ReactOS is the best alternative to old Windows versions like Windows XP. It is designed to be fully compatible with Windows XP and you can run all the Windows applications on ReactOS natively without any trouble. You can install ReactOS on your older computers that have limited system resources since it can run even on computers having only 64MB of RAM.
ReactOS runs without any problem in many popular virtualization software like VirtualBox and VMWare. But if you try to run it on Qemu, you will end with a blank screen or BSOD error screen. The reason is very simple – according to ReactOS developers, Qemu is not supported by ReactOS until the version 0.4.14 which is still under the beta mode.
Here is how you can run ReactOS using Qemu on a Windows PC:
- Download ReactOS Live ISO from https://reactos.org/getbuilds/. You have to download version 0.4.14 or above of ReactOS because older versions do not work with Qemu. Extract the ISO from the downloaded .7Z archive to a folder, for example, to D:\ISO.
- Download and install Qemu from https://qemu.weilnetz.de/.
- Optionally, add Qemu installation folder (usually C:\Program Files\Qemu) to Windows PATH variable.
- Launch a command prompt (Win+X and select Command Prompt).
- In the command prompt, enter: qemu-system-i386 -cdrom D:\ISO\reactos-livecd-0.4.14.iso -m 128
- You will see Qemu emulation window appear in which ReactOS will be loading. You can use hotkey Ctrl+Alt+F to switch to the full-screen mode.
Since Qemu is a really fast virtualization software, it loads and runs ReactOS much more smoothly than any other similar software. You can also create a batch file containing the above commands so that you can simply double-click on the batch script file to launch ReactOS anytime you want. It takes only 128 MB of RAM and does not affect the system resources that much. You can keep running ReactOS in the background without impacting your Windows 10 performance.