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Operating Systems Software Linux

Run Linux as a Windows Screensaver 259

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-really-can-put-it-anywhere dept.
zornorph writes "A software engineer at IBM has come up with a way to 'construct and package a Linux® LiveCD so that it will install using the standard Microsoft® Windows® install process and will operate as a standard Windows screensaver.'"
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Run Linux as a Windows Screensaver

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  • Why not stand-alone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xorbe (249648) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:17PM (#14313491)
    The article doesn't make it clear why it should run as a screensaver... is the ISO interactive? How does one escape the screensaver? Why not just run it stand-alone?

    Also, this was surprising: "OS/2 is finally being withdrawn on December 23, 2005. According to the IBM Web site on OS/2 Warp migration (see Resources), there is no replacement product from IBM. IBM suggests that OS/2 customers consider Linux." They should at least recommend a specific product, else the remaining OS/2 userbase will entirely fragment. Recommendations are not irresponsible, only the customer blindly accepting it would be.

    Following the instructions in the article is not for the faint of heart!
    • by MoxCamel (20484) * on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:25PM (#14313562)
      If you have to ask why...you really don't belong here. :)

      Mox

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:30PM (#14313595)
      The article doesn't make it clear why it should run as a screensaver... is the ISO interactive? How does one escape the screensaver? Why not just run it stand-alone?

      No no no, you don't understand, while it runs as a screensaver, it's building Gentoo. Only after it's done can you run it standalone...
    • "The article doesn't make it clear why it should run as a screensaver... is the ISO interactive? How does one escape the screensaver? Why not just run it stand-alone?"

      It's made for educational purpose, once it starts it captures the mouse and keyboard so that you can't exit to Windows, and you're forced to use Linux until you nail it.

      A caveat was quickly discovered however: if you stop so the Linux screensaver turns on, you're back to Windows. Go figure.
    • by aichpvee (631243) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:45PM (#14313717) Journal
      Why? So when someone says, "nice screen saver, but does it run Linux?", he'll be able to say yes.
    • by rjstanford (69735) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:56PM (#14313789) Homepage Journal
      They should at least recommend a specific product, else the remaining OS/2 userbase will entirely fragment.

      What, both of them?
      • They should at least recommend a specific product, else the remaining OS/2 userbase will entirely fragment.

        What, both of them?


        What there was two? I thought they were worried about the creating a case of MPD where by the last user of os/2 warp fragmented into different personalities, each of whome had a linux distro of choice.
      • Small world then, because I happen to know two of them.
      • by afidel (530433)
        Uh, two years ago I did a MASSIVE rollout of OS/2 under Virtual PC. The client was replacing dual workstation and KVM's with single, more powerfull machines running OS/2 under VPC. This was for tens of thousands of seats nationwide with single sites consisting of several thousand workstations. And then there all the ATM's which run OS/2 which will now have to be converted to much crappier, more failure prone windows models. Of I don't know why IBM doesn't steer people to eComStation. It's the product of the
        • And then there all the ATM's which run OS/2 which will now have to be converted to much crappier, more failure prone windows models. Of I don't know why IBM doesn't steer people to eComStation.

          I don't understand why they will be "forced to" convert to Windows, when, as you say, eComStation [ecomstation.com] is available and apparently actively under development.

          • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @11:40PM (#14314671)
            A lot of banks internal politics won't let them run a solution that isn't supported by a "major vendor". Besides which Diebold no longer loads new ATM's with OS/2 so they would have to develop their own or work with a smaller player who would.
            • A lot of banks internal politics won't let them run a solution that isn't supported by a "major vendor". Besides which Diebold no longer loads new ATM's with OS/2 so they would have to develop their own or work with a smaller player who would.

              I've seen ATM machines running Linux. In fact, Banrisul [wikipedia.org]
              in Brazil replaced all of their MS-DOS-based ATMs with Linux some time ago. What defines a 'major vendor'? Is Red Hat? Is Novell/SuSE? What defines 'support'?

              The thing is I often find the knee-jerk reaction of
        • There's no question that OS/2 still had a sizable presence in some environments and businesses.

          But that doesn't mean there is an OS/2 "Community", nor does it mean that even if there was, the terrible fear of "fragmenting" said community is anything anyone should care about.

