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Windows Compatability on the Linux Desktop

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the avoiding-temptation dept.

Windows 626

davecb writes "O'Reilly has been kind enough to publish one of my how-to articles, Windows Compatability for the Linux Desktop, about dealing with that 'one last annoying program than only runs on Windows'. The answer? Run it under Linux and win4lin, and never venture onto the Windows desktop at all. Especially don't run programs via dual-boot, which tempts you to stay and use all those other wonderful programs like Outlook...

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Really (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449899)

This is for the sort of guy who likes being screwed by Bill Gates every day. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Re:Really (2, Funny)

KDan (90353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450084)

More importantly, how can you write an article published by O'Reilly and still be unable to spell a word in the title of your own article? Compatibility you muppet!

Daniel

Meow! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449901)

Meow meow Matt Bruce meow meow Henrietta Pussycat meow meow Presidents of the United States of America meow Kitty?

The real story is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449903)

Wookie Love! [wookielove.net]

Re:The real story is... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450026)

man... I was stupid enough to have a look at extreme wookie love.. thats gross!!!>..

Re:The real story is... (1)

bumperbanana (788655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450178)

You looked at extreme wookie love?.. you have way too much time on your hands.. how extreme can wookie love get? I worry that I share the internet people with you... (did anyone else use IE to look at this?? man it screws up your browser!) haha

Other Soloutions... (-1, Redundant)

Dozix007 (690662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449907)

There are many other soloutions with the "one program that won't run" problem. There is VMware, WINE, and of course open source alternatives for that program. Often times people just need to spend a bit of time working and looking (20 minutes) and they can solve their own problems without going through a complex solution.

Re:Other Soloutions... (5, Informative)

Rudisaurus (675580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449961)

WINE wouldn't support MS Project, which was specifically what the author was trying to run.

Re:Other Soloutions... (1)

hermeshome.se (233303) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449964)

Why is this modded as insightful? RTFA. The first page states just this. There are other options, but none worked with MS Project, according to the article.

...like just running Windows in the first place? (4, Insightful)

SlugLord (130081) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450134)

Well I've got karma to burn, so I'll speak my mind:

If you haven't used windows recently, maybe you should try. It's actually gotten much faster and more stable, and it's actually very easy to cut out a lot of the bloat with just a few settings.

Yeah, linux is very fashionable for the technological elite to use, but what actual benefits do you get from using it as a Windows replacement. Compare to Windows XP Professional:

1) Is it *really* more stable? How often can you *really* get the BSOD to come up in XP? I haven't managed yet. Can you get the uptime I've experienced with Windows on Linux? Probably. Can you get the same uptime and still have sound support? Maybe. Can you do it with the grand total of around 2 hours of configuration necessary?

2) Is it *really* more secure, or does it just invite fewer attacks? Yes, I know Outlook is terrible, but that's not the actual Windows OS, nor does it need to be installed.

3) Is all the extra aggravation *really* worth it? Yeah, you're extra cool for running Linux and you're sticking it to the man, but why?

Don't get me wrong; Linux is great for a server environment and a viable alternative when you have limited hardware and only need certain limited programs, but here at Slashdot it seems to be the solution to everything.

For reference, I'm a Computer Science student and work as a programmer in the summers. My home computer is Windows XP Professional running on a pentium 4 1.7 ghz and my work computer is a pentium 3 450 mhz. I've managed to get some pretty snappy performance on my work computer by running xfce or blackbox (I prefer blackbox) as long as I don't run more than one or two real programs.

I basically run the same few programs on both computers (emacs, mozilla firefox, aim/gaim, winamp/xmms) most of the time. Granted, it's a little unfair because my home computer is three times the computer of my work computer, but I think I get a lot more than 3 times the benefit out of it.

Flame away.

Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449911)

Why spend all that time developing a program that emulates Microsoft Windows products, when they could just devlop a better solution to the software they want to run? I mean, come on people, mIRC, Outlook, AIM, Comet Curson... they're not all that great to begin with.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Interesting)

morie (227571) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449994)

I would be very happy if you can give me some pointers into developping a "Postbank" banking client (the web-based version doesn't cut it, since it can not handle mass automated payments). We have not figured out how to do anything like this yet. We need the program

It is the one thing that keeps my rowing club from switching to Linux (actually, there is also the members (financial) administration, but we might find something for that)

We have not figured out how to do anything like this yet. We need the program to collect membership fees and other money owned by members to the club.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (5, Insightful)

BokLM (550487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450004)

I don't think they are talking about this kind of software.
Some company release their software only for Windows, and if you really need this software and nothing exist to replace it, it can be a good solution before they release a Linux version (or someone else do).

