Duke Nukem, Half-Life 3, ReactOS. What do they all have in common? An extremely long development time. In this article, we will focus on the last, a project that started in 1996 as an attempt to provide a free, Windows-compatible operating system to the masses.
Fast forward 20 years, ReactOS is a living, breathing entity, having recently reached a semi-mature 0.4.1 release. Lots of stuff has been happening under the hood, enough to warrant some real-life testing. Anyhow, here be Dedoimedo's first stab at this interesting little system.
Microsoft's recent decision to offer FreeBSD images in the Azure cloud is a reminder that GNU/Linux is not the only game in town when it comes to alternative operating systems.
Here's a look at lesser-known operating systems. Some are serious, production-quality systems. Others are whimsical or half-baked platforms. All present alternative options for people who want to experiment with something other than Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.
ReactOS is a relatively new open source operating system that resembles the looks of Windows NT and aims to offer similar levels of functionality and application compatibility. Featuring a wine-based user mode, this system doesn't use any of the Unix architecture, but is a rewrite of the NT architecture from scratch, with its very own FAT32 implementation, and completely free of legal implications. That said, this is not yet another Linux distro, but a unique Windows-like system that is a part of the free software world. This quick guide aims at users who want an easy to use, open source replacement for their Windows system.
Over the years, I've seen a number of attempts to create the first truly use anywhere, idiot-proof Linux PC. And until recently, Chromebooks (anything with ChromeOS) was easily the winner.
Then a PC company known as Endless did something that really surprised me – they released their highly customized version of Ubuntu GNOME into something everyone could try. Will it beat out ChromeOS in terms of access, simplicity and overall value? Let's take a gander and find out.
ReactOS is the closest working clone of the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS that currently is available. Its developers are meeting their stated goal of creating a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems: NT4, 2000, XP, Windows 2003, Vista and Windows 7.
What they have not fully explained is how ReactOS avoids the vulnerabilities that render the outdated OSes unsafe to use online today. The Windows OS security flaws may not be a pressing issue, though, since the developers have created a clone rather than duplicating Windows code.
Open source fans might be drawn to future developments of ReactOS for the same reasons of choice and freedom that draw them to the Linux OS families.