The headline feature for 0.4.10 would have to be ReactOS' ability to now boot from a BTRFS formatted drive. The work enabling this was part of this year's Google Summer of Code with student developer Victor Perevertkin. While the actual filesystem driver itself is from the WinBtrfs project by Mark Harmstone, much of Victor's work was in filling out the bits and pieces of ReactOS that the driver expected to interact with. The filesystem stack in ReactOS is arguably one of the less mature components by simple dint of there being so few open source NT filesystem drivers to test against. Those that the project uses internally have all gone through enough iterations that gaps in ReactOS are worked around. WinBtrfs on the other hand came with no such baggage to its history and instead made full use of the documented NT filesystem driver API.
Seems like another solid release. While ReactOS always feels a bit like chasing an unobtainable goal, I'm still incredibly impressed by their work, and at this point, it does seem like it can serve quite a few basic needs through running actual Win32 applications.
Freeloader is now able to read files and follow symlinks from btrfs partition. One major issue is left here - case sensitivity.
Another step of progress.
The ReactOS Project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4.9, the latest in our accelerated cadence targeting a release every three months.
While a consequence of this faster cycle might mean fewer headliner changes, much of the visible effort nowadays comes in the form of quality-of-life improvements in how ReactOS functions. At the same time work continues on the underlying systems which provide more subtle improvements such as greater system stability and general consistency.
The biggest new "feature" is something we already talked about: ReactOS is now self-hosting.
ReactOS has unveiled its Google Summer of Code project, undertaken by Victor Perevertki.
My project is both simple and complicated. I want to add to ReactOS an option to install on and boot from BTRFS partitions. There are a few little things left to implement this:
- BTRFS support in bootloader.
- Fixes in cache controller and memory manager in order to boot with WinBtrfs driver. It is getting better every week, but right now used only with fastfat driver for FAT32.
My primary goal for this internship is implement BTRFS support in FreeLdr - our bootloader.
Another great GSoC project to keep an eye on.
Now, ReactOS can fully build ReactOS, even with the USB stack. Be it a LiveCD or a BootCD! And just because we can, here LiveCD is mounted in ReactOS to show it. Thanks FreeBSD for your qsort implementation.
The building ReactOS wiki page has been updated with the new information. A pretty major milestone for any operating system!
ReactOS 0.4.8 has been released, and its biggest new feature is experimental support for NT6+ applications.
With software specifically leaving NT5 behind, ReactOS is expanding its target to support NT6+ (Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10) software. Colin, Giannis and Mark are creating the needed logic in NTDLL and LDR for this purpose. Giannis has finished the side-by-side support and the implicit activation context, Colin has changed Kernel32 to accept software made for NT6+, and Mark keeps working on the shim compatibility layer. Although in a really greenish and experimental state, the new additions in 0.4.8 should start helping several software pieces created for Vista and upwards to start working in ReactOS. Microsoft coined the term backwards compatibility, ReactOS the forward compatibility one.
There's tons of other improvements, as well.
ReactOS 0.4.7 has been released, and it contains a ton of fixes, improvements, and new features. Judging by the screenshots, ReactOS 0.4.7 can run Opera, Firefox, and Mozilla all at once, which is good news for those among us who want to use ReactOS on a more daily basis. There's also a new application manager which, as the name implies, makes it easier to install and uninstall applications, similar to how package managers on Linux work. On a lower level, ReactOS can now deal with Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, BtrFS, ReiserFS, FFS, and NFS partitions.
There's more, so head on over to the announcement page.
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.
ReactOS is participating in Google Summer of Code, and two of their projects have been detailed. Trevor Thompson is working on improving the NTFS driver:
When I started last year, ReactOS could read files from an NTFS volume, but had no write support whatsoever. After GSoC last year, the driver in my branch could overwrite existing files. I also fixed a few bugs in the driver's ability to read files, which have already been merged into the trunk. I also fixed ReactOS' implementation of LargeMCB's, which our NTFS driver has come to rely on, and which a few other filesystem drivers rely on.
My goals for this summer are simply file creation and deletion.
The current shell in ReactOS lets user manager running applications, start other applications and manage files but nothing more. This idea is about implementing 3 small shell extensions for showing the state of the battery of the machine, for ejecting usb devices and implementing the quick launch toolbar. These are important requirements and they are much needed while presenting ReactOS in real hardware. Not knowing the state of the battery or not being able to eject a usb flash drive is a serious usability problem. The shell extensions would be developed and tested to work on Windows.
Thanks to the work of Katayama Hirofumi and Mark Jansen, ReactOS now better serves requests for fonts and font metrics, leading to an improved rendering of applications and a more pleasant user experience. Your continued donations have also funded a contract for Giannis Adamopoulos to fix every last quirk in our theming components. The merits of this work can be seen in ReactOS 0.4.5, which comes with a smoother themed user interface and the future promises to bring even more improvements. In another funded effort, HermÃ¨s BÃ©lusca-MaÃ¯to has got MS Office 2010 to run under ReactOS, another application from the list of most voted apps. Don’t forget to install our custom Samba package from the Application Manager if you want to try it out for yourself.
Today marks the fifth release of the ReactOS 0.4.x series, as well as the fifth following the 4 month release cycle started by 0.4.0 itself. Progress has continued steadily, with a great deal of work going on in the background to improve ReactOS' general usability and stability. Many of these improvements were on display at the FOSDEM convention in Brussels that took place on the 4th and 5th of this month. Certainly one of the more notable albeit less visible additions was the incorporation of basic printing support by Colin Finck. At present ReactOS is only capable of sending print commands to a parallel port printer, but this is the first step towards universal support and Colin should be applauded for his effort.
It seems ReactOS can run Office 2007 now. That's actually quite neat.
ReactOS 0.4.3 has been released.
Notable in this release is the switching to a new winsock library that had been started several years ago by Alex Ionescu and imported into trunk by Ged Murphy. Even after it was brought in however significant work remained to be done before it could replace the old winsock library, work which Peter Hater and Andreas Maier undertook. Their effort has now reached a point wherein the team feels it is ready to supplant the original library and 0.4.3 serves as the first release to incorporate it. As the winsock library underpins effectively all network operations in user mode applications, and its improvement should be a significant boon for ReactOS' compatibility with such programs as the Good old Games (GoG) client and newer versions of the Python runtime.
ReactOS 0.4.2 has been released, as part of the project's new, faster release cycle.
Beyond the usual updates to external dependencies such as Wine and UniATA, much work has gone into refining the experience of using ReactOS, especially with respect to the graphical shell and the file explorer. Perhaps the most user visible change however is the ability now to read from and write to several Unix filesystems, namely ext family, ReiserFS, and UFS. Native built-in support for these filesystems should make for considerably easier interoperability than the current out-of-box experience provided by Windows, and there is more to come in the future.