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (5, Insightful)

scorp888 (53723) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450135)

The reason people still use Outlook, is multiple.

It syncs with most things, no lets rephrase that, most things sync with it. Phones, pda's etc, all will come with some way on syncing with outlook. Until all the Ximian's etc, can say the same, people will want to use Outlook. The other reason is group calendaring, there are alternatives to Exchange, but getting big corporates to move to them, is another matter. Getting small company's who already have a license for exchange 2000, to move to xxx product, which is going to cost them money, and can't be shown easily to offer real world benfits, is REALLY difficult.

Same with Project, same with Visio, same with SolarWinds Engineers tool kit, now I'd love open source versions of these, especially the last (and no, nmap and mrtg don't quite do the same) then I can use FreeBSD or Linux 100% of the time.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (1)

Mika_Lindman (571372) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450005)

I'm not sure about this, but the author want's to open MS Project file. Because he's looking for emulators, I'm assuming that there's no ( working ) software in *nix enviroment that can open MS Project files. Even if there was one, I don't think it would be 100% compatible and easy to use.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Insightful)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450012)

I mean, come on people, mIRC, Outlook, AIM, Comet Curson... they're not all that great to begin with.
I'll give you Outlook and Comet Cursor - who wouldn't! - but mIRC and AIM are pretty decent applications.

mIRC is one of the few bulwarks of Win32 shareware to still be going strong, and it's not by accident. As best I can tell, it's the most versatile and certainly the most popular and well-rooted IRC client in the Windows world, with ever improving features, scripting capabilities, etc. AIM, while proprietary, is free as in both beer and speech for the time being... And hasn't been treating tagalongs like gAIM or Trillian with too much hostility in recent times. Would gAIM or Trillian be as popular as they are if they didn't operate with the network that AOL has established for AIM?

Criticize malware and poor mail clients all you like, but there are some Windows apps that are shining examples of what software should be and do. IMO, both mIRC and AIM fall into this category. I do wish that Trepia [trepia.com] was more popular and its network more stable, though :)

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (-1, Flamebait)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450110)

I'll give you Outlook and Comet Cursor - who wouldn't! - but mIRC and AIM are pretty decent applications.

Of course not.

People don't like Outlook, because they can use Mutt, Pine or other console apps. They are happy with it.

People like mirc, because they can use console apps in Linux (like epic, bitchx), which are little worse (in features) than graphic irc client.

Of course they strongly hate XChat, just like they hate X, because "X Windows is for lamers!".

So they are using Windows. And Mirc. And MSIE.

And this is true reason why "Outlook is bad" and "MSIE is good".

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450177)

You have some work to do with your satire skills. Your post isn't completely clear whether you are among the CLI purists (who IMO should be locked away from public discussions about real business software used daily by normal humans in all kinds of jobs...) yourself, and you don't want that. ;-)

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (4, Insightful)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450034)

I think the idea is that there are some programs that are really important for some people, and there are no alternatives in *nixland. If someone can switch over because those programs now work without booting into Windows, that mean one more full-time linux user.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (3, Insightful)

leifbk (745927) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450172)

Correct. The grandparent's suggestion "just devlop [sic] a better solution" (in Linux) is not always a trivial task. It may actually require thousands of man-hours for any program of some merit. On the other hand, it'd certainly be worth it for the benefit of the Open Source community to match a few of the Windows killer apps. (The Linux equivalents should be called "Windows-killer apps" ;-)

I made the transition to Linux half a year ago, and haven't looked back. However, I've got this wonderful genealogy program "The Master Genealogist" (TMG), that only runs under Windows. The version I use is the old 16-bit one, a FoxPro 2.6 application. My present solution is to use it on my old laptop, which is running Windows 2000. I haven't managed to make it run under Wine. I was on the brink of purchasing Win4Lin some time ago, but their Web Shop messed up the transaction.

If anyone can tell me the easiest way to make this old FoxPro app run under Linux, I'll be much obliged.