          Everyone I know has silverware. Does that mean there is a "Silverware Community"?
          • I think most OS/2 users starting migrating when it became difficult to find hardware that would actually work with OS/2. I actually own warp 3 & 4. The boxes are collecting dust in my closet because I have no hardware to run them on. If I still had my first computer (packard bell p1 100mhz), i'd probably have an install up. By the time IBM had any agp support, I was already using NT4, then linux, solaris, and now freebsd. I've moved on and its probably time others did as well. From a graphical sta
            • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @02:12AM (#14315319)
              OS/2 supports lots of modern Hardware. Its true that your v3 and v4 won't install out of the box. V4.5+ will install on most hardware and with a fairly new kernel even the fastest P4s and 64 bit AMds (in 32 bit mode). Pretty well all display drivers are supported (by scitech), even under winos2, though only 2D. IBM paid for ALSA to be ported so pretty well all sound cards supported under Linux work under OS/2. USB support is pretty good as well.
              Same with Printers, pretty well if they work with Linux they'll probably work on OS/2.
              Basically if hardware works on Linux it'll run under OS/2.
    • If you want to run it standalone, just change the executable name from whatever.scr to whatever.exe. Hell, throw it in the startup folder :-)
    • do. or do not. there is no "why"
    • How does one escape the screensaver?

      I haven't read the article; this is just my preference...

      Figure out the root password.
      Figure out how to login.
      Issue a shutdown command.

      After completing the shutdown, you'll get your windows desktop back.

    • The Damn Small Linux [damnsmalllinux.org] folks have a version that runs inside Windows. I have not tried it. There's a link to it on their main page. DSL linux is a remaster of Knoppix linux. I note that some of the versions of the IBM screensaver linux are also based on Knoppix, if not all. Might be able to use any knoppix remaster or linux based on knoppix. IBM's documentation looks like it would work, if one wanted to go to the trouble. The DSL version puts a functional linux in a window on your Windows desktop. One time
    • by cHiphead (17854) on Thursday December 22, 2005 @01:41AM (#14315226)
      This article seems a bit late and the screensaver angle makes it useless. I've been running colinux [colinux.org] as a service on my windows 2000 box for almost a year. I can apt-get anything from a debian/compatible repository...

      where's the news?

      Cheers.
  • Proof of concept? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cytoman (792326)
    Is this just a "proof of concept" and not really something useful? I mean, if it shows Linux running in screen-saver mode, any disturbance of the keyboard/mouse will bring back windows...am I missing something?

    Still, pretty cool!!!
  • Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by c0dedude (587568) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:18PM (#14313498)
    This is cool, as long as you don't need to use your keyboard or mouse.
  • The Point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imemyself (757318)
    OK, other than the "cool factor", WTF is the point of this? Its nice to know what IBM's people are spending their time on...
    • Dude! It's Linux so it can run anywhere and that's the point right?! It runs on my supercomputer cluster and is the OS of choice for my Power Pleasure programable vibrator. Who needs more reason than that.
    • Think! The _point_ is that if Linux is running instead of a screensaver, then you can finally run XScreenSaver [jwz.org] on Linux on Windows!
  • by suso (153703) * on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:19PM (#14313514) Homepage Journal
    I run Windows as a Linux screen saver all the time. Or at least the major parts. ;-)

    And with the new modularized X, if it crashes it won't bring down the fonts.
  • So... (Score:3, Funny)

    by FusionDragon2099 (799857) <fusiondragon2099@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:22PM (#14313531)
    To boot Knoppix, I'm going to have to wait 5 minutes?
    • To boot Knoppix, I'm going to have to wait 5 minutes?

      Hey, that's faster than usual. I usually have time to go make a sandwich.
    • To boot Knoppix, I'm going to have to wait 5 minutes?

      Yeah but now you can multi-boot using rundll32 interface while running Windows.

      Or something like that.
  • by kerpal2005 (879170) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:22PM (#14313535)
    Why do I get a feeling Microsoft's spyware program will detect this as malware?
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:22PM (#14313536) Journal

    FTFA :

    OS/2 is finally being withdrawn on December 23, 2005. According to the IBM Web site on OS/2 Warp migration (see Resources), there is no replacement product from IBM. IBM suggests that OS/2 customers consider Linux.

    ... and the replacement runs under Windows. :-(

    oh, the irony.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:23PM (#14313542)
    Am I the only one® to find non-legal documents® polluted by legalese bullshit® extremely annoying®?
    • Oh comon now, IBM has a virtual city of Lawyers, you gotts to give those boys something to do!


      All Right Reserved Heembo Inc. 2005
    • Re:What a pain® (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Urusai (865560)
      A trademark holder might pepper their missives with (R) and TM to assert their trademark. In my non-lawyerly opinion, you have no obligation to preserve someone else's trademark; you just can't use it on your own products/services. I can mention Coca Cola and Mickey Mouse all I want without such qualification. Disney, however, might refer to "Mickey Mouse (TM)" to let you know they claim a trademark on the name and to prevent you from claiming ignorance of the claim in court.

      A similar foolishness runs th
      • Re:What a pain® (Score:3, Informative)

        by ari_j (90255)
        Actually, while I am not a lawyer and have no particular expertise in trademark law, I suspect that it may be helpful to use (R) and TM to avoid being sued. For instance, if I talk at length about Coca-Cola and never point out that it's trademarked, someone may be stupid enough to think I am using Coca-Cola as my own term. If enough stupid someones thought that, Coca-Cola Inc. would probably sue me.

