The Windows Vista Firewall

We all have heard at one time or another, about the Windows XP firewall and how useless it is. However true or untrue these statements are, they can effect the confidence of future Windows products security systems. This paper is intent upon educating the public on the facts of the subject matter. So, let's get with it...

The Difference:-
No third party software can lay claim to the fact that the Windows Firewall starts its protection once the computer is turned on. Is that important you ask? Absolutely. If a capable malware program could turn itself on at the same time that the computer starts to boot, common sense would dictate the danger of this. Now, knowing the fact that the Vista firewall 'does' start at boot, we need to confidently know that it is going to protect from boot.

The Interface:-
Microsoft and the Windows team have done something a little different with the Vista firewall. They have separated the firewall in to two different interfaces. The default interface is the basic one. At first glance, it looks identical to the Windows XP SP2 firewall. This basic interface is ON by default and loads basic settings for normal user protection. In most cases, this basic setting should work fine. Then they added an Advanced interface for the more security savvy individuals. This Advanced interface gives a greater flexibility over the firewalls settings.

The Basic Configuration:-
As I mentioned earlier, the Vista firewall is turned on by default and will be set to a 'basic' configuration. In this configuration, the firewall works in tandem with the new Windows Service Hardening feature. If the firewall should detect a certain activity that is deemed a prohibited behavior according to the Windows Service Hardenings preset rules, the firewall will block this suspect activity.
To access the Vista Firewalls basic settings; Click the Windows button>> Control Panel>> Windows Firewall. With the Windows Firewall window open, you will see three tabs at the top; General, Exceptions and Advanced. Let's quickly discuss each tab separately:

General tab:-
With this tab selected, you will see three possible settings; On (default), Block all programs and Off. The on and off selections are pretty self-explanatory, but the "Block all programs" option is very handy if you need to login to an unsecure public wi-fi network. With this option selected in this scenario, you will be completely protected.

Exceptions tab:-
With this tab selected, you can view all of the programs that Windows has on its default block list. If you would like to unblock a certain program, just simply click the checkbox next to the programs name. Also, at the bottom of this window you will notice that you can add or delete programs. A little further down the window, you will notice an entry titled: "Tell me when Windows Firewall blocks a program". This is enabled by default, but if you would prefer not to get popup notifications regarding blocked programs, simply de-select this option and click Apply.

Advanced tab:-
With this tab selected, you will see the available network connections on your system that can be protected by the Windows Firewall. When you see a checkmark next to the available network connection, you'll know that it is being protected. Unchecking, of course, removes the protection.
Also available under the Advanced tab is a "Security logging" feature. When you click the "Settings" button under the Security logging feature, you will be able to create and configure log files of either dropped packets or successful connections to your network and set maximum log sizes.
Another feature you'll notice is "ICMP" (Internet Control Message Protocol):
Here you are given a certain flexibility over how your computer is to respond to ICMP requests. When you click the Settings button, you will notice that the entry titled: "Allow incoming echo request" is the only entry selected (allowed). All other requests are not allowed by default.
The last available option under the Advanced tab is the "Default settings" options. When you click the "Restore Defaults" button, you will remove any previous settings changes that have been made and return the Windows Firewall back to its Default configuration. If you should get in to a little trouble while configuring your Basic settings, this is a good option to be aware of.

The Advanced Configuration:-
This is where Microsoft has added a second completely separate interface for the Windows Firewall. In order to view and configure advanced settings, you will first need to create a custom MMC (Microsoft Management Console). The purpose for this is to dissuade any novice users from accessing these settings. If you would like to create a custom MMC, here's how:
  1. Click the Windows button
  2. In the Search box, enter: cmd
  3. Right click the Run Program and select "Run as administrator" from the resulting menu.
  4. In the Run window, type in: mmc.exe [Enter] or click OK.
  5. With MMC open, go to File>> Add/Remove Snap-in.
  6. Open the "Available Snap-ins" list and scroll the list to locate an entry titled: "Windows Firewall With Advanced Security".
  7. Click to select the entry and then click the "Add" button.
  8. Accept the default (Local Computer) from the Select Computer dialog box.
  9. Click Finish, then OK.
You will now be able to view the advanced settings in the MMC.