And please, don't tell me that there are real alternatives to this program already under Linux, because there aren't. Both LifeLines and Gramps may be great in their own right, but for me they just don't cut it. I've tried both, and it feels like stuffing yourself into a Nissan Micra when you're used to drive around in a Cadillac.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450039)

One word : driver.
Explain me how I could get a driver for this [01xray.com] under Linux while I already have one under OSX (there's also one for Windows).
The more we'll go, the more we'll see that Linux is not Windows challenger as much as OSX is the challenger of the Linux+Windows pair.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450043)

sorry?

please name me a GUI based (GTK or qt) ftp client that I can use under Linux.

Nothing (not gFTP, not Kasablanca, not anything!) even remotely touches the open source delights of Filezilla.

Its killer apps like that that keep me under Windows.

(that and the need for decent A/V editing, which I have found to be non-existant under most non Windows/Mac OSes).

dgr

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450047)

Yes, but what about the financial programs customers' banks want them to use? We can't really tell 'em to switch to a decent bank. Although we might be right to do so :(

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450057)

Because people have massive amounts of special purpose or inhouse developed applications that will never get enough developers intrested to spontaniously develope them for Linux.

Wine makes win32 apps almost cross-platform. You can develope windows applications while never even touching a windows box as a developer nowadays.

You can write it, compile it, and test it inside linux and have a good chance that it will run just fine in any Windows version.

This way a orginization can develope applications that work equally as well in Linux and in Windows... and in Longhorn.

Helps with acceptance of Linux desktops, once peoplr are able to pick and choose between what OS they want to use irregardless of the quality of the applications or types of applications then Linux can compete with Windows based on the merits of the platform (and free software in general) alone.

Businesses rely on a lots of weedy little applications, generally nobody has the time or desire to recreate them just because they want to change OSes. What is the point? If it's done perfectly then it's time wasted, and if it doesn't work then your back to were you were before you even wasted your time, or worse.

But if I can just do a mput thru a ftp site for any generic *.exe file or setup program and have it work the first or second time, can't you see the advantage in that?

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (2, Funny)

xsupergr0verx (758121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450103)

My killer app is W32.Sasser.Worm

Runs pretty decently on newer hardware.

Re:Chasing the Windows Rainbow... (4, Insightful)

JOstrow (730908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450165)

Well, first, it takes less time to write an emulator than a Linux version of every Windows program somebody would want to use.

Since there are so many Windows-emulation applications available, it appears that a demand is present. Remember, this is for a 'linux desktop.' Your average 'linux desktop' user probably isn't savvy enough to research OSS alternatives... or program their own version.

To be quite honest, some Windows applications outdo their open-source counterparts. People will use what works best for them, and who can argue against doing that?

Microsoft Office Spell Check (0)

Kyle Hamilton (692554) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449914)

I still like Microsfot office only cause my spelling sucks hard, maybe if google made a program that was just a spell checker then I could go full linux

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449924)

How about linux comes out with a standard toolkit such as apple's cocoa, which allows spell check on every form element.

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450100)

How about linux comes out with a standard toolkit such as apple's cocoa, which allows spell check on every form element.

The text-entry stuff in KDE can do something very similar - it works in things like textareas in Konqueror, which can be incredibly useful.

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (3, Informative)

shadowmatter (734276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449935)

You should try OpenOffice (see http://www.openoffice.org/). To keep it brief, it's like an open-source version of MS Office -- and it includes spell check.

- shadowmatter

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (1)

log2.0 (674840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449963)

yeah...most people on slashdot wouldnt know what openoffice is!

Sorry to be a troll, just joking :)

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (0, Flamebait)

Grey Haired Luser (148205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450123)

Yeah, and it might even tell you
that it's spelled compatibility.

Re:Microsoft Office Spell Check (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449944)

To get a spell checker in Linux, there is open office [openoffice.org] , Abi Word [abiword.org] (both of which do red squigglies below misspelled words), and one can always type in "ispell -a" at the shell prompt and start typing in words which they're not sure of the spelling of.

Did anyone else read that as.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449920)

... lets all ditch on Windows again :)

Never venture on to the windows desktop again? (5, Insightful)

Granos (746051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449925)

Run it under Linux and win4lin, and never venture onto the Windows desktop at all.

Except, like, every time you run a windows application through win4lin. win4lin is just a virtual machine! You still need to install an authentic copy of Microsoft Windows on your machine. Although there is a big usability difference, there is not philisophical difference, as the summary seems to imply.

Re:Never venture on to the windows desktop again? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450049)

Yep, all it saves you is the boot to the head, er, Windows. It isn't emulation. It's running two, two, two OSs at once. Double your pleasure, double your fun, with Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint. . . Oh, sorry. Flashback.

