3.8 out of 5 with 8 ratings

ReactOS Reviews

ReactOS is on the way!

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ReactOS has seen lots of improvements in recent years. Here are some of them:

  • The Windows Explorer and shell code behaves much closer to how it does on Windows XP/2003. For those who said it worked like WIndows 98, it was because the old Explorer had to do a lot of its own work because the underlying APIs were missing, Then a developer wrote an Explorer that worked on Windows. However, at that time, it didn't work on ReactOS. So the underlying APIs and support had to be added. A contract was given to Huw Campbell, if I'm not mistaken, to do a lot of that. Then Gigaherz was given a contract to make the new Explorer work on ReactOS. That took a lot of sleuthing to discover how things worked underneath in Windows -- and to do so in a "clean" and legal manner as the project requires. He got things to where the new Explorer and his code could be merged as it was the other year or so. However, Gigaherz was burned out some by this point, and others picked up the code to make improvements. Others worked to make non-English languages work properly in the Explorer, and Giannis Adamopoulos was given a contract to make the theming support work properly.

  • Disk I/O support has improved in recent years. NTFS read-only support exists and there is substantial NTFS write support sitting in a branch to later be added to the trunk code, with Trevor, the developer who worked on that, returning this year. Alter, the developer for UniATA, has been upgrading his driver in response to problems with it in ReactOS, with 2 major bugs being recently fixed. The FAT32 driver has seen extensive overhauls as well.

  • NTVDM support works pretty good. That is the "DOS" mode you get when you type CMD in the run box. The ReactOS approach of writing it as an emulator means that future compatibility with the future 64-bit port of ReactOS will be maintained.

  • Numerous memory leaks have been found and plugged to provide better stability.

  • A substantial amount of USB code was rewritten last year, with a 3.x driver planned this year.

  • Hermès Bélusca-Maïto did substantial work in getting Word 2010 to working in ReactOS. The registry and profile issues blocking this (and other apps that install using similar strategies) have been addressed, and a workaround for one of the root causes has been put into place. There is more work to do there, but Word 2010 can be installed now with the help of a 3rd party program. In time, the necessary NTLM code will be added to ReactOS.

  • Partition table setup and detection code has been improved in the installer.

  • Some rudimentary parallel port printing support has been added.

  • Various network improvements.

To be fair, while ReactOS is not ready for daily usage on real hardware, it is much closer to being usable.

The project needs donations and developers to be able to proceed. Those who want to help develop it will need to meet certain requirements. They cannot have seen any Microsoft code for whatever portion they wish to assist in writing. That means you cannot have worked for Microsoft as a developer, that you haven't seen either of the sets of leaked source code (NT 3.x ad Windows 2000), and that you haven't seen the Windows Research Kernel (that college students have permission from Microsoft to use for educational purposes and personal use). Then you would need experience in the area which you propose to write code for. Needed areas of expertise include kernel code, memory manager code, platform/hardware driver experience, core networking experience, and audio driver experience, However, if you just have Win32 coding experience, there is still plenty of work to do at the user level, such as ancillary and setup programs.


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Every two or three years I test this OS again, hoping it will work someday. But I still can’t even start the Live USB or the installation USB. They run for a few seconds and then freeze. Well, this can’t be my fault – I created many bootable USB flash drives with different GNU/Linux distributions, using Etcher, and most of them work. But ReactOS? Nope. I remember I could install an earlier version years ago, using a bootable CD, but the installed system crashed and was unusable.

I know, it is alpha software, but I’m disappointed though. I think a (working) Windows-like OS would be a nice thing. Pardon my only one star, but I have never been able to get ReactOS up and running, since years. Nevertheless, thanks for thousand of hours of programming efforts – I appreciate that.


This is genuinely a review! The others are just 'encouragement' for which this is not the space.

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Currently far too unstable to run on real hardware. In fact; it's so unstable that installing it through a virtual machine has required me to reinstall several times. I reccomend running the Live CD through a VM with copies of the programs you want to run on your local hardware (I use Virtualbox to load several sub 4gb isos as virtual disc drives containing the programs I need so that the OS cannot access my actual hardware by any means). It is endless fun to toy around with and it's more compatible than people make it out to be. Much progresss has been made in recent years and I look forwards to more updates from the team!


If it is unstable and does not run well on real hardware, why do you give it five stars? If an operating system does not work … uhm … what could you use it for?


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Years going, but still in very early alpha. Highly unstable - lots of BSODs, apps crashes, graphical and UI corruptions. Drivers cannot be installed as Update Driver button still does nothing in Device Manager. Even most functions of basic Explorer still doesn't work, including buggy taskbar. Start Menu is similar to Windows 95 instead of more useful Windows XP like with app searchbar and most used apps.

Still dozens of years away from beta stage.


I could’t even make it work in any way, and I gave it a try every couple of years.

I have faith in this OS

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It is still young but I can see potential in this OS,particularly because it is open source and can run Windows apps.
I rather use this OS,although still in alpha,rather than Windows 8


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I also really like this project. The idea is very good. I would like to wish good luck in further development, and take at least some part. The maximum possible reconstruction of the WinNT code seems to be a very necessary thing. If we succeed in creating a basic, workable system, many new developers and end-users will be attracted. It is a pity, at present, there is no commercial company that would take on the sponsorship and development of the project itself. Although the project is too unstable and currently does not develop at a significant pace. I see no reason to be unhappy with this old project.


No reason to be unhappy? An operating system that does not work at all from the beginning to the present day does not make you unhappy? Well, you are easy to satisfy.

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Wish you guys could speed it up a we bit, but i suppose you are not getting any income from it, well i am liking it so far , yes it is a bit buggy, i hope it becomes a solid program for daily usage, well done in this and i am testing it every now and again in hope ... 5 stars just for effort, ps i am putting this on my wish list ..


A bit buggy, you say? Well, it would be nice if it only was a bit buggy, but in fact it is unusable and useless – why not call the child by name?

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high compatibility with windows programs and rush development