coLinux on top of Vista

Since I’m lugging around a dual-core Vista laptop, I thought I’d try to make it more useful for hacking.

I’ve tried using the win32 version of xemacs, Eclipse (crashed due to some lock violation), other editors like TotalEdit, et al, but it all feels very clunky compared to a unix environment. Cygwin is ok, but has its issues as well. For one thing, running erlang from within a cygwin shell messes up command-line editing.

Enter Cooperative Linux, or coLinux – a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run natively alongside another OS. I played around a bit with various pre-built distributions, and finally settled for the bare-bones Debian Etch root file system that comes as an option with the basic coLinux install. I use my existing Cygwin X server, and resized the root partition up to 16 8 GB.

So far, so good. I’ve used apt-get to install the necessary utilities, and was able to build Erlang/OTP R12B-4 without problems. The system feels pretty much like a native linux installation.

coLinux on Vista

The thing I have yet to figure out is how to share a file system between coLinux and Vista. I thought of using a Cygwin NFS daemon, but I don’t seem to have enough access privileges on my work laptop to pull that off. But overall, it feels extremely promising.

9 thoughts on “coLinux on top of Vista

  1. The simplest method to share a file system between coLinux and Windows is just below:
    1.insert the following line to your coLinux config file(eg:”C:\Program Files\coLinux\debian3r2.conf”):
    2.mount cofs0 in your linux system.

  2. How can you work for a company that limits your privileges on your work laptop? Or did I misunderstand you, and it was Vista that was stopping you?

  3. @john: I read some comment on the wiki hinting that cofs was still very immature and may corrupt your system. Perhaps that comment is outdated?

  4. @Barry: Well, there are compensations… 😉
    Most companies with >70,000 employees have similar restrictions, I wager.

    I do have other laptops that are not restricted, but of course I already run native Linux on those.

  5. I have been using cofs for more than 10 months, and that have not corrupted my system. But my host OS is Windows XP, not Vista, so I don’t know…
    If you got any error, notify me please, thanks.
    Email:john721 at gmail dot com.

  6. Ulf, you da man! I have been wrestling with xming and swedish characters in emacs for so bloody long!

  7. Sorry, that previous comment should have gone on the topic above…
    coLinux – the devil’s in the details…

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