Hell, it even allows you to run Outlook and IE while you're about it so if you're having trouble weening yourself from your familiar Windows apps it just lets you get to them easily without leaving Linux.

Hot Puppies!

KFG

Re:Never venture on to the windows desktop again? (4, Insightful)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450093)

Although there is a big usability difference, there is not philisophical difference, as the summary seems to imply.
There is a philosophical difference, but it's "Part-time Linux User vs. Full-time Linux User who runs a Windows program" (contrast "stick it to Microsoft vs. give money to Microsoft" which you appear to be getting at).

Also, over the long-term, being a Linux user who runs a Windows program does tend toward sticking it to Microsoft. Spending full-time in the Linux user environment with one nagging dependency is a clearer path to ultimate independence from Windows-based software; As a full-time Linux user, the itch is to get rid of that Windows dependency. As a dual boot user, the tendency is to stay in the currently booted environment until you want something in the other environment enough to close everything and reboot.

Not to mention the practical benefits of spending as little time as possible in a breeding ground for viruses and other malware... or the network effect of the existence of more full-time Linux users, (some of whom happen to run a program under win4lin). :-)

Re:Never venture on to the windows desktop again? (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450114)

As a dual boot user, the tendency is to stay in the currently booted environment until you want something in the other environment enough to close everything and reboot.

Yeah, but just because I was playing a game a few minutes ago and that's why I'm posting from Windows doesn't mean. . .ummmmmmmm, so, what about those Mets?

KFG

hmm (1, Insightful)

zerovoid (201369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449926)

Why don't you just run windows if you need to run windows applications? They'd probably run better.

Re:hmm (5, Informative)

aka-ed (459608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449943)

RTA, and you'll see its intended for office environments where rebooting dual boot systems are a loss of productivity/time.

Re:hmm (3, Insightful)

zerovoid (201369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449976)

the point of the comment is if:

1) They're working in an office environment
2) They're mainly using office programs (ie. Project, Word, Excel) with the majority of their workload

then why use linux at all? If their work is dependent on Microsoft products then they should use Microsoft operating systems.

one word.. (1)

qnxdude (520409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449955)

security

It's the useless games that get me.... (3, Insightful)

hajihill (755023) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449930)

Linux is great for being productive, but when you want to DL some trivial game and waste hours upon hours... You just can't beat a windows machine for that...

And I hate MS...

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450031)

er.. have you tried a distro? :)

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (1)

hajihill (755023) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450078)

Yeah, most of the major ones...

Used to help chair a LUG, and worked as a software designer for 3 years...

Don't get me wrong, I played FreeCiv for hours and hours, and even some of the other mediocre games available... but for variety and availability you can't beat windows...

It's like comparing... the NEC Turbographix 16 with comparable systems of the time. It was a great innovative system, great softs for it, but very limited marketability.

I'm a linux advocate, don't get me wrong. Also I devoutly believe OSS is the way to go, but the market currently caters to MS... and it's tough to break that completely in one sweeping move like this.

Of course, for the office environments this article seems to be geared towards there really is no downside to a complete linux migration.

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (1, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450079)

The terror of never being able to play Red Alert 2 or Age of Kings again is what keeps me on dual boot!

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450127)

I solved this problem years ago - very simple: Get a taste of nethack, a good deep week of play & no sleep and you don't want to play any other game anymore.

A few months of this and I removed my windows, back in 1999.

- One of the doomed nethackers

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450180)

There are no other games. ;-)

Praise the RNG.

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450150)

You ever try to run AoE under WINE? It calls you a bad boy for trying to run a decompiler against it and shuts right down.

Interesting, no?

KFG

Re:It's the useless games that get me.... (2, Funny)

MC_Cancer_Pants (728724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450149)

Unfortunately most of the time, windows decides when you get to waste hours... Windows is a very touchy person.

Outlook? (1)

ArbiterOne (715233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449934)

all those wonderful programs like Outlook And then you get to round out the full Windows experience, with all those wonderful Outlook viruses!
I'm NEVER tempted to use Outlook. I always use internet mail or Thunderbird [mozilla.org] .

Re:Outlook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450018)

As an anonymous corporate drone, I'm forced to use Outlook at work. And although I agree with you about email, I have to say that Outlook has calendar + contact = scheduling features that come in handy when you need to figure out when you can schedule a meeting (when you can't get out of it).

