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After several time of being put through the hell of Swindles (aka Windows) activation I'm ready to move to Linux... maybe. I have XP installed and would like to install ...
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  1. #1
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    Compatability with windows programs


    After several time of being put through the hell of Swindles (aka Windows) activation I'm ready to move to Linux... maybe.

    I have XP installed and would like to install linux so that I can test it with various windows programs. I want to keep the XP while I test so I need to set up the computer to let me choose which system I want to use.

    So...
    1) Is there any particular flavor of Linux which is more likely to run windows programs?
    2) Or will any flavor run windows programs?
    3) how do I set up a dual boot system?

    Thanks

    Usagi

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    No kind of Linux runs Windows programs directly. But:

    1) There are Linux equivalents for most Windows programs (including some games but not all).
    2) There are Linux programs like wine and cedega that provide a Windows-like API under which Windows programs can run.

    To dual-boot Windows and Linux is not difficult. Basically you just need to make room on your hard drive by shrinking your Windows partition, using something like Partition Magic. Then install Linux in the space you have created. The Linux bootloader, GRUB, will boot both Windows and Linux.

    You can mount Windows partitions under Linux so your data files will be accessible (and your programs too if you are using wine).
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usagi View Post
    So...
    1) Is there any particular flavor of Linux which is more likely to run windows programs?
    No, they all use the same programs to run Microsoft Windows applications. They're either using WINE, Crossover, or Cedega, which are all descendants of the same code base.

    There's nothing special about any one distribution over another when it comes to emulating Microsoft Windows.

    2) Or will any flavor run windows programs?
    Not natively, no. Microsoft Windows is a completely different OS from Linux. Different code base, different scope, different history. The only way you can run MS Windows software in Linux is to use one of the 3 apps I just mentioned.

    3) how do I set up a dual boot system?
    Simply speaking you'll need to do the following:

    1. Back up your XP data.
    2. Resize your XP partition and leave some empty space at the end of your drive (at least 5GB)
    3. Install Linux into that empty space
    4. Configure your bootloader if Linux doesn't do it automatically.

    Some Linux distributions will offer to resize your XP partition for you. This will probably work, but make sure you've defragmented your drive recently. This will make sure there aren't any scraps of files left in the sections of your drive you're going to overwrite.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

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