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ZDNet: Windows and Linux: in perfect harmony

Aug 29, 2001, 04:57 (3 Talkback[s])
"Fact of life: Nothing does everything for everyone, even Linux. That's why, as Linux's list of native applications continues to ramp up to more sizable proportions, Windows is still a nice thing to have around.

We called on five Windows-on-Linux solutions--VMware GSX Server, VMware Workstation, Win4Lin, Wine, and WinToNet--to strut their stuff for us. With an emulator (or, in the case of Wine, a Windows compatibility layer), you can maintain the Linux foundation while being able to call up Windows applications as needed. And WinToNet takes a different tack; it's a Windows NT/2000-based product that can serve up Windows applications to any client with a browser--including Linux. Although each of these packages has its own set of quirks, none is terribly difficult to use, and all tend to work to varying degrees, depending on what you're looking for.

Don't forget the obvious: For everything but Wine (and possibly also for Wine right now), you'll need a copy of Windows itself and copies of any applications you might want to run. Win4Lin, Wine, and VMware provide only the platform, not the software. And, although Linux will function in a modest environment, modesty has never been one of Windows' virtues. For the emulation products, you'll need 64MB of memory to run Windows 95; 128MB is Windows 98's sweet spot."

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