[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] Running sugar at almost-native speeds in Windows

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Mar 10 21:26:59 EDT 2009

Hash: SHA1

Luke Faraone wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM, Martin Dengler <martin at martindengler.com>wrote:
>> Interesting but you'd need an X server running on Windows, according
>> to http://colinux.wikia.com/wiki/XCoLinux (IIUC).  So you're still
>> going to have to get them not only an EXE with coLinux, but one with
>> cygwin/X or another (do free ones exist?) X server that runs on
>> windows.  Seems non-trivial.
> It's been done, see http://www.andlinux.org/

So, the principal difficulty with using coLinux with Sugar is that it uses
a Windows-side X server, which provides its own window manager.  We need
to use our own, custom-configured window manager, in order for the GUI to
work.  (For the same reason, Sugar won't run over an ssh tunnel.)  We
could attempt to port some of the window management stuff to Cygwin,
but... let's not.

I just had an epiphany, though: the Xephyr-box approach (as used in
jhbuild) should still work fine.  The Xephyr window will simply appear as
a Windows window.

VMWare Player is free and extremely fast.  It provides all the
functionality we could hope to provide through coLinux, and might even be
/faster/.  Virtualbox is Free and potentially similar.  Also, coLinux
requires Administrator privileges to run, so students on school computers
probably can't use it.[1] Plus, it's insecure on multi-user machines.[2]

If anyone gets Sugar in coLinux to outperform Sugar in a VM, there will
certainly be plenty of interest.  Until then, I'm happy enough with
virtual machines.

- --Ben

[2] http://www.andlinux.org/faq.php
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