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Run Linux Apps On Your Windows Machine the Easy Way

You might be interested in trying out Linux applications, but the idea of creating a dual boot system, using slow Live CDs, or setting up a VM doesn’t appeal to you. Today we take a look at andLinux which allows you to run Linux applications on your Windows computer.

andLinux is actually a full installation of Ubuntu that allows you to run Linux apps directly within the Windows environment. The user interface is the KDE flavor, which should be easier for Windows users to get used to. It’s completely free, easy to install, and is a great way for the Windows user to introduce themselves to Linux. 

Note: andLinux is in Beta 2 stage, so keep in mind there may be some bugs yet to be worked out.

Installing andLinux

There are several steps following the installation wizard that are self explanatory, but we will take a look at some of the more important ones. You will need to decide how much memory you want to allocate for andLinux. This will depend on how much memory you have installed on your machine…you can experiment with different amounts and see what works best.

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You can select to run it manually from the command line or the easiest option is to have it start automatically with Windows which is selected by default.

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You can choose to have it access your Windows drives using Samba.

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Select Install this driver software anyway when you get the unsigned driver message.

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To complete installation, a reboot is required.

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Using andLinux

After a successful installation and reboot, you will now see a small KDE icon in the notification area. This will essentially be your “Linux Start Menu” where you can select different included apps you want to run.

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There are several KOffice apps included by default and you can start exploring programs like KMail, Kexi, KWord, and more. 

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After you’ve become acquainted with the different Linux apps offered, you might want to download more using the Synaptic Package Manager. You’ll need to sign in using the password you created during the installation.

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You can browse through the insane amount of different applications or search for what you’re looking for. You’re provided with descriptions of the different apps and when you’re ready, mark the package(s) for installation.

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When the latest app packages are downloaded and installed. Click on Details to see what is happening “behind the scenes”.

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You can use Konqueror to browse for the newly installed applications and launch them. Konqueror is a staple in a lot of Linux distributions that works as a file manager where you can browse by category and also browse the web.

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Here is an example of the Multimedia directory where you can launch different apps.

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Here are a few shots of how different Linux apps look running in the Windows 7 environment. Here we take a look at using Konqueror as a web browser in Windows 7.

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KSpread is a Linux app for creating new spreadsheets and running in Windows 7.

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Synaptic Package Manager allows you to download and install new Linux application packages.

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Remember andLinux is still in Beta stage so expect some bugs and some things not to work correctly. If you already have a Windows virtual machine set up, you might want to try it out there before installing it on your real machine. This provides and easy way for a Windows user who’s curious about the Linux world to explore Linux apps without much difficulty. There is currently no support for 64 bit systems, but andLinux will run on Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, and Windows 7 (32-bit Versions Only).

Download andLinux

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/30/09

Comments (14)

  1. Jordan

    Does it work with cd burning applications like k3b?

  2. Evan

    I’ve used andLinux for ages solely to run Amarok 1.4 on my work XP machine!

  3. Doctor

    Oh Cool that sort of looks cool but I’ll wait till it’s out of Beta

  4. jeffs3rd

    There is also Portable Ubuntu which runs similarly. Not sure if it’s compatible with Windows 7, though.

  5. zeepkist

    Nice.
    Very nice.
    Very useful.

  6. 1fastbullet

    What a damn shame it is that the Kreator(s) of andLinux chose to use the KDE user interface for this otherwise Kool idea. I’ve been using Ubuntu and playing with some other Linux flavors for a Kouple of years, but simply Kan’t tolorate the childish stupidity of that KDE Krap. The shameful part is, KDE has some truly outstanding features like K3b.
    I hope someone has the Kommon sense to Kome up with a Gnome eKuivilent of this so I can Konscientiously reKommend it to Kompanions, Komrads and Klosest friends.

  7. Betania Perez

    Es muy interesante en que pude entender, lo poco que leo en ingles,.Pero necesito mas asistencia en mi idioma , pero necesito saber como puedo intalarlo a mi computadora. I need somebody spike spanish. Thankyou”.

  8. Mysticgeek

    @Betania Perez: We provide a Translation feature for each page. The Translate button appears on the right side of the article. Usually under the ad on the right side.

  9. Vadersapien

    Nice, but I’d rather use KDE for Windows or CyGNOME. At least then you don’t have a full installation of Kubuntu hogging your RAM…

  10. Tegar

    what desktop manager used by andLinux? KDE or GNOME?

  11. lshurr

    If you can’t abide KDE (religious issue, I don’t relate), there’s a minimalist XFCE version. From there, you can load any mix of apps you choose. That’s the only real difference between the two “flavors” offered, because you’re not running the KDE or XFCE window manager/desktop, you’re running the Linux apps on the Windows desktop using the Xming X Server with sound support through a PulseAudio server. Linux is essentially running “headless” and Windows/Xming relates to it as an X terminal. Thus, if you prefer Gnome, then install the XFCE version and use apt-get or Synaptic to load the Gnome apps you really want. The above text talks about how KDE is often said to be easier for Windows users than Gnome, but frankly, the superficial aspects of the three environments are similar enough that nobody has to get lost switching from one to the other. From there, it’s a matter of preference.

  12. calebstein

    I wish it supported 64 bit systems.

  13. Linux & Windows blog

    It’s a useful software for me. With it I can run Linux application on Windows. Thanks.

  14. dude

    i prefer gnome instead of kde

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