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andLinux is a Ubuntu distribution that used the coLinux kernel, a Windows port of the Linux kernel which allows andLinux to run natively inside Windows without any virtualization software. After downloading, you basically just run the install Wizard. When your machine reboots, an extra taskbar icon will be waiting for you to launch and install pretty much any standard Linux application.

The coLinux kernel can be launched as a service and it runs in the background with a dedicated amount of RAM allotted to it. During the install, you create a folder to house the andLinux Ubuntu installation’s root directory. If you need to access the full C drive from Linux applications, it’s just a quick entry in the /etc/fstab.

When you’ve got everything running, the end result is really seamless. The Linux applications each run in a standard window, just like your Windows apps. There’s no switching between operating system windows. Xterm, Konquerer, Amarok, whatever—It basically just works.

The installation is pretty simple, and there’s also a nice tutorial at Tinkernut that runs you through the installer and shows you how to use Synaptec to easily install other Linux applications. If you’re primarily a Windows user, but you miss all the great open source apps and command line tools that are available in Linux, this is worth the 700MB download.

andLinux – Link
Using andLinux (video) – Link



  1. Nick says:

    This is really cool. They should have something like this for other OSes too. Virtualization software usually works pretty well, but if the kernel is designed to run natively within another operating system, there will be far fewer problems.

  2. King James III says:

    If the desire is to break Microsoft’s strangle hold on the world’s P.C.’s, this is not the way to do it.

  3. Ghost BOFH says:

    I’d have to agree with KJ3. The upside to this software is that Windows users can now feel like there’s no need to switch to Linux, as they can have Linux on their system too!

    The downside is when your POS Windows OS gets infected or BOSDs and takes out everything with it, it’ll take out everything with it – including your new psuedo-Linux.

    The only thing I could see this as being useful for, is running ‘nix on your work computer – but then, most companies have pretty strict policies about what you can and can’t install…so…

  4. Harry Barracuda says:

    This is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

    Surely you’re better off running Linux and using Wine if you *have* to run a bloody windows app!