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September 2, 2006

Open Source Windows-Like Operating System

Last month, the third major version of an operating system was launched. This version added the ability to connect to a network. The operating system, whose name is ReactOS, has been trying for 10 years to become the first Windows-like OS that's also free. ReactOS wants to become binary-compatible with Microsoft Windows applications and drivers.

Although it's still in alpha, the operating system runs many applications (mostly using Wine), including Notepad, Firefox, Opera, mIRC, AbiWord, Explorer-like file manager, and even games like Quake or Unreal Tournament.

The GUI is similar to the one from Windows 2000 and you can use something similar to Windows command-line.

The OS is more like a proof-of-concept now, but you can try it for yourself to see how good it is. I plan to burn a LiveCD to test it, as it's not a good idea to install an alpha operating system.

More screenshots | Flash demo | Review

{ Via Digg. }


  1. This is pretty much pointless and a waste of time.

  2. well, perhaps this could be an easy free way to put a windows-like system as a secondary OS on one of the new macs.

  3. It's pointless to say "this is pointless", better do something useful yourself instead of criticising others work :-)

  4. Why would it be pointless? Wine has been pretty good at emulating windows for some time, with the disadvantage that it's slow. Making an OS solves that problem. Also the only reason linux is more secure is because there is a community fixing holes.

  5. Why produce a windows-like OS when you could spend all your time and knowledge in creating a more powerful Linux? Makes more sense than making another windows but free. The audience for Windows wouldnt know for one, how to get this free one in the first place, and two, people who arent high up on the knowledge of computers would prefer to buy an OS which they know they can get support and theres a profitable company on the other end. Im not saying there shouldnt be a free OS, but why produce a free windows when you have all this knowledge and skill when you can spend it on producing a better linux, or even a brand new OS - Why not expand yourself????

    I personally wouldnt use the free windows. I would dual boot with Microsoft Windows and Mac OSX, yes I pay for them, but tbh, I know they are solid products. And about the holes in Windows atm, oooohh scary, but tbh, my firewall and anti-virus do there job and I really dont care if someone pops into my PC and gets my files. I make sure nothing confiendtial is stored in files. And Keyloggers can be discovered using Virus/Spyware checker.

    I also dont go on any crack/pron websites so Im sure, for the billions of computers out there, I wont get targeted.

    People always seem to put the holes in windows out of perspective.

  6. Ironically, its not your personal data that was the goal of most recently successful holes; more often than not its your resources etc.

    Security holes in an OS as prolifically used as Windows 2000 or XP are a problem not because someone may steal your identity. Its that any computer with that OS can be made insecure - and there are a LOT of computers out there with DoD info and other information that can be used in ways that would, to put it lightly, ruin someone's day.

    It sounds almsot insane, but when you have such a huge influence in the storing of data, like Windows/Microsoft does, you have more responsibility to the people of the world to ensure that the data on it is protected.

    2 cents

  7. "Although it's still in alpha, the operating system runs many applications (mostly using Wine), including Notepad, Firefox, Opera, mIRC, AbiWord, Explorer-like file manager, and even games like Quake or Unreal Tournament."

    Yeah sure only UT 99 and Quake 1 and 2 that were all made 5 - 10 years ago. That can be showed once there is proper DirectX functionality in ReactOS.

  8. HERES the thing guys google has to get this up and running because mr Bill Gates isn't going to be making windows no more vista is the last one so .. GOOD LUCK GOOGLE

  9. Isn't this the sort of thing that would make the masses see why the GPL is so important? Linux demonstrated the importance of freedom by attempting to displace proprietary Unix. ReactOS can do the same with windows. The difference of course would be the audience this message is reaching. Linux only left an impact on Universities and as a result certain portions of businesses. ReactOS can impact all of the Windows user base, that being a good chunk of the northern and western hemispheres.

  10. This would not be so much of a waste if it actually WORKED!

    I downloaded the ISO image in hopes that ReactOS woould provide me with a NON-Microsoft OS that will run my Windows Programs.

    Not so: The fookin OS would install but it would not BOOT. Maybe if we were using Pentium 1's or AMD K6-III/500's with 64 MB Ram this would work, but I tried it as a Virtual Machine under Windows XP sp3 using Virtual Machine 2007.

    Next time someone makes a "Windows" OS- PLEASE make sure I can INSTALL the damn thing.

  11. VMWare and MS Virtual PC were tested on numerous Linux versions, and ReactOS.

    Virtual PC fails horribly at some Linux distros.....

    Virtual PC also failed at ReactOS.

    ReactOS was run successfully from my PC this morning with no flaw whatsoever from VMWare... added to VM ware under XP presets for VMware. No troubles.

    ReactOS sports an almost mirrored interface to WinXP on classic interface, with some extra customization options.

