April 28

ReactOS – An Open Source Alternative to Windows

I just came across the ReactOS Project.  This is an ongoing Open Source project designed to be an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows Operating System.  This is not the alternative of a completely different Operating System that runs completely different applications, like Linux.  Instead, this is a project that uses freely available documentation from Microsoft to create an O/S that is compatible with Windows Applications.  Since it is Open Source, this also means that it is Free.

The project is still in the developmental stage and not yet ready for daily use as the main O/S for your computer.  However, from the information on their website, ReactOS requires much less processor and memory than Windows XP, Vista, and Win7.  I am hoping by the time a stable version comes out, we will have a widely compatible O/S that can be installed on older machines that are laying around and collecting dust or being dumped in landfills.

I downloaded version 0.3.9 and tried it out on a couple of computers.  The screen looked nice and loaded quickly, but then hung up.  There might be a quick solution for this, but since the project is still not quite stable yet, I will wait until a future release before putting too much time into it.  However, if you want to try it out yourself, ReactOS has several download options available, including an installation ISO and LiveCD ISO.

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Posted April 28, 2009 by bk in category Open Source, Operating Systems

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