[FoRK] Lina

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Tue May 29 12:19:38 PDT 2007

Gordon Mohr wrote:
> Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>> For example, Parallels for running Windows on Macs has a 'coherence' 
>>> mode where the Windows desktop disappears and the Windows app 
>>> windows mix freely on the native desktop (though not with Mac 
>>> look-n-feel). If such an option were available for Linux-on-Windows 
>>> -- and it's only a matter of time if it is not already -- wouldn't 
>>> that be nicer than LINA? More powerful at less risk?
>> The difference is between having a heavyweight alternate environment, 
>> taking tens of GB of space and taking deliberate installation effort, 
>> and getting and installing an application CD or download like any 
>> other and immediately starting to use it with no planning, sysadmin 
>> work, etc.  That's what they are after, based on the web site and 
>> their first video demo.  The former can be handled by savvy users, 
>> the latter by anyone.
> The no-cost VMWare Player and its 'appliance' images are essentially 
> at the ease level of downloadable apps or installable/bootable CDs -- 
> and I expect other open-source virtualization options will approach 
> the same ease over time.
> It will be interesting to see how, in practice, the system load (in 
> terms of RAM and HD space) varies for the same app running in LINA vs. 
> a full virtual Ubuntu.
> If LINA is only saving a few GB of disk and couple hundred MB of RAM, 
> that's not enough of an advantage to outweigh any quirks or 
> limitations versus the full virtualized Linux.
I agree that's probably true, however if they are clever, they will 
bring along with each application only enough of Linux to run that 
application.  Quirks have to be low, but being based on Linux rather 
than the insane MS Win API, this is actually feasible.  Each 
installation should overlap files already installed so that no storage 
of the Linux kernel, libraries, etc. is duplicated.  VMWare appliances 
are cool, but few are below the 5MB range and many are tens or hundreds 
of MB.  Still cool, and very useful, but not the same.  They each will 
need a full networking stack for instance, which for a server means 
another IP address, etc.

The truth is, I want each of these options.  I realized a while ago that 
I want Xen, VMWare, and OpenVZ along with things like Wine / Lina.  
Often, as is the case with Xen+OpenVZ or VMWare + OpenVZ, the 
combination gives you the best combination of scalability, low overhead, 
security, control, etc.

> - Gordon

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