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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

Linux from within windows.

 5:40 am on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

There are a few of them out there, but Phat Linux looks like it is pretty good. There is a review at newsforge.com [newsforge.com]. You could check out the details at the projects homepage [phatlinux.com], there you will find a link where you could order a CD, but the distribution is also available for download as an ISO or a ZIP file [sourceforge.net].

Looks like the distribution comes with GNOME (ximian), which is one of the two main desktops fighting it out for popularity. Because the Phat sits on top of windows and is launched inside windows I'd imagine it will react a little slower than a typical install as it wrestles with windows for resources. Yet, this might be the ticket for some of you who wanted to see what all the fuss has been about without having to partition your hard drive to find out.

some screenshots [phatlinux.com]

If anybody gives this a go, please report here how it went.



 8:56 pm on Sep 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Because the Phat sits on top of windows and is launched inside windows I'd imagine it will react a little slower than a typical install as it wrestles with windows for resources.

From what I've seen of WinLinux it didn't run along Windows. You just start a specially crafted pif file which boots off your system.

If you have a Win9x check in your Windows directory for files named like 'DOS with XMS memmory', if you run it your computer reboots into DOS - the same thing is used by this Linux under Windows.

The Linux filesystem was umsdos and it was visible from within Windows, I even screwed the whole thing by modifying fstab.

It is also possible to use an ext2 filesystem which will be visible from Windows as only one file.


 5:02 am on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

My first experience with Phat Linux has been negative. Downloaded Version 4 ISO for XP to give it a go. I already had Undisker, (nifty app if you deal with ISOs) and after the 366 meg download I was eager to see if it actually worked. :)

So far, it's a no go. First off, it doesn't seem to recognize 1.5 gigs of Ram, (default is 64 megs) and yes I manually changed the value according to the read me .txt

After trying the zipped version first, (they don't tell you it's not the XP version and getting the <WARNING: Not enough free memory ,load buffer size> error I went back and downloaded the ISO.

I used Undisker to make a pristine CD, hit install and got, <runtime error 76 path not found error>. No problem I'm thinking, just extract to the files to my drive with Undisker and run the install .exe from there. I got the same error.

Checked all the support forums I could find and it seems that very few people have had success with Phat Linux on an NTFS drive and recommend FAT32. The Phat Linus site clearly states that Phat Linux will work on an NTSF drive.

Phat Linux for XP so far has been a no go. The ancient laptop on my desktop seems to have no problems with Linux though. :) As for Phat Linux, well, no startx for me at this time but I'm willing to give it another shot if they get the bugs worked out.

Om another note, how many die-hard Windows users are even going to know to type startx in order to get to GNOME? :)

Phat Linux doesn't run "from within" Windows, it is supposed to peacefully coexist on the same drive with Windows, you boot it from a CD, well, at least you should be able to boot it from the CD. Right now I have a 366 meg, Phat Linux drink coaster. I think I'll wait for version 4.1.


 5:10 am on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hey Digitalghost,
Thanks for trying! I was very curious about Phat, I was hoping it would be a way to nudge some windows users into trying Linux. Now I know not to recommend it for the time being, at least for XP users.


 5:27 am on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I was hoping for the same thing Littleman as most people are reluctant to try Linux unless they have another box to put it on. Unfortunately, I think the current version of Phat will frustrate those people that want to try Linux and they might not try again. At 1.67 mbps it's still a lengthy download and if they aren't familiar with ISOs they end up with a 366 meg file that needs a file association they probably don't have.

I'd also like to see the start-up screen and see how they deal with user management and the config issues as the review link you provided touched on those issues specifically.

Win users are more apt to type "win" than Startx when faced with a prompt. :)


 6:07 am on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

It is very hard to get any linux install to work on the same drive as windows XP. It just does not apear to know how to partician a drive that is currently using the NTSF file system. No problems with FAT32 is just sets up a duel boot. Has anyone been able to get any lunix varient to install alongside XP without having linux installed then installing XP?


 3:21 pm on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

What kernel are they using that it still won't auto-detect above 64mb? I wouldn't swear to it, but I had thought that went out with the 2.0 series. I know that I'm running 2.4 on both my machines now, which each have more than 64mb, and don't have any configuration info telling the kernel how much mem to use. I used to, a while back when I first upgraded the memory in my P-166 above 64mb, but not any more.

For that matter, if they are using an ancient kernel, why are they pretending they can get along with NTFS?
If you say Y here, you will (maybe) be able to write to NTFS file
systems as well as read from them. The read-write support in NTFS
is far from being complete and is not well tested. If you say Y
here, back up your NTFS volume first, since it will probably get
damaged. Also, download the Linux-NTFS project distribution from
Sourceforge at <http://linux-ntfs.sf.net/> and always run the
included ntfsfix utility after writing to an NTFS partition from
Linux to fix some of the damage done by the driver. You should run
ntfsfix _after_ unmounting the partition in Linux but _before_
rebooting into Windows. When Windows next boots, chkdsk will be
run automatically to fix the remaining damage.
Please note that write support is limited to Windows NT4 and
earlier versions.
From the configuration dialog of Linux 2.4.19.

Seems to me like an indication of a sloppy distro.


 4:34 pm on Sep 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

No solid info on Phat Linux 4.0 XP but 3.3 "Phat Linux seems to be based on Linux-Mandrake with kernel 2.2.15mdk"

I'm going to put version 4.0 on a box with Win98 using FAT32 and see what happens because the idea of Linux running on a Winbox, (while almost blasphemous) is intriguing.

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