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#1 2013-08-23 00:28:22

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Linux distros, and Windows

Ok, this may be the stupidest question ever for those of you who really know this stuff, but it's something that's been bugging me for some time now.

As of today, there are hundreds of linux distributions. You can say there's a distro for pretty much every taste out there. However, to my knowledge at least, there's NO distro that's Windows compatible.
Now, don't get me wrong: There's only ONE reason why I use Crunchbang on my computer: because I love it with a passion. Which is the same reason why I've been using Linux almost exclusively for the last 4 years.
But it's precisely that "almost" word that pisses me off. There's ONE Windows program I need to use: Solidworks. And I absolutely HATE having to have Windows installed on my computer just for that one program.

So, here's the question: why can't somebody make a distro that'd allow people to run Windows programs, without having to install that POS in their machines? Is it just that nobody likes Windows, or is there a technical reason why full compatibility can't be achieved?
I'm not talking about changing the essence of the distro. I love CB just the way it is. But it would be awesome to have an item on my openbox that said "Solidworks", no wine, virtualbox or whatever.
Can it be done? neutral

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#2 2013-08-23 00:56:44

g33zr
#! Die Hard
From: Never Never Land
Registered: 2013-02-19
Posts: 635

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

I'd recommend contacting the folks at Solidworks and ask them why they don't offer a cross-platform version that includes Linux (even though you supposedly can download a Linux version, according to the website). But I suspect that they'll answer that the demand/market for Linux isn't big (i.e., lucrative) enough. Yet you might want to then ask them how big their Mac market is since they support Mac.  8)


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#3 2013-08-23 00:59:35

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

wine wine wine ... no no not the drink or a misspelled whine ... Wine.

Check see if maybe it will run your app. Hmmm maybe

Last edited by Sector11 (2013-08-23 01:05:24)


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#4 2013-08-23 01:02:16

chillicampari
Pinball Wizard
Registered: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2,728

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

It's not a stupid question and a lot of people are in the same boat, for me it's Vegas and Procoder or Edius with RT rendering card support, although I do use native Linux video editors like Kdenlive and LiVES for some things.  At some point I need to install Windows 7 and dual-boot for just those few things.

But even though you mention no VirtualBox some things you can still get by with using that or other VMs. Out of what's listed above Vegas works to a point (simple projects with just a few tracks work with a bit of A/V desync on the timeline preview).

I'm not familiar with Solidworks and it may work okay in a VM (there's probably info on it out there).

As far as running Windows apps truly native within a *nix environment, unless there's a actual port (Lightworks recently did one, though I haven't tried the port yet), nope, not really.

Just saw Geezer's post while previewing this and found this thread: https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/64676

I have no idea why they'd be claiming a Linux version download on their site while they don't actually have it.

Last edited by chillicampari (2013-08-23 01:03:18)

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#5 2013-08-23 01:36:26

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Thanks everybody for the replies. smile

My point is, it'd be in our best interest to have a Windows compatible distro. That is, to have the choice to use Windows programs, if we want/need them.
Using wine/Virtualbox may or may not be a good idea with programs like Solidworks (which really give the computer a beating), which may run slower under those conditions. I had renderings take up to 5 hours to finish on Win7. I don't want to think how long would they take on wine or VB.
We all know why there's no Linux version of Solidworks, and we also know Dassault Systems' excuses are a load of BS. They won't make a Linux version because they want money, and there's no money on Linux, period.

Either way, that's not my point. As of today, the most important reason why people don't use Linux based distros is their lack of Windows compatibility. Even with that handicap, Microsoft is starting to notice. It'd be logical to conclude that, if somebody created a fully Windows compatible LInux based distro, there'd basically be no stopping us. So my question remains: it's not about being able to run Solidworks on my computer. What I want to know is: Is there a technical reason why a fully Windows compatible Linux distro couldn't be done?

Oh! Chillycampari: Solidworks is a CAD program for mechanics. A very powerful, very easy to use CAD program.

Last edited by Inodoro Pereyra (2013-08-23 01:38:10)

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#6 2013-08-23 01:59:02

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Well, in that case this is way beyond my knowledge.


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#7 2013-08-23 02:16:29

chillicampari
Pinball Wizard
Registered: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2,728

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Inodoro Pereyra wrote:

.... What I want to know is: Is there a technical reason why a fully Windows compatible Linux distro couldn't be done?

