coLinux cooperating with Windows XP on HP nx6120

What is this?
I tried coLinux 0.6.2 on Win-XP-SP2 running on HP nx6120 laptop. 🙂
It works fine. Just amazing….!
I felt like working on full fledged installed linux. is very much useful. It **does not** take much memory, just 2 MB only 🙂

What is coLinux?
CoLinux is a linux running on other Operating System, so that switching between two operating systems is just finger tip work.

Installation method I followed
1. Downloaded coLinux-0.6.2.exe (4.7MB) and Debian-3.0r2.ext3-mit-backports.1gb.bz2 (28MB) from
2. Downloaded Windows Packer Capture Library WinPcap_3_1.exe (457KB) from
3. Installed Windows Packer Capture Library as instructed by above link.
4. Install the coLinux-0.6.2.exe in C:\coLinux directory.
5. Copy the Debian-3.0r2.ext3-mit-backports.1gb.bz2 in C:\coLinux and rename it as “root_fs”
6. Run “C:\coLinux\colinux-daemon.exe -c default.colinux.xml”
7. Now you should see a linux kernel boot message and login prompt in a less than 10 secs.
8. If WinPcap is installed properly, you are connected to your network, you can do apt-get also immediately. I installed WindowMaker desktop using apt-get.
9. Configured vncserver to run at boot time, which will start my WindowMaker desktop. A VNC Client running in Win-XP served me the wonderful WindowMaker desktop.
9. I installed firefox with “apt-get install mozilla-firefox” and xmms using “apt-get install xmms” just like that.
10. Tested internet access with firefox, it is simply great.
11. Tested xmms with output plugin set as eSound. It is wonderful. I configured eSound to stream to host Win-XP (IP Address of LAN).
12. Downloaded from and run “esd -tcp -public” from Win-XP command prompt to listen the audio ().

How does it work
Unlike in other Linux virtualization solutions such as User Mode Linux (or the forementioned VMware), special driver software on the host operating system is used to execute the coLinux kernel in a privileged mode (known as ring 0 or supervisor mode). By constantly switching the machine’s state between the host OS state and and the coLinux kernel state, coLinux is given full control of the physical machine’s MMU (i.e, paging and protection) in its own specially allocated address space, and is able to act just like a native kernel, achieving almost the same performance and
functionality that can be expected from a regular Linux which could have ran on the same machine standalone. Since coLinux uses the same binary format for user-space executables as native Linux, coLinux can load and run an existing unmodified Linux distribution concurrently with the host OS.

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  1. I’ve got this set up on my laptop now, too. It really is amazing. I find it particularly interesting that I can switch between firefox, my text editor, etc. on coLinux more smoothly than I could with native Windows version of those apps. The hard disk thrashing is much less from coLinux, even though it is only allocated 96MB out of my laptop’s total 512 MB!

    What will probably happen as time goes my is that I will transition more and more to running Linux apps rather than their Windows counterparts, and Windows XP will wind up being relegated to a hardware interface shell and little else.

    There’s another big advantage to this setup; when I upgrade laptops, I can simply copy the root and home filesystem files to the new machine, install the Xming X server on it, and away I go with everything just as I had it before on my Linux “computer.”

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