    Although empty as it is far from complete , I would say it runs just fin. Give it a couple more years of development and it may prove to be an alternative OS to windows users who have low funds.

    Also. ReactOS has no bloating unnecessary bits and is very light wight in file size.

  12. ReactOS is NOT linux and does not share anything with Unix. It is all written in C and C++. It is designed to emulate Windows 03/XP but, currently looks like Windows 2000. It uses Wine to run Windows Programs. I have tried the OS on a live CD and tried it on 4 different computers in my house but it does not support USB yet. To download it now, it's about 30MB in a Zip Folder, after extracted, it's about 90MB.
    ReactOS is planning on releasing one more Alpha version in 2008 as early as August. Then, they are planning on releasing a Beta version in the year of 2008. Once the have the Beta version released it will have some USB support and they say it will be good for everyday use. Currently, while it is still in the Alpha stage, they say it is not designed for evryday use. If you would like to try it, without losing anything on your computer, you may download a LiveCD edition that runs from CD and RAM instead of your HardDrive. So there is no need to install the OS just to try it out. Then if you like the OS, you may install it.

    I think that the OS is a Great Idea. I have a lot of old computers in the shop that just need a good OS and I'm not about to buy a OS for them. I plan on selling them someday so I would like them to be able to run Windows Programs. I have tried Linux with Wine, but I don't think Linux and Wine is ready for people who have never used a computer. ReactOS is designed like Windows, so If you have used Windows, you would understand how it work. Also, the old compurters I have only have like a 3GB to 20GB HDD, and as much as 64MB of RAM. So they are not worth much and could only "dream" of running Windows Vista. Keep up the good work ReactOS Team!!!

  13. It's great but how's the command? Is it like linux or windows?

  14. Epic Phail? I'm not getting the point of a new windows... It would be like creating a new United States of America... It would be a huge job to get everything going. Almost pointless, although it would be nice for a reform of the USA ^_^

  15. calgarian barbarian

    i think the idea is good, why? easy thing everything that gets gates bills not paid makes me happy. Yes i tried a lot of diffs linux flavors but still some things just run under the Micro$oft thing.And if u get an old pc or laptop u don't wanna put something illegal on it like lotta freaks do xp from some server u don't know what is in there version. So a free bit limited version of windowslike system yeah i would prefer it instead of shelling out a couple 100$ for an always connecting back home system where it DEPENDS on the company if they wanna fix certain things or not guys keep up the good work and i can't wait to get it when it's beta. U don't need an livecd version try built in quemu version works just fine under XP ;)

  16. I try every operating system I can that is free.
    I like Linux. BUT, as good as it has become. It is still not user friendly. I would like to see
    a Windows type OS that has the same level of security as Linux. Like Root, And file permissions. Also, Linux has not been able to manage memory as good as windows. I hope React OS can. Especially in virtual memory. My computer has low memory. I depend on virtual memory. Linux sucks in that department. I look forward to trying React OS.

  17. Please don't put Linux Wine on React OS? I won't
    go there with React OS as I have done with Linux. Forget running Windows software altogether. A real operating system makes it on it's own. Don't be a Wanna BE. Just do. If you want to be windows like. Have .EXE. And proper installs as Windows does. I can't use Linux with my windows because my .TXT files get screwed up by Linux. I have tried to operate in two worlds of of OS. It is stupid to even try. Why not combine the best of all worlds (OS) into one. And let it mature and become it's own. It time. With proper support.
    It won't need to be Windows like.

  18. Every one likes a Windows GUI. That is were is should end with being Windows Like. I like the user comments above. I have also tried to use Windows and Linux. You can use windows and Linux
    IF you don't share files between them. I know it is done in corporations. But for home use there will be trouble. When and If React OS has all it's on in software with out running it under wine. I will try it. I believe that if React OS trys to use wine as a crutch to run Windows Software. React OS is putting a gun to it's head. Us Windows/Linux users will not go there. Wine SUCKS. And it will to in React OS.

  19. The world needs a alternative to Windows. Linux failed to do this. And will continue to fail. I'll write software for React OS when it comes into it's own. I just need to see were it's developers are taking it before I commit to the time to do so. It needs to lean toward security. For a OS to start. It needs to come with some basic software. Internet in all areas. Disk u tills in all areas. Office u tills NOT LINUX. Gosh, It needs to not borrow but have it's own. I do agree that software that is already out there should be made available for that OS. But it should have it's own alternatives. And not use others as a only choice. I'll wait and see. Good luck to React OS.

  20. point and click is what people want but oses like windows and osx cost and when you own more than one computer it can become expesnsive plus all the upgrades to make you computer compatiable to the new os but any free oses have to run all current games to become really popular i think gamers really drive what sells and i think a good free os if 90% like windows for running software with out issues would stomp vista out of the market lindows tried but click and run and things like not being able to run all windows based software hurt it.