As of now, yes. And also probably legal and definitely social issues. I'd elaborate more but I'm running out of my usefulness for the day and it probably wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. :-)

Oh! Chillycampari: Solidworks is a CAD program for mechanics. A very powerful, very easy to use CAD program.

That sounds neat!

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#8 2013-08-23 02:38:33

codingman
#! Junkie
From: Darkstar
Registered: 2013-03-22
Posts: 356

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

I am sure that it would be possible, if only NT was Open-source, and some of the windows binaries were publicly available, it could be done. I'm sure Windows could be great if Microsoft wasn't in charge.

As for Wine, I've tried some CAD software in Wine, and the only one that worked was Google Sketchup which really isn't a CAD software and isn't so great for professional usage. The rest gave me .NET error garbage.


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#9 2013-08-23 04:44:44

mynis01
#! Die Hard
From: 127.0.0.1
Registered: 2010-07-02
Posts: 2,005

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Wine is a re-implementation of the Windows API that M$ gives out to developers, and it's the closest thing to "full compatibility" that exists on Linux. You could package it with a Linux kernel and call it a "distro" but that wouldn't really accomplish anything. It is however completely plausible to run openbox or whatever window manager you want in Windows. See this link: http://aufather.wordpress.com/2012/02/1 … -to-xming/

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#10 2013-08-23 05:02:58

greywolf
Member
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 40

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

I think you will find the Linux version of SolidWorks may be called "DraftSight"? Here is a review link with details about how to get it:

Draftsight

On the broader issue of compatibility; Windows is closed source proprietary software, as is most applications written for it. Therefore, take it up with Microsoft and the Software developer - there is nothing more Linux developers can do without access to the relevant code!!

Furthermore, if Windows compatibility is the primary requirement for someone to use Linux; they are making the move for entirely the wrong reasons!!

Just a view,
greywolf.

Last edited by greywolf (2013-08-23 05:03:54)


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#11 2013-08-23 05:57:25

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,207

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

There's also BricsCAD. Not sure if it offers what you're looking for since I've got no experience with SolidWorks.
http://www.bricsys.com/en_INTL/bricscad/

Edit:
Sorry, didn't realize that Greywolf's link above already mentions it.

Edit II:
Google lead me to this basic comparison, in case you're interested.
http://cad-software.findthebest.com/com … SolidWorks

Last edited by gutterslob (2013-08-23 06:02:38)


Point & Squirt

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#12 2013-08-23 06:00:24

Ozitraveller
#! Junkie
From: Less is More!
Registered: 2011-04-26
Posts: 289
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

And there is no mention of linux on there system requirement page:

http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/Sy … ments.html

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#13 2013-08-23 07:00:38

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

There have been attempts of reverse-engineering Windows, the project is called ReactOS [1], but it does not mean it is Linux. It's a huge pile of work, and -as pointed out above- Windows is not an open operating system, so anything that refers to the code cannot be simply ported to Linux. Technically, it is possible. Like, it's possible to eat a stone, or it's possible to drink bleach. The approach on how to get the full compatibility is the biggest problem or question. 
The easiest and cleanest way to still run Windows on a Linux machine (successfully, especially the so-called Performace Editions of XP) is inside a virtual machine (virtualbox).

[1] http://www.reactos.org/


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#14 2013-08-23 07:11:31

bleach
#! Member
Registered: 2013-08-09
Posts: 98

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

xp and vm's is very solid on todays computers especially with multible cpu's. One cool thing to do is save state with the app open and desktop integration it will open right up as a native looking window. You can make a .desktop to open the saved states calling them whatever the app is of course that is to start up the vm with the app up so after it is up just use windows to change.


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#15 2013-08-23 07:42:44

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

^ Oh yes, the so-called "seamless mode". Nice trick with the .desktop file, haven't tried that one yet. I assume it starts vbox headless (no GUI)?


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#16 2013-08-23 09:59:18

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Thank you all for posting. big_smile
That's what I wanted to know. So it IS possible, but it's just too much work. Got it.

