back to article ReactOS shows off SMP support in open-source take on Windows

ReactOS, the open-source project for creating a binary-compatible drop-in replacement for Windows, has crossed a crucial milestone with a first look at symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support. The developers are clear: this is a work in progress and not yet in the trunk, but persuading the operating system to run in SMP mode …

  1. eionmac

    IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

    There are a number of machine tools in very advanced manufacturing (with a probable lifetime use of 40 plus years) which cost many thousands of time the cost of the Windows OS running the control systems. I have spent time buying up old but properly licenced Windows XO machines just to have spares to substitute when original XP machine dies.

    React OS would solve this problem.

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

      I remember being intrigued with ReactOS when I first heard about it in the late 90s.

      Solves a problem that doesn't exist really. Lots of old hardware around. Do you really think companies would be comfortable running their mission critical stuff on something like ReactOS? No, they'd rather just run the old windows. Looks like some companies are still making new embedded 486 systems today. Used hardware for XP will be around for a long time.

      Sure it has security issues but so does/will anything especially something as complex as ReactOS has tried to replicate over the years. At least with the old windows you know there aren't any updates coming that will break stuff. In some cases you can probably even run it in a VM. If you care about security you'll design the network in a way which minimizes exposure, though I bet most won't bother.

      By the time ReactOS replicates a real XP system that 40 year time frame you mention will have passed already. I admire the effort, they just don't have enough resources to do that complex of a job.

      Thought one bit of the article was funny at the start it says the devs say "this is a work in progress and not yet in the trunk", the same can obviously be said for the entire project as the article later notes "It(the ReactOS product) remains in a resolutely alpha state."

      Could almost say Hurd is the ReactOS of the linux world, and that too has gone pretty much nowhere in the last 20 years either. Though at least with Hurd they have full source for all the user land components so have made more progress(I assume, haven't tracked their progress) but still from a market perspective almost nobody is asking for what Hurd can deliver so nobody uses it.

      1. JassMan Silver badge

        Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need @Nate Amsdem

        Solves a problem that doesn't exist really.

        There is a problem which really does exist, which is that many people who run linux own non-PC hardware such as GPSes and other devices which need their firmware updating, which can only be updated via Windows because the OEMs refuse to make code which is compatible with Wine or even better release a Linux binary.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need @Nate Amsdem

          I've successfully managed to use Windows VMs for this kind of thing.

          While I admire the developers of ReactOS for their tenacity and dedication, the problems of completely and reliably replicating a closed source and largely undocumented OS are manifold. This is great research but don't use it in production.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Solves a problem that doesn't exist really.

          With MS faffing around with Windows like there is no tomorrow and making it progressively locked down, unconfigurable, and an even bigger PITA to find anything there is a place for a no nonsense easy to use Windows OS.

          MS started to faff around with configuration stuff starting with Server 2008. Then is Server 2012, they went mad. All that useless whitespace in the MSCS area was a sign of what was to come.

          Server 2016 was the last straw for me. With server 2003, building a cluster had been pretty straightforward then with 2016, it got almost impossible. I almost turned to making a Voodoo doll of the MS numpties who wrecked it.

          In the end, I just called it a day and gave up with Windows after 23 years of developing for the platform.

          I'd go back to Windows if this project gets to a V1.0 state.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

      Why is virtualisation not an option? Or is XP running on the machine tools themselves?

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

        The machine tools aren't running the OS, but the controllers that do run the machine tools get their programming via an application that quite likely will refuse to run on windows Vista or 7. (more egregious systems take that a step further and require DOS and won't run at all on anything NTOS based.)

        These are tools that cost 6-8 digits when they were new back in the 80's (or earlier!) and would cost 5-6 digits to replace, not including the cost to port the tool codes to the new systems, or to even haul the old tools out the building...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

      I once worked for a company that kept a whole load of old DOS, Windows 3.1 and Windows XP PC's and hardware dongles in a nitrogen store in case they had to replicate something in the 40 year support contracts for some military aircraft, etc.

      New management took over, saw a room full of junk (they got the keys off security unbeknown to us) and had it emptied and everything shredded one Bank Holiday weekend.

      Cue max exodus of Engineers who didn't want to be around if any of it was needed for support.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: IT OS need Versus Machine tool need

      at the cost of maintaining such older machines, would it make sense to invest money into projects like ReactOS in lieu of buying up the hardware? (you know paid developers and people who are really good at systems programming and even retired Micros~1 employees who understand the nuances, etc.)

      Community support with paid developers might get it done.

      (that, and maybe some open source help from Linux and FreeBSD if that's at all possible - not sure if ReactOS licenses are compatible with GPLv2 and/or BSD licensing)

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    I like it! But for now I'll stick with fscking XP

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      I have an old Lenovo "book sized" computer that came with XP and I still use it for 3D printing

  4. david 12 Silver badge

    I would pay for a version of XP that would connect to modern HTTPS web sites with a browser that could run modern Java Script web pages.

    1. G40

      An interesting view, which begs the question: how much? With the inevitable supplemental of why? Are you running special kit/packages or is this just a retro-whim?

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