment. There aren't any linux apps I need. A good shell would add a lot to windows. (yes, I've tried cygwin. last time I tried it was too slow and never felt wuite native. felt like an add-on program in ways command.com didn't.) But, I really need wine to be more fully operationsal before I can switch. Last I tried switching to linux (actually, my friend tried it, but we tried out all my apps too), it was still in need of the ability to:

Play DVDs
Rip DVDs / encode to DivX
Play DivX
(As best I can tell, Wine support for directshow filters and a DVD ASPI layer would solve those)
Games would be nice, but I don't use them that much and I'm not too picky. Get a few of the popular ones working (including something by blizzard), I don't really care which, I'll be happy.

Oh, and linux NEEDS A BETTER WEB BROWSER!!! Netscape and mozilla are both slow, they do a poor job with dialog boxes, drop down menus, text boxes, etc. Haven't tried Konqueror, but I doubt it's all *that* much better. I do like the better cookie/ad managment under the various linux browsers though.

MP3 playing linux does a fine job with.
Word processing I can deal with star office. I really do prefer MS office for anything of a size I will ever do in the near future though.

So basically, I need Wine better before I switch, not the other way round. I don't plan to even try this out.

Re:YES !!!! (1)

G0nz0 (320899) | more than 13 years ago | (#384142)

Actually with WINE you can. It's similar to the old win32 stuff we used to see on Win3.11. Check out WineHQ [winehq.com] for more info.

Re:Double standard? No. (5)

istartedi (132515) | more than 13 years ago | (#384152)

WINE: Good for users because you can use Windows applications on Linux.
LINE: Good for users because you can use Linux applications on Windows.

The problem some people having with the Windows part of this is that they want to see Linux do better. Users don't care which does better. They just want more and better choices, and LINE gives them another choice. Open source doesn't empower users (not directly anyway) because they can't modify source (most of them are not programmers). Additional choices empower the users, because they are all capable of making choices.

Love to see a fork (1)

BigCigar (38560) | more than 13 years ago | (#384156)

Windows does not have any concept of a fork. Cygwin reimplements this as well as a unix like process table. It limits the number of processes to 127 and fork are very expensive with all the context switching going on to make it happen.

I wonder if they did anything different

Re:Double standard? No. (3)

Mtgman (195502) | more than 13 years ago | (#384157)

I'm sorry, I can't believe for a minute that you seriously see Linux apps making headway into the desktop "productivity" software that is Microsoft's bread and butter. Microsoft will never allow it, they'll change some random part of the OS and break LINE as soon as Star Office or any non-MS application gets even a sliver of market penetration. Then they'll jump up and down and shout "Stable! Hah! It won't even run!" and the Linux community will be shafted just like we are with the buddy-buddy Microsoft and Hardware Vendor relationship that excludes us and makes us reverse engineer hardware just to write drivers. Microsoft people get to work on their drivers before the hardware release, we have to start from scratch when, and if, we can get our hands on one.
Now WINE on the other hand, I could see getting some slack from Microsoft. WINE still encourages the use of Microsoft products on the Application side. When Microsoft gets broken up, the Application side is where the real market dominance will show. The OS doesn't matter, it's transparent to the end user, use whatever you want, but the work? The data formats? All the things a _user_ will deal with? They will be Microsoft. As computer usage grows, Microsoft cares more about mindshare than it's OS. Let the technophiles use whatever OS they wish. The PHB and the average Joe don't care what OS they use as long as they know how to use the Apps. And Microsoft has by FAR the largest user base of all the application vendors.

Most people don't understand, Microsoft's future isn't in the OS, it's in the applications. It's in .NET and the service industry. OS and Hardware got them where they are, but they would be dumb to sit on their laurels. They're moving on into the application market, and since applications are much more static than operating systems and _FAR_ more static than hardware, they'll be even harder to dislodge there.