I checked Draftsight and Brickscad. Draftsight is for architects (no mechanical or 3D design), and brickscad doesn't seem to measure up to SW. So I guess it's gonna be Wine for me...  hmm

I don't think there's a "wrong reason" for switching to Linux, and especially not that one. Many people would love to make the switch, but just can't afford to lose Windows compatibility. For example, one of my best friends is an attorney. When I showed him my (then) Ubuntu machine, he loved it at first sight, especially the multi-desktop capability. But his whole practice is built around a program (Lex Doctor), so he can't afford to lose compatibility with it. So he hates Windows, but he's stuck with it.
Many people are in the same boat. To the point that, once, I heard a guy saying "yeah, Ubuntu is an OS, good for Internet browsing". sad Of course I went on and on, trying to explain to him that's not true, but he brought the compatibility issue on, and I had to shut up. We all know Linux distros in general are much more powerful than that, but that means very little if the app you need doesn't run on them...

I also looked at the reactos site. "The look and feel of Windows"... YUCK!

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#17 2013-08-23 10:15:58

mynis01
#! Die Hard
From: 127.0.0.1
Registered: 2010-07-02
Posts: 2,005

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

I hate to be a negative nancy, but until they add official support for SolidWorks on Linux, your performance will pretty dismal in comparison to Windows, especially if you're using a workstation graphics card. You could in theory pass the card through to a VM however, and run SolidWorks in seamless/unity mode.

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#18 2013-08-23 10:18:41

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Inodoro Pereyra wrote:

What I want to know is: Is there a technical reason why a fully Windows compatible Linux distro couldn't be done?

You mean, why can't people create a version of one operating system that would be fully compatible with a completely different operating system? The question answers itself.

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#19 2013-08-23 10:54:02

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

@Mynis01: Don't worry about being negative. I asked for information, negative information is also useful. So thank you for that. smile

el_koraco wrote:

You mean, why can't people create a version of one operating system that would be fully compatible with a completely different operating system? The question answers itself.

The question has already been answered: it CAN be done. It's just too much work.
Other than that, when you make something compatible with something else, it is pretty much a REQUISITE that the "something else" be "different" to what you're doing. If they were the same, there'd be no need for compatibility.

Last edited by Inodoro Pereyra (2013-08-23 10:56:12)

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#20 2013-08-23 11:52:11

VDP76
#! Bean Roaster
Registered: 2012-04-12
Posts: 840

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Inodoro Pereyra wrote:

Using wine/Virtualbox may or may not be a good idea with programs like Solidworks (which really give the computer a beating), which may run slower under those conditions. I had renderings take up to 5 hours to finish on Win7. I don't want to think how long would they take on wine or VB.

It might not be necessarily true...I run a stripped down Xp in a virtual box because I need IgorPro (a SciDAVid-like program), which has a benchmark script: in the VM I get slightly better performance than when I run it natively on W7 on the same machine...

bleach wrote:

xp and vm's is very solid on todays computers especially with multible cpu's. One cool thing to do is save state with the app open and desktop integration it will open right up as a native looking window. You can make a .desktop to open the saved states calling them whatever the app is of course that is to start up the vm with the app up so after it is up just use windows to change.

neat trick!


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#21 2013-08-23 12:25:04

annoyingbeggar
#! Junkie
From: Florida
Registered: 2013-05-30
Posts: 430

Re: Linux distros, and Windows


“I don't believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” - Eduardo Hughes Galeano

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#22 2013-08-23 12:43:14

NewCityVegas
Resident Tech Reporter
From: ANTI-CENSORSHIP
Registered: 2008-12-02
Posts: 628
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Inodoro Pereyra wrote:

As of today, the most important reason why people don't use Linux based distros is their lack of Windows compatibility.

Actually, I would think that the most important reason why people don't use Linux is still that Windows is already pre-installed on their PCs and that's all they have ever tried.


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#23 2013-08-23 14:06:36

hinto
#! Windbag
From: Cary, NC
Registered: 2010-12-08
Posts: 1,487

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

machinebacon wrote:

^ Oh yes, the so-called "seamless mode". Nice trick with the .desktop file, haven't tried that one yet. I assume it starts vbox headless (no GUI)?

