We needed to set up some Annodex servers for demos this week, and our server software currently runs best on Linux. So, what to do if you’re using Windows machines which you can’t install Linux on for whatever reason, political or technical? Run Linux inside Windows, of course, via coLinux.

coLinux is great. No, scratch that — coLinux is really great. Not only does it work, it works really well: it’s fast (I really don’t think I’ve ever seen a Debian system boot up in 2-3 seconds), it’s stable, and it even uses a pretty small amount of memory, since Linux servers tend to be on the trim side. A full-blown Linux installation for us with Apache serving multi-megabyte multimedia streams to multiple Windows clients was using up less than 30MB of Windows’s memory pool. Low fat.

If you must have Windows on your desktop/laptop for whatever reason, but need Linux and are getting sick of doing the reboot dance just to switch OSs, give coLinux a whirl. And, if you want to get geek cred points, watch your friends’ jaws drop when they see X11 applications hosted on coLinux displaying in Cygwin/X; it’s pretty scary just how well it all works. Now, whither my coLinux for Mac OS X port (and flying car)?

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