But all of the features (email, contact list, schedule, journal, etc) of Outlook can be found in other standalone applications. It's the collaborative features and the all-in-one-ness of Outlook that make it hard to replace. Of course, it also makes it a single massive point of failure...

Re:Outlook? (1)

xoran99 (745620) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450132)

I've found that Evolution has all of these features that you speak of. Well, except maybe the journal. :P

Re:Outlook? (3, Interesting)

zelbinion (442226) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450176)

Some of us don't have that luxury. Outlook and Office are STILL the main things keeping me on Windows. Oh, just use thunderbird, or some such thing... Well, I'd love to, but the company I work for uses Exchange. Oh, well just use Evolution or Kontact! Tried both. While I was able to get them to connect to our servers and send and receive mail, the addressing needs serious work. There's something like 80,000 employees in the company -- adding these one by one into Kontact's address book, or Evolution's address book, or even Thunderbird's address book (when using IMAP) is a major pain. Sure, I don't need to import 80,000 addresses. I need to import several hundred. One by one. By first searching through a list 80,000 names long. The name search feature in Outlook is far and above anything I've seen in any exchange client in Linux. Oh, and why do I have to "import" anything? Why can't I just use the entirety of the company directory AS my address book?? That, and the fact that I need Visio (sorry, Kivio doesn't cut it.) and while OpenOffice works fine for simple docs, I spend most of my time in a word processor working with company templates, most of which include formatting and macros that DO NOT work in OpenOffice. Oh yeah, I'll need a copy of Visual Studio (yes, we are trying to go Java... we just need to kill off these F*@!*#$ vb apps first...) ...and some of the corporate benefits web pages only work in internet exploader. So, until there are open source apps that REALLY are able to replace office, I'll be stuck in some sort of hyrbrid world. (not to mention all of the company-specific Windows-only apps like: the timecard system, the purchasing system, the travel system, and, oh, I almost forgot about MS Project....)

My solution? A dual-head box running SuSE 9.0 with Windows stuffed into a vmware box completely covering one monitor. Have to use Windows? Drag the mouse to the right. Get to use Linux? Drag the mouse to the left. Works great. When Windows needs to reboot, it can do so without interrupting my telnet/ssh sessions, XMMS player, Mozilla windows, etc. I only reboot the Linux box when I need to update the kernel. The strange thing? XP actually boots FASTER inside vmware. Just be sure to feed it LOTS of memory.

Now you too can have c:\linux~1\usr (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449938)

There are two problems with paths, both of which can interfere with running Windows programs this way. The first is that running programs from Windows can involve directories with spaces in their names.

The solution for this problem is to find the DOS name that corresponds to the directory you want to use. DOS does not allow spaces in names, so you can use DOS directory names in win commands.

OK, so now I expect you all to stop writing Microsoft as Micros~1

vmware for cheap (1)

qnxdude (520409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449940)

just pay up, get vmware and be done with it.. damm near everything compatibility.. i even got QNX to run on it once..

Wine or Qemu (5, Informative)

djcapelis (587616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449945)

I've been playing around with several different solutions for this. Personally I have no need for any of them except when coding microcontrollers at my robotic's competition once a year or so, in which case I just use some makefiles that act as the interface and run the compiler with wine for me. It worked totally fine.

Other than wine however, QEmu (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/) is a nice speed driven emulator that will do full on emulation of a system. It recently became able to emulate a system well enough to install and use all versions of windows up through XP. Quite a neat thing actually. It's much faster than boches, which I've also tried, and it has a fairly complete feature set. (Though obviously is for a slightly different purpose than boches, as boches is being mostly used as an operating system development tool now.)

Wine, WineX and Crossover all also work for even faster results but of course don't emulate the entire system. The apps integrate better of course though, due to the fact that wine will go ahead and put it on your desktop for you so you don't have to know the difference.

Re:Wine or Qemu (2, Interesting)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450090)

Other than wine however, QEmu (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/) is a nice speed driven emulator that will do full on emulation of a system.

I second the thought that QEmu's entire-system-emulation is a great approach. I'm no expert, but it gives me some feeling of being better "sandboxed" so rogue applications don't escape from the emulated system.

But perhaps the coolest, this Fabrice Bellard guy who wrote QEmu is the same guy behind the ffmpeg [bellard.free.fr] library and the TinyCC C compiler, his own emacs clone, and the linmodem project. Quite the impressive guy in the open source world.

Re:Wine or Qemu (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450119)

And yes, QEMU can run BSD [bellard.free.fr] as well as MSWindows.