From within the MMC, you have a great deal of flexibility over your Windows Firewall. Some interesting configurations worth noting are:

Multiple Firewall Profiles:-
More geared around portable computing, this available option allows you to configure three different profiles for different situations. As an example, if your are traveling and are using your laptop in a public unsecured wi-fi environment, you can enable your "Public" profile. Switch to your "Private" network configured profile when surfing at home, or rely upon your "Domain" configured profile for work. Each profile tab has the same available settings changes available.
Once you've clicked one of the profile tabs, you can turn the selected profile On or Off. You also have the flexibility over Inbound and Outbound connections. By default as we have learned earlier, outbound connections are allowed and Inbound connections are NOT allowed (selected 'exceptions' are allowed). In the MMC, you can change these settings to fit your personal needs.

IPSec Configuration:-
Another tab you'll see along side each of the three profiles is the IPSec tab. IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) is a constantly developing security standard that provides for security of sensitive data that is transmitted over unprotected networks. With the IPSec tab selected, you can click the "Custom" button to configure these settings to fit your needs. Available configuration options are: Key Exchange, Data Protection and Authorization Method.

Connection Security Rules:-
After you have setup all of your profiles and configured your IPSec settings, you're now ready to setup your connection security rules. You will be guided by a wizard that helps you create security rules to determine how and when secure connections are to be applied between an individual computer or even a group of computers. Some of the flexibilities you will have here are:
  • Isolate certain connections and restrict a connection based on a domains membership or health status.
  • Set up server-to-server authentication rules
  • Restrict certain connections
  • Exemplify certain computers from authentication
  • Create a custom rule when nothing available applies
Once you've created your rules, you can easily delete them by right clicking and selecting Delete. Or, you can save them for a later time by selecting Disable instead. To enable the disabled rule, simply right click it and select Enable.


