Definitely yes, any Windows or Mac user can view websites that are hosted by Linux or UNIX based systems. This is because the operating system of the computer you have at home which you use to view the website has nothing to do with the server of your web host. As such, it matters not whether the server is using any of the Windows Server OS family or any of the Linux/UNIX variants-based system as their operating system, as these websites are very much viewable on a Windows or Mac systems. The reason for this is really simple; the website that you view in your computer has already been designed and created to run as a website and not as a program on your computer. The issue of compatibility may lie between the language used to build the website and the webhost’s server but definitely not on the Windows/Mac computer used to view the site. Simply put, users need not worry about Windows/Mac compatibility issues with Linux/UNIX hosted sites as these websites are intended to be viewed on the browser and not as a program in the computer itself.
However, it cannot be denied that there may be some Linux/UNIX applications that can’t be viewed or that cannot function normally on Windows and Mac systems. The reason for this is that such applications may not be supported by the system. To run these application and to make them available for viewing, there may be a need to install patches and/or additional applications in your computer.
Is it possible for a Windows computer to run Linux-based applications?
Windows is a very versatile platform and is designed to handle and run almost any applicationS on its system, including applications that are designed for other operating systems such as Linux-based applications for that matter. The fact is that, running a Linux-based application on a Windows system is a lot easier than running a Windows-based application on a Linux OS. It may sound too good to be true for Windows users, but the truth is that Linux-based applications cannot really run on Windows systems unless Windows users will tweak their systems or will install additional applications to enable their systems to run Linux-based applications.
Aside from Windows being versatile, another reason why Linux can run on a Windows system is due to the availability of a number of free of charge Open Source applications than can be distributed, downloaded and installed on any Windows platform, without costing a cent to the client for purchasing and licensing the software.
What should I do in order to run Linux-based applications on my Windows machine?
Windows users can choose a number of options in order to enable their machines to run Linux-based applications. Each of these options is known for their efficiency and usefulness in running Linux-based application on Windows machines and among them are the following:
One of the most common options is the use of Virtual Machines.
- A virtual machine is an application that is designed to allow users to run an operating system in his desktop, without the need to exit the running operating system. Among the most commonly used virtual machines are VirtualBox and VMware player. These VMs can be installed for free and then used to download ISO files for a Linux distribution, which are then installed inside the VM just like it is installed on a standard computer. With the use of virtual machines, Windows users can run the whole Linux software on Window without the need to exit from Windows itself.
Another option is through the use of Cygwin .
- Cygwin allows Windows users to run Linux on Windows but offering its user a Linux-like environment on his Windows machine. Basically, the software needs to be recompiled to run which makes it not the most proper way of running Linux in Windows machines.
- Cygwin is often used to install an OpenSSH server and get SSH access to a Windows machine.
Third option is by Installing Ubuntu through Wubi.
- Ubuntu is an open source platform than can run everywhere, from smartphones to PC’s, which makes it a viable option of running Linux on Windows. With Wubi, Ubuntu can be easily installed and uninstalled from Windows. However, installing Ubuntu with Wubi, the supported Ubuntu installer/uninstaller for Windows, means you need to reboot your system and then use Ubuntu like you installed a dual-boot configuration.
With coLinux-based distributions –
- The term coLinux means Cooperative Linux, basically means it is a way to run Linux alongside the Windows. coLinux allows Linux to run faster better than simply running Linux in a VM.
What are the reasons why people prefer to run Linux on Windows rather than use Linux directly instead?
There could be as many good reasons why people prefer Windows as there are as may Windows users. The most common of these reasons are:
• Familiarity with the software
- The user may have become more familiar with the platform and learning the ropes of using a whole new platform maybe too cumbersome for them.
Particular Need –
- Linux cannot run all applications especially those that are written in .NET and .ASP which needs Windows to run it.
- Windows can run applications that Linux can’t and almost everything that Linux can run.
- Windows can easily run Linux-based applications but Linux finds it hard to run Windows-based applications.