ReactOS is neither a Linux based operating system, nor it is a clone of Microsoft Windows. However, it is an open-source operating system designed to be binary-compatible with Windows. It can run on any computer with either 32-bit or 64-bit CPU, that can run Windows 2003 and later versions. Furthermore, since it offers a similar API model as Windows does, you can run almost all Windows programs on ReactOS without requiring any emulator.
ReactOS is ideal for people who have older computers running on Windows XP, who do not want to update to newer versions of Microsoft Windows and are scared of using Linux. But before you remove Windows and start using ReactOS, you should get a feel of ReactOS without installing it on hard drive. Here is how:
- Download ReactOS Live CD image from https://reactos.org/download.
- Download ImgBurn from http://www.imgburn.com/ and install it on your system.
- Launch ImgBurn, select Write image file to disc, select downloaded ReactOS Live CD ISO file, insert a blank CD in your optical drive and click on ISO to CD graphic to start burning.
- Use the newly created CD to boot into your computer. Usually, you have to press the F12 key soon after the computer starts to select the CD drive as your boot device. When your PC boots from ReactOS CD, it will display a menu, just press Enter to select the default to boot from LiveCD.
- You will see ReactOS logo on your computer screen. You have to pick the option whether you want to run LiveCD or if you want to install it on your computer – choose the first option and use ReactOS without installing anything.
ReactOS needs a minimum of 64MB of RAM to run which means it can run on all the older computers without any problem. It does not come with any web browser, but you can easily install Firefox browser in ReactOS using an in-built applications manager.