        But in general, I don't think excessive use of trademark symbols helps anyone. Use it once per term per
      • A similar foolishness runs through the media with the term "allegedly". Yes, they don't want to make a false accusation. But when you have a headline such as "Cops Arrest Man for Allegedly Smoking Crack", it's stupid. Allegedly smoking crack is not a crime and would not be a cause for arrest; smoking crack would be.

        Perhaps its not actually crack. What if someone liked smoking plastic, especially plastic that looked like crack? You have to prove that it actually crack they are smoking.
        I know myself I've had
  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:25PM (#14313559) Homepage Journal
    A distributed computing project (ala SETI) which relied on Linux could run this way.
  • RTFA Please! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThatGeek (874983) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:26PM (#14313564) Homepage
    The submitter referred to this software as a "screen saver", but if he had bothered to read the story at all he would have realized it should in fact be classified as a "computer saver".

    Still, it's a very interesting story!
  • by CaroKann (795685) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:27PM (#14313573)
    You run Windows and the screen saver kicks in...
    And it runs Linux with Wine, and the screen saver kicks in...
    And it runs Linux with Wine, and the screen saver kicks in...
    Ad Infinitum...
    • by JFMulder (59706) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:59PM (#14313808)
      This reminds me of a funny thing with Virtual PC. Trying to install Virtual PC on a Windows virtual machine running under Virtual PC popped up "You can't run Virtual PC under Virtual PC. You just had to try, didn't you?"
      • by billstewart (78916) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @11:24PM (#14314586) Journal
        Back when I was in college, and we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to the punch-card computer center, my freshman roommate was a ham radio operator, and was friends with another ham, Phil Karn, KA9Q, who you might remember from TCP/IP on DOS and other projects. Phil had a job one year as a computer operator. The computer was a mainframe that lived out near the airport, and there were a bunch of punch-card/printer computer centers around campus that needed operators to feed them. The mainframe was an IBM 370 with VM and a variety of guest operating systems on top of it, including CMS and several batch systems. Phil guessed one day that the password for the backup administrator account (a 4-character uppercase password) might be BKUP, so he was able to access a copy of VM and run it on top of the main VM. The client OS on top of that ran v...e..rrrr..yyyy s...l...ooo...wwww...llll...y, and remember that that's a definition of "slowly" that considers punchcard access to a ~1 MIPS mainframe to be "not slow" :-)
    • Umm...the stack overflows?

      Just guessing.

  • Screen Saver Fun (Score:2, Informative)

    by LordofEntropy (250334)
    You can pretty much make any exe a screen saver. I remember a coworker doing this once with logon.exe on Win 2k. Funny thing is, that the screen saver ran as admin, this was a pretty big security hole, and quite amusing.
    • Re:Screen Saver Fun (Score:3, Informative)

      by carleton (97218)
      Actually, there's a bootable floppy (running Linux) that will let you edit the registry. The dox for it recommend doing so (specifically, running cmd.exe as the logonscr(eensaver) and then bringing up the password gui tools) to reset the password on a box running Win 2000 with Active Directory. (the tool can just blank out the password for non AD-based systems, but AD is trickier)

  • by amazon10x (737466) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:36PM (#14313638)
    Finally. A reason for the screensaver function in Windows.
  • Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by AgentAce (246327)
    Damn Small Linux already runs on top of Windows.

    Of course running Linux on Windows is similar to driving a BMW around inside of a Triumph.
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by radiotyler (819474)
      Unless you're a guy like me, that's trying to hone some very, very, very rusty *nix skills (4 years of Army Windows.. *puke*) and all you have available is a USB Drive, a Windows box, and 8 more months in the desert.

      I think it's a great idea. I'm chomping at the bit for this download to finish.
      -t
  • When you try to get out of the screen saver, does it give you a black screen with "LI" up in the left corner?
  • by Ruff_ilb (769396) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:41PM (#14313678) Homepage
    As saying that Linux and windows can run at the same time on the same hardware, with quick switching between the two? Depending on how easy that is to do, this either makes the story a lot more or a lot less interesting.
  • Strange to see (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oztiks (921504)
    Whenever you see a screenshot of MacOS its always with a shot of Safari, ITunes or Corel Draw. Whenever you see a screenshot of Windows its always the Control Panel, Windows Media Player, MS Office, or IE.

    Whenever you see a screenshot of Linux its always with shots of people using Fractial Apps, drawing PCB Diagrams, or something to do with the planets orbit.

    All they need to do now is to be able to the same with MacOS and then you'll be able to download mp3's and draw pictures with one os, watch porn and wr
  • finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by theodicey (662941) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:47PM (#14313724)
    Now i can get my Windows friends to run Linux by emailing them!

    Subject: Hi!

