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Simulaneously running Linux and Windows

Over the past few years I’ve been using PC virtualization software such as VMware and Virtual PC to run multiple operating systems simulatneously (I’ve got a dual-CPU AMD with 2GB RAM and about 400GB disk space so computing power is not a problem). For example, to connect to my a client’s office network using a VPN I created a separate virtual workstation and run Cisco’s VPN software in the virtual workstation. That way, I can connect via both the VPN and my local network connection at the same time. It works like a charm. Also, I’ve created some “play workstations” that I can install new software in without affecting my “real” workstation. I run Debian Linux as a virtual workstation too. So all this works great, but sometimes I want to be able to run Linux software in the same address space (instead of a separate PC) and have to use something like Cygwin. However, a few weeks ago I ran across a new Linux distribution called coLinux that allows you to run Linux software under Windows (allowing Linux to cohabitate with Windows). Although the software is pretty new and not quite bug-free, it’s worth taking a look at if you want run Linux software and your Windows applications side by side.

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