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Old 08-17-2009, 04:14 AM   #1
prayag_pjs
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ReactOS ?


Does any one have an idea about ReactOS... is it stable?
 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:40 AM   #2
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i tried it half a year ago. downloaded install cd. inserted install cd. rebooted. error message came up saying it can not install reactOS on my hd (don't remember the exact message though) and i didn't feel like wasting too much time trying to fix it.

but try it yourself. i think it's pretty stable but not a fully fledged alternative to windows (which is GNU/Linux btw ). i'd like to hear how it goes for you...
 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:45 AM   #3
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Well, according to their site, it is in alpha, so THEY obviously don't think so......

Why would you want to use this rather than a well-proven Linux distro?
 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:50 AM   #4
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From their website:

Quote:
ReactOS® is a free, modern operating system based on the design of Windows® XP/2003. Written completely from scratch, it aims to follow the Windows® architecture designed by Microsoft from the hardware level right through to the application level. This is not a Linux based system, and shares none of the unix architecture.
The main goal of the ReactOS project is to provide an operating system which is binary compatible with Windows. This will allow your Windows applications and drivers to run as they would on your Windows system. Additionally, the look and feel of the Windows operating system is used, such that people accustomed to the familiar user interface of Windows® would find using ReactOS straightforward. The ultimate goal of ReactOS is to allow you to remove Windows® and install ReactOS without the end user noticing the change.

Please bear in mind that ReactOS 0.3.10 is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use.
I highlighted a few things in red....

free, but not Linux and not Unix.......but is it open source?
 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prayag_pjs View Post
Does any one have an idea about ReactOS... is it stable?
I tried it in a virtual machine. It seemed reasonably stable, though a bit buggy. However, it is alpha software, so I imagine they're trying to get the backend Windows API stuff sorted before they move on to the pretty GUI functionality stuff.

The few programs I tried to install installed and worked fine. They have a package manager which will allow you to download and install 30 or 40 applications (Firefox, GIMP, etc.) which seemed the easiest way of doing things.

I was impressed at its boot time, especially as I was using it in a VM. If I recall correctly, it booted in fewer than 10 seconds.

@pixellany I think the goal of ReactOS is to provide a free alternative should you absolutely require some Windows application, and WINE doesn't cut it. There are a number of such programs here at work, where I have no alternative but to run XP. I have dual boot, but the numerical modelling software I'm using at the moment is exclusively a Windows product.
 
Old 08-17-2009, 05:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
free, but not Linux and not Unix.......but is it open source?
From their website in the Downloads section:
http://downloads.sourceforge.net/rea...10-REL-src.zip
 
Old 08-17-2009, 10:04 AM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwc101 View Post
@pixellany I think the goal of ReactOS is to provide a free alternative should you absolutely require some Windows application, and WINE doesn't cut it. There are a number of such programs here at work, where I have no alternative but to run XP. I have dual boot, but the numerical modelling software I'm using at the moment is exclusively a Windows product.
Are you saying that ReactOS has functionality similar to WINE but does not use any WINE code? Given that WINE has been under development for a very long time, it's not particularly credible that someone would come from behind and beat them.

But then, we don't know what the underlying OS architecture is.......maybe they got ahold of the Windows sources......maybe it's actually a Microsoft project.......
 
Old 08-17-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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The ReactOS and WINE projects share quite a lot with each other (code and developers). Their FAQ explains the links between the two projects, to a certain extent:

http://www.reactos.org/en/dev_faq.html
http://www.reactos.org/en/about_userfaq.html#whynotnix

As ever, it seems wikipedia knows more:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
ReactOS is a computer operating system intended to be binary compatible with application software and device drivers made for Microsoft Windows NT versions 5.x and up (Windows 2000 and its successors). It is composed entirely of free and open source software, by means of a complete clean room reverse engineering process, with an extensive on-going audit, being undertaken to protect against claims made by those outside the project.[2]

Although the project is in the alpha development stage as of 2009, many Windows programs already work well. While the ReactOS kernel has been written from scratch, the userland is partially based on the Wine compatibility layer for Unix-like operating systems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
But then, we don't know what the underlying OS architecture is.......maybe they got ahold of the Windows sources......maybe it's actually a Microsoft project.......
It seems there's some controversy over certain aspects of the clean-room reverse engineering that ReactOS is based on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactos#Internal_audit

Last edited by pwc101; 08-17-2009 at 10:22 AM. Reason: more info
 
Old 08-17-2009, 10:27 AM   #9
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Are you saying that ReactOS has functionality similar to WINE but does not use any WINE code? Given that WINE has been under development for a very long time, it's not particularly credible that someone would come from behind and beat them.

But then, we don't know what the underlying OS architecture is.......maybe they got ahold of the Windows sources......maybe it's actually a Microsoft project.......
ReactOS is open, and it doesn't have anything to do with Microsoft, its aims are different to those of Wine, though as someone said above, both projects benefit mutually from each other and share code from time to time.