    Body: How are you ?
    When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you
    I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!

    Attachment: Linux.SCR

  • by theheff (894014) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:49PM (#14313740)
    as a linux game. It's pretty fun... if you don't get a virus in 14 minutes you win!
  • I used OS/2 for 6 years at home and it was good. However, one of the several weird things about marketing the product is that IBM sold OS/2 Warp 3 and OS/2 Warp 3 _for_ [emphasis mine] Windows. The intent was to sell one version cheaper for people who already had Windows 3.1 and didn't need the capabilities of WinOS2.

    However, I always thought labeling it as _FOR_ Windows was moronic. What was that supposed to imply to the purchaser? That it was a Windows add-on?

    Maybe this linux screensaver is a final OS
  • the You can see but you can't touch?
  • One good reason... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rkaa (162066) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @08:58PM (#14313799)
    to use this, would be to in effect run Xscreensaver [jwz.org] on Windows! Using XP, I really miss those. And they will never be ported.
  • by Sathias (884801) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:01PM (#14313818)
    Does this mean I can run 3D Pipes as an OS?
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:18PM (#14313913)
    Now you can let the screensave run and go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS and then the screensaver on that runs and you go into another OS... ARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!!!!!!
  • by johansalk (818687) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:23PM (#14313947)
    This Linux screensaver is from Nathalie Carrie and Arnaud Verhille, science teachers on Reunion Island, a French colony in the Indian Ocean. Verhille asks "Does anyone know where I can get a free Java," because he is concerned about encumbering his pupils with Sun®'s license conditions." Does it really matter? I'm of the opinion that schoolchildren on a remote Indian Ocean island are unlikely to do anything that would cause Sun to chase after them.
    • Does it really matter? I'm of the opinion that schoolchildren on a remote Indian Ocean island are unlikely to do anything that would cause Sun to chase after them.

      Apart from the fact that this would be breaking the license terms, something people usually involved in Open Source do not want to do, no matter who the IP owner is, Reunion Island is part of France and thus French laws apply there. If somebody in the Paris headquarters of Sun France had a bad day or wanted to vacation in an exotic place^W^W^W^W

    • I would think the Sun would be particularly strong on an island...
  • by Petronius (515525) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:29PM (#14313984)
    how robust Windows is.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:31PM (#14313999) Journal
    Steve Ballmer hurdled a chair through his office shouting, "Fucking Samuel J. Palmisano is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill IBM."

    To wich Bill Gates replied, "and this time we fucking make sure IBM stays dead."

    Oh god, the world is upside down. IBM the new and happening company, MS and Intel as "the man". Apple is still a bunch of new age hippies right?

  • ... it's been produced under the auspices of the UN.
    The-Rest-of-the-World will love it for that very reason.

    I wonder how long it will be before the anti-virus outfits give it a signature?

    Once that happens it will have 'made it', and everybody will want it.

    :-)/2

    Congratulations and thanks to IBM.

  • by elgatozorbas (783538) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:37PM (#14314035)
    Am I the only one who doesn't understand xhat this thing does exactly? Does it
    A) install Linux during the screensaver?
    B) run Linux during the screensaver? What happens to windows? Why would you want to wait for the screensaver?
    C)show a linux slideshow. What's the use of that?
  • by n2rjt (88804) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @09:46PM (#14314083) Journal
    According to the article, this runs Linux in emulation mode, which is slow. CoLinux runs Linux as a Windows application, which is faster. CoLinux, however, lacks a graphics interface. I use it with X, but that doesn't work out of the box with existing live CDs.
  • It's only fair. After all, Windows has been running as an X11 screensaver for years (just invoke the BSOD module of xscreensaver [jwz.org]).
  • Add mosix and you have a company wide screen saver cluster...
  • I'll have linux use the BSOD screen saver. Mocks windows perfectly.
  • Already exists! (Score:5, Informative)

    by DavonZ (13344) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @10:59PM (#14314471) Homepage
    OK. When andLinux (http://wiki.gp2x.org/wiki/AndLinux [gp2x.org]) was released to the public over a week ago, Slashdot flagged it as uninteresting and ignored the news. andLinux is a Debian based Linux distribution that runs in Windows. It uses CoLinux, Xming and several other technologies to work.

    So, is it that LordDavon (yes, me!) is just a john-q-public open source developer and doesn't matter... but if Big Blue does something similar they matter!? Is it that Dynamism is supporting andLinux and not IBM? I really am a bit pissed on this one! I really believed that Slashdot would want to promote a project made for the public, by the public. I guess I need to try and make money off of Linux for them to care.

    Honestly, I just don't know. What I do know is that I don't need a screensaver to run Linux in Windows, I was first and Slashdot and IBM can kiss my ass!
  • Now Playing: Billy Joel - The Longest Time

    emerge --update --deep --newuse world

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