Re:industry standards (1)

plone (140417) | more than 13 years ago | (#384158)

Agreed. But, if i was a graphic designer I would not mind spending the money of photoshop since its use value is way beyond the price. Photoshop is optimized for an effecient workflow, while GIMP tends to be rather cumbersome and unfriendly. There also used to be a crippled versionof photshop called photoshopLE that was bundled with scanners, which could be considered free(as in beer)

Not at all Fucked up (2)

mr (88570) | more than 13 years ago | (#384159)

From a 'good for bill gates POV'

If an application is 'only' a "linux" application, such an ability will allow the user to remain on the superior Windows platform. They get to run thier 'linux' app, and do not have to worry about the user having to make a choice about switching.

From the 'good for Linux POV'
This will allow people who are afraid of the concept of linux to see that it does not byte ;-)

From the 'about time POV'
Given 180+ linux distros, BSD/SCO/Solaris/QNX/etc la, the declaration of the X86Open group that "the standard for interoperability is Linux ELF" perhaps vendors will get their collective crainums extracted from their rectums and decide that:
1) The don't need the infighting LSB whiners to agree on a 'common' platform.
2) Vendors make sure the code runs on systems like FreeBSD (which runs Linux binaries FASTER than Linux distos do), SCO, Solaris and projects like LINE. If they run there, and don't run on the your chosen version of the 180+ linux disro, the distro you have is broken. (if the people doing "linux compatibility" can get faster execution speeds and run big hunks of complex code like Oracle and VMware, they've done their homework)
3) Vendors then offer FORMAL support for the SCO/Solaris/BSD users, just like they would offer for RedHat.

Re:Ahhhhahaha! (1)

My_AC_Account (262552) | more than 13 years ago | (#384160)

I suggest you immediately check yourself into the nearest mental hospital. You, sir, are clearly insane. For the good of yourself and others, please remove yourself from the streets.


Re:What a TERRIFIC idea! (2)

djocyko (214429) | more than 13 years ago | (#384167)

This is great; finally we could run XFree86 via LINE. No more commercial X Servers. Not to mention the stability! I am so for this. For people running windows who need to develop (grpahical apps) remotely, this is such great news.

I can't wait till this is do able!

One serious technicality. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#384174)

"They run directly on the CPU just like all other Windows applications."

Not on NT, they don't. You see, there's something called the "Hardware Abstraction Layer." All of the calls to hardware are made through the NT kernel. Though this means that all the programs are under direct supervision of the NT kernel (and hence the much higher level of stability), the programs don't perform quite as well as they would on a Win9X system (though the higher chance of instability on a Win9X system immensely offsets the speed benefits).

Just a little more speed, or a lot more stability, which would you choose?

I'll Use it (1)

aethera (248722) | more than 13 years ago | (#384175)

I'd love to make *the big switch* and lose windows. I strongly support all of the ideas behind open-source and GNU, but I can't afford the downtime to learning to use a new OS, nor can I afford a separate machine just to play and explore on. I tried dual booting a year ago. That was a nightmare.
Combine that with the fact that I'm not a huge geek and don't have much programming or coding experience, and the lack of available *nix mentors in southern West Virginia, and I'm stuck on 'Doze.
Maybe this app, or future versions, will give me the ability to get my feet wet and at least learn to navigate the Linux's interface and learn to use apps like Star Office before I once again try to change over on my own.

Tux Racer (1)

meekjt (94667) | more than 13 years ago | (#384183)

There is a Windows port of Tux Racer, why would I need to run the linux binary on Windows?

This can only hurt Linux (5)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 13 years ago | (#384187)

...just think, now all the Micro$oft users can see how unstable Linux applications are when running under Windows -- talk about a great way to present bad publicity to the uninitiated masses.


About time... (1)

fantom_winter (194762) | more than 13 years ago | (#384191)

This is a great idea. The windows operating environment is so far removed from the *nix philosophy. The idea of using tools and having a shell that is really powerful has fizzled away. Hopefully this will allow people to see the power of having such a tool.

Uhhhh (4)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#384204)

TuxRacer is already available for Windows -- I know I've played it on my system. (It's an openGL application with standard C calls, not much more to needed to make it highly portable)...

