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  • ReactOS May Begin Heavily Using Wine Code

    Phoronix: ReactOS May Begin Heavily Using Wine Code

    While we don't normally talk much about ReactOS, the free software operating system that was started some twelve years ago to provide binary compatible with Windows NT, there is a new proposal to abandon much of its Win32 subsystem that has built up over the past decade and to create a new Windows subsystem that in large part is derived from Wine code. ReactOS developers have achieved quite a lot in terms of implementing its open-source Win32 subsystem where some applications and device drivers from Windows will run on the React Operating System without any modifications and there is audio support and other areas of the Windows API implemented. With their current Win32 subsystem being far from finished (or even being beta quality), inheriting some architectural problems, and just not progressing as nicely as once envisioned, Aleksey Bragin of ReactOS has proposed a major change. Aleksey has been working on ARWINSS, which is a new Win32 subsystem for ReactOS that reuses as much Wine code as possible...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzg4OQ

  • #2
    I'm waiting for someone over at the ReactOS project to notice that Ubuntu has more hardware support than any single version of Windows...

    Why not just ship a WINE+GNU/Linux OS? Do you really need Window's crappy drivers?

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    • #3
      Hasn't ReactOS been heavily using Wine code for years? There's a lot more to a modern Windows system than just the guts of Win32.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hasn't ReactOS been heavily using Wine code for years? There's a lot more to a modern Windows system than just the guts of Win32
        I think they used some Wine stuff, but for some reason decided it was not the best approach.

        Since then, I think, that Wine has made a lot of progress.

        Why not just ship a WINE+GNU/Linux OS? Do you really need Window's crappy drivers?
        Not everybody likes the way Unix works. ReactOS guys typically like Free software and open source, but don't like Unix. Think of ReactOS attempting to do to Windows that GNU did to Unix.


        ---------------


        What I would like to see personally is them to implement Windows API support that either runs as part of Linux or as a sort of VM.

        Right now we have things like LXC, which is Linux Container project. This way you can run multiple Linux OSes, but share the same kernel.

        That way you get bare-metal speed performance and efficient use of memory, much better performance then full virtualization solutions like Xen, Vmware, or Linux-KVM.

        But the problem is that your sharing the same kernel. So no running Windows or FreeBSD anything like that. For that you have to run full virt.


        Now Windows NT kernel has the ability to support multiple APIs. So Windows NT Kernel can not only support Win32 and WinNT APIs they can support POSIX (Unix) APIs.

        That way when you run SFU (Services for Unix) or SUA (Subsystem for Unix-based applications) your actually running a modified *BSD (I know for a fact that they used a lot of OpenBSD code, but they probably have other Unix code in there) on Windows NT as a native operating system.

        This is different from things like Cygqin that run as sort of emulated Linux environment on top of the Win32 APIs.

        So it would be great to be able to run a NT container inside of Linux. So that Linux not only supports the normal Unix environment, but also Windows NT environment.

        It should be able to support a lot more then just running Win32 API (wine) on top of a Linux userland.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
          I'm waiting for someone over at the ReactOS project to notice that Ubuntu has more hardware support than any single version of Windows...
          Really? Even old webcams and printers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
            Why not just ship a WINE+GNU/Linux OS? Do you really need Window's crappy drivers?
            I think the idea is to provide a completely free implementation of Windows. To do that, one needs to include support for Windows drivers, too.

            Though I'm sure everyone here prefers Linux, there are benefits to a free implementation of Windows's driver subsystems because then we can use Windows drivers where necessary. For instance, such a free implementation could be grafted onto *nix and used to support devices whose *nix drivers are either unsatisfactory or non-existent.

            A free implementation is also very important because it frees us of MS tyranny as completely as possible. Much the same as WINE has mitigated the necessity of Windows in the userspace, ReactOS and its code can be used to eliminate the necessity of Windows for certain hardware.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
              I'm waiting for someone over at the ReactOS project to notice that Ubuntu has more hardware support than any single version of Windows...
              Well that driver argument should always have an asterisk following it. A lot of that "support" is for just the basics of the hardware and doesn't handle more advanced features Also having 64-bit support for something like an ISA card can be considered needless clutter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DanL View Post
                Really? Even old webcams and printers?
                Maybe he meant - out of the box.

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                • #9
                  Think of ReactOS attempting to do to Windows that GNU did to Unix.
                  This.

