Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Sep 2017 22:51 UTC
ReactOS

0.4.6 is a major step towards real hardware support. Several dual boot issues have been fixed and now partitions are managed in a safer way avoiding corruption of the partition list structures. ReactOS Loader can now load custom kernels and HALs.

Printing Subsystem is still greenish in 0.4.6, however Colin Finck has implemented a huge number of new APIs and fixed some of the bugs reported and detected by the ReactOS automated tests.

Regarding drivers, Pierre Schweitzer has added an NFS driver and started implementing RDBSS and RXCE, needed to enable SMB support in the future, Sylvain Petreolle has imported a Digital TV tuning device driver and the UDFS driver has been re-enabled in 0.4.6 after fixing several deadlocks and issues which was making it previously unusable. Critical bugs and leakages in CDFS, SCSI and HDAUDBUS have been also fixed.

That's some solid progress.

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Full changelog available
by yerverluvinunclebert on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 08:24 UTC
yerverluvinunclebert
Member since:
2014-05-03
Good progress
by The123king on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 08:53 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

ReactOS is looking more and more like a usable alternative to Windows.

Shame Haiku can't keep up with the same pace as ReactOS...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good progress
by charlieg on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 11:42 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
charlieg Member since:
2005-07-25

For years people wrote off ReactOS. For years people have been writing off Haiku. Both are still alive, active, and moving forward.

They don't have massive corporations behind them. They can't keep pace, but they can steadily work towards their goals and build their communities one step at a time and that's what both will continue to do.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good progress
by theuserbl on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 13:13 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
theuserbl Member since:
2006-01-10

ReactOS is looking more and more like a usable alternative to Windows.

Shame Haiku can't keep up with the same pace as ReactOS...


For me Haiku is much more advanced:
- Haiku can run on my real hardware on all of my computers. ReactOS runs on none of them.
- Haiku supports sound (I look from time to time videos on Haiku), but ReactOS supports no sound.
- If you navigate through the start menu fast, there is a flickering in the icons of it and sometimes ReactOS draws windows wrong. Thats something I haven't seen for a long time on Haiku.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good progress
by kallisti5 on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 20:33 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
kallisti5 Member since:
2009-09-08

Shame Haiku can't keep up with the same pace as ReactOS...


That's not accurate at all :-)

Haiku's driver support has been historically better than ReactOS. Haiku even just got virtio network drivers which means it can run in a lot more cloud infrastructure. ReactOS even uses some of the Haiku drivers if I remember correctly (which is 100% awesome!)

Either way, there are not very many large-scale *and* long term "alternative" operating systems to Windows+Linux+BSD+Mac left, so every improvement is a step in the right direction.

I'm not a Windows guy, but there is an awesome user story behind "I *really* need a Windows VM, and don't want to spend an hour licensing and installing Windows"... I think ReactOS is a prime target there.

Edited 2017-09-03 20:37 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Good progress
by dark2 on Tue 5th Sep 2017 19:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Good progress"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

It may have more drivers and such, but it is like comparing a model T to a current car. They both can technically accomplish the job, but the average person will never tolerate older solution.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Tue 5th Sep 2017 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

the average person will never tolerate older solution.
Who cares about older? You sound like one of those daft people who only understand buying something 'modern' under the mistaken impression that newer is automatically better. The only important thing is quality, modernity is irrelevant. Most of what has been done recently in Windows is just change for change sake, Windows 8/10. A solid NT5 compatible o/s with NT6 APIs will run any program old or new. The GUI will be customisable to allow you to run anything you like. It'll look as modern or as retro as you want it to. How can you not be able to 'get' this stuff by yourself? To me it so easy...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good progress
by dark2 on Wed 6th Sep 2017 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good progress"
dark2 Member since:
2014-12-30

"the average person will never tolerate older solution.
Who cares about older? You sound like one of those daft people who only understand buying something 'modern' under the mistaken impression that newer is automatically better. "

No, it's more like using haiku (or aros, etc.) are like still starting your car by hand cranking. The world has moved mountains since these were considered usable operating systems. The main features needed by the people, just aren't there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Thu 7th Sep 2017 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

So much bunkum spoken here. No point in fighting ignorance when it is rooted so very deep. Facts speak for themselves, opinions have little substance without facts. We'll let the facts have the argument.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Sun 3rd Sep 2017 20:58 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

Haiku and ReactOS are in fact both making good progress but there is no comparison. Haiku is simply the easier o/s to build. The two should not be brought up to compare.