Re:Fucked up (1)

modman (321805) | more than 13 years ago | (#384207)

this will open the eyes of the windows idiots who think that linux software is inferior to M$ software. show them the applications and they will come

Ahhhhahaha! (5)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#384209)

Yeah. The only thing holding me back from running Windows is the lack of decent apps. Not that I can run all of my wonderful Linux software, I've got no reason NOT to switch!

What a TERRIFIC idea! (3)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 13 years ago | (#384221)


Wow, that's terrific, I sit here on my Win2K desktop, and I'm just thinking, "I love the OS for it's stability, if only I could natively run ALL those *nix applications!, then I'd have the perfect desktop".


In fairness, this is moderately useful, I could run Apache/PHP locally for development work on my standard desktop, but that's roughly where the usefullness ends. I mean, obviously the use for this isn't X-Windows applications, although with an X-Server running it would be.

While WINE is a useful project, this isn't. I give the people working on it props, it's a neat idea, and probably a fun hack, but doesn't seem terribly useful. I mean, while this is definitely different than the Cygwin project, I'm of the opinion that Cygwin provides 75%-85% of the benefits of a project like this, so the extra effort of this project isn't worth it to "the community". However, as it is worth it to the developers, good luck.

Timothy, you fool (1)

pimpinmonk (238443) | more than 13 years ago | (#384229)

Didn't you know that not only is TuxRacer out for win32, it has been for a while and the version releases are simultanious? (pimpinmonk shakes head in dismay)

also, this is pretty cool. I prefer gaim to the actual AIM, and of course GIMP (but you can get it running under win32 anyway, check their website).

So in fact, many linux programs worth porting have been ported. Or are a blatant rip off of original windows products that work fairly decently. A cool project nontheless, but maybe something that works "natively" like this could find its way on to linux (wine and vmware are too slow, cumbersome and resource hogs--I'd much rather reboot into the other OS and be done with it.)
____________________________________________ ______

Why? (1)

Creepy13 (239104) | more than 13 years ago | (#384232)

Why would somebody want to run linux apps on windows? If you want to run a linux app, you probably want to run some linux distribution..
I know I do..

Finally... (5)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 13 years ago | (#384235)

At long last, the stability of windows with the broad application base of Linux -- we could make a less useful computer if we really put our minds to it!...


hmm..... (1)

stego (146071) | more than 13 years ago | (#384237)

"easily using native Linux applications" - I didin't know that this was possible even under Linux... Smile, dammit - I'm a disfunctional Mac user...

Some wedge. (1)

the real jeezus (246969) | more than 13 years ago | (#384247)

Linux: great o/s, lacks mature apps

Microsoft: criminally unreliable o/s, useful apps

So what you are saying is my gnapster client can get the BSOD? Where do I sign?

If you love God, burn a church!

What about bash? (1)

kenf (75431) | more than 13 years ago | (#384250)

Running bash on windoze may have some merit! Give windoze users a decent command line shell, just what they need.

Re:Anyone tried to run... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#384255)

Is that anything like the Star Trek episodes where you run a holodeck in a holodeck in a holodeck until you're convinced Dr. Moriarty really did step outside of the holodeck and took over the ship?

Re:wow! (1)

fantom_winter (194762) | more than 13 years ago | (#384256)

Now I can run amazing apps like GIMP or GNOME in the awesome power of Win2k!! Seriously! This is useless! Win2K already has things like that but better! Pronounced "Photoshop" and "The Windows GUI". What self-respecting Win2K user would want useless Loseix apps running on their flawless boxen?

Um, this is obvious and maybe I am feeding a troll, but Photoshop is not free, and doesn't come with Win2k, so I don't see your point, unless you are a software pirate or have tons of money lying around. For the rest of us, free software is nice to have around, even with the politics aside.


Re:This can only hurt Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#384259)

Like they're any better under Linux. Terminal windows mysteriously die. Navigator crashes constantly. GNOME crashes while it's crashing, and then crashes again.

I'd say Windows users are getting a pretty true-to-life introduction.