It's pretty cool. You can have a debian system and run windows alongside netbsd alonside redhat, each in their

Too much CLI! (4, Interesting)

Matrix2110 (190829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449948)

Nice article, I have installed and run Linux a few times so I have a feel for it. (Redhat and Mandrake, I loved Mandrake!) The very steps you articulate are so over my head even though you seem to be creating a rosetta stone for others to follow.

Give me DoomIII on Linux and I might switch now.

Give you guys about three years and Microsoft is going to feel the pain to the point they are going to be forced to offer concessions.

I think that day is coming sooner than we think.

Re:Too much CLI! (3, Informative)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449992)


Give me DoomIII on Linux and I might switch now


Welp, given that ID software has released their games on linux for years now (quake 3, etc) and that they have said there will be a linux version of doom III shipping in the same box as the windows version, might as well switch then :P

Also might I say, ut2004 is beautiful in linux. (native, just like ut 2003 and ut)

Re:Too much CLI! (1)

Matrix2110 (190829) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450097)

"Welp, given that ID software has released their games on linux for years now (quake 3, etc) and that they have said there will be a linux version of doom III shipping in the same box as the windows version, might as well switch then :P

Also might I say, ut2004 is beautiful in linux. (native, just like ut 2003 and ut)"

Nooooooooooooooo!

Just kidding, this bodes very well for the community.

UT Runs very well on Linux boxen. I really wonder why the last minute delay on DoomIII. My personal conspiracy theory is that Carmack delayed release to accomodate 64 bit code. Any takers?

Re:Too much CLI! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450006)

There's no such thing as too much! Oh, I thought that was a "T"

Re:Too much CLI! (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450008)

Give you guys about three years and Microsoft is going to feel the pain to the point they are going to be forced to offer concessions.

I think that day is coming sooner than we think.


I've heard people say that for the last ten years or so. I'll believe it when I see it. I hope you're right though.

Re:Too much CLI! (1)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450137)

Give me DoomIII on Linux and I might switch now.

Are you sure that you know what are you talking about?
Windows and Linux versions of idsoft games are released at almost same time. Check Quake2, Quake3 and RTCW.

Re:Too much CLI! (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450139)

Let's not get all misty-eyed here... Linux is far away from offering the one-stop-shop solution windows does. All the effort that goes into linux is spread among the different distros and competing apps (which often do the same thing). Microsoft has a huge, dedicated team of developers working on Windows. They don't have conflicts of ideology, and so they effectively work together. All their effort is put into driving one product in a single direction. That fact alone means any windows OS is going to make more progress than the Linux equivalent. As linux is still behind windows on lots of desired functionality (speed of many popular apps, games, drivers, etc), it has to work even harder than windows to catch up.

I want to have an alternative to windows, but at the moment there isn't one. And the ones that could beat windows are slipping behind even more. Say what you want about Office, but the open source alternatives aren't as fast, don't provide the support they want, and aren't 100% compatible with everyone else's.

VS.NET (5, Insightful)

Blair16 (683764) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449958)

I'm not trying to start a big flame war here but my killer Windows app is Visual Studio.NET 2003. If Microsoft put half as much work into their OS as there is in Visual Studio the computer usability world would be a much better place. And if there was a Linux app that had comparable features I would switch over completely in a second (even if I had to pay for it).

Re:VS.NET (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450016)

If you don't mind, would you explain (for someone like me who hasn't used any MS programs in at least two years) just what is so good about VS.NET?

See, I was using MSVC 5.0 before I left that platform, and once I got a taste of the development platform (including emacs, that is ;-) ) on Linux, I really can't say that I've looked back to IDEs at all. Thus, could you explain just what is so good about it?

Not trying to flame, just curious.

Re:VS.NET (2, Interesting)

FueledByRamen (581784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450032)

The latest version of Visual Studio that I have is 6.0, but I still think you're right. MS puts a lot of thought and work into their dev tools, and it really shows; it is unfortunate that they can't get that same level of quality across all of their software!

On a side note, have you checked out XCode on a recent Mac? I've used that, too, and it is a very nice environment to work in.

Re:VS.NET (2, Funny)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450054)

Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!

Re:VS.NET (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450072)

KDevelop is much better than anyone ever gives it credit for.

Re:VS.NET (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450156)

If no one gives it credit, it's not good for them. Saying that it's better than they credit it is just saying "my judgement is better than that of the people we are trying to convince," that is, of a pompous ass. Cheers.

