Hell, I have never seen a ReactOS installation in the wild, and I'm the kind of person whose friends install Haiku, Nix and NetBSD as their daily drivers. And the second-hand stories I've heard about people who did install React was basically "I was bored, I put it on a drive, played around for 5 minutes, and wiped it."
But that doesn't discourage them. Meanwhile, work keeps going on in the background. So many untold man-hours of thankless work going into the project, and the vast majority of that "hard" work with no payoff for years.
And now it's finally getting close to actual Windows, after decades of work, and soon (well, years, but still) people will be using it everywhere as a replacement for Windows.
This is one of the most important software projects in history. My hat is off to the ReactOS developers, and congratulations on the latest release.
 Here are the names of the 75 programmers that have worked on ReactOS: https://github.com/reactos/reactos/blob/master/CREDITS
No they won't. It's a fringe OS that requires technical expertise to install. Not only that but it looks like "old Windows". Users won't want to work with a Windows from a decade ago. Not only that but it'll have bugs and no support.
You'll see tiny pockets of people using it but as Microsoft gets closer and closer to simply having a free OS it doesn't seem likely anyone would ever use this OS for anything beyond "hey, that's cool!".
Depending on the age group, I guess. I know plenty of people who would say that Windows had its peak usability around Windows 2000/2003 and only got heavier and more confusing later on.
If I know that ReactOS had a good chance of running most regular Windows applications, I'd install it on my mother's laptop in a heartbeat, and she would love to see the familiar, lightweight OS.
Frankly I can't think of anything they've added since 2000 to windows (except better security) that was an improvement.
I occasionally have to use Windows for work and I really hate Windows 10, it's just a chore to deal with when you only boot it every couple of weeks just on the updates.
I think the 'seniors' amongst us may well welcome ReactOS together with those in small companies who run legacy industrial hardware from Windows PCs (depending on stability &c).
Given Microsoft's mostly successful effort to make Windows more friendly to the user, I find it hard to believe any of these people have extensive experience with Windows 7+
On a somewhat more objective note, there was a lot of criticism back when it came out. (Specifically, about "the bloat". Everything is relative, I guess; one can say that things continued to get worse and worse from Windows 2000 on, although some would swear that it was NT4 that was the best Windows ever - e.g. it ran in 16MB of RAM vs. Windows 2000 that raised the requirement to 32MB; for comparison, Windows 95 only needed 8MB.)
IIRC Microsoft was pressured by OEMs into making a lower tier of Vista qualified hardware even though they knew it really required more than that to work acceptably well.
I never personally owned or used a Vista machine, but my office has a couple of them plugged in for a showroom area where they cycle powerpoint slides, and oh my god is it painful if you ever have to touch them. IIRC they've got 512 MB of RAM, and some of that is being shared with the iGPU. It's not pretty.
I remember installing Windows 95, from floppy disks back in 1996 or so. The system requirements on the box said 4MB of RAM. And it was true, Windows would run with 4MB. In the fine print, the box also said if you wanted to do anything besides play solitaire, like word processing, 8 was recommended.
So it's been going on a long time, the lowball estimate of systems requirements to get you to buy the product, then the real cost after you've already installed it. 4MB is a rounding error these days, back then it was at least a couple hundred dollars.
512MB wasn't even enough for my WinXP box because the softeware apart from the OS became more demanding with time.
Does the DOS stuff work? (NTVDM)
I find that Windows 2000 has the best support for keyboard users among GUIs. Better that MacOS, better than all the incarnations of Gnome/KDE, better that the following releases of Windows, that "forgot" about the keyboard and focused on other input systems.
You can see that in many small things, like sane keybindings and reasonable sequence for selection through tabs (for example, going from the path bar on the top to the folder content requires two tabs in Windows 2000 but four in Windows 7, unless one does some find tuninng of the UI).
The "mostly successful efforts" you speak of seem to have been focused on delivering ads, TOS-backed spyware and those weird Metro apps. The result is certainly simpler from a strictly visual standpoint, but more usable is something that I wouldn't be too willing to concede without some data (and I don't mean install data/user base, given how Microsoft's customers don't have much of a choice in this department). Frankly, I don't see how the weird start menu or having both the Control Panel and some weird Settings thing help with usability, but UX is a surprising field, I guess.
That's fixable (and not different from Windows).
> Not only that but it looks like "old Windows"
That is by far the easiest fix of all. People just care more about making things work right now.
Plus, a lot of people actually preferred the older style.
> Not only that but it'll have bugs
Welcome to software. Windows is also full of bugs.