ReactOS is a Windows binary-compatible multi-user, networked, secure kernel with a complex graphical GUI o/s aiming to replicate undocumented Windows functionality that has a rich set of APIs and behaviours that permit it to support both the workstation and server roles. Haiku is a smaller, simpler design for personal workstation use.

If Haiku does something differently no-one really knows nor cares. It can do what it wants, no-one will scream if it does one thing or another. ReactOS has a previously undocumented design and ten million potential test/use cases that it needs to pass in order to be deemed compatible with Windows. Everyone 'knows' how Windows seems to work and so ReactOS has a surfeit of judges.

-oOo-

Haiku is doing very well. ReactOS is doing well. Cadbury's chocolate tastes nice. These statements have little relation to each other, please don't cloud the discussion with your partisan tendencies.

Edited 2017-09-03 21:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good progress
by BlueofRainbow on Mon 4th Sep 2017 04:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Good progress"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

I have been following the developments of ReactOS and Haiku for quite some time. One common element between the two projects is that they aim at re-implementing closed-source and partially documented commercial operating systems.

I believe there is cooperation and code exchange between ReactOS and Wine. It makes perfect sense since both are re-implementing the Windows API.

I see ReactOS eventually as a preferred option over Linux+Wine for someone who wants a Windows compatible system capable of interfacing with devices that have been orphaned by their manufacturers and do not have drivers for Windows 7/8.x/10.0.

Haiku aims at BeOS which implemented a number of concepts still not found in the mainstream operating systems. This is a bit of a hurdle for the project as any developer has to become proficient with the APIs and these concepts. I do not think that Haiku is easier to build though with maybe the exception of a much lower line-of-code counts.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good progress
by yahya on Mon 4th Sep 2017 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good progress"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29



I see ReactOS eventually as a preferred option over Linux+Wine for someone who wants a Windows compatible system capable of interfacing with devices that have been orphaned by their manufacturers and do not have drivers for Windows 7/8.x/10.0.


That's a special use case, while much more often, the reverse might be a real problem: Programmes no longer support Windows XP/2003 so you have to use at least vista. Recent cases in point for me are NextCloud/ownCloud and Dropbox. If I need to handle legacy hardware, which is unsupported in recent Windows versions, I am just fine with Linux, e.g. I use a scanner for whom sane has quite good support. There would be no point in using ReactOS for me, because while it might be able to install the old driver (one would have to test), there is much more it cannot and which every desktop linux distribution can.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good progress
by yahya on Mon 4th Sep 2017 06:16 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

ReactOS is looking more and more like a usable alternative to Windows.

Shame Haiku can't keep up with the same pace as ReactOS...



In my experience, I can't install ReactOS on any real hardware (it even has ruined the partition table of one of my harddisks). Even when I do, nothing works once the system is booted.

Haiku by contrast not only installs flawlessly but the hardware also works just fine out of the box once it is booted. So in my view that's a big big plus for Haiku.

If you count FreeWin95, Reactos has been in development for over 20 years now, but we are still far, far away from any usable Windows 2003 replacement, as basics such as the file system are not there. I don't see where Haiku has similar gaps left

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good progress
by Darak on Mon 4th Sep 2017 07:58 UTC in reply to "Good progress"
Darak Member since:
2009-10-16

Haiku is actually more advanced regarding actual hardware support, but it is true that the pace of development in Haiku is very slow nowadays.

The things ReactOS aims to do are a lot harder, though. The Windows APIs are incredibly complex, poorly designed, partially undocumented, and have been a moving target since day one. Microsoft likes to reinvent the whole application programming biosphere every few years, often implementing the new one on top of the old ones. In comparison, BeOS had a clean and simple API that obviously never changed.

In any case, hardware support remains an unsolved problem for niche or enthusiast operating systems. Haiku essentially has no graphic drivers and relies on VESA to even draw anything to the screen, for example. In an ideal world, there should be some kind of open device driver API allowing vendors to write drivers that could work reliably on any open source OS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Mon 4th Sep 2017 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

And Cadbury's chocolate tastes nice!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good progress
by yahya on Mon 4th Sep 2017 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Good progress"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

The things ReactOS aims to do are a lot harder, though. The Windows APIs are incredibly complex, poorly designed, partially undocumented, and have been a moving target since day one. Microsoft likes to reinvent the whole application programming biosphere every few years, often implementing the new one on top of the old ones. In comparison, BeOS had a clean and simple API that obviously never changed.


