ReactOS is an operating system that is designed as a free analogue of Microsoft Windows. The two main principles that developers follow are that the system should be open source, fully compatible with all drivers, programs and games for Windows. The second principle is to make the transition to ReactOS as discreet as possible for the user, without having to retrain or learn in the new system and software.
After 10 years of development, ReactOS 0.4 was released in February 2016. Despite the fact that the development is still in the "Alpha" stage, it can already run a large number of programs that are compatible with Windows NT versions 5.x (Windows 2000, 2003 and Windows XP), as well as supported file systems FAT-32 and NTFS in read mode, plus support for BtrFs and Linux Ext2 and ReiserFS.
The ReactOS interface is almost one-to-one repeats the classic scheme of Vindovs, the user will be greeted by the usual labels "My Computer", "Basket", the "Start" menu, standard windows, and the familiar blue death screen (BSOD), which appears when critical failures occur.
Two distributions are available for download: Live - suitable for running the system on a virtual machine - VMware or VirtualBox, and ISO-image of the disk, which can be installed on a CD/DVD or USB-flash drive and from them you can install the OS to your hard drive.
- Windows compatibility: the ReactOS project implements a stable NT-like operating system that includes the Win32 subsystem. Driver and software compatibility for Windows is constantly improving;
- Security: contrary to popular belief, NT is a secure architecture. NT-based systems, especially XP, have gained a bad reputation not because of the kernel, but because of its security settings, which were aimed primarily at simplifying the system for ordinary users. The ReactOS developers will try not to repeat these errors;
- Lightness: ReactOS was originally conceived as a powerful system that does not require large resources. However, it will not be like Win95, on the contrary, ReactOS offers many modern functions;
- Openness: The ReactOS project professes the ideology of OpenSource. The system itself is free to use, fully open and available for viewing and editing. ReactOS is distributed under the GNU GPL license;
- Extensible: ReactOS is a flexible and extensible system. Perhaps it is one of the most scalable operating systems due to its NT core and open source code.