ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

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marotinho
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by marotinho »

I haven't been able to install ReactOS under linux anymore. Not sure if i'm missing some virtualbox package here. After installing ReactOS it simply can't reach the desktop, just get stuck at Reactos logo. Did someone install succesfully under linux?
OBS: Specifically 4.4 version?

EDIT: Ok, i managed to install it, there were some virtualbox components missing.
I like the way ReactOs works, and how it install nicely using their "Store App" but many of the programs you install outside it won't install at all or won't work. I know is just beta version for now, but i like it, wish to use it as default OS on an old pc.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by cantasan99 »

Few days ago, 0.4.5 was released!

Fixes have been made to kernel to fix some PnP issues, enabling more computers booting ReactOS without conflicts. Some drivers were improved. Win32 subsystem has seen major work, especially font-related fixes to fix various rendering issues. Major theming and shell work was also made.

ReactOS can now run Office 2010, with Samba installed!
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cantasan99
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by cantasan99 »

0.4.7 released! (Wow, nobody has written about 0.4.6) Lots of improvements are waiting you!

EDIT: I have also started Community Changelogs. Check it out!
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by TheDosProgrammer »

I stopped reviewing these updates long ago... The whole OS looks like completed in great hurry, APIs and frameworks are only partially working... It looks more like a clone of GEOS (later NewDeal Office and then Breadbox Ensemble) and repeats many major GEOS mistakes. Point of all is integrating Wine to Linux with some minor improvements to make it looks better. Isn't easier to just install Windows or if you love Linux so much, another lightweight linux distribution?
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by jimmsta »

TheDosProgrammer wrote:I stopped reviewing these updates long ago... The whole OS looks like completed in great hurry, APIs and frameworks are only partially working... It looks more like a clone of GEOS (later NewDeal Office and then Breadbox Ensemble) and repeats many major GEOS mistakes. Point of all is integrating Wine to Linux with some minor improvements to make it looks better. Isn't easier to just install Windows or if you love Linux so much, another lightweight linux distribution?
You don't seem to understand why ReactOS exists, or what it's intended purpose is.

ReactOS is an NTOS-like operating system written from the ground up with clean-room reverse engineering only. The source code has been audited by Microsoft to ensure that no code came from either SDK, DDK, or leaked source code. It is an attempt at building a better NT than Microsoft designed starting in 1989. Following a lot of the design choices that Microsoft (and, more specifically, Dave Cutler) made early on, ReactOS is fundamentally feature-complete in the native-NT department. It can run applications designed for textmode NT without much of an issue. The ReactOS kernel is almost a drop-in replacement for the NT4 kernel. It is NOT linux with Wine on top.

The UI was never really a focus until recent years - the main focus was, and is, to get both Win32 and Native NT API's functioning on their own kernel architecture. The UI and software compatibility are second to the main focus of the project. Only in recent years has the UI seen any serious development, as it's not a primary focus, and really only there to pull people in to the project.

The Win32 and DirectX-Compatible API is derived from Wine, but is not a direct copy, as Wine tries to map Win32/DX API's to linux functions, whereas ReactOS has its own NT kernel. Think of ReactOS as NT4 running a bunch of special compatibility shims for more modern software -- lots of things are still hacks just to get the expected behavior as one would see on a real Microsoft NT product. The downside is that a lot of functionality is based on observed behavior, and not every piece of software follows the same behavior as another product.

The core idea here is to build a better kernel, to build new OS's off of, while keeping some compatibility with previously-defined API's. Ideally, ReactOS should have its own API for developers to build for. Ironically, with the release of .Net Core from Microsoft, the inclusion of its API is a possibility, thus allowing for services built on .Net Core to run on a completely free and open OS.

Ultimately, what the ReactOS team has done is incredible. The underlying OS is capable of running software designed for both an earlier era of Win32, and some current-era Win32 software. Wine doesn't touch this on any real level, as it is a wrapper of sorts.

As for the UI, it does need serious work - it currently is c++ based, and runs on top of the Win32-compatible API. It's completely built from scratch - and operates very closely to an IE4-era NT4 shell, with a few design cues from more modern OS's. I agree that it has a long ways to go, and has quite a few design choices that makes one scratch their head. It may be more ideal to use a port of KDE on top of it, or some other *nix window manager, but until someone takes the time to do that, be thankful that the OS includes a UI at all.

