How can you run a Linux program on a computer with Windows?

Linux users have created emulators that allow several Windows products to run under Linux. The converse has not yet happened. Windows does not openly acknowledge Linux as anything worthy of their attention so Gates et. al. have not created an emulator for running Linux native applications. Just run it in Linux.


This isn't possible right out of the box... however, there is a Windows project similar to a native emulator, called Cygwin. Like I said, it can't run Linux programs right out of the box (and it can't run all Linux programs). Instead, you have to build the programs from source within Cygwin. Normally, this is easy - you download the source code to the program you want to run, un-tar it in a folder, fire up Cygwin, switch to that folder, and type "./configure; make; make install" (without quotes). It has its limitations, but that's the best you can really get on Windows....


Microsoft has however, taken a small subset of Linux utilities and compiled and released them as part of some, if not all, Windows distributions. The 'netstat' command would be one example of a GNU utility that has been re-compiled by Microsoft and released with Windows.

Of course, as with nearly all GNU (and Unix) utilities, a '-' instead of a '/' is used to denote command line switches. Microsoft made few, if any changes to these program so they work as they do on a Linux or Unix system.

For example:

C:\> netstat -a <enter>

will display your current network connections,

C:\> netstat -r <enter>

will display your current routing table

etc, etc...