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.
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.
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.
You can choose to have it access your Windows drives using Samba.
Select Install this driver software anyway when you get the unsigned driver message.
To complete installation, a reboot is required.
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.
There are several KOffice apps included by default and you can start exploring programs like KMail, Kexi, KWord, and more.
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.
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.
When the latest app packages are downloaded and installed. Click on Details to see what is happening “behind the scenes”.
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.
Here is an example of the Multimedia directory where you can launch different apps.
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.
KSpread is a Linux app for creating new spreadsheets and running in Windows 7.
Synaptic Package Manager allows you to download and install new Linux application packages.
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).