  21. very fine. it should install .exe without wine, it should emulate/imitate windows or be like windows that it does it without wine - wine could be used to understand the workings of windows.

    AND: Be like windows - point and click - easy to use and intuitive.
    EVERYTHING doable at GUI so you need not be a geek crack on command line.

    BUT: implement further security measures as have linux, BSD, and UNIX (root vs user, ...)

  22. Everything thats GPL is welcome, even if it's a 'Windows Clone', as far as it's floss (free and open source) and as far as it doesn't spy on us and is stable/reliable/secure.

  23. I see lots of complaints from lots of people who clearly don't understand and appreciate the work and ingenuity it takes to emulate Windows...Sure, anybody can modify Linux... but Microsoft? I'm surprised that they've gotten as far as they have! Kudos to their team and I can't wait for them to catch up to xp or newer!

    To the naysayers, when you can build anything close to Microsoft that will support even 1 Microsoft application you will then have the room to criticize. Until then, play with your free source codes and keep your mouth shut

  24. Does it automaticall recognise SATA HDDs?

    If so, I want it!

  25. I just want a free non-Microsoft OS that will run my games & my other programs that were written for Windows. I am willing to learn new phrases and keyboard shortcuts (as I had to when I experimented with Linux & Ubuntu) but I want to be able to play Sims 2, Diablo, Dominions, etc.

    When I "upgraded" my laptop from Vista to XP I lost a lot of function in sound & graphics. My games run, but the graphics are not as pretty as they ought to be.

    Is this system going to give me what I want? Or am I just going to have to keep living in SOOL Land?

  26. This OS is very very cool i test it and run very good
    Keep the good work ;D guys ... im bored from using Win XP anymore or other OS from Windows :D so i search the World Wide Web for some alternative ;)

  27. well when i go to download it on my computer all it does is send me to a thing when i go to install to reboot my computer i dont know what to do

  28. Let me try the ReactOS and decide

  29. While Linux is grabbing developers hearts, REACT OS should the same with the average folk. If React OS goes big, you would see it in mobile phones. No operating System is stable, except MAC. So while Windows updates and slows your computer down, Linux speeds through but stops at driver issues... while Google paddles away at a steady pace over taking its competion... YES ANDROID IS HERE TO STAY. Lets hope REACT OS gets enough funding to make Microsoft look shrink its over huge ego head!


  30. sounds good. Windows is a hard thing to emulate, and it was released with a million holes in it.I would attempt to disassemble a copy of windows and figure out how it works,then build it better (don't copy files, or Microsoft will attempt to sue you.).

  31. > Anonymous-Dec21-2011-2204 said...
    > Windows is a hard thing to emulate,

    You're damn tootin'. Windows has a thing called 'backward compatibility', something FOSSland has not the beginning of a conception of, /certainly/ no experience in, and that's why Wine and ReactOS don't run very much.

    > Anonymous-Dec21-2011-2204 said...
    > and it was released with a million holes in it.

    ... which rapidly get patched (it's called Windows Update), and doesn't cause anything to stop running. Hell, even going from Vista to 7 doesn't break anything. Whereas any Linux update always breaks something.

    Someone said it quite well:
    "Remember when you upgraded Windows or OS X and Firefox didn't work? Oh, right, that never happened."

    You're clearly just a freetard troll, of the anything-but-Microsoft-and-I'll-make-up-anything-to-rationalise-it brigade. Next please.

    > DELL TECHNICIAN said...
    > While Linux is grabbing developers hearts,

    No it's not. Android probably is, but that's because it has a big company behind it, and it's design neatly fixes up nearly everything wrong with Linux for the last 20 years.

    Does the bit about 'big company behind it' sound familiar?

    You're a Dell technician all right - barely aware of hardware, and /no/ comprehension of software. Next please...

    > Anonymous-Oct11-2009-20:14 said...
    > When I "upgraded" my laptop from Vista to XP I
    > lost a lot of function in sound & graphics. My
    > games run, but the graphics are not as pretty
    > as they ought to be.

    That's because you downgraded, not upgraded. But I suspect you know that, since you quoted.

    But it brings me to this point: If you go back to DOS, you don't whine that your 3D acceleration stops working.

    Here in Windowsland, we actually upgrade things with new features (like, maybe DirectX 10?). Unlike Linux, things aren't changed just for the sake of changing them (ie. Unity, XOrg, PulseAudio, etc).

    You're not very bright. Next please...

    > Fausty said...
    > Does it automaticall recognise SATA HDDs?
    > If so, I want it!

    I think it does, but then again, so does Vista. You have to go back to ten year-old Windows XP to find a Windows that doesn't recognise SATA out of the box.

    On the bright side Fausty, you're the least ignorant person so far. Pre-installing drivers is a bit obscure (but right there in front of you - 'Press F6 now to install third-party drivers...'). Not exactly as famous as the Start menu.

