ReactOS is a free and open-sourced operating system based on the Windows architecture, providing support for existing applications and drivers, and an alternative to the current dominant consumer operating system.
ReactOS 0.3.1 Mainly, the work focused on rewriting certain parts of the ReactOS Core (kernel, HAL, bootloader, etc). It’s very hard to sum up the huge Changelog in an outline, but briefly:
- Freeldr was improved
- HAL’s key areas have been significantly improved (irql-related, bus support, kd-functions)
- The Kernel experienced a massive rewrite of incompatible parts (and is still in the process of improvement)
- Run-time library (Rtl) got a lot of improvements and bugfixes
- Bugs were fixed in kernel-mode drivers and a better USB driver was added
- Registry-support has been greatly improved thanks to addition of “cmlib”, a library shared by the boot loader and the kernel to handle binary registry hives; it even supports binary registry hives created by Windows
- More fixes in the Win32 subsystem and user-mode DLLs
- Boot video driver (and a splash screen) was added
Read through the changelog, and you will see the amount of changes in this release!
However, there are a few things worth mentioning. First of all, please don’t forget this is an alpha-stage operating system, which means it is not suitable to replace your main OS (due to stability and compatibility concerns). And second, this release is aimed to be run mostly in virtualizers / emulators (like QEmu, VMWare, Parallels, etc): because of the big amount of changes, our development team was not able to test/fix all problems which arise when running ReactOS on real hardware.
Note: This project is still in Alpha state .. But has shown massive improvements which is a good point.