All that said, ReactOS has made some strides in running games this year. If you're building a retro-pc for playing games, it's almost the ideal platform. DosBox runs fine, and provides the only dos-capable layer in the OS (mind you, it's still an add-on 3rd party program). DirectX compatibility is practically comparable to whatever the current Wine implementation offers. Of course, the Win32 API functionality isn't quite there yet, so running more modern software (Vista+) is somewhat problematic due to the behavior of the win32 api.

Ideally, a ReactOS API should exist by now, but due to how they're building the OS, they want to get Win32 completely right before adding their own crap on top of it all.

If you follow the development of NTOS/2, you'll see that they initially wanted to get the Native API (ntdll.dll) working first, before trying to integrate the then-in-development Win32 API on top. In fact, they ended up implementing OS/2 v1.x console API's and POSIX api's alongside the Native API. Those two have since been taken out entirely from the NT product line. This was long before any UI work started, and was the start of what became Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10.

Hope this helps to give you an idea as to why ReactOS exists, and what its purpose is. It's not to be a free Windows, but a re-implementation from scratch, with no multi-million dollar budget behind it. No ulterior motives than to build an OS from the ground up and provide some sort of compatibility with the OS that inspired its creation.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by joeyfuller2000 »

I have had some experience with this operating system. I installed it on an older IBM Thinkpad that originally had Windows 98. Performance is ok, it boots a bit faster than Win98, but there's still other issues that prevent me from using this as my main OS. The main problem I have experienced is the OS doesn't run all the applications that I use on a daily basis. There are also a lot of driver issues. It's an interesting alternative to Windows, and I do like the interface since it looks like Windows, so it is familiar to me. I can see myself using it when more of the bugs have been ironed out, and perhaps when support for Windows 7 ends I will turn my attention back to it. I can say that it was an interesting OS to experiment with.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by DOS »

jimmsta wrote:Ideally, ReactOS should have its own API for developers to build for.
Why, isn't the Win32 API sufficient for most things anyone would want to do, and there are already lots of libraries and tools built on top of that? Or is the goal to make a better API as another personality that can run on top of the kernel alongside the Win32 personality?

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by jimmsta »

DOS wrote:
jimmsta wrote:Ideally, ReactOS should have its own API for developers to build for.
Why, isn't the Win32 API sufficient for most things anyone would want to do, and there are already lots of libraries and tools built on top of that? Or is the goal to make a better API as another personality that can run on top of the kernel alongside the Win32 personality?
You hit the nail on the head - a better API alongside Win32. Thing is, with .NET Core being open source (to some degree, anyway), they could implement .Net Core as an API that is more baked in than it is on Windows. I believe that ReactOS has a future as an embedded OS, for Internet of Things devices. It's certainly not stable enough for such uses yet, but with the added support of NT API, Win32 API, and anything else they could imagine, it's a great starting point. Not to mention that they can compile it for multiple different architectures, including some that have lost official Microsoft support in NT.

ReactOS has a bright future as a compatibility platform, as a retro OS upgrade for older systems, and as a potential replacement for embedded devices's current OS offerings, with the added benefit of supporting modern software.
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ReactOS — underrated.

Post by TL7 »

ReactOS, just like BSD and Windows Vista, is underrated.

It is an excellent and lightweight operating system, and also open-source.

A plenty of useful Windows applications such as Nero DiscSpeed 4.7.7.16 and IsoBuster 4.1 run on it.
As far as I know, the lastest IsoBuster version to be supported by anything older than XP (2000/ME/NT,98,95) is version 2.5.6.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by xelloss »

jimmsta wrote:Thing is, with .NET Core being open source (to some degree, anyway), they could implement .Net Core as an API that is more baked in than it is on Windows.
Yes they could, but there's probably a good reason if MS haven't done that themselves already.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by cantasan99 »

Some updates from me, the release branching is near:

* ReactOS has a x64 port for a long time, unfinished. Recently, a developer has started to place the last wheels. Then we could hope that ReactOS could boot to desktop in x64.

* Another developer is developing new USB stack in a GitHub fork. USB 1.0/1.1/2.0, storage, hub, mouse/keyboard drivers will be replaced first, although WiFi sticks, audio devices, webcams and so on have to wait.

