Pi eater
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ReactOS port?

Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:54 pm

This is probably unlikely, but has anybody ported ReactOS to the Pi?
Eating pi is sure good!

Cloudcentric
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Re: ReactOS port?

Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:18 pm

I know everything about nothing"

RareHare
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Re: ReactOS port?

Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:09 am

Are you interested in seeing ReactOS on ARM?

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Jim Manley
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Re: ReactOS port?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:20 am

For those who aren't familiar with it, ReactOS is an attempt to create an open-source, binary-compatible OS alternative to Windows that could be ported to any platform. It's currently a very early Alpha at version 0.3.15 which can crash unexpectedly, so it's only suitable for testing and nothing where reliability is a necessity. It's not clear how much functionality has actually been completed, unless the 0.3.15 version number corresponds to functional and bug-fixing completeness of roughly 30% if version 1.0 represents 100% complete (which I doubt). It's an interesting idea, but only if you find value in Windows software to begin with. This would, by necessity, be a lower-performing variant, at least for a significant period of time, most likely (my wild guess would be several years to get within 1% of the optimum possible for a given hardware architecture). Here's a point of entry to the wiki for prospective users, but the vast majority of the wiki is for, of, and by developers, so you've been forewarned:

http://www.reactos.org/?page=about_userfaq
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redhawk
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Re: ReactOS port?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:38 am

This is pointless even if there was an ARMv6 port all other Windows applications outside ReactOS are coded in x86 and cannot run not without some kind of an emulation layer.
X86 emulators for the ARM already exist for the Pi and they're chronically slow not because they're badly coded but the fact that the Pi simply lacks the horse power for such a task.
So in a nut shell either you run Windows inside an x86 emulator like Qemu at chronically slow speeds or you could run it inside ReactOS at chronically slow speeds. :)

Richard S.
Last edited by redhawk on Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

jamesh
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Re: ReactOS port?

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:04 pm

But I presume (I know little of ReactOS) that if you had the Windows program source, you could build for Arm.
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ShiftPlusOne
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:08 am

jamesh wrote:But I presume (I know little of ReactOS) that if you had the Windows program source, you could build for Arm.
WINE lets you do that too, as I understand it.

jamesh
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:35 am

ShiftPlusOne wrote:
jamesh wrote:But I presume (I know little of ReactOS) that if you had the Windows program source, you could build for Arm.
WINE lets you do that too, as I understand it.
WINE is a API layer over the top of Linux - I presume ReactOS is a complete OS and would therefore be faster? And WINE doesnt emulate ARM, but can you recompile for it for WINE?
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Heater
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:42 am

I have never understood the motivation for building ReactOS.

I presume it's open source. Why would anyone invest such significant time and effort to build an open source operating system to run an ocean of closed source Windows software?

Much could be said for wine, as well, except in that case we have a library "shim" to run Windows programs and don't have to build an entire OS.

Expecting any of this to work on ARM with close source x86 Windows apps seems pretty far fetched but I guess ReactoOS itself can be built for ARM.

Win32 programs can be written, compiled and run on Linux using libwine and I guess that works on ARM as well. I did try it out on x86 successfully once but it seems like a pretty perverse thing to want to do.

Of course now a days we have WindowsRT for ARM devices, but that is another can or worms.
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:36 am

Heater wrote:I have never understood the motivation for building ReactOS.

I presume it's open source. Why would anyone invest such significant time and effort to build an open source operating system to run an ocean of closed source Windows software?

Much could be said for wine, as well, except in that case we have a library "shim" to run Windows programs and don't have to build an entire OS.

Expecting any of this to work on ARM with close source x86 Windows apps seems pretty far fetched but I guess ReactoOS itself can be built for ARM.

Win32 programs can be written, compiled and run on Linux using libwine and I guess that works on ARM as well. I did try it out on x86 successfully once but it seems like a pretty perverse thing to want to do.

Of course now a days we have WindowsRT for ARM devices, but that is another can or worms.
Not all Windows programs are closed source. This MIGHT be useful for that demographic.

As to the why of ReactOS - well, why not? Which is the answer most people give me when I way something is a waste of time!
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Heater
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:48 am

jamesh,
Not all Windows programs are closed source. This MIGHT be useful for that demographic.
Do you happen to have any examples of open source Windows specific programs that are used widely?

Of course we have Windows builds of famous projects like FireFox, Chrome, Open/Libre Office, Node.js, MySql etc. But given all of those why would we need a Windows OS clone, we can run them on BSD, Linux, Mac...
As to the why of ReactOS - well, why not? Which is the answer most people give me when I way something is a waste of time!
Can't argue with that. I have wasted a good junk of time on essentially useless projects (Z80 emulator and CP/M operating system on a Parallax Inc. Propeller MCU anyone?). I guess if one does not see the fun in it it becomes a "waste of time".
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Heater
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:56 am

Looking at it the other way. What if ReactOS did work perfectly on the Raspi, including running all that ocean of closed source x86 Windows programs by some magical emulation means?