Windows Media Player 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Hide the menu : ALT
Zoom to 50 percent : ALT+1
Zoom to 100 percent : ALT+2
Zoom to 200 percent : ALT+3
Show or hide album information in the Rip feature : ALT+A
Start burning a CD in the Burn feature : ALT+B
Rip music from a CD to your computer in the Rip feature : ALT+C
Show video in full screen : ALT+ENTER
Show the File menu : ALT+F
Quit the program in the current window : ALT+F4
Show the anchor window menu : ALT+F6, ALT
Show the Help menu : ALT+H
Show or hide album information in your library : ALT+I
Save a new or changed playlist to your library : ALT+L, A
Show a list of items to burn to CD in the List pane in your library : ALT+L, B
Select the columns to be shown in your library : ALT+L, C
Show a playlist from your library in the List pane. : ALT+L, E
Shuffle items in the List Pane in your library : ALT+L, H
Create a playlist or auto playlist in the List pane in your library : ALT+L, N
Show or hide the List pane in your library : ALT+L, S
Edit items in the List pane by using the Edit Playlist dialog box in your library : ALT+L, U
Activate double-clicking to add selected items to the List pane in your library : ALT+O, A
Show a list of items to burn to CD in the List pane in your library : ALT+O, B
Select the columns to be shown in your library : ALT+O, C
Select items in the Details pane of your library that contain media information for the selected sort order : ALT+O, G
Activate double-clicking to play only selected items in a playlist in your library. : ALT+O, I
Activate double-clicking to play all items in a playlist in your library : ALT+O, P
Play items in the Now Playing list repeatedly in your library : ALT+O, R
Show or hide the List pane in your library : ALT+O, S
Show a list of items to play in the List pane in your library : ALT+O, W
Show the Play menu : ALT+P
Search for items in your library that include the text in the Search box : ALT+S
Restore the Player from mini Player mode : ALT+SHIFT+P
Show the Tools menu : ALT+T
Show the View menu : ALT+V
Go to the Features taskbar features : ALT+V, G
Move left or right or up or down on menus or lists : Arrow keys
Switch to full mode : CTRL+1
Switch to skin mode : CTRL+2
Select or clear check boxes for multiple items that are not contiguous : CTRL+arrow keys, SPACEBAR
Play the previous item : CTRL+B
Edit the current playlist on the File menu : CTRL+D
Eject the CD or DVD on the Play menu : CTRL+E
Play the next item : CTRL+F
Shuffle the playlist on the Play menu or the Skin shortcut menu : CTRL+H
Capture a still image from a DVD on the View menu : CTRL+I
Show the menu bar in full mode : CTRL+M
Create a playlist on the File menu : CTRL+N
Open a file on the Skin shortcut menu or the File menu : CTRL+O
Play or pause a file : CTRL+P
Stop playback : CTRL+S
Rewind (not available for all files) : CTRL+SHIFT+B
Turn captions and subtitles on or off : CTRL+SHIFT+C
Play faster than normal speed (time compression) : CTRL+SHIFT+G
Play slower than normal speed (time expansion) : CTRL+SHIFT+S
Repeat the playlist : CTRL+T
Switch between the inner and outer areas of the Player : CTRL+TAB
Specify either a URL or path of a file : CTRL+U
Close or stop playing a file on the File menu : CTRL+W
Delete a selected item in the Sync feature : DELETE
Select the next item in the list : DOWN ARROW
Play an item : ENTER
Hide the menu : ESC
Open Help : F1
Search specified locations for digital media files : F3
Refresh the information in the panes in the Sync feature : F5
Mute the volume : F8
Decrease the volume : F9
Select or clear contiguous check boxes : SHIFT+arrow keys, SPACEBAR
Show the shortcut menu for the selected item : SHIFT+F10
Select the previous area : SHIFT+TAB
Select or clear a check box : SPACEBAR
Select the next area : TAB
Select the previous item in the list : UP ARROW
Thanks for Windows Media.

FAT32 ( File Allocation Table 32 )

What is this FAT32 I keep hearing about?
FAT32 is a new feature introduced by Microsoft to reduce wasted cluster space. You can find FAT 32 in the OSR2 version of Windows 95.

What is the difference between FAT16 & FAT32?
Inside every hard drive, there are clusters. The larger the partition, the bigger the cluster size. Many people resort to partition their hard drive into smaller partitions to reclaim wasted cluster disk space. FAT32 reduces the cluster size so you don't have to partition your hard drive to save disk space. The table below shows the difference:

Cluster size

Partition Size

2 KB

128 MB

4 KB

256 MB

8 KB

512 MB

16 KB

1 GB

32 KB

2 GB


Cluster size

Partition Size

2 KB


4 KB

260 MB - 8 GB

8 KB

8 GB - 16 GB

16 KB

16 GB - 32 GB

32 KB

32 GB<

As you can see, the maximum partition size under FAT16 is only 2 GB while FAT32 supports up to 32GB. And also, the cluster size for a 2GB partition is 32 KB while a partition between 260 MB to 16 GB ( for home or personal use range ) 's cluster size is 4 KB, saving nearly 8 times less cluster space than a partition that is under FAT16.

Does that means that I will have FAT32 installed if I have OSR2?

Yes and no. It depends on how your OSR2 was installed. If installed from the setup disk ( included in your package ) then setup will format your hard drive leaving you with a FAT32 hard drive. But if OSR2 is installed from DOS or the earlier version of Windows 95, then you will be using the old FAT16.

