ReactOS! Reinventing the wheel of Windows, but this it’s free

Recently I stumbled upon ReactOS a NT architecture based and binary compatible(almost) with both NT device drivers and Win32 applications. This is ‘the real thing’ and not a linux mimicking Windows! You might be asking, “So?”. The answer to that, OPEN SOURCE! FREE!. This means that you don’t have to pay for anything for the OS but can run most of MS Windows softwares. This is not as wide as wide as Microsoft Windows but proves to be a real game changer. It’s stil in alpha version as of this writing and does not support all existing hardwares, still a game changer!

Déjà vu

This already happened with Unix. Linus Torvalds got bored one day(…in a nut shell) and started creating Linux(a alternative kernel which helps you boot into the OS).

Likewise but not only the kernel, ReactOS comes with the package(Kernel+OS)

Since Windows for business is pretty standard, we can see many companies adapting to this OS in near future.

ReactOS comes pre-packaged with open source softwares such as Mozilla Firefox, 7-zip, VLC(yaay!),… but also includes closed source freewares like the Photoshop CS2 and Foxit Reader.

The Catch

Some part of it seems to be implementations of WINE. An emulator for running Windows applications and drivers in non-Windows environment. So It’s running Windows without actually running Windows(something like that…). This means there is an additional overhead which can compromise performance.

ReactOS comes in two flavors, Live CD and as BootCD which installs it on your PC(take full backup since it’s still in beta)


If you are a Linux based user like me who boots into Windows just to play that multiplier FPS game, we are definitely in for a show.

Q. Is this based on Linux?
A. Nope. Based on NT kernel

Q. Should I delete my primary windows and install ReactOS?
A. This is still in beta, so if you want to run Visual Studio 2015 or want to play high end games straightaway or just do normal stuff like printing, you can’t, or not without a hassle. So, No!


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