Just another geek toy (3)

vallee (2192) | more than 13 years ago | (#384262)

Okay, this seems to me like a pretty damn pointless application, the sort of thing that programmers churn out just to practice their programming skills rather than produce anything truly useful.

Think about it - you can already get most of the essential Linux tools over at Cygwin [cygwin.com] if you're after better command line tools. Otherwise, what does Linux have to offer? Most Linux software is perpetual alphaware or just a rehash of other projects (witness the truly scary number of CD front-ends out there). These programs already have free native Windows equivalents out there, and the Windows ones have often been in development longer (the big Linux bandwagon wasn't all that long ago) and can take advantage of Windows features.

And out of the few open sourced packages that are approaching professional quality, many of them are already available on Windows, like Apache. Sure there's the GIMP, but Windows users using Photoshop aren't going to want to change, and PaintShop Pro is pretty much the package of choice for low-end use.

I just don't see that there's any real use for this.

But when will... (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#384278)

When will will it be the other way around so that I can run all the Windows apps like Office and games under Linux (without dual booting)?

Just cool... (4)

Warphal (322517) | more than 13 years ago | (#384280)

I mean who cares if its useful or not?
The only thing that matters is that its just so COOL. I say it again: Its just cool!

Warphal ;)

Not so easy to run Linux Applications.. (1)

antis0c (133550) | more than 13 years ago | (#384283)

I'm sure static executables can run without much effort, but shared.. I can only imagine hours of trying to get 100's of different libraries to run properly, probably only having to resort to finding a Linux machine to staticly compile your application to run properly..

It's about the OS, not the apps (2)

_SIGKILL_ (170600) | more than 13 years ago | (#384286)

As many others have commented, the strong part of a Linux distribution is the operating system, not the applications. So, a project like LINE will most likely not encourage users to migrate to Linux; Linux applications are too weak and unfriendly for most Windows users, so, if anything it will discourage users from seeing Linux as a viable desktop solution.

What's the point? (4)

b0z (191086) | more than 13 years ago | (#384288)

The biggest reason the average person doesn't use linux is the lack of a lot of good applications. I can see using something like this if you can run xterms and such out of it without paying a lot of money for exceed, but that's about it.

Also, it's obvious that the author doesn't really know what he's talking about because:

1) - There is a version of GIMP that has been ported to Windows. [gimp.org] 2) - There is a TuxRacer version for Windows. [tuxracer.com]

Also, I tend to think that the apps on linux mostly suck when you are using linux as a desktop. Server applications are where linux shines, and if you were going to run something like apache webserver, why not just use the linux version on linux, or the windows version on windows?

Anyways, I think this could be an interesting project, but it's no holy grail to get people to start using linux apps since the applications for Windows are usually superior. It's the OS that everyone hates, not the applications (well, some of the applications too.)

imagine the possibilities (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#384289)

not only can you now run multiple versions of windows under windows (via line->wine) but it shouldn't be long before line gets ported to win ce, and you can *nix on the dreamcast, xbox, etc....

or run either win or *nix on various platforms strictly by emulation...


Why? (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 13 years ago | (#384294)

LINE strikes me as something that can both help and hurt efforts to inform people about the benefits of linux. If LINE sucks, the implication (to the average windows user) is that linux sucks. If LINE is good, then there is less motivation to move to native linux.

perceptions (1)

bliss (21836) | more than 13 years ago | (#384295)

"Like they're any better under Linux. Terminal windows mysteriously die. Navigator crashes constantly. GNOME crashes while it's crashing, and then crashes again. "

Man you really must have some flaky hardware. Or a crappy distro. try debian for some up to date linux apps. And if the software dies on you submit a bug report and make sure it gets fixed. The community needs all the help it can get.

"I'd say Windows users are getting a pretty true-to-life introduction."

more like a biased picture through rose coloured glasses

Embrace and Extend (1)

number one duck (319827) | more than 13 years ago | (#384302)

Combine a reasonably more robust Windows system (most people don't keep their systems on 24 hour uptime), with all its pretty UI, with the free software suite that Linux and its open source cousins provide, and you either have a way to bring free software to the common man, or a way for certain other companies to suddenly offer most of the benefits that the open source community has been claiming all along.

