Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

Energy/Electricity Storage and Use/Grid Connection => Low Energy Computing => Topic started by: Ivan on January 02, 2009, 12:42:11 PM



Title: windows emulator
Post by: Ivan on January 02, 2009, 12:42:11 PM
Is there such a thing that allows windows software to be used in a linux environment? For example specialist software or outdated software which will never be made available in a linux form


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: bs85 on January 02, 2009, 12:47:58 PM
Wine

http://www.winehq.org/


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: stephend on January 02, 2009, 01:40:28 PM
www.vmware.com doesn't emulate windows, it virtualises the whole PC, so you can run any x86 OS on it.  So you can run linux on windows or windows on mac os x, or opensolaris on linux, etc.  Much more reliable than trying to emulate windows.


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: stephend on January 02, 2009, 02:05:37 PM
I'm going to have to gush a bit about vmware...
Running windows as a virtual machine (VM) means on linux or mac, means that the whole OS runs inside another program, so when it crashes, it doesn't bring down your whole machine, just the vmware program.  You can also create snapshots of the OS which you can roll back to at any time.  E.g. I first install windows, ms-office, anti-virus, java and a few other essentials and then create a snapshot.  Then in 6 months time when the OS is full of spyware and other nasties, I just restore to the snapshot and I have a virgin system again. :)
We use in our company extensively, which has allowed us to create specific software sets for specific tasks and then share them with each other.  E.g. we have one build with windows xp + office + outlook + vpn software all pre-configured for our network.  If you ever need an office computer, just boot this image and away you go.
You can also run more than one image on the same computer at the same time.  I used to work with firewalls and security software and used 3 running vmware images to demonstrate and attacker + a firewall + a victim all apparently running in 3 separate OS's - when in fact they were all running under vmware on a single laptop :)  Be prepared to upgrade RAM and disk space though...
Here's a screenshot of windows XP + linux running on my mac (you can do the same running on linux or windows).



Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: wyleu on January 02, 2009, 02:10:16 PM
Can you explain the requirements to set up a system under vmware?

You will of course require some form of windows license wont you?




oh, and have a couple of applauds for a good gush...


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: stephend on January 02, 2009, 03:13:42 PM
Can you explain the requirements to set up a system under vmware?

You will of course require some form of windows license wont you?

Yep, you'll need a windows license to install windows.  So, from scratch under linux you would:
- Download trial or buy vmware workstation for linux and install it
- Run vmware and choose to create a new virtual machine, a wizard guides you through the process - and since you're emulating the whole PC, not just the OS you get to choose things like how much RAM you want to assign to it, whether you want to give both or only 1 core to the guest system, whether USB devices should automatically be assigned to the Guest or not, etc.
- Stick in your windows CD-Rom and assign your physical CD-rom drive to the Guest system (just by right clicking the CD-rom icon)
- Then start your new VM and tell it to boot off the CD-rom, and you'll go through the normal windows installation process
(Actually the two previous steps have been made easier by vmware.  The wizard takes care of everything, you just need to enter your windows license and whatever data it usually asks of you during an install - and the vmware wizard will take care of the rest of the install, no need to hold it's hand).
- Once done now you have a full PC running in software, so you can reboot it, suspend it and shut it down all through the vmware menu, and if you have external devices that only work well with windows, then you can plug them in, and right click the USB menu, and tell vmware to grab that device and give it to the Guest.

A few notes:
- There is a completely free VMware player which is a stripped down version of vmware workstation, it will let you use any existing vmware images - but it won't let you create new ones (for that you need the workstation or server products).
- Friends who worked while travelling abroad took along a USB stick with vmware player + their own operating system image.  Just walk into any Internet Cafe, insert the stick, and boot your own operating system with all your tools installed.
- Vmware have a HUGE online store of vmware images based on open source OSs - so you don't even have to bother installing them.  Just search for the image you need, download, and play with vmware player.  Want a complete open source CRM system?: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/917  the whole thing is installed and working, you just need to boot it :)  ...there are almost too many images to choose from: http://www.vmware.com/appliances/  All of the latest linux distro's are there so you can try them out before installing them onto real hardware.

Encouraging me to gush is dangerous (thanks for applauds :) )...

