) is a port of the linux kernel that allows it to run in Windows without using virtualization software.
I just tried running tinycore over colinux and it boots just fine unchanged. At least as far as getting the console-based shell prompt. Getting it work completely with GUI, network, disk image mounting and extensions required some effort and changes to the tinycore initial ram disk.
I downloaded and installed colinux version 0.7.8. Colinux comes with a kernel file (vmlinux) and an initial ram disk (initrd.gz). Typical use of colinux involves booting using those two files along with a disk image containing the rest of your linux installation. For tinycore, no disk image is required as the base functionality is all present in the initial ram disk. And it turns out that the tinycore initrd (tinycore.gz) boots just fine using the colinux kernel.
The current tinycore initial ram disk is available at http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/tinycorelinux/3.x/release/distribution_files/tinycore.gz
Just copy that file into your colinux directory and then run the following command:
colinux-daemon kernel=vmlinux initrd=tinycore.gz text
Seconds later you should see a shell prompt. No networking, no gui. Colinux does not provide a graphic interface like QEMU and other virtualizers do. You have to setup networking and either use VNC or have an X-server running in windows (I use xming - http://www.straightrunning.com/XmingNotes/
To get no-fuss slirp based networking (slow, I think) add one boot parameter:
colinux-daemon kernel=vmlinux initrd=tinycore.gz eth0=slirp text
Now you should have networking:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:FF:16:2A:D0:00
inet addr:10.0.2.15 Bcast:10.0.2.255 Mask:255.255.255.0
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:1180 (1.1 KiB) TX bytes:662 (662.0 B)
[...lo device elided...]
tc@box:~$ wget http://google.com
Connecting to google.com (22.214.171.124:80)
Connecting to www.google.com (126.96.36.199:80)
index.html 100% |*******************************| 8757 --:--:-- ETA
With slirp, 10.0.2.2 is the host address, so if you have xming already setup, the following should bring up the appbrowser utility:
tc@box:~$ DISPLAY=10.0.2.2:0.0 appbrowser
The first trouble with tinycore-over-colinux hits when trying to install an extension. Tiny core extensions are squashfs based files. Mounting a squashfs file requires kernel module support. Since the tinycore kernel was not used (vmlinux from colinux was used), none of the kernel modules (including squashfs) from the tinycore initrd gets loaded.
The lsmod output in tinycore-over-colinux is empty, whereas a qemu booted tinycore shows squashfs, ramzswap, loop, and other kernel modules.
Fortunately, colinux comes with its own kernel modules in the file vmlinux-modules.tar.gz and squashfs is one of the modules. So copying the colinux kernel modules into the tinycore initrd is fairly easy. I followed the instructions at http://wiki.tinycorelinux.com/Remastering
and got a new tinycore initrd (larger now because it has kernel modules for both the tinycore kernel and the colinux kernel).
Now extension loading works just fine:
tc@box:~$ tce-load -w -i expat2
Connecting to distro.ibiblio.org (188.8.131.52:80)
expat2.tcz 100% |*******************************| 77824 --:--:-- ETA expat2.tcz: OK
To construct the revised initrd from within tiny core colinux, it is useful to have access from within tinycore to the windows filesystem (to copy the original tinycore.gz in and copy the modified version out). For file system access boot like this:
colinux-daemon kernel=vmlinux initrd=tinycore.gz eth0=slirp text cofs=c:\temp
Use whatever directory you want in place of 'c:\temp'. Then from the colinux shell:
tc@box:~$ sudo mkdir /mnt/cofs
tc@box:~$ sudo mount cofs /mnt/cofs -t cofs
tc@box:~$ ls /mnt/cofs
[you should see the contents of your c:\temp directory]
Now you can copy files back and forth between linux and windows (using 'sudo cp').
The second problem I encountered was with persistent storage. I could create a disk image and tell colinux to expose the disk image as a block device, but tinycore would not automatically mount it. I could manually mount it, but tinycore ignored it for automount. Here's the colinux command line now:
colinux-daemon kernel=vmlinux initrd=tinycore.gz eth0=slirp text cofs=c:\temp cobd0=tinycore_400M.img
And after booting, the /mnt directory is empty. But I can manually mount:
tc@box:~$ sudo mkdir /mnt/cobd0
tc@box:~$ sudo mount /dev/cobd0 /mnt/cobd0/
EXT3-fs (cobd0): using internal journal
EXT3-fs (cobd0): mounted filesystem with writeback data mode
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
After looking at the tinycore boot scripts, I figured out that colinux does not label the cobd0 device with an id that tinycore knows to automount:
tc@box:~$ cat /sys/block/cobd0/dev
I didn't fully understand the code in /usr/sbin/rebuildfstab, but changing this:
179|9|259) # MMC or MD (software raid)
to this (just added '117'):
117|179|9|259) # MMC or MD (software raid)
and updating my tincore.gz initrd with the changed rebuildfstab fixed the issue for me.
Then I use that automounted drive with the options "tce=cobd0 restore=cobd0 home=cobd0" and I have persistent home and packages and everything seems to work fine for me so far.
tinycore-over-colinux is significantly faster than tinycore-over-unaccelerated-qemu. I'm amazed at how fast it boots.