Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Peeking in the Windows of ReactOS 0.3.1

Filed under
OS
Reviews
-s

With the internetnews.com article published today, I found myself a bit curious as to what ReactOS exactly was and what it looked like. Well, I had a bit of a hard time finding out what exactly it was, but I did find out what is wasn't. Apparently it isn't a wine on top of linux and it isn't Microsoft.

The ReactOS website states, "ReactOS is a free and open-sourced operating system based on the Windows architecture, providing support for existing applications and drivers, and an alternative to the current dominant consumer operating system." It also says what it ain't. It's stated as, "It is not another wrapper built on Linux, like WINE. It does not attempt or plan to compete with WINE; in fact, the user-mode part of ReactOS is almost entirely WINE-based and our two teams have close ties. ReactOS is also not "yet another OS". It does not attempt to be a third player." But it never says what exactly it is, at least for my mind. I think they are trying to say that it's an entirely new system largely compiled from c and c++ source that utilizes and interacts with the wine apis and dlls to duplicate the functions of the Windows NT system. That's what the code looks like to a lay person like myself anyway.

I decided the best way to try and see what ReactOS is was to download the livecd and take a look at it. Unfortunately, it wouldn't boot on my desktop machine, instead just stopping at the nice boot splash. However, it would boot in an emulator on my Linux desktop. I was able to look around just a bit, but there wasn't much there. Of course, with a 70mb image, I didn't expect much.

        


As you can see from the screenshots, the Programs menu is grayed out. I was able to open some of the system tools found in the Settings Menu. Most didn't work, but I was able to set a background and preview a screensaver. It didn't take too much clicking around before the system became unusable and I had to restart it. As an alpha grade product, this wasn't unexpected. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised it even booted (so quickly even under emulation) and worked at all.

        


I think it's an admirable idea and the developers are apparently skilled and dedicated, but I'm just not sure this system will take off. It's already outdated looking. I'm not sure who would want to run a desktop that looks like Windows 98 anymore or wants to run old NT or 2003 software. I guess there are a few probably who might be interested in a free and open source system that could run software designed for an older Microsoft system if it was ready to go right now. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I'm afraid that by the time this system is ready to go, most folks will have already made their choice between Vista, OS X, or Linux. There may be a niche, but it will probably be small. I could be and hope I am wrong, so let's just keep an eye on this interesting project and see what happens.


I like the wallpaper

The GUI... not so much. This ought to remind many of us how pretty GNOME and KDE can be... I suppose the Wine team could reuse these, alongside Wine, but that would have broken compatibility with Windows UIs. Just a thought... minddump maybe...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

Tizen and Android

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Making your OpenStack monitoring stack highly available using Open Source tools
    Operators tasked with maintaining production environments are relying on monitoring stacks to provide insight to resource usage and a heads-up to threats of downtime. Perhaps the most critical function of a monitoring stack is providing alerts which trigger mitigation steps to ensure an environment stays up and running. Downtime of services can be business-critical, and often has extremely high cost ramifications. Operators working in cloud environments are especially reliant on monitoring stacks due to the increase in potential inefficiency and downtime that comes with greater resource usage. The constant visibility of resources and alerts that a monitoring stack provides, makes it a fundamental component of any cloud.
  • InfraRed: Deploying and Testing Openstack just made easier!
  • The journey of a new OpenStack service in RDO
    When new contributors join RDO, they ask for recommendations about how to add new services and help RDO users to adopt it. This post is not a official policy document nor a detailed description about how to carry out some activities, but provides some high level recommendations to newcomers based on what I have learned and observed in the last year working in RDO.
  • Getting to know the essential OpenStack components better
  • Getting to know core components, speed mentoring, and more OpenStack news
  • Testing LibreOffice 5.3 Notebookbar
    I teach an online CSCI class about usability. The course is "The Usability of Open Source Software" and provides a background on free software and open source software, and uses that as a basis to teach usability. The rest of the class is a pretty standard CSCI usability class. We explore a few interesting cases in open source software as part of our discussion. And using open source software makes it really easy for the students to pick a program to study for their usability test final project.
  • [Older] Drupal member sent out after BDSM lifestyle revealed

    Drupal, like many other open source projects, has a stated goal of welcoming and accepting all people, no matter their heritage, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors.

