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ReactOS "Open-Source Windows" Making Progress On SMP/Multi-Core Support

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  • ReactOS "Open-Source Windows" Making Progress On SMP/Multi-Core Support

    Phoronix: ReactOS "Open-Source Windows" Making Progress On SMP/Multi-Core Support

    ReactOS as the open-source project striving for binary compatibility with Windows applications/drivers is still working away in 2022 on symmetric multi-processing (SMP) support...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...ktop-Boot-2022

  • #2
    Proper SMP/multi-core support is obviously critical for today's hardware or even anything in the past roughly two decades
    To an extent but luckily if your usage of ReactOS is to run old Windows XP era software then it doesn't particularly matter. Many machines back then were not the most parallel of things.

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    • #3
      ReactOS also was present this weekend at the Chemnitz Linux (virtual*) days with a booth in work-adventure.
      (*pandemic related still distributed/virtual)
      Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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      • #4
        Michael, you're off about 5 years on multicore support in PCs. The first multicore CPUs didn't start appearing till around 2007ish. That was just after Vista released if my memory serves. Even when those CPUs began appearing there were many mainstream software programs that were still entirely single threaded even beyond Windows 7's release.

        Edit: Now if you mean multi-socket CPU SMP that's a bit different, but the Windows ecosystem arguably didn't really support SMP very well till at least Server 2008 (Windows 7 on the desktop in '09) and that's only because the migration of Hotmail from FreeBSD to NT Server was an abysmal failure in its early years before that.
        Last edited by stormcrow; 13 March 2022, 02:08 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stormcrow View Post
          Even when those CPUs began appearing there were many mainstream software programs that were still entirely single threaded even beyond Windows 7's release.
          True, but just having the OS not being smothered by a program using 100% of the only CPU was a huge difference
          While it was possible to do it with process priorities, having multiple CPUs is just easier.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by stormcrow View Post
            Michael, you're off about 5 years on multicore support in PCs. The first multicore CPUs didn't start appearing till around 2007ish. That was just after Vista released if my memory serves. Even when those CPUs began appearing there were many mainstream software programs that were still entirely single threaded even beyond Windows 7's release.

            Edit: Now if you mean multi-socket CPU SMP that's a bit different, but the Windows ecosystem arguably didn't really support SMP very well till at least Server 2008 (Windows 7 on the desktop in '09) and that's only because the migration of Hotmail from FreeBSD to NT Server was an abysmal failure in its early years before that.
            The Pentium D 820, dual core, came out in 2005, I bought one as soon as it was released, and we still had XP 64.

            Also, Windows has supported SMP since Windows NT, Win 2k supported SMP (and HT), 2k Server supported 4-way SMP, Advanced Server supported 8-way SMP and Win 2k Datacenter supported 32-way SMP

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_2000

            The Linux kernel at the time only scaled up to 16 cpu's and most distros didn't ship with the SMP kernel by default, you had to custom compile the kernel yourself:

            https://www.linuxjournal.com/article/3515

            https://tldp.org/HOWTO/Parallel-Processing-HOWTO-2.html

            People love to rag on Windows and MS, but Windows has always been at the cutting edge.

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            • #7
              Serious question: Is there any environment where ReactOS is known to be used for real work / production as opposed to experimenting in a VM?

              Edit: A harsher reformulation would be: For a project that's been 24 years in active development, does it have a use?
              Last edited by Vermilion; 13 March 2022, 04:24 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by stormcrow View Post
                Michael, you're off about 5 years on multicore support in PCs. The first multicore CPUs didn't start appearing till around 2007ish. That was just after Vista released if my memory serves. Even when those CPUs began appearing there were many mainstream software programs that were still entirely single threaded even beyond Windows 7's release.

                Edit: Now if you mean multi-socket CPU SMP that's a bit different, but the Windows ecosystem arguably didn't really support SMP very well till at least Server 2008 (Windows 7 on the desktop in '09) and that's only because the migration of Hotmail from FreeBSD to NT Server was an abysmal failure in its early years before that.
                The first mainstream multicore CPU was the AMD Athlon 64 X2, released in 2005.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vermilion View Post
                  Serious question: Is there any environment where ReactOS is known to be used for real work / production as opposed to experimenting in a VM?

                  Edit: A harsher reformulation would be: For a project that's been 24 years in active development, does it have a use?
                  Well, it's woefully underfunded and understaffed, so there's a reason it's taking so long. But the people who are working on it definitely know what they're doing, they just don't have the resources to accomplish it quickly.
                  I consider ReactOS an investment in software preservation. At this rate, it's never going to be useful. It's too easy to migrate to Linux now, and it's only going to get easier. By the time ReactOS is "done", the platform it's aiming to replicate will be just as outdated as MS-DOS, so ReactOS will essentially just be like FreeDOS. Note that I'm not saying Windows itself is going to die, just that it's current form will definitely have been significantly modified or replaced outright with a new architecture (like the cancelled Windows 10X project, or maybe something like Singularity/Midori OS). As an example of what I mean, I'm going to naively imagine an uninspired future where, in a couple decades from now, people will be installing ReactOS on retro hardware while the rest of the production world is using ARM desktops running a new version of Windows that's been entirely rewritten from the ground up with complete incompatibility with x86, and probably with no x86 emulation (I know all of that probably sounds unrealistic but it's just an example of where ReactOS can be useful).

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                  • #10
                    Amazing! At this rate we'll have feature parity with windows vista by year 2273!

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