ReactOS is a whole OS, and not just an API layer. That means that anything working under Windows is supposed to work ok under ReactOS once it's complete (if that ever happens ). That include device drivers and low level tools which inherently will never work in Wine (and they wouldn't make any sense anyway).

Whether it has any reason to exist or not is open to debate as always. Some people will hate it, some will love it, and some will consider it only with an academic interest about OS programming. But, such is the beauty of OSS, they can do whatever they want. After all, it's their effor and time they put there.

At a practical level, I doubt it's useful for anything else than running the few programs they officially support, though it's been long since the last time I tried it. I am sure that it has its good amount of bugs and issues, but still it's an impressive work, even if it's just from a programmer point of view, just like Wine.

The best thing the Original Poster can do if he's really interested is to try himself. It really doesn't matter how many programs run, it only matters if it can run what you need it to run, the rest is irrelevant. However, if the question is "can it fully replace windows?" then the answer is "no".
 
Old 08-17-2009, 12:28 PM   #10
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If there is commonality with WINE, then I would assume that there is something like Linux or Unix underneath it. But they say on their site: "This is not a Linux based system, and shares none of the unix architecture."

You'll have to forgive me if I am just a bit skeptical......
 
Old 08-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #11
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You don't have to believe me, you can hear it from Wine itself, this is just a random one, but I've seen similar comments in interviews and the wine mailing lists many times:

http://www.winehq.org/interview/14

They don't only share code, but also if my memory serves, they have (or have had in the past) developers in common, which is a good thing to my eyes. Really, reactOS is another open source project, I don't understand why some people have such a negative view on it. I am not affiliated to ReactOS in any way, and to my eyes, at least nowadays, I see it as a hobbyist project, rather than something really functional, but hey, as said, it's their time. They can do whatever they want with it, and if in the way they help other projects like wine, then we should be welcoming them, and not bashing them.

I don't know what the current status of their relations are, or if they share some developers or something. However, even if that is no longer true, that doesn't make them enemies. Not or wine, nor of the OSS in general.

No one here said that reactos has any base on unix, linux or anything posix related. It doesn't need to. The windows api is big enough that there are lots of code that can be interchanged and reused between both projects with very little or no change. Following your very same logic then kde on windows wouldn't exist, but it does, and most of the code is shared. That's what abstraction is about, unless you are programming a monolith or you are an assembly animal, that is.
 
Old 08-17-2009, 01:08 PM   #12
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I had tried ReactOS myself a few years ago and was trying to mount it in virtualbox unsuccessfully.
When I queried as to whether I should try it on a linux base, I was very firmly told ReatcOs wasn't any kind of 'nix!
Firmly enough that I elected to not bother with it any longer.
I also recall reading from a member of the ReactOs team that since it's goal was to be compatible with all things windows, the compatibility would also unfortunately include all viruses and trojans.
Just another reason I myself left the Windows OS in the dust some five or so years ago.
Luckily I'm one of the few that don't have to depend on anything that Wine cannot handle rather well Windows-wise.
 
Old 08-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #13
pixellany
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Quote:
Following your very same logic then kde on windows wouldn't exist, but it does, and most of the code is shared. That's what abstraction is about, unless you are programming a monolith or you are an assembly animal, that is.
Exposing my ignorance you are.........
 
Old 08-17-2009, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windtalker10 View Post
I also recall reading from a member of the ReactOs team that since it's goal was to be compatible with all things windows, the compatibility would also unfortunately include all viruses and trojans.
There's no way to avoid that. Viruses and trojans are just programs, like the rest of the programs you use. There's no special clause on the header of a program saying "hey, meh am a veerus". The only difference between a normal program and a virus is their effects (well, sometimes the line is not that clear hehe).

So, neither windows, nor wine, nor reactos can say which is a virus and what a legit program, hence they can't either refuse to run viruses. Whether they will run only depends on the completeness of the implemented abi, and the "correctness" (as in "fidelity") of the emulation.

One exception would be those viruses that rely on specific vulnerabilities. When the vulnerability is due to a bug or a bad programming practice, there's a chance that that vulnerability hasn't been implemented (in either wine, cedega, crossover, reactos or whatever else). In that concrete case, the virus will not work because it relies on a flaw that's not been ported.

I have no idea of the current status of reactos in which regards windows viruses. About wine there's this somewhat famous article, which is also a bit dated, but slightly interesting nonetheless.

http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/42031

In any case, as long as you are wise enough to run wine on an alternate user account, the rest of the system should be safe even if the virus is partially working on wine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
Exposing my ignorance you are.........
I wouldn't even dare I am far from an expert in the matter myself, and the correlation between the two projects is far from evident so it's not really strange that it passed unnoticed to you or anyone else. If I know something about the issue is just because I follow the wine mailing lists from time to time (more out of interest on their work than in wine itself, which I rarely use at all).

Last edited by i92guboj; 08-17-2009 at 01:29 PM.
 
Old 08-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #15
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I understand viruses and trojans and did as the author of the link you posted in trying to give my box a windows intended virus.
The most that happened is I lost the close window/resize buttons on my firefox and had to reset the theme.
 
  


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