I have a copy of OSR2. What is the most common way to convert my hard drive to support FAT32?
The most common way is to format the whole hard drive. Boot to command prompt and run setup from the OSR2 CD. Go along setup until you are prompted to make a boot disk. Insert an empty disk and label it OSR2 boot disk. Then, cancel setup. Now boot your PC from the boot disk. Format the hard drive from the boot disk using the format command. (Note: Do not use the /q switch as it will just erase all data. Use full format.) After your hard drive is formatted, it will support FAT32.

Is there any other way I can convert FAT16 to FAT32 without formatting my hard drive?
Yes, by using some third party software or utilities.

What are the utilities that can convert FAT16 to FAT32?
Microsoft has released one that is currently available at the Microsoft site. Powerquest also have developed one as part of Partition Magic. We believe there are also other FAT32 conversion utilities on the Internet written by shareware of freeware authors. Also, Windows 98 ships with a FAT32 converter.

Can I install OSR2 on a FAT16 partition/drive?
OSR2 does not need FAT32 to be installed. OSR2 will run happily on any FAT16 partition / drive.


Windows Registry FAQ

What is the Registry?
The Registry is a database used to store settings and options for the 32 bit versions of Microsoft Windows including Windows 95, 98, ME and NT/2000. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, software, users, and preferences of the PC. Whenever a user makes changes to a Control Panel settings, or File Associations, System Policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in the Registry.
The physical files that make up the registry are stored differently depending on your version of Windows; under Windows 95, 98 & ME it is contained in two hidden files in your Windows directory, called USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT, while under Windows NT/2000 the files are contained separately in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Config directory. You can not edit these files directly, you must use a tool usually known as a "Registry Editor" to make any changes (using registry editors will be discussed later in the article).

The Structure of the Registry
The Registry has a hierarchal structure, although it looks complicated the structure is similar to the directory structure on your hard disk, with Regedit being similar to Windows Explorer.

Each main branch (denoted by a folder icon in the Registry Editor, see left) is called a Hive, and Hives contains Keys. Each key can contain other keys (sometimes referred to as sub-keys), as well as Values. The values contain the actual information stored in the Registry. There are three types of values; String, Binary, and DWORD - the use of these depends upon the context.

There are six main branches, each containing a specific portion of the information stored in the Registry. They are as follows:
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - This branch contains all of your file association types, OLE information and shortcut data.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER - This branch links to the section of HKEY_USERS appropriate for the user currently logged onto the PC.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - This branch contains computer specific information about the type of hardware, software, and other preferences on a given PC, this information is used for all users who log onto this computer.
  • HKEY_USERS - This branch contains individual preferences for each user of the computer, each user is represented by a SID sub-key located under the main branch.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG - This branch links to the section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE appropriate for the current hardware configuration.
  • HKEY_DYN_DATA - This branch points to the part of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, for use with the Plug-&-Play features of Windows, this section is dymanic and will change as devices are added and removed from the system.

Each registry value is stored as one of five different data types:

  • REG_BINARY - This type stores the value as raw binary data. Most hardware component information is stored as binary data, and can be displayed in an editor in hexadecimal format.
  • REG_DWORD - This type represents the data by a four byte number and is commonly used for boolean values, such as "0" is disabled and "1" is enabled. Additionally many parameters for device driver and services are this type, and can be displayed in REGEDT32 in binary, hexadecimal and decimal format, or in REGEDIT in hexadecimal and decimal format.
  • REG_EXPAND_SZ - This type is an expandable data string that is string containing a variable to be replaced when called by an application. For example, for the following value, the string "%SystemRoot%" will replaced by the actual location of the directory containing the Windows NT system files. (This type is only available using an advanced registry editor such as REGEDT32)
  • REG_MULTI_SZ - This type is a multiple string used to represent values that contain lists or multiple values, each entry is separated by a NULL character. (This type is only available using an advanced registry editor such as REGEDT32)
  • REG_SZ - This type is a standard string, used to represent human readable text values.
Editing the Registry
The Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE) is included with most version of Windows (although you won't find it on the Start Menu) it enables you to view, search and edit the data within of the Registry. There are several methods for starting the Registry Editor, the simplest is to click on the Start button, then select Run, and in the Open box type "regedit", and if the Registry Editor is installed it should now open and look like the image below.
An alternative Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE) is available for use with Windows NT/2000, it includes some additional features not found in the standard version, including; the ability to view and modify security permissions, and being able to create and modify the extended string values REG_EXPAND_SZ & REG_MULTI_SZ. Create a Shortcut to Regedit
This can be done by simply right-clicking on a blank area of your desktop, selecting New, then Shortcut, then in the Command line box enter "regedit.exe" and click Next, enter a friendly name (e.g. 'Registry Editor') then click Finish and now you can double click on the new icon to launch the Registry Editor.