                  Unfortunately, Windows is a much larger beast than Unix was back then, so the process will be long and painful (12 years and counting).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                    Maybe he meant - out of the box.
                    Hahah, yeah, maybe he did. But still is not a very good argument. When you consider that most people have Windows because it came installed with their systems you have to wonder what 'out of the box' means. Sure, a Windows installation CD may have less drivers than a Linux one (I don't know), but how many people actually has to install Windows this way? Then, it's funny how the very same people that grab code from git repositories and compile the hell out of their drivers to have basic acceleration then complain about downloading Windows drivers off the manufacturer's site. Go figure : )

                    As for ReactOS, I see its point, only that I'm not very optimistic about it. I wouldn't personally need it if Wine got better, but I can imagine people that would happily run a Windows compatible environment instead a unixy one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yotambien View Post
                      Hahah, yeah, maybe he did. But still is not a very good argument. When you consider that most people have Windows because it came installed with their systems you have to wonder what 'out of the box' means. Sure, a Windows installation CD may have less drivers than a Linux one (I don't know)
                      Yes, Linux now supports more hardware than Windows ever will. The problem is that it's never the question how much hardware your OS supports, but whether it supports the particular hardware that you have.

                      Both Windows and Linux are problematic in this area.

                      The problem with Windows is that drivers are developed by third parties and then almost never updated. So if you want to run your scanner from 2000 on Windows 7, chances are great that it won't work anymore. You can say that Windows has a stable ABI, but that's not true in practice.

                      The problem with Linux is that there is a lot of hardware, and not all of them have a Linux driver. However, once some piece of hardware does have a driver in the kernel, it will be supported indefinitely.

                      So what you see is that current hardware on a modern Windows system will usually work better than on Linux. But older hardware will stop working on Windows while it continues to work on Linux.

                      And what happens when old hardware doesn't run on Windows? It gets thrown out. It is 'too old'. What happens when hardware doesn't run on Linux? Linux gets thrown out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Linux has better hardware support out of the box or in the box or around the box or anything to do with the box then Windows does. It's just that for the personal computing market Windows has much better support then Linux.

                        You seee.. the PC desktop is a _small_ segment of the overall computing landscape.

                        It's a little bit confusing since Windows XP has been around now for over a decade. It's basically a warmed over version of Windows 2000. So pretty much any sort of desktop, consumer oriented hardware sold in the last 10 years is going to support Windows XP.

                        But, of course, not Windows Vista or Windows 7. And newer hardware is dropping support for XP.


                        But Linux supports most of the PC junk, and ARM junk, and PowerPC junk, and Sun Sparc junk, etc etc. etc. Linux is all over the place.

                        I expect that a surprisingly large number (30-40%) of technologically advanced people have Linux computers running is going to be higher then the numbers of Windows. Blueray players, televisions, routers, microwaves, telephones, planes/trains/automobiles, network storage devices.. All sorts of stuff all over the place.

                        Windows wins by perception, simply because that is the 'PC' that people sit in front of comes with Windows installed.

                        So yes... if you look at hardware commercially sold for PCs and laptops in the market today, and the last few years, then Windows has superior support.

                        But in terms of numbers and scope of hardware support Linux wins.

                        That's neither here nor there, of course.

                        The only thing that matters is the hardware support for what people actually use.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Remco View Post
                          However, once some piece of hardware does have a driver in the kernel, it will be supported indefinitely.
                          Not really true, it will be supported as long as there is someone willing and able to maintain it. Android drivers for example were dropped in 2.6.33 because there wasn't anybody that came forward to maintain them.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                            Not really true, it will be supported as long as there is someone willing and able to maintain it. Android drivers for example were dropped in 2.6.33 because there wasn't anybody that came forward to maintain them.
                            Well, yeah. Those were in staging. Drivers are dropped from staging all the time. Once they get into the mainline kernel, they will have a maintainer, and that maintainer will have to support it indefinitely.

                            Some drivers are dropped from mainline. Those are old drivers that nobody uses anymore. If nobody uses a driver, it doesn't get tested, and it will break.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DanL View Post
                              Really? Even old webcams and printers?
                              Wireless cards, ACPI power states, some integrated card readers, laptop docking stations...

                              There are a lot a proprietary devices that vendors don't (and won't) publish specs for. Because 2007-8 ushered in an obsession with laptops (even for people who would be better served with a desktop), this is become even more of a problem. Linux supports my desktop perfectly, but that's because I built it myself, and I chose parts I knew would play nicely with Linux (even down to the keyboard and mouse). But just because it works on *our* systems doesn't mean it works on *most* current computers.

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