We've consolidated _all_ the server hardware for our company using VMware ESX server.  Now we have one BIG box that runs about 8 different vmware images for the servers we need: mail, web, file server etc.  Mail server crashed? If a reboot doesn't sort it, then just delete the image and boot a fresh one.  Need a new web server with Apache installed and with security hardening already applied? copy and paste and boot. 
One of the newer features of ESX server is the ability to move a running virtual machine from one ESX server to another, without interrupting it.

(As an aside, if you want to play with Mac OS X without buying a Mac, there are vmware images available on the popular torrent sites - (it would be illegal to download and run those image if you don't have a copy of OS X [and even then it's questionable since the OS X license states that you can only run OS X on Apple hardware] )

I'll stop now.  Promise.



Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: damnager on January 02, 2009, 03:33:27 PM
Or, if you don't want to spend any money on virtualization you can download Virtual Box http://www.virtualbox.org/ this is freely distributed by Sun and works (for me). But you will still need to pay M$ if you want to use their OS.

Keith


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: Ivan on January 02, 2009, 06:27:16 PM
So, for example, I have an old accountancy package which runs in windows. I'm trying to get away from Windows entirely. But it appears from the above comments, that I'll still need to install windows, and need a windows licence (I was hoping to throw both windows and licences in the bin). I don't actually want to use any features of windows at all.


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: stephend on January 02, 2009, 06:48:49 PM
I don't actually want to use any features of windows at all.

Then Wine is the one.


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: wyleu on January 02, 2009, 11:50:32 PM
Shall we make him explain children ?




Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: wookey on January 03, 2009, 03:38:55 AM
As the man says, vmware is fine but it's not Free Software.  Virtualbox is (and so is QEMU), so you're normally better off using them if you need a virtual machine.

Ivan - try Wine, which is _much_ less heavyweight. Quite a lot of stuff works these days. There is a list of known-to-work apps at Winehq so you can check how good your chances are expected to be.


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: room101 on January 03, 2009, 11:44:37 PM
Just spent some time today playing with Virtualbox, is very good. loaded a copy of windows and another copy of linux, works great... ;D


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: Ivan on January 05, 2009, 12:10:51 AM
sorry for being thick - i've just been reading up on WINE - but can't work out which version I should install. I've got Linux on an eeePC (900 series) but I believe the linux version is specifically eeePC rather than a mainstream version (although it could be a modified mainstream version - but I can't work out how to tell.

/


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: bs85 on January 05, 2009, 06:40:21 AM
http://www.laptopmag.com/advice/how-to/eee-pc-wine.aspx


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: batat on January 05, 2009, 02:11:02 PM
In addition to all the above, if your ms program is DOS based (not windows on top of DOS like Win3.1, W95 etc) then there's several excellent DOS emulators for Linux/*nix like systems. Wine is good, very good in fact but it must be said that some programs fair better than others. Codeweavers wine is better still but not free. As for VMWare, personally I think it's wicked! I have one program which I require access to 9-5 which although it functions under Wine isn't 'polished' say so I went the VMware route. You can download a trial version of VMware workstation to create your VM's before the trial expires & then use VM Player to run them but I simply use the free VMware Server product. When I log into my Linux desktop & I need the windows program I just click on the VMware icon & up pops windows (running) just wanting my password (optional). As others have said the pause, play, snapshot stuff is great. This way I get to run my favorite O/S & don't have to fuss with A/V software all the time. If you have a dual boot system you can also run your 'real' windows installation from Linux via a VM! How cool is that. :)

http://www.linuxjournal.com/video/run-your-windows-partition-without-rebooting

I 'upgraded' from windows a long time ago & once my tie with this old windows program is broken I'll have no use for windows at all and won't miss it. Just glad I found a way out before Vista...

Rgds,
Mark.


Title: Re: windows emulator
Post by: wookey on January 05, 2009, 11:53:45 PM
Ivan  - your eeepc is running Xandros Linux. That's a Debian-derived distro, descended from Corel Linux. Seems it doesn't have its own wine deb. (nothing in ftp://ftp2.xandros.com/src/pool/ ) Here is another (shorter) howto: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=19958 suggesting you just install the Debian wine package.

In general it's a good plan to try to only use packages from the distro, rather than random ones from all over. You get better consistency and less breakage that way, but you don't have that option without changing your distro.

At some point you might find the limited set of software provided with Xandros annoying, in which case Debian- or ubuntu-ising your eee might prove to be a good plan. No hurry though.