Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Damn Small Linux, in Windows

Damn Small Linux running in Windows It’s possible to run an operating system from within another using programs like VMWare or VirtualPC, but if you can’t afford either (and find bochs too confusing) then you may find Damn Small Linux interesting. It’s a bootable Linux distro in under 50MB, which in itself is pretty impressive, but it also comes in an embedded flavour, allowing you to run it from within Windows.

It works well although it is very slow and will put a lot of strain on your CPU. Despite being only 50MB it includes Firefox, XMMS and VNC, amongst other applications, and it can run windowed so that you can use other apps at the same time, should your computer be powerful enough.

10 Comments

  1. Although running DSL in Windows seems a bit pointless, I see a lot of potential in it.
    There are some great open source projects which only run on Linux, either due to technical limitations or philosophies. GnuCash comes to mind. It’s apparently become a pretty good package for management of personal and small business finances, but it’s not available for Windows, let alone for GTK2.
    Running such a program in an embedded Linux environment would allow Windows users to make use of these hidden but awesome programs. So I guess my point is that someone could make a distro that’s made purely for running inside Windows, with programs that do not exist for it natively.
    I think GNU zealots would just about kill me now… 🙂

  2. Hmm thats a good point, but i don’t think linux on windows is going to be much cop until they find a way to run natively enough to be able to respect idle time rather than having to use the cpu all of the time in order to keep an eye on things.
    Speaking of GTK, i really wish they’d put more effort into the windows port, it’s still pretty hopeless. All of the win32 ports of gtk based apps have had major interface issues, ranging from looking butt ugly to not redrawing correctly and input widgets not taking the keyboard focus at the right time.

  3. IT DOESN’T MATTER, IF IT IS POSSIBLE TO RUN AN OPERATING SYSTEM FROM WITHIN ANOTHER USING PROGRAMS LIKE VMWARE OR VIRTUALPC NEIL.

  4. Well it matters to me, and this *is* my site after all…

  5. IT DOESNT MATTER, IF THIS IS YOUR SITE AFTER ALL NEIL

  6. Shall i get a sheet of paper and smother the rock? Mind you, better keep him away from my scissors.

  7. IT DOESNT MATTER, IF YOU WANT TO SMOTHER THE ROCK, THE ROCK CANNOT BE SMOTHERED. YOU CAN SHOVE YOUR SCISSORS RIGHT UP YOUR JAPS.
    THANKS FOR LISTENIN’ FOLKS

  8. Not sure what that guy is on about, but thanks for the heads up Neil. A very seriously natty little distro and I look forward to trying it out!

  9. “THE ROCK” is my resident troll. I’m leaving his comments for comedy value.

  10. Looks good to me. I found you just now via Google when somebody mentioned DS Linux too me. I’m downloading it right now – just what I want!