And Windows is a moving target, while BeOS development has ended over a decade ago.

That means that ReactOS if it ever reaches stability, it will be obsolete before it is released. Already now, a lot of software requires at least Vista to install and run, while ReactOS tries to recreate Win XP/2003. So while ReactOS might have limited use for some very old programmes or drivers, it is not going to be a viable desktop OS. And if you need a legacy windows version, then running a real Winxp in VirtualBox still works far better.

I am not saying that the devs should stop. It is their hobby, they have to decide what to spend their time on. But the idea that ReactOS is ever going to become something of use for the average end user is illusory.

Edited 2017-09-04 09:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Mon 4th Sep 2017 09:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

You are talking rubbish.

ReactOS' goal is NT5 compatibility. That's it. At that point they have a Windows binary compatible o/s that can run the majority of software. A full virtual memory operating system. From that point they can add the NT6 (Vista) APIs and achive upward/downward compatibility - this work has already started. Microsoft spends most of its time (and thousands of developers) re-inventing the wheel. It does this to fool people like you.

ReactOS does not have to follow Microsoft and all its later Win 8 Metro/Windows shennanigens. It does not have to keep up! It simply has a very good o/s when it arrives at NT5 compatibility. An o/s that can be added to as required.

Keep up with those uninformed comments!

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Good progress
by Darak on Mon 4th Sep 2017 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good progress"
Darak Member since:
2009-10-16

Windows has been a massive mashup of moving technologies way before Vista or Metro. Just take a look at the history behind things like OLE, DDE, ODBC, GDI vs GDI+, the Internet Explorer stuff, and many, many others, not to mention the client C/C++ runtimes or MSFC, heavily tied to undocumented stuff.

Those technologies are not moving anymore, but their nature means years over years of backwards compatible implementations to cover. It's not fun.

The BeOS API is extremely simple in comparison.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good progress
by yahya on Mon 4th Sep 2017 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good progress"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

It does this to fool people like you.


I am actually a happy Linux user since 2001. So I really don't give a rat's ass about Windows.


ReactOS does not have to follow Microsoft and all its later Win 8 Metro/Windows shennanigens. It does not have to keep up! It simply has a very good o/s when it arrives at NT5 compatibility.


Maybe. Even though I really cannot see how this has the potential of being a better OS than Linux. What is so great about the NT architecture that you have to clone it?

After all, it is about having a FOSS replacement for Windows, not just about coding some "very good o/s". And that means that you do have to keep up after all, if you want to ensure that applications and drivers continue to work with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Good progress
by The123king on Mon 4th Sep 2017 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good progress"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

What was so great about UNIX that you had to clone it?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Mon 4th Sep 2017 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

I really cannot see how this has the potential of being a better OS than Linux.


What has that got to do with anything? No-one mentioned being better than Linux.

ReactOS has the potential of being better than chocolate or boots or something...

Pointless comment.

Linux is OK for some uses. If you are saying you can't think of a use case for ReactOS then please just say so and then we can start to educate you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Good progress
by yahya on Wed 6th Sep 2017 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good progress"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29


Linux is OK for some uses. If you are saying you can't think of a use case for ReactOS then please just say so and then we can start to educate you.


Linux is not only ok for "some" uses, but for a very very large number, servers, desktop computers, embedded devices, smartphones etc.

I am not saying that there are zero use cases for ReactOS. I just think the number is vanishingly small by comparison, all I have heard so far is that you can (potentially) install drivers for legacy hardware. That's a pretty limited use in my view, because I can do the same on Linux, while at the same time not being barred from running current software, which I am in many cases with a clone of XP/Win2003.

And with running Windows software in general, I have a far better experience with Wine. ReactOS just fails at evey step of the way.

Again, if the devs are having fun coding, that's great, more power to them. Just the idea that this will ever get to the point where it can replace windows is a pipedream.

