ReactOS is a new free and open source operating system. Its design is based on windows, just like Linux is based on UNIX. The appearance of ReactOS is similar to that of windows. It can run Windows software and drivers. However, the project is in progress and may not be perfectly compatible. The best way is to install ReactOS on the virtual machine and check the compatibility.
ReactOS uses the x.y.z version naming scheme: X indicates whether the project achieves the expected goal, y indicates the large version (key features and enhancements), and Z indicates the small version (bug repair and general development). The first documented version, 0.0.7, was released in July 1998.
As an open source project, because the number of community developers is not fixed, react OS does not have a fixed roadmap. However, they will try to release a version in two to six months. 0.4.0, 0.5.0, and 1.0.0 are currently set milestone versions. The 0.4 series version is the last alpha version. From the 0.5 series version, the project will enter the beta test phase. The 1.0 and above versions indicate that the project is ready for daily use.
React OS 0.4.6 has been released recently. This release is an important step toward true hardware support. Several dual boot problems have been solved, the security of partition management has been improved, and the conflict of partition list structure can be avoided. React OS loader is now ready to load the custom kernel and Hal.
In 0.4.6, the printing subsystem is not mature, but Colin Finck has implemented a large number of new APIs, and fixed some bugs exposed in automated testing.
In terms of driver, Pierre Schweitzer added NFS driver for it, and started to implement rdbss and rxce, and will support SMB in the future. Sylvain petreolle introduced a digital TV tuner driver for it. Several bugs in UDFs, CDFs, SCSI, and hdaudbus have also been fixed.
In terms of compatibility, 0.4.6 introduces a shim engine as part of the new application compatibility framework. In this version, the engine is turned off by default and can be enabled through the react OS registry. This version also includes a special ntdll library, which can provide some ntdll Vista + functions for newer software.
ReactOS 0.4.6 also improves the user experience and fixes bugs for multiple memory management, ntoskrnl, and file systems, making them more stable.