Does ReactOS run on real hardware? Let’s give it a try on a ThinkPad T430s with a full install on disk. Seeing is believing, so check out the video of this installation and app testing as well!
ReactOS is a Windows compatible OS that is supposed to eventually replace the original. It is in alpha stage for decades now but is making steady progress in the last years. Let’s try version 0.4.9 stable release. Will ReactOS eventually more successful than Linux in conquering the desktop?
Check out my test with ReactOS on an older ThinkPad T23 as well. This T430s is much more modern and has a Core i5 3320M, 16 GB RAM and the Intel HD 4000 iGPU.
To start our journey you have to visit reactos.org and download the latest iso file (just a bit over 100MB) and burn it unto a CD because there is no official USB boot support yet. How do you get your standard Windows drivers on the system? Burning a driver CD with Ethernet, video and audio drivers had to do the job, feels like the 90s again. The app-manager had some free Windows software available like Firefox 48 or Diablo II if you have an internet connection.
Let me summarize my experience, some of the pros are:
- Free and open source
- Fast install and boot with no problems using default settings
- Compatible with some Windows drivers and apps (trial and error so far)
- Basics like screen, keyboard, TrackPoint, DVD work fine
- App-manager with a range of free preselected and compatible Windows apps just like in Linux (requires internet)
- Some apps that worked: 7zip, Wordpad, Excel viewer, CPU-Z, Firefox 48, Opensonic, SimCity 3000, Pingus, etc.
Some of the negatives are:
- USB not working (USB storage, mouse, etc) but there is a patch with USB support that should be added into the main releases in the future
- Sound, Ethernet, WiFi are not working as well (Windows drivers don’t work)
- Generic video drivers are slow and support no advanced features
- Sometimes slow an unstable, mostly depending on the apps
Thanks for reading! You can check out more of this blog or my YouTube channel.