    But anyway, next please...

    > Anonymous-Jan17-2009-11:22 said...
    > BUT: implement further security measures as
    > have linux, BSD, and UNIX (root vs user, ...)

    Which we've had since Windows NT 3.1 (released 1992). And you freetards claim us Windows users are ignorant?

    I'm the first to admit, I've never been impressed by Administrator-by-default in Windows, but it again goes back to that alien-to-FOSSland concept of backward compatibility.

    But that's beside the point, your ignorance is still astounding. Go see Fausty, and get him to belt you with a big heavy clue bat for a few days. Next...

  32. > Anonymous-Oct19-2008-21:02 said...
    > ... Internet in all areas...

    Microsoft tried that. You all bitched it was spying on you.

    Yet because it's FOSS, it's all OK.

    > ... Disk u tills in all areas.

    Microsoft tried that. You all bitched it was marginalising/stealing from 3rd party companies.

    Yet because it's FOSS, it's all OK.

    Why do I have to connect you people to reality? Yawn. Next.

    > Anonymous-Oct19-2008-20:45 said...
    > Please don't put Linux Wine on React OS? I
    > won't go there with React OS as I have done
    > with Linux.

    Too late, I'm afraid. ReactOS uses slightly modified Wine libraries for pretty much the whole userspace.

    Another reason hardly anything runs.


    > Anonymous-Oct19-2008-20:37 said...
    > I would like to see a Windows type OS that has
    > the same level of security as Linux. Like
    > Root, And file permissions.

    Freetardism is catching.

    We've had all those things since 1992, before Linux could even access normal hard disks I imagine.

    And better too - Windows' ACL system has always been, and always will be, vastly superior to user/group/world permission systems.

    POSIX ACLs aren't bad, and /theoretically/ bring UNIX to feature parity, but like everything in FOSSland, difficulty of use hampers it.

    Hope you've learned something, but I doubt it. Next...

    > ITwebz said...
    > It's great but how's the command? Is it like
    > linux or windows?

    Well, since it's a rip-off of Windows, what do you think the command line might be like?

    Remind me never to hire you as a graphic designer. I want a picture of an apple (for example), and you'll draw me a penguin.

    Please engage brain before hitting Publish. Next...

    > Anonymous-Sep03-2006-03:53 said...
    > ... Wine has been pretty good at emulating
    > windows for some time...

    You must be smoking some hot crack to come up with that one.

    Pretty good at emulating Windows? It can't even write to its file system (properly) without stealing the FS driver!

    Speaking of drivers, does Wine support them? Didn't think so.

    Someone once said:
    "The right solution is far simpler: just use Windows. It's what the rest of the world does anyway."

    Hit right on the head.

    > Anonymous-Sep03-2006-03:53 said...
    > Also the only reason linux is more secure is
    > because there is a community fixing holes.

    No, it's because your codebase has such a tiny market penetration that it's not worth attacking (at least at the time you wrote this).

    Now that we have Android, with a market share greater than statistical noise, and flashing more-or-less the same kernel, you're being hacked more than Windows. Funny eh...

    You freetards have been mistaking 'security for obscurity' for 'many eyes' for far too long. You're being called on it now. Deal.

    That's all I have to say. Thanks for playing.

    P.S. I actually rather like ReactOS. I'm trashing the ignorant/stupid/lying freetards here, not ReactOS itself.

    1. Thank you!!

      It has been a blast reading your replies rofl!

  33. @anonymous with big replies:
    >DELL TECHNICIAN said...
    > While Linux is grabbing developers hearts,

    >>No it's not. Android probably is, but that's because it has a big company behind it, and it's design neatly fixes up nearly everything wrong with Linux for the last 20 years.



  34. Hello from the future. This comment thread is absolutely the most depressing thing I have ever read in my life considering the times we are lving in. I have been a Windows user since I was a toddler and my family recieved a Win95, and amongst other things I actually found Vista to be useful since I got it on a new computer instead of upgrading. Even so, here I am looking for a new OS. I hope you'll accept "refugee" as a better euphemism for freetard.

    I stumbled on this page because of Windows 10's increasingly restrictive and resource-hogging software. I don't even care if I'm being spied on, I just want my RAM free to play games and my processes to not choke every time I interact with the system. Also, I would like the power to leave my PC running if needed without having a forced automatic update that I can't turn off shut it down. I feel "features" like this will only get worse as time goes on, so I'm regretfully jumping the ship I've been sailing on for almost twenty years.

    If anyone who commented on this thread in the past is still out there, I would be fascinated to hear what your take on the flashy, wasteful nightmare current operating systems have become. Otherwise, if anyone just stumbling on this page is a fellow Windows Refugee like myself, I hope this journey ends soon for both of us, good luck!


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