Then, you take your standard GPL'd utility, and write a windows wrapper of some kind. Releasing the source of course.. and you'll have utilities that look pretty, and are as open source as the next guy, but not backward compatable...

This is probably at least half troll, but how would non-*nix compatable GPL software impact the community? Branches of software tend to grow on their own... would 'good' software on a 'bad' platform be beneficial to computer users as a whole? Personally, I don't feel that alternative operating systems have to be commercially successful in order to serve their purpose, but a move to run or port the functionality of free software to a non-free system might split off the marginal users that define the desktop market.

Cygwin does it, and you can enable tab-expansion (1)

RedLaggedTeut (216304) | more than 13 years ago | (#384305)

Cygwin from www.cygnus.com already gives you a bash on Windows, and you can switch on tab expansion for filenames in the dos-cmd shell by some registry hack (tested under win2k).

Linux ICQ clones (3)

MatriXOracle (33400) | more than 13 years ago | (#384310)

The use I can foresee for this is running one of the Linux ICQ clones on Windows. The official Windows ICQ client is a bloated piece of cr@p, I've always found the "unofficial" Linux clones to be far superior.

Nice idea, but tough in one regard (2)

hatless (8275) | more than 13 years ago | (#384314)

Ah, the mirror image of WINE. It would be useful for places where an in-house end-user app or commandline utility runs on Linux and they don't want to go through the trouble and expense of porting to Win32 with the MKS or Cygwin tools, especially when it's a command-line utility that needs to do I/O redirection with a Win32 app. Obviously, for more heavy-duty needs, at least when something doesn't have to integrate tightly with WIn32 apps themselves, something like VMWare makes more sense.

I do wonder how practical and successful this will be for running many applications, though. How will it deal with Win32's lack of a POSIX base? How will programs that rely on filename case-sensitivity and Unix-style file permissions and setuid issues, for starters, cope? Not many easy answers, especially if they're targeting Win98/ME and not just NT/Win2K.

one word... (2)

Nate Fox (1271) | more than 13 years ago | (#384317)


Yes, I know there's a windoze port of it, but with ALL respect to the guy(s) who slave at porting it (and theres alot of respect), its just too big for a few guys. This could mean runnin the latest version(s) of gimp when they're released rather than waiting for the guys to port it.

If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...

Wow. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#384323)

I can't believe how many people are whining about what a stupid idea this is.

How is this any different than wine? HMM? The tables are just reversed.

Who cares if YOU have no use for it, someone else might.

Double standard? No. (1)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#384328)

WINE: Good for Linux because you can use Windows applications on Linux.
LINE: Good for Linux because you can use Linux applications on Windows.

The projects are mirrors images of each other--but both good for Linux. How can that be?

I'll tell you why. Because there is at least two assymmetries already between Linux and Windows: 1) openness and 2) marketshare. The Windows monopoly is helped when there can be no sharing between OS's. It raises the barrier. But Linux is helped when there IS sharing (to get over the barrier). Both WINE and LINE allow sharing (of apps across OS's)--therefore both are good for Linux.
Non-meta-modded "Overrated" mods are killing Slashdot

Actuallly is a good idea (2)

DeathBunny (24311) | more than 13 years ago | (#384331)

This is actually a great idea. There are a lot of great Linux apps (Like Evolution, Konqueror, etc) that are reaching a usable level of feature completeness. This make it easy to show these apps to Windows users and maybe get them hooked on them.

A good example, lots of Slashdotters are always talking about using Evolution as an Outlook replacement. The problem is that there is no Windows version of Evolution. That means either running Evolution on *nix desktops and still running Outlook on Windows desktops, or replacing all of your Windows desktops with *nix desktops. While I love the idea of replacing Windows desktops with *nix systems, replacing your OS just to get rid of Outlook is pretty silly. With this program, an IT guy like me could load Evolution on *all* of the desktops (*nix or Windows) in the company and get rid of Outlook completely!!!!!!