  • Controversy Erupts in Open-Source Community After Developer's Sex Life Made Public
    Drupal is a popular open-source content-management system, used to build websites. Like many other open-source projects, Drupal is guided by several committees that are supposed to be accountable to the community and its code of conduct, which enshrines values like "be considerate" and "be respectful." Also like many other open-source projects, Drupal attracts all sorts of people, some of whom are eclectic. Last week, under murky circumstances, Drupal creator Dries Buytaert banned one of the project's technical and community leaders, Larry Garfield. Buytaert attributed the decision to aspects of Garfield's private sex life. Many Drupal users and developers are up in arms about the perceived injustice of the move, exacerbated by what they see as a lack of transparency.
  • HospitalRun: Open Source Software for the Developing World
    When open source software is used for global health and global relief work, its benefits shine bright. The benefits of open source become very clear when human health and human lives are on the line. In this YouTube video, hear Harrisburg, Pennsylvania software developer Joel Worrall explain about HospitalRun software – open source cloud-based software used at developing world healthcare facilities.
  • Scotland emphasises sharing and reuse of ICT
    Scotland’s public administrations should focus on common, shared technology platforms, according to the new digital strategy, published on 22 March. The government says it wants to develop “shared infrastructure, services and standards in collaboration with our public sector partners, to reduce costs and enable resources to be focused on front-line services.”
  • [Older] OpenSSL Re-licensing to Apache License v. 2.0 To Encourage Broader Use with Other FOSS Projects and Products

    OpenSSL Launches New Website to Organize Process, Seeks to Contact All Contributors

  • Austria state secretary promotes open data
    The State Secretary at Austria’s Federal Chancellery, Muna Duzdar, is encouraging the making available of government data as open data. “The administration must set an example and support the open data culture by giving society its data back”, the State Secretary for Digitalisation said in a statement.
  • Study: Hungary should redouble open data initiatives
    The government of Hungary should redouble its efforts to make public sector information available as open data, and actively help to create market opportunities, a government white paper recommends. The ‘White Paper on National Data Policy’ was approved by the government in December.
  • Williamson School Board OKs developing open source science curriculum
    Science textbooks may be a thing of the past in Williamson County Schools. The Williamson County school board approved a proposal Monday night to use open source science resources instead of science textbooks. The switch will require a team of nine teachers to spend a year developing an open source curriculum.
  • How Elsevier plans to sabotage Open Access
    It was a long and difficult road to get the major publishing houses to open up to open access, but in the end the Dutch universities got their much awaited ‘gold deal’ for open access. A recently revealed contract between Elsevier and the Dutch research institutes lays bare the retardant tactics the publishing giant employs to stifle the growth of open access.
  • #0: Introducing R^4
  • RcppTOML 0.1.2

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Monday
  • FedEx Will Pay You $5 to Install Flash on Your Machine
    FedEx is making you an offer you can’t afford to accept. It’s offering to give you $5 (actually, it’s a discount on orders over $30) if you’ll just install Adobe Flash on your machine. Nobody who knows anything about online security uses Flash anymore, except when it’s absolutely necessary. Why? Because Flash is the poster child for the “security-vulnerability-of-the-hour” club — a group that includes another Adobe product, Acrobat. How unsafe is Flash? Let’s put it this way: seven years ago, Steve Jobs announced that Flash was to be forever banned from Apple’s mobile products. One of the reasons he cited was a report from Symantec that “highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009.” Flash security hasn’t gotten any better since.
  • Every once in a while someone suggests to me that curl and libcurl would do better if rewritten in a “safe language”
  • An insecure dishwasher has entered the IoT war against humanity

    Regel says that he has contacted Miele on a number of occasions about the issue, but had failed to get a response to his missives, and this has no updated information on the vulnerability.

    He added, bleakly that "we are not aware of an actual fix."

  • Monday Witness: It's Time to Reconize a Civil Right Not to be Connected
    Along with death and taxes, two things appear inevitable. The first is that Internet of Things devices will not only be built into everything we can imagine, but into everything we can't as well. The second is that IoT devices will have wholly inadequate security, if they have any security at all. Even with strong defenses, there is the likelihood that governmental agencies will gain covert access to IoT devices anyway. What this says to me is that we need a law that guarantees consumers the right to buy versions of products that are not wirelessly enabled at all.
  • Remember kids, if you're going to disclose, disclose responsibly!
    If you pay any attention to the security universe, you're aware that Tavis Ormandy is basically on fire right now with his security research. He found the Cloudflare data leak issue a few weeks back, and is currently going to town on LastPass. The LastPass crew seems to be dealing with this pretty well, I'm not seeing a lot of complaining, mostly just info and fixes which is the right way to do these things.