> You'll see tiny pockets of people using it but as Microsoft gets closer and closer to simply having a free OS it doesn't seem likely anyone would ever use this OS for anything beyond "hey, that's cool!".
I think it might end up being quite big quite soon: There's a bunch of proprietary software out there that is old, and not Windows 10 compatible.
Things like car diagnostics software. If ReactOS gives them a way to get things working without Win10, I'm sure they'd eat it right up.
ReactOS just isn't ready for that yet. It's still major version 0.
Eventually, they'll have to (DirectX 12, but I'm sure there's a ton of APIs for non-games as well and drivers will stop being updated for Win7).
But if ReactOS can reach a level of maturity and compatibility to please such people, there's a sizeable niche there of people who:
1. won't switch away from Windows to Linux or BSD,
2. but would be willing to adopt a familiar and compatible operating system.
- Then it looks like this.
- And still flows nicely.
Unfortunately, last time I looked audio software and drivers weren't well supported on ReactOS. If I could get Reaper, my audio interface and commercial VSTs running on it, I'd ditch Windows forever.
To reach any mass of users (outside of turnkey solutions where the end users may not know or care), you need commercial support and the later needs concrete identified market segments. To parallel Wine - ROS needs its own CrossOver (but not Cedega).
Of course, the network driver didn't work, sadly :(
Not convinced that's a weakness as opposed to a strength. Every time Microsoft changes literally anything about their UI, they alienate a legion of people who suddenly feel their workflow and productivity has been irretrievably broken.
Windows will never be free os, you will pay heavly with your privacy and from what I have seen on GUI changes, they are more moving into direction of cloud (minimal installation on pc, the PAID resources on cloud) than beeing free.
ReactOS devs, good work and thank you, I hope I will be able to use it in the future.
I don't agree. Vista was a mess but they seem to have made such tight performance budgets for 7, 8 and 10 that any computer which can run the 11-year-old Vista can also run 10.
There has been a lot of good work done on the underlying system, but it's had a ton of useless buggy crap piled on top of it.
(I will refrain from further commenting as my technical perspective is hitting into large fanbase of both systems and karma here is really not beeing able to handle it. At the end it is the terror of the less technical average.)
Here’s more info: https://scissortools.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/more-on-window...
But if ReactOS can be practically comparable - it can get some traction too.
Free OS? Even bog standard windows 10 pro (non-oem) is hardly free. Never mind a datacenter server license (aka you need to run 10s of instances in vms in order to get anything line useful utilisation from this modern server).
>It lights a fire under M$'s asses to make windows competitive
>Adoption is slow but exponential. Today is the first day I learned about ReactOS and I'm excited. I can program and I have money. If people can find value in it, adoption will grow.
Err... no. Not unless the installed base reaches a critical mass. And certainly not when the market share is not even 0.1%. macOS (or even desktop Linux) has a higher installed base and they don’t bother Microsoft significantly.
I’d be more optimistic if the OS had not been around for two decades. It had its chance when the likes of Vista was released. If it didn’t make a dent back then, it is not going to make one now - especially since Windows is at its best in terms of usability. Sure there are concerns about privacy, but those didn’t prevent Google from acquiring a (almost) monopoly in mobile market. Microsoft’s own attempts went nowhere — and they have infinitely deeper pockets compared to people behind ReactOS.
And even if it does gain momentum, I am fairly sure that Microsoft will find a a way to sue them into oblivion.
Except for they did. I'm pretty sure WSL was about developers who had preferred GNU/Linux-based systems (or macOS, since it can be compatible for some cases) for work, not about just running some *nix server software on Windows machines.
After seeing that I really want to save up and buy only Macs from now on.
I started with Fedora. Installed, seemed nice. Then I did a dnf update or something like that. It froze for 4 hours in the middle of the install. So I hit ctrl+z. When I restarted my computer GRUB was attempting to boot an OS version that did not exist and I had to manually try to figure out how to fix this which I was in no mood to do after having the OS for 10 minutes. Also apparently the newest version of Fedora didn't have the concept of turning off auto lock? Or a timer. I'm not sure, but the end result was that if I tried to watch a movie for more than 10 minutes my desktop would helpfully lock, continuing to play the movie.
So I then installed Ubuntu, which was fairly straightforward. Then deleted the couple of things that felt like advertisements (like a direct link to Amazon on the quickbar or whatever it is). Overall, was a pretty good experience until I installed the proprietary Nvidia drivers. Then for some reasons movies (DRM-free files) would stutter. At that point I was thinking about doing some C# development in visual studio anyway so I looked into dual boot installing windows 10 while having Ubuntu installed, and while there are a million articles on how to install Ubuntu with Windows 10 already installed, the reverse did not seem to be true. So I just wiped my system drive and reinstalled Windows 10, which helpfully activated based on my hardware profile even though I'd neglected to save the key.