Using Regedit to modify your Registry
Once you have started the Regedit you will notice that on the left side there is a tree with folders, and on the right the contents (values) of the currently selected folder.

Like Windows explorer, to expand a certain branch (see the structure of the registry section), click on the plus sign [+] to the left of any folder, or just double-click on the folder. To display the contents of a key (folder), just click the desired key, and look at the values listed on the right side. You can add a new key or value by selecting New from the Edit menu, or by right-clicking your mouse. And you can rename any value and almost any key with the same method used to rename files; right-click on an object and click rename, or click on it twice (slowly), or just press F2 on the keyboard. Lastly, you can delete a key or value by clicking on it, and pressing Delete on the keyboard, or by right-clicking on it, and choosing Delete.

Note: it is always a good idea to backup your registry before making any changes to it. It can be intimidating to a new user, and there is always the possibility of changing or deleting a critical setting causing you to have to reinstall the whole operating system. It's much better to be safe than sorry!

Importing and Exporting Registry Settings
A great feature of the Registry Editor is it's ability to import and export registry settings to a text file, this text file, identified by the .REG extension, can then be saved or shared with other people to easily modify local registry settings. You can see the layout of these text files by simply exporting a key to a file and opening it in Notepad, to do this using the Registry Editor select a key, then from the "Registry" menu choose "Export Registry File...", choose a filename and save. If you open this file in notepad you will see a file similar to the example below:

"CmdLine"="setup -newsetup"

The layout is quite simple, REGEDIT4 indicated the file type and version, [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup] indicated the key the values are from, "SetupType"=dword:00000000 are the values themselves the portion after the "=" will vary depending on the type of value they are; DWORD, String or Binary.

So by simply editing this file to make the changes you want, it can then be easily distributed and all that need to be done is to double-click, or choose "Import" from the Registry menu, for the settings to be added to the system Registry.

Deleting keys or values using a REG file
It is also possible to delete keys and values using REG files. To delete a key start by using the same format as the the REG file above, but place a "-" symbol in front of the key name you want to delete. For example to delete the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup] key the reg file would look like this:

The format used to delete individual values is similar, but instead of a minus sign in front of the whole key, place it after the equal sign of the value. For example, to delete the value "SetupType" the file would look like:


Use this feature with care, as deleting the wrong key or value could cause major problems within the registry, so remember to always make a backup first

Regedit Command Line Options
Regedit has a number of command line options to help automate it's use in either batch files or from the command prompt. Listed below are some of the options, please note the some of the functions are operating system specific

regedit.exe [options] [filename]

filename Import .reg file into the registry
/s Silent, i.e. hide confirmation box when importing files
/e Export registry file
e.g. regedit /e file.reg HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT
/L:system Specify the location of the system.dat to use
/R:user Specify the location of the user.dat to use
/C Compress [filename] (Windows 98

