Co-linux is a custom linux kernel that can run as a windows application. It is bundled together with a debian linux base distro. On a whim I tried it today and I have to say that I am impressed. It boots very fast. Once booted you have what is known as the debian base image. 2d graphics are not implemented on colinux. But since linux guis can be served over a network that is not a problem. So rather than emulating some crappy display driver you just do apt-get install vncserver, download a vnc client for windows and tada graphics.

The rest is just straight debian configuration. For the average windows user that is pretty hard of course. But been there done that so no problem for me. I’ve been at it for a bit over an hour now.

The hard part was convincing windows to do internet connection sharing and remembering how to configure networks in debian (it’s been a while so it took me a few google attempts). After that it’s apt-get this and that. Woody was obsolete the day it was released years ago so I fixed sources.list and did a apt-get dist-upgrade to upgrade to testing. Then a few apt-get install commands to get an xserver, kdebase and vncserver (this is all explained in the co-linux documentation). Then I started a vncserver and connected to it using tightvnc (a nice vnc client for windows) and I am now looking at a kde 3.2.2 desktop. It’s actually running at native speeds. The only bottleneck is vnc so graphics performance basically sucks. I’m going to try using the cygwin xserver as well.