Perls for the pigs (1)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 13 years ago | (#384333)

I congrat the people of the LINE project for this success because this technological interesting, but that's it... it's interesting. Okay, it may be nice replacing the ugly Windows GUI with GNOME or KDE, but how many Windows users will do that ? But I think that doesn't matter... it's one of these 'just because I can' issues :-)

Maybe Not Completely Pointless (2)

johnhyland (187827) | more than 13 years ago | (#384335)

Most of the posts in this thread seem to be of the "all the stability of Windows with the broad application base of Linux!" sort, and I have to admit that that was my first reaction, too.

But, now that I think about it for a moment, most of that broad Linux application base is released under the GPL or some other free (beer|speech) license, whereas a lot of the useful Windows apps aren't. I could easily see a lot of college students who don't feel like shelling out for Adobe but also don't want to switch to Linux using this to run the Gimp, for instance.

(The Gimp may actually run on Windows already; I wouldn't know. That was just an example.)

John Hyland
Backend Coder and Kung Foo Master

Re:Anyone tried to run... (1)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#384336)

Moderators, I don't think it's funny, but it's certainly interesting.

It's really very useful for Wine developers to be able to compare a Windows program running natively and in the emulator. I uses to run an X Server for Windows and a separate Linux machine with Wine to do such comparison. Now you should be able to do it on the same machine. Of course, if LINE is mature enough.

Re:imagine the possibilities (1)

s.a.m (92412) | more than 13 years ago | (#384338)

Well it's kinda late for the Dreamcast bit. There's already a project I've heard of that has been trying, if not already successful of getting linux to run on the dreamcast. The purpose? Who knows. Guess it's one of those, "Hey look I ported linux to <insert new device here>"

Don't get me wrong, this project seems cool, but the practicality of it evades me.

Re:Specifically how? (1)

JimPooley (150814) | more than 13 years ago | (#384339)

Umm, Photoshop supports industry standards such as CMYK and Pantone(TM), and Gimp doesn't?

Don't get me wrong, I think Gimp is a great package for what it is, and if you just want to noodle around with scanned in photos then it's brilliant. Then again nobody is going to buy Photoshop for home use anyway, so Adobe don't really lose out in that market (Unless you have more money than sense, of course, in which you may buy Photoshop for messing about with).

But for professional use, if it doesn't support the industry standards, then it's just a toy.

Hacker: A criminal who breaks into computer systems

Re:About time...Wait a minute, that already exists (4)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 13 years ago | (#384341)

I use bash on my windows box daily (along with sed, awk, gmake, uname, find, file, RCS-5.7, telnet, in.telnetd, and a host of other common tools).

Ever heard of Cygwin [cygwin.com]? It's a pretty damned fine piece of kit. It understands the way UNIX people work, and all that Windows stupidity at the same time. Brilliant, I say.



Great for advancing Linux Acceptance -- (5)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#384342)

Not so great for creating stability.

As I write this, the link to the information has been slashdotted out of existence, so I'll have to make some assumptions.

First of all is the fact that this is going to have to intercept pretty much all file-system calls and do some pretty damn nifty conversion to get the different shells to work properly. Heaven help you if you try to chmod kernel32.dll or something like that... ^_^

Second is the fact that this is going to be a popular program amoung 'amature' hackers, and people who consider themselves hackers because they know a little more about their workstation than the guy in the next cube. For every guy who manages to get 'xeyes' to run, you're going to end up with two or three calls to any given IT department like this:

'My computer won't boot into Windows any more!'

'What did you do to it?'

'I tried to run linuxcfg, but it crashed and deleted my Windows directory when it couldn't find /etc or /conf'

'Hybrid' sytems are never fun to support.

If this works, however, and starts working reliably, it could be a great boon to getting certain apps ported over to Linux. If a Windoze software developer can run an app that will allow him to a compile a linux binary of his Windows program, it will start to open the door for a lot of 'effortless' porting work between the two OS's.