Getting started with linux (2, Interesting)

hetta (414084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449965)

Back when I first installed linux (dual boot) I hardly ever booted into it, and thus didn't learn all that much about it.

Half a year or so down the road I read an article on one or the other linux sites that said "just switch to it for a few months". So I did. I did get win4lin for that last program (omnipro for me). KMail is very very good, konqueror is just great (gotta love the file preview), the GIMP is excellent, the scanners work (and the colors with vuescan are even better than those I got from photoshop+silverfast windows), OOo works for texts and spreadsheets and compresses its files too - lovely.

I've been running linux for a year or two now. It helps that I use SUSE, which is nicely polished, as distros go.

Don't dual boot, because then you might not switch (2, Informative)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449966)

Especially don't run programs via dual-boot, which tempts you to stay and use all those other wonderful programs like Outlook

Because we know linux users must only use linux. Nothing else!

Compatability? (spelling nazi) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449970)

Can someone please correct the spelling of Compatibility? Not really enjoing being a spelling nazi, but it really hurts my eyes to see that in the title...

Obligatory response (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450143)

Could you please explain the meaning of the word enjoing ?

Kompatability (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449975)

Get a clue, Michael... What the hell is "compatability"??? At least learn to copy/paste from the original article.

check your spelling (4, Informative)

chrispy666 (519278) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449982)

It is spelt "compatibility" for crying out loud !

And it is repeated both in the article AND in the slashdot title. Unacceptable...

Where the hell did this weird "compatability" mistake come from anyway ? I see it more and more everywhere, even in important reports and it's driving me crazy.

Re:check your spelling (1)

TiggsPanther (611974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450070)

I think it's down to an unfortunate use of logical (but incorrect) assumption.

The problem lies with the misspellings compatable/compatability that do seem to make sense as is it an "ability".
It's one of the drawbacks of the English language that some wors fly in the face of logic and their misspellings make more sense than the true ones.

Possibly also down to pronunciation-drift. A common pronunciation (especially here in the UK) is compatable. The problem with this is that people will write it as they say it. And, unlike many English words, the "as said" misspelling is actually credible. Just wrong.

Tiggs

Re:check your spelling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450081)

here here!
walla!
hmm.. what else...

Agreed (1)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450122)

Coined by the same fools who brought you "preventative maintainenance", no doubt. If misspellings get under your skin, then that ought to really wrankle.

Re:Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450163)

then that ought to really wrankle.

That really rankles me!

Outlook (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9449983)

If Linux had a sync option with iPaq PDAs i wold go with Linux. Please cant i have this.

Re:Outlook (2, Informative)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450155)

You could install a Linux-distro (Opie or GPE) on your Ipaq. Take a look at http://www.handhelds.org for more details.

The table of equivalents (5, Informative)

Advocadus Diaboli (323784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9449990)

The table of equivalents [linuxshop.ru] lists a lot of open source solutions for almost every program that you can get for Windows. So if someone wants to switch to Open Source he should have a look at it.

And yes, Linux is ready for the desktop. I switched my own firm PC to Debian/testing last October and I use it for the daily work stuff without any problems. Even being a small island in a Windows-focussed infrastructure doesn't give much trouble.

The trick is not to try to be a 100% compatible to Windows. No, I rather prefer to be compatible to open standards and so I'm sharing my documents not in *.DOC files but in *.PDF and originally they are written with LaTeX. You can't convince a bean counter that switching makes sense if you just want to do the things the same way like before, because then nobody sees some "added value". If you do things different and even more successful then people start to think about the why...

Windows is dead, long live Windows. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450009)

All very interesting but who is going to pay to convert hundres of millions of bussiness PC's to Linux and how much will it cost (time=money)? I find nothing influences the boss/customer more than the bottom line. The average guy with pointy hair and and a fat wallet will say "So what if Windows has a few bugs. Find a way to work around it. I'm not paying some overpriced egghead to convert to another platform unless it makes my wallet considerably fatter".

Re:Windows is dead, long live Windows. (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450035)

Tell him about Software Assurance!

Dual Boot (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9450011)

> Especially don't run programs via dual-boot,
> which tempts you to stay and use all those
> other wonderful programs like Outlook...

