ReactOS operating system – a replacement for Windows
For users who are accustomed to the Windows operating system, there is an alternative operating system called ReactOS. And perhaps this operating system will replace Windows on our computers in the future. This may happen due to ReactOS backwards compatibility and due to our country’s desire for import substitution. Let’s see if ReactOS can compete with Windows?
Initially, the project appeared as a free and freely distributed alternative Windows with open source codes. This happened in 1996, and then the system was called FreeWin95. At that time, the goal of the project was to create a clone Windows 95. Later in 1998, the developers decided to clone Windows NT and renamed the system to React OS . It should be noted that the choice Windows NT was done correctly, because all versions Windows beginning with Windows NT and ending Windows 10 are the most popular operating systems in the world.
In 2012, the project took 3rd place in the nomination “Best IT projectat the All-Russian Youth Forum. Ibid React OS was shown to Vladimir Putin.
Now the team has about 30 developers. The project coordinator is Alexey Bragin (Russia Moscow).
While the operating system is at the testing stage, it is not recommended to use it in real conditions. But it is very possible to install to get acquainted with the capabilities of the system. To do this, the developer’s website offers to download installation CD (for installation on a computer), Live CD (for a trial run on a computer without installation) and a pre-installed version on virtual machines QEMU, VMware and virtual box. All versions of the OS (both old and very recent) can be downloaded here.
Computer requirements for installing the system are very modest: RAM – at least 64 MB, 256 MB is recommended; processor – x86 or x64 architectures, Pentium compatible; at least 350 MB of hard disk space (two notes here: some SATA controllers may not work; the boot section must be formatted in FAT16 or FAT32 format); VGA compatible video card. You can read more in the article here.
Trial run of ReactOS in VirtualBox
So, let’s start and see what this OS is like. I will try to run the preset in virtual box operating system version.
Download and unpack the archive. It contains 3 files: ReactOS.vbox, ReactOS.vmdk and readme.txt. We launch virtual box and add a virtual machine (menu “Machine -> Add» or keys Ctrl+A). When adding, select the virtual machine file ReactOS.vbox. I got the following error after selecting.
To get around this error, open the “Virtual Media Manager” (menu item “File -> Virtual Media Manager…”) and on the tab “Optical discs» remove disks VBoxGuestAdditions.iso and ReactOS-BootCD.iso.
Now try again to add the virtual machine (file ReactOS.vbox). I have added a virtual machine. Now we try to start the virtual machine – the button “Run“. After launch, my main OS crashed into a blue screen, see photo.
As it turned out, the problem was in the version VirtualBox 4.3.18which refused to work for me. When I installed version VirtualBox 4.3.12then the virtual machine React OS started without problems.
After launching, the program prompts you to select different launch options. I will not experiment at this step and will choose the default boot.
After launching the installation wizard prompted me to install the driver for the audio system. I agreed.
But the installation did not take place, because. the wizard could not find the driver. Well, okay, let’s not get upset, let’s move on.
Russification of ReactOS
After starting, as you can see the whole interface in the system is in English. Let’s see how you can switch to Russian in React OS.
Open the control panel, this menu is “Start -> Settings -> Control Panel“. In the control panel, double-click on the “Regional Settings“and in the dialogue”Properties for Regional Settings» on the tab «Regional Options» select «Russian” and “Russian Federation”, see picture.
On the tab “Languages» press the button «Details…“, in the opened dialog “Text Services and Input Languages» click on the button «Add…“and in the dialogue”Add Input Language» find «Russian” and press “OK” in the window “Add Input Language” and “OK” in the window “Text Services and Input Languages“.
On the last tabAdvanced» also select «Russian” and confirm your choice by pressing the button “OK“.
After all this, reboot the system: menu item “Start -> Restart…“. After the reboot, some of the menu items and windows will be in Russian.
Setting the time and timezones in ReactOS
In the date and time settings, I found the timezone for Moscowbut the offset is displayed +4 hours and there is a jackdaw “Automatic daylight savings time and back“. It is very strange why the developers do not know about the fact that in Russia they have stopped translating arrows. And the last transfer was on October 26, 2014. And the offset must be +3 hours.