Re:What a TERRIFIC idea! (1)

lonesome phreak (142354) | more than 13 years ago | (#384343)

Actually, you can run Apache/PHP locally anyway in windows by running the Apache for win32. We do it all the time here on laptops that don't have proper Linux support.

stuck on Windows (3)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 13 years ago | (#384344)

I wonder how many Windows users are actively waiting for Linux programs to use.
Well, for Unix hackers like me who are stuck with Windows on the desktop but only use it to run Exceed (to get to the real machines) and Netscape and (ugh) Lotus Notes (blech), this sounds great. Maybe now I can actully use this box for something useful.

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Just use MS Xenix (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#384346)

Boy, those guys at Microsoft sure have done it again by developing a stable and highly regarding Unix based os.

yes, sco has bought it but Xenix was so much more stable when Microsoft has made it.

I just wait for the day when Freebsd or Linux can stay up for half as long as Xenix or SCO openserver.

ITs just that Xenix and sco have such high respect form us Linux and Freebsd users. I wish we could right an os as good as MIcrosofts.

Novell should do the marketing (1)

swb (14022) | more than 13 years ago | (#384347)

Since they're one of the great examples of killing a better product through inept marketing.

This is the best thing to happen to Linux since... (2)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#384348)


So, I can have my cake and get instability, too? Awesome! I'll run all these sweet Linux ports of lame windoze apps and still be able to read .doc files! Rock on!

rid-ic-u-lop-a-thy [ridiculopathy.com]

Finally, no need for a VM (3)

alanjstr (131045) | more than 13 years ago | (#384349)

Trying to run Linux in a VM is taxing on a system. Dual-booting isn't always an option (like in the middle of a big download). Now when my friend tells me to try out a linux program I don't have to do either of them.

I think this is a Good Thing (TM)! It will give Linux applications more exposure. As people try all these new programs, they will beging to say "hey, with all this great stuff, I might as well completely switch to Linux!" Ok, maybe not.

Re:What a TERRIFIC idea! (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 13 years ago | (#384350)

In fairness, this is moderately useful, I could run Apache/PHP locally for development work on my standard desktop, but that's roughly where the usefullness ends.

I don't like the sound of this (don't have a windows installation to comment beyond that) but, isn't apache/php available for windows natively?

While WINE is a useful project, this isn't. I give the people working on it props, it's a neat idea, and probably a fun hack, but doesn't seem terribly useful.

What in the wide world of sports is the difference? Seems to me that that that is a comment on the greater usefulness of windows apps versus linux apps. I disagree. If the command line utilities were available to me under windows that I have under linux, it seems that would be quite useful. After all, all it seems wine would give me would be office applications and photoshop, really. I don't really know, it just seems like Hello Gentlemen! All Your.....

I like it (cygwin) (2)

Dr Dick (142443) | more than 13 years ago | (#384351)

Running linux apps under windows seems a lot less hassle to me than running windows apps under linux.

For me using windows as my basic opperating system has a lot of advantages:

  1. I don't need to go through all the hassle of installing linux. I did it a few years back and spent more time trying to get it to run than doing anything productive.
  2. 90 percent of what I need to do needs windows (people send me lots of MS office documents, and I like the occasional game).
  3. I've a feeling it might be simplier this way. There are so many wierd things going on in windows that it must be hell to get 100% compatability. Building a linux emulator is probably a lot simpiler.

I tend to use cygwin all the time and gives me the best of both worlds. If only someone would write a good vt100 terminal I'd be happy.

This is a joke, right? (1)

jshindl (157371) | more than 13 years ago | (#384352)

Why would anyone want to run Linux on Windows? Windows boast a large app base, Linux boasts stability and open-source. The opposite (windows on linux) seems useful, bringing the broad number of apps to work on Linux. But, this just seems like a silly exercise in futility...

$20 Domain Name Registration - Click here [silverscape.net]

Re:What a TERRIFIC idea! (2)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#384353)

Yeah, I was messing with Cygwin last night. After I got X up and running, I tried compiling stuff for it.