Hmm, some years back I installed Linux to perform one task. But a couple of days later I started to use Linux for the other things as well and a couple of months later windows was gone with the wipe.

cb

sametime (1)

phreakv6 (760152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450024)

Has anyone had success with running lotus sametime messenger on linux ?.I currently run it as a applet built using the samatime java toolkit,but is there someone who managed to make sametime run it in linux as a application ?

wow, a typo in the topic (0, Offtopic)

latroM (652152) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450041)

No definitions found for "compatability", perhaps you mean: web1913: Compatibility wn: comparability compatibility foldoc: compatibility
Now, mod me down if you want but it is quite serious when the topic has a typo.

run just the necessary Windows programs under Linu (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450051)

"run just the necessary Windows programs under Linux." so this is good for linux or windows ? chris

win4lin is good. (3, Insightful)

12357bd (686909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450065)

Win4lin does its job quite well.
Having a non trivial amount of old 16 windows code, win4lin allows you to keep all those old aps that will not be ported in the near future, while living in the Linux world.
It's not 'perfect' (It needs a patched kernel), but works fine and without problems.

I like linux but.... (3, Informative)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450092)

WINE can do Winzip perfectly, but it's the games and the ease of use that keep me on windows.

With Windows at least all my hardware is detected. Sure it doesn't perform the greatest under bloated XP, but it works... which is better than it not working at all under linux (and by the time it gets supported it's several years down the track)

Windows installs things really easily. Linux on the other hand can be a total NIGHTMARE when it comes to installation... I must admit that some installs on linux are a dream.... just a shell script does the job. As for having to compile source code for most of the other stuff???? you need to have a good distro or you will spend a whole day compiling something... only to have some library missing or the code breaking and not working for some inexplicable reason. Then Fedora won't let me install the KDE development packages due to some bug there. Heck I just compiled a 2.6.7 kernel today and some modules barfed on install to the point where I had no modules.dep file to mkinitrd with! I still don't understand why!

On security fronts Linux wins HANDS DOWN. Windows forces you to buy stuff from Symantec, when a free IPTABLES script from the net can do the same job on Linux for free. And linux viruses are almost non-existant.

The day when Linux takes over the desktop can't come soon enough... but at the moment its capabilities are pretty limited to being an alternate email/internet/office/server replacement... but not much else.

WINE is getting better but it's still jagged in places. Still pretty unusable for me. It gets some business Windows apps going, but as Linux apps get better to replace them, I hope WINE will eventually be used as a front end just for old windows games.

Sure linux is free.... but that doesn't help someone like me who shelled out on Windows only because Linux and WINE isn't really there yet.

Re:I like linux but.... (3, Insightful)

Pidder (736678) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450152)

I'll burn karma for this but... Windows XP is not bloated compared to your average Linux distribution. The amount of extra programs and utilities you get when you do a default install in say debian or red hat tops that of XP. Sure, you can choose not to install any of them but the same rings true for XP.

Re:I like linux but.... (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450153)

Heck I just compiled a 2.6.7 kernel today and some modules barfed on install to the point where I had no modules.dep file to mkinitrd with! I still don't understand why!


did you 'make dep'?

Warcraft? (2, Interesting)

EricKoh (669058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450096)

Anyone got any luck running warcraft on linux? I suspect it could be done under VMWare etc but what about the performance? Please enlighten.. warcraft is impt to me :D

Re:Warcraft? (4, Funny)

agent dero (680753) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450171)

Please enlighten.. warcraft is impt to me

I think I speak for the whole linux community when I say,
no

Compatability? (1)

Gerb (88657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450106)

Didn't anyone notice that it should be compatibility? Or is this something US-English?

Gerb

Games (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450116)

This still doesn't fix the problem of games under linux, unless someone's managed to port DirectX 9 and hardware-accelerated drivers for the major graphics cards...

second thoughts (4, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 10 years ago | (#9450167)

My first post instinct was to ask why anyone would bother trying to get anything that's buggy windows to run on anything Linux. But then I read the second post.. and the third... and so on...

There is a lot of software out there that doesn't run on linux natively that only runs on windows.

But you have to keep in mind why Microsoft killed Netscape and tried to kill Java. The desktop application environment is being replaced by the webtop application environment and there isn't anything they can do about it.

So, if there is some project/application that you want to run under Linux that only runs in Windows, don't rewrite it first to run under Linux as in Gnome or KDE, but write it to run under Apache plus whatever you need. It might be more appropriate to run it under web pages.

Good examples of these are anything to do with corporate financials, email, or planning/scheduling. Bad examples of this are going to be anything that isn't really shared, like Instant Messages, IRC, or other personal user specific applications.

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