ReactOS – Free Windows OS Alternative

ReactOS is a free opensource operating system which was started out in 1996 as Free Win95, a Windows 95 clone project and the “look and feel” is still based on this when choosing the “classic” Theme. This is not a Linux alternative to Windows, but rather a Windows clone. ReactOS is an open-source effort to develop a quality operating system that is compatible with applications and drivers that are written for the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003).

Also it’s a relatively small download of the ISO which you will use to install.  Thus the  the system requirements are very very low, need only 500MB HDD and 96MB RAM. 🙂

When Installing through VMware Player or VMware workstation use “Windows XP Professional” as a template as the ReactOS does not like SCSI disks (the installer won’t see the disk during the installation process).

However the install is very quick and exactly look and feel like Windows XP with Classic theme.

Below are some screenshots.

ROS1 ROS2 ReactOS_0.3.1

Possible usage : since we passed the Windows XP support deadline and there are no more security patches for this very good Microsoft OS. You can install ReactOS on those older hardware computers and it would be a way to stay secure and still use the same apps that were destined for let’s say Windows 95, 98 or XP systems.

The main advantage is an ease of use and users they know their inside out on Windows XP will find their familiar desktop environment in ReactOS also.

You can test React OS in 3 ways:

  1. On physical system via the Installation ISO
  2. On Virtual Machine (via installation ISO too)
  3. As a Live system (via Live CD)

Source and download: ReactOS Homepage

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