With (very) minor tweaking, I got glib, gtk+, and xchat compiled on it. With a little more work, I compiled everybuddy as well. I would have tried for Mozilla, but I was running out of space on that partition, so I just called it a night.

I'm pretty impressed with Cygwin; in fact, with a different X-Server, I'm sure I could get my roommate hooked on it. He wants something like Everybuddy for Windows, but they don't offer a Windows version. Little do they know that it compiles on Cygwin! :)

Anyhow, this LINE project sounds like a much simpler solution, except that "LINE requires Cygwin". And the page was still somewhat slashdotted when I got to it. But it'd be interesting to compare performance against Cygwin compiled binaries, or DJGPP...
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].

Re:Anyone tried to run... (1)

bachelor3 (68410) | more than 13 years ago | (#384354)

This was the thing to do when running VMware [vmware.com]:

get a machine running NT

install VMware

install Linux on the virtual machine

install the Linux version of VMware on the virtual Linux machine

install NT

This probably begs the "people with too much time on their hands" response.

Re:wow! (1)

blane.bramble (133160) | more than 13 years ago | (#384355)

But you forgot a category:

cost: 10
total: 49

cost: 1
total: 44

It's all in how you arrange your statistics!

Re:Ahhhhahaha! (2)

jfunk (33224) | more than 13 years ago | (#384356)

You can joke all you want, but it is, in fact, true in my case.

I just dare you to try running LyX on Windows. I know it's possible, but I wouldn't want to try it.

Can you get Broadcast 2000 for Windows? Is there an equivalent *free, open source* package?

Star Office runs much better on Linux than Windows, judging from what I've seen here.

Just because you can't run a few games, or an insipid office package...

What I'm working on...... (1)

cannes (151121) | more than 13 years ago | (#384357)

I'll be that asshole who spams MS mail boxes with screenshots of xbill.

The other way around is more interesting. (1)

scum-e-bag (211846) | more than 13 years ago | (#384359)

I wonder how many Windows users are actively waiting for Linux programs to use.

I am more interested in windows programs for linux, WINE is a much more important project that should have the title "thin end of the wedge"

Re:industry standards (2)

plone (140417) | more than 13 years ago | (#384365)

CMYK output and Pantone color matching ensures that a printed image looks exactly the same as the output of a monitor. Photoshop allows for the easy calibration of monitor output to printer output largely because it is the standard in the graohic industry. And the reason it has become a standard is through use, practically every design firm uses photoshop, primarily on the mac. The gimp unfortunately is a pale imitation of photoshop, which suits most home users fine since some of photoshop's tools are unnecessary.

Apache? (2)

elegant7x (142766) | more than 13 years ago | (#384366)

In fairness, this is moderately useful, I could run Apache/PHP locally for development work on my standard desktop,

Hrm, I've been running Apache on my windows desktop for years, it wasn't really hard, seening as how they've had a windows port available. You can get [php.net]php for windows as well.

Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]

Re:Fucked up (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 13 years ago | (#384368)

show them the applications and they will come ... Riiiiiiight

Show them how Kword crashes every 5 minutes, how Abiword can't insert tables and graphs, and how StarOffice runs like a dog (provided the dog in question has three of it's feet embedded in concrete and is strung out on thorazine) and watch how fast they go scurrying back to MS Office. Office may be bloated, ugly, and unfree, but it's by far the better than any of the alternatives.

Re:Specifically how? (1)

BSOD Bitch (260492) | more than 13 years ago | (#384369)

I don't think anyone really cares about '2 features of photoshop'.

I do all my work with gimp. I have no reason to spend $150 on a software package, and $200 on an OS just to use '2 features'.

Re:Ahhhhahaha! (2)

tuffy (10202) | more than 13 years ago | (#384370)

That was a joke? I'm still waiting for a worthwhile Windows app to justify its use, but haven't come up with any. "The Sims" is really the only thing I can think of, and that's only a single game.

Meanwhile, Linux is easier to use, easier to maintain, has better apps (for my use, anyway), better supported and costs a helluva lot less.

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