Edited 2017-09-06 06:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Good progress
by yerverluvinunclebert on Wed 6th Sep 2017 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good progress"
yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

Duh...

f anyone says, "what's the point in ReactOS, I have Windows, why would I want ReactOS instead?" I give them this list:

1. Safe browsing in a virtual ReactOS sandbox (Firefox)
2. A platform for development using legacy environments (VB6)
3. A platform for widget desktop development and packaging (Yahoo Widget Engine)
4. A platform for graphical design (Photoshop CS ver 8.0 - the oldest and still the best)
5. A platform that I can theme fully without patching.
6. A platform that I can change the underlying o/s fonts, colours without the GUI denying me this capability.
7. A platform I can bundle and distribute with my own customisations - a Windows/ReactOS distro.
8. A platform that I can use multiple instances of for testing
9. A platform that I can build into any x86 computer by default.
10. No licensing restrictions
11. Full DOS gaming under NTVDM.
12. All/most older/current 32bit Windows apps should just function.
13. All/most older/current 32bit Windows drivers should just function.
14. Access to all legacy apps that stopped working under NT6+
15. Access to source code if required for bug-fixing or just for analysis.
16. Real support from a dedicated and growing ReactOS community, you can actually report bugs and obtain feedback!
17. Real support from the Windows community too for all apps/driver problems, at the very least for comparison purposes.
18. Documentation will exist for ReactOS, documentation is always good!
19. Escape from Microsoft's eternal UI redesign - controls, options, everything are right back where I want them to be.
20. Freedom from forced obsolescence by design, being forced by MS to abandon useful software.
21. Freedom to use the o/s of my choice without abandoning all my prior knowledge and experience.
22. There are no restrictions with regard to functionality removed from the different home/professional versions, there are no crippled versions!
23. It is free of DRM restrictions.
24. Gaining an old and familiar desktop environment.
25. Gaining an o/s that is quicker to boot, much slimmer with regard to footprint, and much more efficient in operation.
26. It is free, completely! No licence costs for multiple servers. Multiple instances cost nothing.
27. Bug fixing - ReactOS is open source. The code is reviewed by MANY eyes and bugs are caught and fixed, rather than ignored and buried.
28. No metro apps that consume more resources than needed.
29. No possibility of unwanted or undocumented telemetry data-mining your system, ReactOS will not expose your data thus also saving bandwidth.
30. The ability to port an NT-compatible OS to hypervisors with paravirtualizing capabilities.
31. Ability to compile the source code and know how an NT compatible system actually works, or at the very least, get an idea of how it works.
32. NSA backdoors less likely due to peer review of the open source codebase allowing monitoring and quick fixing. The code is reviewed by MANY eyes and security flaws are caught and fixed, rather than ignored and buried.
33. Can run on many different types of filesystems, FAT32, NTFS, IFS.
34. I want an o/s that does not complain and stop booting when I change the hardware beyond what it thinks should be in my PC.
35. No need ever to call Microsoft to re-enable software I have already purchased.
36. Has the potential for compilation to other hardware platforms and not just x86 but potentially ARM, powerPC &c leading to a multiplatform NT compatible o/s!
37. Extends the capabilities of XP/2003 to encompass newer technologies that were not present in the original versions of these o/s.
38. No unwanted advertising on various o/s components (login screen, live tiles &c)
39. Allows creation of specific distros, stripped down or focussed for gaming purposes, themeing, server operation, POS systems &c.

Reply Score: 1

I think they do this the wrong way...
by Megol on Mon 4th Sep 2017 16:12 UTC
Megol
Member since:
2011-04-11

Why not "simply" write a kernel+HAL (executive layer) compatible with a certain Windows version and then replace upper layers step by step?

Yes it is certainly against MS licenses however most of the things in those aren't valid and it would be hard for MS to complain when people with valid licenses replace parts of their own OS installation.

Reply Score: 2

yerverluvinunclebert Member since:
2014-05-03

It has been discussed as a strategy - but it breaks the terms of your Windows licence, you cannot even take the task manager from Win 7 and transplant it to Win10 (well you can but you aren't supposed to).

However, ReactOS code is created and tested on Windows first then moved to ReactOS ensuring for certain it functions under Windows and does not break any compatibility.

Reply Score: 1

Well done ReactOS
by Bringbackanonposting on Tue 5th Sep 2017 20:17 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

Great progress I think. In my mind it's all about applications. ReactOS in the Alt OS landscape has the brightest future if it can get to the point of running a fraction of the application library that runs (ran) on NT5. Sure, 10-15 yo applications may be out dated compared to new ones but some of these Alt OSs mentioned will potentially never have the option of having native applications like this. I'm a bit of a Foss guy and hate Microsoft and Apple, so this was hard to write lol!

Reply Score: 2