User-Mode Linux allows you to run Linux on top of Linux. You get a file called "linux" that you can execute just like a normal (user-mode) program. It will act as the kernel for your Linux guest system (the system running on top of your Linux). In other words, it provides pseudo-virtualization.
User-mode Linux can be very useful when learning Linux as it allows a student to destroy his Linux install and replace it quickly with a fresh one (take a backup before playing with the install of course).
How to start
- Install User mode linux
yast2 -i uml-utilities wget ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/distribution/SL-10.1/inst-source/suse/i586/kernel-um-188.8.131.52-4.i586.rpm rpm -ivh kernel-um-184.108.40.206-4.i586.rpm
- Install Linux into a directory
In this example, we install Linux to /usermodelinux.
- Start User mode linux
cd /boot ./vmlinux-um
- Verify that you get an error like
VFS: Cannot open root device "98:0" or unknown-block(98,0) Please append a correct "root=" boot option
This is because User-mode Linux tries to start from /dev/ubd0 as initial ramdisk and cannot find this.
- Download an initrd from the project's home:
wget http://switch.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/user-mode-linux/Debian-3.0r0.ext2.bz2 bunzip2 Debian-3.0r0.ext2.bz2
- Start your User-mode linux
- Your User-mode Linux now starts