That makes the Pi a cheap way of allowing people to escape the MS treadmill.

It also goes totally against the open and educational ideals that are the basis of the Pi.

I say "boo" to ReactOS. On anything.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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redhawk
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:00 am

If ReactOS worked perfectly then it's good as useless for running Windows applications because you would still need an x86 emulation layer.
Of course the solution would be to compile applications into native ARMv6 code but why bother doing this on ReactOS when you already have Linux instead.

The way I see it ReactOS has no viable use on the Pi no more than people who run Windows XP using Qemu. :)

Richard S.

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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:39 am

Heater wrote:Looking at it the other way. What if ReactOS did work perfectly on the Raspi, including running all that ocean of closed source x86 Windows programs by some magical emulation means?

That makes the Pi a cheap way of allowing people to escape the MS treadmill.

It also goes totally against the open and educational ideals that are the basis of the Pi.

I say "boo" to ReactOS. On anything.
It doesn't go against them! It runs in parallel. You can have both. (not that I personally would, but I won't stop other people doing it)
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Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed.
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ShiftPlusOne
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:41 am

jamesh wrote:
ShiftPlusOne wrote:
jamesh wrote:But I presume (I know little of ReactOS) that if you had the Windows program source, you could build for Arm.
WINE lets you do that too, as I understand it.
WINE is a API layer over the top of Linux - I presume ReactOS is a complete OS and would therefore be faster? And WINE doesnt emulate ARM, but can you recompile for it for WINE?
Yup, wine doesn't emulate ARM, but you can recompile programs to run natively (a bit like cygwin, but the other way around). I am not sure that there would be much of a speed difference, since WINE shares a lot of code with ReactOS and you still have the overhead of running ReactOS plus the explorer 'shell', services and whatever else it runs.

That's not to say I wouldn't like to see ReactOS running on the pi, I would. Not because it would be terribly useful though, but because it would be cool. >.>

Heater
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:33 pm

I have concluded ReactOS is actually evil.

If it worked perfectly as a Windows substitute, even if only on x86, all it could end up doing is move the entire edifice of Windows applications to a free and open source platform. Hardly progress really.

One could say the same about Wine. But at least those who use Wine on Linux are being exposed to a way out of the Windows world of servitude.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Thaddy
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:49 pm

It's not evil and has never been evil:
Its premise and promise is to make an X86 family Free windows XP+ clone.
It succeeded by and large after the project embraced wine code to speed up development.

Wine has the same things in mind but on Linux X86, nothing more, Intel family X86. If one doesn't understand that there's really not much point in trying to answer that in such a way that they get it into their tiny brains.

I promise I won't get - professionally - angry this time, but some people should first make some study and inquiries of what is realistically possible and what is not.

This goes in general with every platform, know what your dealing with, know its strengths but also know its limitations. This is not always the case in this discussion.

At least there is a good DOS emulator that also runs Windows 3.1 at acceptable speed (if you remember the original speed of Win 3.1 on a 80286 or before (that would be 3.0 than), that is ;) )

Heater
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Re: ReactOS port?

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:37 pm

Thaddy,

There is no need to get angry or casts aspersions as to the size of your fellow forum members brains.

Many of us here are old and wise enough to realize that trying to run x86 binaries on the Pi, from Windows or anywhere else, is likely to be nothing more than a novelty exercise.

On the other hand many of us here might be very new to the concept that there migh even be a non-PC architecture. That is why we have the Pi is not? To enlighten the world to such concepts and computer education in general.

Perhaps people asking questions here about running Windows or ReactOS on the Pi is their way of "make[ing] some study and inquiries of what is realistically possible and what is not." Why not? That's what an educational forum is for.

Now. Suppose ReactOS was a perfectly working clone of Windows XP+. What benefit is that to the world apart from being a way to run Windows apps without having to pay the MicroSoft rent? It seems to me that it just perpetuates the status quo except without MS.

Wine is a slightly different case. It does at least provide a gateway for people to get off Windows and explore the wider world out there. Besides, I love it because it allows me to run LTSpice on Linux which is the last remaining Windows app for which I have any fondness:)

Oh, yeah, we remember DOS and Windows 3.1 and the 286. It was a very bleak time in computing history.

Having said all that, by all means full steam ahead for ReactOS. If I can still be dinking around with Z80 emulation and CP/M I'm not really in a position to discourage others from pursuing such things.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

pshycho
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Re: ReactOS port?

Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:05 pm

Look, react OS at the moment is OK, it is something that is OK to just have siting in virtual box but, I run it with 2 GB of ram and it still crashes, becomes unresponsive and BSOD's, this is when I am just using Firefox, the explorer and desktop also needs a system restart for changes like deleting something to visibly take place and sometimes things just refuse to execute, so at the moment, it would be much more worth your while waiting with RISC or, god forbid, Linux or trying to get pocket PC/ windows mobile to work with pi (which it should as it is arm v6 architecture and runs on 512 MHz and 128 MB ram) until react OS becomes much more useable and stable.

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