ReactOS under Virtual PC

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I've been meaning to do this for a while, but I've finally had a chance to play with ReactOS (  For those of you who have not heard of this operating system, it is an the open source operating system with the ambitious goal of providing a Windows XP compatible operating environment that is capable of running any Windows programs, and utilizing Windows drivers.  The current available version is 0.3.0.  It comes as either a LiveCD (that you can boot directly) or as a standard CD that you can install on a blank virtual machine.

With either option I was able to get ReactOS up and running under Virtual PC very quickly, with no special tricks or tips involved:

ReactOS under Virtual PC   ReactOS under Virtual PC   ReactOS under Virtual PC

The operating system ran well enough, though I was surprised to find out just how bad compatibility with Windows applications was.  Most applications that I tried began to install but failed during installation.  The few that made it all the way through installation, then did not work.  After trying a whole swath of applications unsuccessfully I checked out the compatibility list on their website, and found that I did not have copies of most of the compatible applications (or I wasn't interested in running them because they were already cross platform applications, like Mozilla).  What really surprised me was that there were a number of applications that I have been able to run under Linux using WiNE that I could not run under ReactOS (even though they share a fair amount of source code).

Oh well, I will have to keep an eye on this project to see how it progresses.


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  • In all fairness, it is in alpha, unlike WINE which has years and full releases under its belt already.

    It does look interesting tho!

  • Any chance to make OLPC ( running on VirtualPC? I had converted the image to VHD, it booted while the mouse was not working?

  • William -

    Yes, I would like to look at this sometime but I've not had the chance to yet.



  • ReactOS is still in development. It has not reached 1.0 yet. It is only 0.3.0. It also comes at a good price; FREE. I think ReactOS has a future. Have you tried installing it on a computer instead of running it in Virtual PC? It would be interesting to see your thoughts on it.

  • Just curiousity. Could any Virtual PC version be installed under ReactOS?

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ReactOS under Virtual PC