Say you want to move from Windows to Linux… but there are a few Windows apps that you can’t give up, and they don’t work well under WINE. The developer of Robolinux offers a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system designed to let you run Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual machine.
But the latest version of Robolinux goes a step further: It includes a tool that lets you create a virtual machine by cloning your Windows C: Drive, which means it takes just minutes to create a version of Windows that you can run in virtualization in Linux, and it will already have all of your existing programs and data.
Not only does this allow you to run Windows apps within Linux… it lets you do it without using a fresh Windows license key. That can come in handy if your only copy of Windows came with your computer or if you have an OEM license which is only allowed to be installed on a single computer.
While the C: Drive to VM tool was developed by Robolinux maker John Martinson, you can also use the software with Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Debian, or 500 other Linux distributions.
In order to use the tool, you’ll need a C: Drive that’s 127GB or smaller, but you can resize your drive if necessary.
Note that while RoboLinux is open source software, the developer asks for donations of $19.95 for the C: Drive to VP support package (and lower prices for other downloads). You can download RoboLinux 7.5.1 from SourceForge for free… but you’ll still need to make a donation if you want to download the virtual machine and C: Drive cloning tools.
You can find more details at the project’s SourceForge page. And the video below shows the cloning process in action. If you don’t want all the background on the project, skip to about 11 minutes in to see the walkthrough.