* Font and painting issues are being fixed.

* Many minor features is added into shell.

* Theming is polished now, with improvements to Win32k.

* Kernel (especially common cache) has seen major improvements. Since 0.4.2 (the filesystem update), we have progressed a lot. Work for booting from ext2 is ongoing. Also kernel work for replacing FAT32 driver with Microsoft one (open-source!) is needed.

* Work for supporting NT6+ apps has started, no plans for NT6+ kernel yet.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by Whistler2419fan »

I used it today, And ReactOS is really cool!

Although I haven't install anything yet (Mostly because I couldn't connect to the internet but This is my first time using it so that's to be expected)

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by oscareczek »

I'm quite disappointed that the moving loading bar mentioned in changelog for 0.48 is just a bar on the bottom and didn't replace the progress bar - that would be nostalgic :P

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by SistemaRayoXP »

ReactOS 0.4.8 has just released and has lots of improvements and changes. One of them is partial NTFS write support! :OD Just amazing! Fixed many bugs and errors, now more themes are detected, faster drawing of lots of text, and one annoying thing that happened to me: When an empty floppy drive was detected, ReactOS would stuck in loading FLOPPY.SYS. Now it's fixed ;)

And something very promising, they've started to work on the Windows NT 6.x compatibility layer :OD x2

Even thought it's :beta: , ReactOS sounds very promising, it could be a finally a real replace for my current Windows XP
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by daemonspudguy »

I've tried it on VMware, but VMware Tools was/still is a PITA to install on it.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by lubuntut »

I love open source operating systems, but I don't like React OS, it's awful and boring and incompatible

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by AlphaBeta »

lubuntut wrote:I love open source operating systems, but I don't like React OS, it's awful and boring and incompatible
ReactOS website wrote:They're talking about ReactOS 0.4.10 (even if we're just Alpha)
Don't be so spoiled.
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by brandonhdyc »

1. it is pretty ugly in my opinion. 2. its really REALLY unstable i cant even get it to boot half the time in vmware and virtual box. 3. compatibillity with windows software is pretty lackluster. i tried a random game i owned (flight simulator x) and it wouldent even launch the installer without crashing.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by Wheatley »

ReactOS is one of the most impressive FOSS projects there is in my opinion. To create something so close to actual Windows without legal issues is no small feat. I don't particularly care that it's visually unappealing, it's better that they focus on compatibility, performance and stability right now, and worry about looks later.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by veselcraft »

I think ReactOS is good opinion for servers, because it is just free as Linux and have native support of NT drivers and software.

Also, we have confirmed case when ReactOS is used as intended: https://habr.com/ru/company/reactos/blog/303618/ (only russian), one guy using that OS for hosting the digital catalog of library
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by cantasan99 »

x64 port: Exception handling is close to being complete, which means that x64 port is near after fixing some other bugs.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by compact-mac »

Every now and then I install it in a VM and find it has gotten further along with compatibility.

I'm surprised to see many of my favourite system utilities run, such include the Nirsoft Tools - process explorer works!

Also, I tried out a number of old highly customised Windows XP native uxthemes. i.e., the Longhorn Plex and Mac OSX themes that were made for Windows XP. They all worked fine too, every UI element was rendered as it should be in React OS. I plan to upload the screenshots somewhere for anyone interested.

It will certainly be a great day when there's another free operating system that's able to run much of the classic Win32 software.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by DobaMuffin »

ReactOS is an interesting piece of software. Like I mean it even boots on an original xbox and can be installed to its hard drive (well with a custom bios and such). I may see about testing it on a system when I get the opportunity to.

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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by JennyTheOSCollector »

ReactOS's really interesting,it will be a OS just like Windows NT,but it isn't a Windows clone.It is said that the ReactOS staff shouldn't know the source code of Windows,or he/she will be fired.And they delete the codes of Windows in ReactOS as they develop ReactOS.But I haven't tried it yet.
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Re: ReactOS - Thoughts? Have you used it?

Post by AlphaBeta »

JennyTheOSCollector wrote:ReactOS's really interesting,it will be a OS just like Windows NT,but it isn't a Windows clone.
ReactOS is literally a Windows clone though, lol
AlphaBeta, stop brainwashing me immediately!

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