Yesterday I encountered the ReactOS operating system. After looking at some screenshots I wrote it off as yet another linux with windows lookalike GUI. By a big coincidence I stumbled upon another link about it today and found out it was anything but.

ReactOS exists 10 years today. It was started during the days of Windows95. It is NOT a linux OS. No, 10 years ago some guys started writing some code. Their aim was to write a windows compatible operating system. An OS where you could run normal windows applications. No need to say that this was slow work. It took years before they reached a graphical interface. Today they are only at version 0.3 but I still find it very impressive. 

And so, I retraced my steps from yesterday, downloaded the image a foolishly ignored yesterday and started it up in the vmware player. The desktop looks a bit like a cross between linux and windows. I was able to download the windows firefox binary, install it and run it. The google startpage that was loaded had some weird blocks in the background but this could be related to color-depth. It wasn't very fast but keep in mind that it is running on a vmware host on an already overloaded system (I had 16MB free space on my root at the time). My google home looked OK, and our blog also looked perfect. I was stuck in qwerty, changing the input local didn't work unfortunatly.  

For those of you wanting to dump XP but not liking linux, this really is not (yet) an option. I wouldn't call it a usable OS, but it is imressive none the less. A nice find, something fun to play around with.  


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