Also, depending on what kind of C# development you do, VS Code can be very nice. DotNET Core is very straightforward to work with, and targeting the full frameworks with Mono is doable with a little bit of tweaking. If it's Unity, then the debugger plugin will be completely useless on Linux, and you'll have to use the very latest beta version of the editor.
In general if you stay away from anything too esoteric, and avoid hardware that needs proprietary drivers (e.g. nvidia graphics, broadcom wifi etc...) most things should work out of the box, but it's a good idea to do a bit of research on anything you're thinking of buying if linux compatibility is desired.
There are also various smaller vendors like system76 that sell laptops with linux pre-installed.
Here is a list of certified vendors for Ubuntu:
I had HP and Compaq laptops that ran Linux as well.
Did Linux succeed because other UNIXes were bad?
In my opinion, the reason why we need ReactOS is independent from whether Windows 10 is good or not.
And yeah, I agree besides the privacy issues, Win 10 is pretty good
No, it succeeded because there was a need for a UNIX like OS not encumbered by lawsuits (like BSDs) or costing a fortune (Solaris, SGI etc.).
Linux is a clean room implementation that doesn’t borrow any code from proprietary AT&T UNIX, ensuring that it has future. That, and the backing of FSF means it is not going to be sued into oblivion - something that could not be said for BSDs and other free variants back in 1990s. No one wants to invest into a something that may be shut down anytime. It is the fighting thtpat hurt the BSDs the most — causing them to be overshadowed by Linux despite being superior in many ways back in the days. Some would argue that they are still technologically superior in certain areas — but that is debatable.
I have migrated my servers to FreeBSD not due to problems with kernel, but due to everything else, the distributions are really doing horrible job maintaining userspace, not to mention failures like systemd. Also trusting data to linux is an interesting ride, from btrfs failures to "merging" (pun intended) those failures to zfs (https://github.com/zfsonlinux/zfs/issues/7401). FreeBSD has much slower pace of development and this is good for stability. Zfs is rock solid beeing part of OS for decade, docker was ported to it in 14 days, due to jails which are there for 15 years+ and field tested for years (while I was listening from linux guys years that chroot is all you need). I wont complain about linux features, but for BSD, I know that after update everything will work exactly like it worked before and this is more important for my bussiness than all the bleading edge features.
And then you have all the other issues that Linus explains here, for debian but same problems other distributions have (and yeah, I am just a bit younger and highly proficient in c/c++ on multiple operating systems, developing system level application for more then 20 years, that is probably why I share his opinion): https://youtu.be/1Mg5_gxNXTo?t=459
Linux has succeeded as it was fast by cutting corners in development. And it worked for a while, now problems started to stockpile and turtle is starting to catch up.
Regarding the "open model", I don't understand what would that be, BSD license is more permissive than GPL? Not to mention a shame when (https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-beats-internal-legal-thr...) kernel developer for linux started suing companies not releasing the source code.
Just to wrap it up, if ReactOS will be able to keep the pace of development with the Windows changes it has a good chance that the year of ReactOS on desktop will be much sooner than the year of Linux on desktop. And this is what we want, not Linux OS on desktop but Open source OS on desktop, right?
Development of BSD was effectively not accessible to the outside world, being a closed playground for the developers at Berkeley. And to get an official version on disk, it also had a pretty steep price.
Even now the various BSD distributions are very rigidly controlled. Yes, they adhere to certain quality standards, but they've also turned off developers from contributing.
BSD is and has been developed in a centralized model, being the Cathedral, whereas Linux's development has been historically very decentralized, being the metaphorical Bazaar. You may like the Cathedral model, MacOS and Windows are developed like that, however in my opinion such a model only works with companies with plenty of resources to spare.
But never mind, time will tell.
A lot of critical Linux contributors are paid for their work. That's why understanding the model of development is important: they're not doing this for fun, whatever that means.
And on the desktop it took a backseat to MacOS for similar reasons.
MacOS shines as long as you are within Apple walled garden, while I personally like MacOS, I know plenty of users who like Apple hardware but not the OS.
Windows or Most Linux distro doesn't have any such limitation and will work out of the box 90%+ of the time.
What I am saying is that many people that would have been Linux users are now MacOS users. And one of those people is me.
