Linux Tactic

Explore the World of Open Source: Running ReactOS on VirtualBox

Introduction to ReactOS

ReactOS is an open-source operating system modeled after Windows 95. It has been in development since 1996 and aims to be compatible with the vast library of Windows binaries while providing a free and open-source platform.

With ReactOS, users can enjoy the convenience of a familiar Windows-like desktop environment without having to purchase a Windows license. Additionally, ReactOS provides 100% binary compatibility with Windows drivers, allowing users to run their favorite Windows applications seamlessly.

This article aims to guide readers through the process of running ReactOS on VirtualBox, a popular virtualization software.

Running ReactOS on VirtualBox

To get started, there are a few prerequisites that need to be met before installing ReactOS.

Prerequisites for Installing ReactOS

1. ReactOS installation disc or live media.

2. VirtualBox installed on your system.

3. A bootable medium, such as CD/DVD or USB, to install ReactOS.

– To create live media, download the ReactOS ISO file from the ReactOS website.

Creating a VM for ReactOS

The first step in running ReactOS on VirtualBox is to create a new virtual machine (VM).


Open VirtualBox and click on the New button. 2.

Name the VM and select Microsoft Windows as the operating system. 3.

Select Windows 2003 as the version. 4.

Allocate a suitable amount of memory and storage. (512 MB RAM is recommended for Alpha releases of ReactOS).

5. Create a virtual hard drive for your VM.

Installing ReactOS on the VM

Once the VM is set up, its time to install ReactOS. Follow these steps to install ReactOS:


Click on the Start button to launch your VM. 2.

Select the ReactOS setup wizard from the boot menu. 3.

Choose your language, keyboard layout and target drive. – If youre installing ReactOS on a new virtual hard drive, create a new partition and format it using the FAT filesystem.

4. Follow the installation wizard and complete any system checks or additional installation options.

5. Install the bootloader.

6. Reboot the VM to start using ReactOS.


ReactOS provides a free and open-source alternative to Windows, with binary compatibility that allows users to run their favorite Windows applications seamlessly on ReactOS. With this guide, you can easily set up ReactOS on VirtualBox and start exploring the world of open-source operating systems.

Happy exploring!

The ReactOS Interface

If you’ve ever used Windows 95 or 98, the ReactOS interface evokes a sense of nostalgia. The interface harkens back to a simpler time in computing, with its colorful and simplistic graphical user interface (GUI).

When you first boot up ReactOS, you’ll be greeted by a screen asking for the license, owner, and organization information, along with an option to set the administrative password, PC name, and date and time. The desktop is reminiscent of Windows 98, with a taskbar, icons for My Computer and Internet Explorer, and a Start menu.

These familiar elements make it easy for users who are accustomed to Windows to navigate ReactOS quickly.

Similarities and Differences with Windows OS

While ReactOS looks and feels like Windows, there are some subtle differences. For example, the Start menu on ReactOS is simpler than that of Windows, with fewer options.

The My Computer icon on the desktop leads directly to the file explorer, while in Windows, it takes you to a separate window containing drives and network locations. ReactOS comes with a variety of native applications, including Minesweeper, Paint, and a text editor.

Minesweeper functions similarly to the Windows version, while Paint lacks some of the advanced features found in newer Windows versions. Overall, ReactOS offers a nostalgic experience that’s similar to using an old toy from the dot com era.

It can be entertaining to revisit childhood memories and see how computing has evolved over the years.

Call to Action for Future Open Source Tech Coverage

ReactOS is a prime example of the power of open-source technology. The project has been in development for over 20 years and has received contributions from numerous developers around the world.

It’s an exciting time for open-source technology, with a growing number of projects and applications that rival commercial alternatives in terms of functionality and ease of use. As technology continues to progress, open-source software will become increasingly important in shaping the future of computing.

We should all take an active interest in the development of open-source technology and continue to promote and support these projects. Further coverage of open source technology can help spread awareness and encourage innovation.

In summary, ReactOS is an open-source operating system that aims to provide a free and open-source platform that is compatible with Windows binaries. This article focused on running ReactOS on VirtualBox and exploring the nostalgic interface that resembles Windows 98.

While ReactOS has similarities with Windows, it also has some subtle differences. Overall, the article highlights the importance of open-source technology and the growing number of projects that rival commercial alternatives.

The takeaway is that we should take an active interest in the development of open-source technology and continue to promote and support these projects for the betterment of the computing industry.

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