Getting Started with ReactOS
Let’s look at the desktop of the operating system React OS. The first thing that catches your eye is the design similar to Windows XP. There is no desktop layout Windows Aero and of course there is no Windows Metro. But there are two desktops at once (this is what will only appear in Windows 10). Default desktop shortcuts: My computer, My documents, Net, Basket and Command line. In general, everything is quite familiar.
Let’s try to change the subject. To do this, right-click on the desktop and select “Properties“. Appeared familiar to users Windows XP window “Properties Screen“. Here on the tab “Decor”There were only two topics:“Classic Theme” and “Lautus“. After switching to the topicLautus» The design has changed, but when moving through the menu, an error immediately occurred, see the picture.
And after some of these errors, the blue screen of death of the operating system generally appeared, see the picture.
In general, it is better not to change the subject yet.
Preinstalled Programs in ReactOS
Now let’s see what programs are immediately installed in the operating system. How similar is the system to Windows. To start, let’s run conductor. When moving between folders, the history of movements is not saved and child windows with open folders multiply with each open folder. This is not very convenient. By the way, the company Microsoft I abandoned this scheme of work for a very long time.
When I tried to disable such mode, see the picture.
Then when opening the explorer, the window remained empty all the time.
So, for now, it is clear that a step to the left or to the right and the operating system crashes.
Let’s now launch the Registry Editor. I did it from the console. As you can see the application regedit there is and it started and even there is a branch Microsoft in the register. I won’t go into detail about the registry here.
From standard applications I found calculator, Paint, word pad, notebook and even a program for connecting to a remote desktop.
All programs work fine, but I could not connect to the remote table. The program gave an incomprehensible error, see the picture.
There are three games installed in the operating system: scarf, Spider and Sapper.
I did not find a browser and tried to “execute” the site address (menu “Start -> Run…”) in the hope that the system itself will launch some default browser.
It worked. Browser launched Wine Internet Explorer and he even loaded the site page, but everything is very crooked: there is no logo and article announcements.
Website html5test.com for testing browsers for language compatibility HTML5 didn’t load at all. From which I conclude that the default browser is set to React OSis very outdated.
In addition, I tried to use the browser a little and it turned out that it often hangs and does not load pages at all.
To install additional applications and work with installed applications in React OS you can use the application manager. It starts from the menuStart -> Programs -> ReactOS Application Manager“. There are many sections, see the picture.
Let’s try to install something like an office suite. There is libreoffice and openoffice. I will try to install libreoffice. Choose libreoffice and press the button “Install“. Unfortunately, after downloading the application, the installation did not take place. Instead, the system showed a blue screen of death, see pictures. On the second try, same result. And when I try to install Open Office 4.1the system died in a blue screen already at the stage of loading the application.
Browser Mozilla Firefox 33 downloaded and installed, but at the first start, after going through all the browser settings, the system crashed again. After the reboot, the browser shortcut appeared on the desktop, but when the browser starts, an error appears in the dialog box and then the system crashes.
Well, let’s try to install another browser now – Opera 12.17. The distribution booted, but the installation did not start. Installation wizard window Opera fell asleep and hung without changes. I had to remove the task using the task manager.
Media player “Media Player Classic Home Cinemadownloaded and installed, but did not start. When starting it gave an error, see the picture.
Application for viewing photos and videos Infan View just didn’t want to download. And here are the applications Total Commander and NotePad++ installed and working properly.
Another flaw was found in the application manager React OS – installed applications, I have this Mozilla Firefox 33, Total Commander and NotePad++, for some reason they are not displayed in the list of installed ones. Therefore, it is not clear how to remove them.
Summary of using ReactOS
The developers ask not to judge them strictly, as this is an alpha version, which may have a large number of errors. In general, in its current form, you can familiarize yourself with the operating system, but you can’t use it. It is definitely not worth installing such an unstable system on a computer (in the process of writing the article, the system crashed almost every paragraph written). So we will wait for more reliable versions of the operating system React OS.