Chapter 12. Windows Compatibility and Samba

Linux is a remarkably effective operating system, which in many cases can completely replace MS-DOS/Windows. However, there are always those of us who want to continue to use other operating systems as well as Linux, or at least to exchange files directly with them. Linux satisfies such yearnings with internal enhancements that allow it to access foreign filesystems and act on their files. It can mount DOS/Windows partitions on the system’s hard disk, or access files and printers shared by Windows servers on the network. Linux can also run DOS and Windows applications, using compatibility utilities that allow it to invoke MS-DOS or Windows.

We use the terms MS-DOS and Windows somewhat generically in this chapter to refer to any of the DOS-based operating systems coming from Microsoft or those compatible with them. These include MS-DOS, PC-DOS, and DR-DOS/Novell DOS (all with or without Windows 3.x running on top of them), as well as the various Windows versions themselves, no matter whether they build upon a separate DOS installation, such as Windows 3.x, or whether they have a DOS kernel built in, such as Windows 95/98/ME. Windows NT/2000/XP are different, and some of the things described here will not work with them, or will work differently.

One of the most common reasons for needing to run Windows is that it often has better support for new hardware products. If you have installed Windows because you need to use a piece of hardware ...

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