I was a hardcore Ubuntu / Debian fan, but then got a MacBook Pro from the company I worked for in 2014. After moaning about it for a while, I'm now a convert. Initially it was because of the hardware, as I love Retina displays for example.
My younger self wouldn't believe what I'm about to say, but things break a lot on the Linux desktop and I don't have the patience for that kind of crap anymore. Not sure how it is nowadays, but back when I was using it, the presence of an Nvidia graphics card meant any upgrade could break your setup. Which isn't acceptable given Nvidia's popularity.
Many times it isn't Linux's fault of course. Surely you can't blame Linux for Skype not working, but the general availability and quality of apps is a big problem. Also I agree that you can't expect Linux to work flawlessly on all laptops and some research is needed for a good experience. Thinkpads are in general good and some Dell models too. But this information is scattered all over the place and translates in even more time lost.
Go to any conference and you'll see a majority of people with MacBooks.
Those people could have been Linux users instead. They were Linux users only a few years back.
I'm not saying that I'll never use Linux anymore. I keep using it on the server-side and I might be back to a Linux laptop someday, due to Apple's newfound hostility to power users.
But just an FYI, the freedom argument doesn't really win me over. If all other things are equal, I prefer the open source solution of course, but I've got work to do, bills to pay, projects to finish and a family to take care of, so until Linux improves to the point where I can do those things without wasting time, I'll stay on MacOS.
You sure as hell can, because distros love to break application compatibility as often as possible. It's basically the official sport of the Linux Desktop. It's 2018 and it's still basically impossible to distribute an application that will run on any Linux Desktop because of all the fragmentation.
But that's ok, because you can just release your application as open source and find some volunteers to maintain packages for it for all 200 distributions.
Even Linus recognizes what a goddamned shitshow application distribution is on Linux.
I too never used the freedom argument when using FOSS, but security and speed was a big issue. For the longest time, Linux was ahead of the curve - but I think MacOS and Windows and have since caught up. Windows is still banned in our company for security issues, MacOS is no-go for the price. So we are exclusively an Ubuntu shop. However, I personally prefer MacOS, but Ubuntu is a very very close second choice.
If you stay with Debian stable, Ubuntu LTSes, or Centos you'll be fine. I promise.
> This Windows 10 Setup Script turns off a bunch of unnecessary Windows 10 telemetery, bloatware, & privacy things. Not guaranteed to catch everything. Review and tweak before running. Reboot after running. Scripts for reversing are included and commented.
I recently updated to the "Creators Update" and couldn't believe the amount of shit that popped up after the install asking me pointless questions, trying to integrate with things, trying to get me to activate OneDrive etc.
It's not just post-install either, this stuff pops up when you're in the middle of something else!
The thing I like most about Gnome is how it just stays out of the way. I don't use my OS, I use the applications I have installed. The shell should provide an optimal environment for them to run in and an easy way to launch them - and nothing else.
Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of Windows for a long time and 10 is the best version for years, but the popular Linux distros and macOS seem to do a better job of staying out of the way of the user.
I think Microsoft are losing track with all the "value added" stuff they're constantly trying to foist on people - and don't even get me started on the tracking.
It's not especially common, but I do know of a couple kiosks and a PoS system that run ReactOS under the hood to avoid Windows licensing.
This is a pretty good system, because the terminals are able to be updated really easily. A lot of cafes and stuff also use iPad POS software (one called 'Vend' is really popular here) and it doesn't have to be certified. This is part of the reason that it took hardly any time for almost everywhere to support contactless six or seven years ago. For example at Myer the POS systems look 15 years old but the attached card terminals are usually only a year or so old.
As for the terminals on older PoS as long as the PED is certified and the PoS is certitied its not a problem.
Card holder PII is also covered and is even considered more important these days since CC numbers are easy to rotate but your identify isn’t.
Also even if the PoS doesn’t sees the card details it is part of the payment acceptance process and if it’s compromised the payment process can be affected even with P2PE devices.
If the PED is complete separated from the payment process e.g. those in which the vendor has to type in the amount separately and the PoS doesn’t take any any any customer PII ever you may be able to get away with using something like ReactOS on it.
CHD under the PCI standards also covers PII card holder information which does reaches the PoS for handling refunds, managing promotions, club membership etc.
Even vPOS applications like those tiny card readers that hook to an iPAD as the PoS do a lot of leg work despite of them being P2PE.
They check for root, they check for iOS version (security update) they check for proxy etc. That’s all part of the PA-DSS certification for the application developer.