Maintaining the Registry
How can you backup and restore the Registry

Windows 95
Microsoft included a utility on the Windows 95 CD-ROM that lets you create backups of the Registry on your computer. The Microsoft Configuration Backup program, CFGBACK.EXE, can be found in the \Other\Misc\Cfgback directory on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. This utility lets you create up to nine different backup copies of the Registry, which it stores, with the extension RBK, in your \Windows directory. If your system is set up for multiple users, CFGBACK.EXE won't back up the USER.DAT file.
After you have backed up your Registry, you can copy the RBK file onto a floppy disk for safekeeping. However, to restore from a backup, the RBK file must reside in the \Windows directory. Windows 95 stores the backups in compressed form, which you can then restore only by using the CFGBACK.EXE utility

Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 automatically creates a backup copy of the registry every time Windows starts, in addition to this you can manually create a backup using the Registry Checker utility by running SCANREGW.EXE from Start Run menu

What to do if you get a Corrupted Registry
Windows 95, 98 and NT all have a simple registry backup mechanism that is quite reliable, although you should never simply rely on it, remember to always make a backup first

Windows 95
In the Windows directory there are several hidden files, four of these will be SYSTEM.DAT & USER.DAT, your current registry, and SYSTEM.DAO & USER.DAO, a backup of your registry. Windows 9x has a nice reature in that every time it appears to start successfully it will copy the registry over these backup files, so just in case something goes wrong can can restore it to a known good state. To restore the registry follow these instruction:

1.Click the Start button, and then click Shut Down

2.Click Restart The Computer In MS-DOS Mode, then click Yes.

3.Change to your Windows directory. For example, if your Windows directory is c:\windows, you would type the following:

cd c:\windows

4.Type the following commands, pressing ENTER after each one. (Note that SYSTEM.DA0 and USER.DA0 contain the number zero.)

attrib -h -r -s system.dat
attrib -h -r -s system.da0
copy system.da0 system.dat
attrib -h -r -s user.dat
attrib -h -r -s user.da0
copy user.da0 user.dat

5.Restart your computer

Following this procedure will restore your registry to its state when you last successfully started your computer.

If all else fails, there is a file on your hard disk named SYSTEM.1ST that was created when Windows 95 was first successfully installed. If necessary you could also change the file attributes of this file from read-only and hidden to archive to copy the file to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.DAT.

Windows NT
On Windows NT you can use either the "Last Known Good" option or RDISK to restore to registry to a stable working configuration.

How can I clean out old data from the Registry?
Although it's possible to manually go through the Registry and delete unwanted entries, Microsoft provides a tool to automate the process, the program is called RegClean. RegClean analyzes Windows Registry keys stored in a common location in the Windows Registry. It finds keys that contain erroneous values, it removes them from the Windows Registry after having recording those entries in the Undo.Reg file. You can download this free utility from our downloads page.


Linux Online FAQ

What is Linux?
Linux is a Unix-like operating system originally developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. To get the whole story, see our Page devoted entirely to this question.

Where can I get Linux?
here are literally hundreds of places you can get Linux because there are hundreds of "versions" or distributions of Linux. If you think you might want Linux because you're considering alternatives to Microsoft Windows or Macintosh OS for everyday computer use, you may want to check out a version of Linux called 'Knoppix', which will boot from your CD drive and does not need to be installed. If you're interested in Linux for other reasons, we invite you to look at our list of Linux distributions. You'll likely find what you're looking for there.

What is a Linux distribution?
A Linux "distribution" is version of the Linux operating system made especially by a company, organization or individual. The one thing they all have in common is that they use the Linux kernel. From there on, each developer will add its own programs, tools and other applications. Some are dedicated to specific uses while others are intended for the general public. Again, you'll find more information at our Linux distributions page.

Which Linux distribution do you recommend?
Linux Online tries to be impartial, particularly when it comes to for-profit, commercial distributions. We really don't recommend any one distribution over others. Also, there are so many factors to take into account when choosing a distribution that it would be impossible to make recommendations in general.

