Skip to main content

How To Run Windows Inside Linux With Win4Lin

The Bad News

Of course, Win4Lin is not a complete replacement for Windows. Unlike VMware, you can only install Windows 95 or 98. This is not really a limitation if you are only interested in running Windows applications since most applications should work in Windows 98.

Win4Lin also has no support for DirectX, which means you'll still need to keep that dual boot around if you want to play games. There is also no support for "TCP/IP networking." This is not as bad as it sounds, because many Windows applications (such as Internet Explorer) actually use a networking protocol called WinSock, which is supported by Win4Lin.

Installing Win4Lin

Stage 1

Win4Lin may be downloaded directly from the NeTraverse web site, or is available as a boxset from

LinuxCentral . I am going to describe how to install Win4Lin on Red Hat Linux 7.1 using the download version.

First, login at the NeTraverse web site. If this your first time, you will need to create a new account. Select "Win4Lin Desktop 3.0 - Download Installer" and download netraverse_installer.tgz. You will need GNU tar for the next step. To find out if you have it, you can type

rpm -qa | grep tar

On my Linux machine, it says
Now unpack the installer.
tar xvzf netraverse_installer.tgz

If you are downloading the software directly from NeTraverse, you will have to buy a license before going any further. You can do this on the web site.

Next, become the root user, change to the unpacked directory, and run the installer.


cd netraverse_installer

Win4Lin has a fully graphical installer. If you have ever used InstallShield in Windows, you should feel right at home. The next screen is the license agreement, followed by a registration form, and another form which asks for the license key. Next, the installer will do a check on your system to find out what version of Linux you are running.

At this point, it will ask you to download the Win4Lin-enabled kernel and the Win4Lin software. After it is finished, you will have to reboot.

Be sure to select the "win4lin" option in LILO when you reboot. You need to be running the Win4Lin-enabled kernel in order to use Win4Lin.