ReactOS: Free, Opensource alternative to Windows! A Preview.

This is a guest post by Tushar, if you like to write for Devils’ Workshop, do read Devils’ Workshop revenue sharing program.

We all know about free Linux based operating systems, free open-source office and graphics softwares, and so on! Open-source softwares are future of computing software! No doubt!  But open-source does not only mean Free. It also means for better quality, higher reliability, flexibility, lower cost, reviewing & contributing to the development process!

Few days back I came across this new OS called ReactOS. This OS is based on Windows NT architecture. Which means that you can install your existing Windows device drivers & softwares on this OS. I have followed it up since then. Recently when I checked, I found that the development has come a long way since I first saw. And I thought of sharing with you.

I am specifically writing this post to let all software developers know about it and take part in this project development if they can.

It happens so many times & we hate Windows for frequently annoying us. Sometimes a developer may feel like doing something about it, but one can not (unless works for MS). So if you’re a software developer then you too can contribute for development of this OS. Click here to know more.

What is this ReactOS?
According to ReactOS website, ReactOS® is an effort to create a Free Software replacement for Microsoft Windows® that is compatible with existing hardware and software! ReactOS is a free and open-source operating system based on the Windows NT architecture, providing support for existing applications and drivers, and an alternative to the current dominant consumer and server operating systems.

Click here to read about ReactOS

I first downloaded the ReactOS Live CD to preview prior to the installation. But somehow I could not preview completely as few areas are yet to be implemented in a live cd version. You may download ReactOs Live cd here.

As of now the ReactOS seems very lightweight and fast! Installation ISO which I downloaded is only 46.5 MB in size. I was surprised. Final release size may vary as the project develops. You can download installation ISO of ReactOs here.

I installed ReactOS through VirtualBox. I purposely avoided installing it on my current hardware so that I do not disturb any ongoing projects, just in case anything goes wrong! Unfortunately because of this, I could not install any device driver nor any Windows software I am using.

Installation was quick. The installation process and post installation user interface look very similar to Windows. It also offers multiple desktops as we see in Ubuntu or FedoraReactOS definitely needs more robust development to be able to reach to the practicality benchmarks & improvements set by popular open-source operating systems we know.

Few screen-shots here

ReactOS website has plenty of screen-shots to show you. See them here

Below is a video of screen-shots to show you how it looked at my end!

According to me, this is a great beginning of something that I never thought will ever exist. I would really like to use this OS if it works great, but let’s wait for some more time until they say ReactOS is ready for daily use.

Please Note:

  • ReactOS is in development stage now and is not suitable for daily use!
  • My suggestion to developers is, if you find it interesting & worthy then take your time and contribute to the project at your best. Who know, what happens next! 🙂

ReactOS Project Website


Karl April 25, 2010

Thanx alot for sharing this wonderful info.

Tushar Tajane April 26, 2010

You’re most welcome Karl 🙂