Can we have permission to use the Linux penguin logo?
Larry Ewing is the creator of the Linux penguin, Tux. Larry was kind enough to give free license to use it when he created it provided you give the correct attributions. If you're in doubt, please have a look at his website for more information. http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux/

Can you please forward this email/letter/gift/etc to Linus Torvalds?
Linus Torvalds does not work here at Linux Online so we don't handle any of Linus' correspondence. At present, he is working full-time on the kernel for the Open Source Development Labs. Please contact them if you need to get in touch with Linus or you wish to send him something. http://www.osdl.org/about_osdl/contact_osdl.html

Can you please send me Linux CDs?
Linux Online is a general information site about Linux. It is not a retailer of CDs, therefore we can't send you commercial versions of Linux. As far as non-commercial versions go, we do not have the staff and means to handle the enormous amount of potential requests for CDs. We do provide a list of retailers who can send you CDs of Linux distributions - some at very low cost.

Where can I find a driver for my hardware?
As Linux grows in popularity, it also gains support for a wider range of hardware. The Linux kernel now supports and enormous amount of hardware and most major Linux distribution incorporate this support into their products. You can also get hardware support by downloading, compiling and installing the latest version of the Linux kernel. In some cases, hardware manufacturers want to provide Linux support without incorporating their drivers into the kernel, so they provide separate drivers. If you're looking for these it's best to consult the manufacturer's website or send them an inquiry by email. Then there are some hardware manufacturers who don't support Linux, so no drivers are available. If you're already running Linux, it's best to check to see if new hardware you want to purchase is supported.

Can I run applications for MS Windows on Linux?
The short answer to this is: no, not automatically and not directly. That is to say, Microsoft Windows and Linux applications cannot run the same applications because they are not designed in the same way. However, there are some ways to run programs for Microsoft Windows on Linux using emulators and other means. If you need/want to run an application designed for Microsoft Windows on Linux, you might want to check out the following applications:
  • WINE
  • Crossover Products
  • Win4Lin
  • VMWare
What does GNU/Linux refer to?
NU/Linux is the name Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU project, and its supporters prefer over just Linux. They cite the fact that Linux could not have come into being without tools from the GNU project. Though this is true, use and custom has favored just Linux over GNU/Linux in the public consciousness. This website's use of the term Linux in no way tries to minimize the contributions of the Free Software Foundation. We feel that it's easier for people to identify the operating system by that simpler name and in the end, that helps in its adoption.

Is Linux a company?
There is no company called Linux. Linux is an operating system. There are many companies that develop Linux products and provide services based on Linux, but not one called Linux who "controls" the operating system.

Can I buy stock in Linux?
As we mentioned in the previous answer, there is no company called "Linux", so there can't be any stock in a non-existent company. However, several companies are publicly traded who do provide Linux products and services. Here are a few that directly produce the Linux operating system.
  • Novell (Symbol: NOVL)
  • Red Hat (Symbol: RHAT)
Companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard have also put tremendous support behind Linux and they are publicly traded.

Who is SCO?
SCO or officially The SCO Group is the latest incarnation of what was founded as Caldera, formerly a Linux distribution company. In 2000, Caldera bought the Unix division of a company known as the Santa Cruz Operation (or SCO) and apparently acquired some rights to distribute the Unix operating system. New management took over at Caldera in 2002 and in early 2003, members of this new management team decided to abandon development of their Linux distribution and in a remarkable about-face, filed suit against IBM alleging that the computing giant had put Unix technology, which it claims it controls, into the Linux kernel in violation of contractual obligations. Caldera shortly after the suit was filed, officially changed their name to The SCO Group and is popularly known as SCO. This has since blown up into a huge controversy. For more information, see our page dedicated to the SCO case.

Does SCO own Linux?
They would like you to believe that they do. They will even sell you a Linux license under the threat that if you don't, they could sue you. However, we believe this is a lot like a paternity suit, just a bit more complicated.