> I'm interested in removing my Windows partition. The only thing I use it
> for are scanning (I can't get my HP 2200c scanner working yet under
> Linux) and logging into my company's VPN once in a while and using
> Visual Studio to change web content or SQL Enterprise Manager to change
> database information? I know VMWare supports this kind of thing
> (although I'm not so sure about the VPN), but it's REALLY expensive from
> what I've seen. What about Win4lin?
I use win4lin in a production environment. I run a PII/550 SMP box with
gobs of ram (900MB +/-). Win4lin works like a charm; the latest version
uses a virtual NIC so you can do anything you want network wise. The NIC
has its own IP address. In my case, my linux box has a static IP, my
win4lin session is dynamic.
Win4lin was really designed as a light-weight app, compared to vmware.
The big limiation of win4lin is that it relies on the underlying linux to
provide everything other than networking - sound, parallel ports, serial
ports, usb, etc. If it won't work with linux, then you can't get at it
with win4lin. Also, speed on the ports is very poor, since it has to go
through the windows-linux hardware emulation layer and then through the
It is very fast - I can reboot my win4lin session in less than a minute.
For all practical purposes, it is an X windows app, not a separate
virtual machine. Some claim it's faster than native windows - in my case
that's true because I run SCSI RAID which is much faster than windows 98
could do. It also more stable, though my particular setup has a memory
leak forcing a reboot of the win session every week or so (then again, a
windows 98 session would not stay up for a week!)
The 64MB limit is sort of bogus. While windows thinks it only has 64 MB,
win4lin keeps the swap file in memory, letting linux page it out todisk
as needed. Result is that practically, you have fast performance up
until you run out of physical RAM, at which point the machine grinds to a
Anyway, highly recommended if all you need is simple access to windows
networking and windows apps, but your scanner won't work.