Both VMWare and VirtualBox suppress the vm guest desktop rendering.  I'm a huge fan of virtualization since most apps won't come close to exhausting the bits and RAM that are now on out desktop.  The results of seamless mode are really based on the host's video driver and how well the guest app behaves.  On some of the newer MS frameworks, the apps implemented shading on the Win desktop by 1) phantom windows attached to the app window (seamless mode shows 4 extra windows around VS 2012 or 2) apps drawing the shade themselves on the Win desktop, which of course is lost.

I generally run it (vmpayer) fullscreen and dual head.  Remote Desktop just makes bigger windows, which really isn't dual head.
Performance is really good (at least on vmplayer).  I have an quad-core/64-bit i5 with 8 gigs of ram on a 64-bit linux host.  My Win7 guest is configure for 4 cores and 5 gigs of RAM.  I edit/compile/debug Windows software (VS 2012).  The only bottlenecks are network throughput (you're sharing a bridged connection) and sometime disk access.  Win7 really doesn't care it's not on a "real machine"

BTW... stones need Texas Pete to make them go down better wink
-Hinto


"Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken the red pill" -Me

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#24 2013-08-23 21:56:41

Inodoro Pereyra
#! Die Hard
From: Back in Buenos Aires
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 844

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Thank you Annoyingbeggar for that link.
So it HAS been tried before. Too bad they abandoned the project... sad

NewCityVegas wrote:

Actually, I would think that the most important reason why people don't use Linux is still that Windows is already pre-installed on their PCs and that's all they have ever tried.

Well, maybe your personal experience is different than  mine, but, at least for what I've seen myself, you'd be wrong. I have SHOWN probably more than 100 people my Ubuntu machine. I explained it to them. I showed them all the free apps. I let them use it on my laptop. 99% of them LOVED IT, especially when I showed them the hardware it was running on (not to mention when they saw Compiz's special effects, like the sphere), but they all refused it because they need Windows compatibility on their machines. ALL of them. Up until now, I have never installed any flavor of Linux on a machine that wasn't mine.
Like it or not, Microsoft has the PC market in their pockets. Even Apple realized they needed to become Windows compatible to have a future (and yeah, if you hate that move, so do I, but it is what it is). Now, I think it's no secret that most Linux distros are so superior to Windows is not even funny. But reality is Windows is still the most important OS in the World, whether we like it or not.

BTW: my laptop didn't come preloaded with Windows. It came with MeeGo. I didn't even configured it, before switching to CB. But I've seen people reject it because it didn't have Windows.

@ Hinto: you have no idea how much I'd LOVE to know what you and MB are talking about... :8 lol

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#25 2013-08-23 23:37:02

ohyran
#! Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 80
Website

Re: Linux distros, and Windows

Ah but its just not the work. Its like someone earlier mentioned, an ethical, ideological and not to mention legal issue. Allot of Windows OS is not open source, its not just a question of dropping it into Linux and as far as reverse engineering it as Machinebacon mentioned ... that must be such a horrible thing to have to do. I mean "allot of work" probably doesn't even come close to describe it.

Apple is not Windows compatible - it has the same set-up as linux in that respect. You either install Windows along side Mac OS or use a virtual machine with the drawbacks that come with that.
Linux, like Mac can't just flip a switch a decide that all software ever made for Windows will be compatible. Its not a question of someone holding off on a little work to just magic Windows compatability - every piece of software needs to be ported on its own. Now some companies do this (Valves games being a good example which is also relevant to me) but that comes down to THAT companies choice. If they think its too much of a hassle they wont.

The reason why allot of software doesn't work natively on Linux or Mac is that the market isn't big enough. The reason the market isn't big enough is because a majority of computers come preinstalled with Windows and the rest with Mac making the paradigm of the PC market one where there is a choice between Windows or Mac.

(except in your neck of the woods I've heard, buying a PC here means buying a Windows PC, pay for Windows, uninstall windows and reinstalling Linux Distro X/Y/Z)

So its not just blind opinion concerning "who controls the desktop market" ("desktop" being more apt since servers, supercomputers, smartphones and space stations are dominated by Linux) its simple practicality and combined with that a quest for stability and efficiency that would be hindered by some giant merge with Windows and after that an ideological choice.

EDITED: sadly though Solidworks will not work that brilliant through Wine so its Virtual Machine for you I'm afraid unless you use the 2010 version.
http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.p … on&iId=318

Last edited by ohyran (2013-08-23 23:39:07)


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