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OSNews: Review of Win4Lin 4.0

May 24, 2002, 11:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eugenia Loli-Queru)

[ Thanks to Sean for this link. ]

"The technique the Netraverse folks are using is a rather impressive one, and also different than what VMWare or Virtual PC does. So, what they do really, is changing some system calls in the kernel (hence the need for a custom Win4Lin kernel) and then they are loading a DOS-alike environment in the form of a 'server.' When you load Windows9x, Windows thinks that it runs on top of DOS and not on top of Linux! Some specific drivers and services, like the NIC driver, the graphics card driver, keyboard and mouse, I/O operations etc, are not exactly emulated as VMware or VirtualPC do, but instead they 'pass through' all of their requests to the underlying server. Then, the server is making sure that these calls/requests are executed by the real Linux hardware and drivers.

"It would be sufficient to say that Win4Lin is something between WINE and VMWare. It loads a whole copy of Windows in a virtual machine (like VMWare does), but it is utilizing its extended Linux integration techniques to run, like WINE does. Someone would say that Win4Lin is the best of both worlds and techniques..."

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