While it’s possible that a retailer who’s big enough so VISA can’t say we won’t gonna allow you to take payments with our cards, and the fines are smaller than the cost of adopting compliance to use these.
I wouldn’t imagine any PoS vendor even going with that since it would essentially put them at huge risk from both the PCI standpoint and general reputation damage.
As for certifying these there isn’t a single PA or PCI-DSS QSA out there that would accept ReactOS as a useable operating system because if something goes wrong the QSA is liable if they certified something they shouldn’t have.
These are specifically marketed by banks as not requiring any certifications of the PoS.
If the acquirer bank and the QSA accepts that your use of these terminals is sufficient then sure go a head but that means you don’t intake any PII via the PoS and you don’t use the credit cards to identify members and don’t use those terminals to scan non CC based membership cards, and you have no PII at all which means handling things like refunds and warranty is also not done via the PoS.
Both very small Australian companies, probably about 100k deployments between them.
I've seen it once so far, because my employer has a no Windows policy for contractual / security reasons and I was requested to translate a foreign-language dialog (on an English language OS installation). It was to solve / use an esoteric bit of Windows, that ultimately did not succeed. I commend the effort to make such a distro, but it is still a decade or longer away from the "casual" techie.
I understand that ReactOS doesn't require Linux as a dependency, but is that a significant win?
ReactOS does replicate the NT Kernel, so in theory (if it ever gets there), ReactOS would be able to run Windows Drivers. IE: the "real" NVidia and AMD Drivers or any other kernel-level drivers that exist in Windows land.
These days, AMD (and even NVidia) have decent Linux drivers. And WiFi drivers have Windows->Linux translators as well. But full compatibility to any Windows binary (including device drivers) is certainly a noble goal. There are a lot of little hardware devices that are written for Windows only (ie: specialized medical equipment, CAM / CNC Mill programs, etc. etc.) ReactOS would allow a smooth transition to Open Source if they achieve their goals.
It should be noted that there are a ton of Windows OS-level details that Microsoft does much better than Linux too. IE: I'd argue that Microsoft's security model (SIDs + ACLs) is superior to Unix-style Users + Groups. A large group of open-source developers who strongly understand the low-level internals of Windows is certainly a good thing in any case.
Even then, ACLs are just part of the picture. Windows NT's "SID" system for identifying user permissions is far more flexible than users / groups.
WinVista and later also adds mandatory access control on top of that, in particular event logging / auditing guaranteed by the kernel and "integrity levels". Anything that is "drive by downloaded" by Chrome for example has an integrity level of "untrusted" and thus is locked out of all kernel objects. (IE: "untrusted" integrity in Windows prevents access to files, processes, threads, mmaps, all services, etc. etc.).
Linux's security model is too weak to be used in a modern operating system. That's why Google extended it with all of the Android App stuff. Android's security model is closer to what modern Windows can do.
And if you know anything about Android (despite being built on top of Linux), its security model is quite different. Windows basically offers Android-level security at the kernel level. (maybe a bit more: major services on Windows, such as LSASS aka Login / Password service, can run in an isolated VM for example)
But I can see an obvious use case - testing. Customer reports an error but you can't reproduce it on your company's Windows development machines. I was able to reproduce a couple of bugs that way with wine and I imagine it could be handy running under ReactOS.
* I've only ever tried it in a VM.
Ubuntu server with LAMP is the greatest thing of all time, but desktop Linux has disappointed me over the nuances like mouse acceleration settings, netflix not working natively, etc...
Since it barely works at all.
I'm not sure what issues you've had with your mouse in the past, but in the vast majority of cases it works out of the box. I can say that desktop Linux has come a VERY long way in the last 3-5 years.
1. Reboot the computer in DOS mode.
2. Change to Windows directory.
3. Delete the .pwl file for a user.
4. Reboot back into Windows 95.
5. Enter a new password in what was once a login screen asking for the old one.
Simpler times for hackers back then. :)
Anything trying to be compatible with a large, greedy company's software is a huge risk if it starts cutting into their profits. Maybe nothing will happen but something might happen. I'm more concerned for companies like EnterpriseDB than FOSS projects like ReactOS, though. The lawyers do prioritize on those making money with the competing software.
I wouldn't be surprised if we open-sourced NT, at the rate things are going. Windows devs are likely flattered by ReactOS at this point.
> Even if they abandon the project it's open source and work can continue even after MS has their way with them.
Such infringement claims are damaging to the legitimacy of the codebase itself. Anyone taking up the project could face the same problems.
Security probably hasn't been tested very much but it probably will be as secure as most other OSes? (i.e., not very secure)