Run Windows On Linux: Win4Lin Revisited

The Installation Process

During the Windows XP (SP2) installation process there is a perceptible difference in performance and a measurable difference in duration. Under the Win4Lin emulated environment, Windows XP SP2 exhibited sluggishness during the text install while copying files for setup. A quick check of the Win4Lin Pro Release Notes under the Anomalies and Caveats heading describes this as another known problem, but this is hardly critical. Note that this problem occurs only for some, but not all Windows installation sources.

Preparing For Installation

Each distribution will have requirements and dependencies specific to one platform and not another. Because the reference system in this article uses Fedora Core 5, the general procedure that follows is unique to FC5. For requirements on other distributions, refer to the Win4Lin Pro User Guide located in the /opt/win4linpro/docs path. The following error message appears unless proper pre-configuration steps are taken:

The following actions are specific to Fedora Core:

$ yum update kernel

$ yum install kernel-devel gcc

You update the kernel in the first command, and then install the latest kernel sources and headers along with the popular GNU compiler in the second. Next, you must build the KQEMU accelerated kernel driver:

$ /opt/win4linpro/bin/

Unfortunately, the KQemu package failed to compile properly on our test machine, citing version mismatches between the kernel-header version expected and the one that was provided. For an experienced Linux user the resolution to this problem is a relatively simple source update, but how could an inexperienced user know about this? Furthermore, what if other build errors pop up that produce even less helpful output? After all, Win4Lin Professional is meant to bridge a gap, and this often means appealing to a gap in experience (not just capability) on the Linux platform for Windows converts. Your mileage will certainly vary.

Fortunately, this system build completed with the help of a pre-packaged Red Hat RPM made readily available online. One such example is located at qemu-0.8.0-3.fc5.i386.rpm and may be installed by opening a terminal and issuing the following commands:

$ su

# rpm -ivh qemu-0.8.0-3.fc5.i386.rpm

Should you encounter any problems with pre-packaged Win4Lin KQemu sources, try this selfsame RPM version.

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