Testing another operating system … ReactOS … virtually!
I haven’t yet written about my experiences with Microsoft Virtual PC (formally a product from Connectix) however I am using it again today … to take a look at another operating system – ReactOS.

First some comments on Virtual PC. While I was working at Novell, I had the opportunity to use VMWare, a product that allowed me to run multiple operating systems on my laptop – at the same time. Connectix created a similar product and was then bought by Microsoft … and that product is now Microsoft Virtual PC. The incredible thing about Virtual PC is that I will now test and experiment with almost any operating system now … since I don’t have to find an extra computer with a clean hard disk! Now I just run Virtual PC, create a “virtual” computer, and then boot the CD ISO image and install! All of this is while I’m sitting here typing this blog post, and watching my e-mail.

I have now installed numerous operating systems in Virtual PC – including an old version of CP/M 86 that I found – and it’s amazing to have the ability to run almost any operating system as an application under Windows.

ReactOS appears to be an open source attempt to recreate Windows NT v4.0 … or something close to it. The installation went very smooth, however booting it within Virtual PC didn’t take me too far. I got to where it’s checking the C: drive … and it hangs.

Looks like I’ll have to take a look at it when the next update is released … or when I can find some physical hardware. It might be a while.

ReactOS 0.1.3. A GPL open source implementation of an operating system like Windows NT [freshmeat.net]

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