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Creating a Custom Distro of Reactos

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:35 pm
by artamb

My company is looking to make a custom Distro of ReactOS, because
we are impressed with the project and like the product. We will only sell CDROMS w/ mannuals, but offer free downloads
of the OS from our webpage, very much like Redhat did with early versions of Linux and like what other companies etc...

But these are the questions we have:

:?: 1) Is there documentation on what install files to edit to change the

Documents & Settings to Profiles
ProgramFiles to Applications
ReactOS to our planned Distro Folder

:?: 2) To change ReactOS initial wallpapers to our planned distro

:?: 3) Documentation on how to create a boot loader for ReactOS
that "looks" like the Linspire (aka lindows) boot loader instead of the
current bootloader that is used.

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:56 pm
by bitflusher
atm Reactos is not mature enough for a production enviroment of any kind.

what you can do is learn your way arround reactos. i think this is critical before you start any kind of distribution. in doing this you will learn it's limitations as they are right now. than you can focus on either helping on the development :wink: or just wait and start prepping for your distibution.

info you can get by searching this forum (it looks rather empty but i'll fill in the near future) or the reactsoft forums and if you cand find your answers you can ask them in this forum.

Creating a Custom Distro of Reactos

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:22 pm
by artamb
We are pretty faimliar with how ReactOS works and we are planning to wait until it matures more, but it make sense to start thinking about it now, instead later. By starting our distro process now, we can make a stable distro
in conjuction with a stable mature ReactOS release. :D

Also, we don't want to do extensive recording, just minor tweaks in the OS to make our Distro unique, and frankly it is easier for the developers to tell us what we need to change, then just go around chanign random files or configrations and see if it gives us the result we are looking for. We don't want to make it a drastic different product, for example how Redhat is different from Suse, we want something this is 85% like ReactOS with minor differences that makes our distro unique.

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:14 pm
by sedwards
The ReactOS Project also does not want the name ReactOS to be used in the name of third party distros unless its to give credit to give credit to ReactOS. If you name it something like

"Gates and Doors 2005"

Then I think we would like but its not required to see it say something like

"Gates and Doors 2005"
based on ReactOS

But we do not want 3rd party distros to call themselves ReactOS.

Creating a Custom Distro of Reactos

Posted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:45 pm
by artamb
We never said that were going to use the Name Reactos, so let me make that straight right now.

Any distro we do will be the following:

[Our Distro Name]
Based on ReactOS Core

I make this clear, our distro will have our own name, we have no plans to market or sell the ReactOS name in any way shape or form

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:07 am
by fennec
I think that if you want to make your own distro you should know several things:
- to change ReactOS to anything else you must be able to re-compile the whole thing. The name reactOS is surely harcoded everywhere in the code.

- nobody needs distro on reactOS, maybe a server specific ou usb boot but wtandrd worksattion is useless, everybody can install an application on windows, it will be the same one ReactOS. Linux distros appared because it was difficult to find dependancies, install drivers, even configurer applications. There is no such problem in windows and will not be for ReactOS

-finally i don't think you can remove the reactOS name so easyly (in terms of copyrights), and i don't think that devs will apreciate a fork with ReactOS name replaced by myOS.

I think the first thing you should think of is 'what i can add to ReactOS' and why not just contribute to ReactOS instead of doing a disro ?

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:40 pm
by GvG
I don't think there needs to be any discussion if a "ReactOS distro" is usefull or desirable. The GPL allows it if you follow the rules, so it's just a matter of time before someone gives it a try.

As for the name, there is no need to strip "ReactOS" out of the code everywhere. All that Steven asked for is that the distro not be named "ReactOS". He didn't ask to remove all references to "ReactOS". Look at what e.g. RedHat did: call the distro Fedora but it is still clear that it is based on Linux/GNU.

Now, back to artamb's original questions. Plug: I must say that if you have difficulty finding the answers to these questions from the source yourself I'd suggest you hire some of the ReactOS developers.
1) Most of the directories you want to rename are taken from files in reactos/bootdata.
2) Not sure if we actually support wallpapers yet?
3) Look at freeldr/freeldr/reactos/reactos.c on what needs to be done. Basically, detect devices, load ntoskrnl.exe, hal.dll, the SYSTEM registry hive, NLS files specified in the registry, boot drivers specified in the registry and finally transfer control to the kernel. Ofcourse, I think it would be better if you improved FreeLdr instead of writing a new boot loader.

Creating a Custom Distro of Reactos

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:24 pm
by artamb
Thanks GVG!!

I appreciate you point us in the right directions, you are right
yes we could get it out of the code, but it is easier to atleast
to have some direction where to look. It is sort of like driving to
the West Coast from the East coast yes, you can do it without a
map but a map really helps :-)

We found a very specific market niche and application for a specialized
distro of ReactOS we hope but this commericalized version it will make more people who want to use it a "general operating system" will come here to download the "pure verison" of ReactOS.

As you mention we purely intend to follow the rules and guiedlines of GPL and
make sure that the proper parties get recongized for their work on the project.


Once again thanks for the help!!!!!!!

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:47 pm
by cmoibenlepro
I wish you good luck as long as you don't follow the Ekush way! :lol:

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:08 pm
by sedwards
Sorry if I didnt make it clear. We are happy to help you in any way we can! nice news about a use for ReactOS.

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:15 pm
by w3seek
all I ask you to do is not to fake copyright and at least give a little credit on the origins...

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:24 pm
by w3seek
GvG wrote:2) Not sure if we actually support wallpapers yet?
Yes we do, I implemented (at least partial) support for them some time ago. You need to specify a .bmp file (just like in windows) which will be loaded and set as background wallpaper by userinit.exe - it works to some point but is still buggy and not recommended for use

Creating a Custom Distro of Reactos

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:40 pm
by artamb
w3seek wrote:all I ask you to do is not to fake copyright and at least give a little credit on the origins...
In case I did not make clear in my earlier reply,
myself and my company fully intend to give full credit to the CORE
product (REACTOS) to all the developers.

Like I said it will be listed as:

Based on the REACTOS Core

in the copyright/EULA it will state who and where thje REACTOS core came from, so everyone who worked on the core and the DISTRO pa
rts will be given full credit.

If there are any further questions on concerns from the developers
please e-mail me directly

Thanks for the developers who gave me the directional help I needed!!!


Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:22 pm
by w3seek
artamb, it's ok with me. I do trust you ;)

Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:20 am
by bitflusher
ok a distro of some sort seems ok.

but how are the coding skills of you and your colleagues?

i think the implementation of unattended installations (to keep the microsoft terms) is very usefull to get the installation adapted you the wishes of your company. if you haven't heard about it or haven't used it before i recommend looking into it for windows 2000+ systems.

i don't see any developers coding this in the near future but if your company is really serious about creating distro's maybe they can spare you or a collegue for a while to get this feature coded.

some links on unattended installations ... 16219.html ... ations.htm
a way too long ms link

sorry for the layout f*ckup :?