ReactOS 0.4.9 released

ReactOS related news

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Colin Finck
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ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by Colin Finck » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:48 am

The ReactOS Project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4.9, the latest in our accelerated cadence targeting a release every three months.

While a consequence of this faster cycle might mean fewer headliner changes, much of the visible effort nowadays comes in the form of
quality-of-life improvements in how ReactOS functions. At the same time work continues on the underlying systems which provide more subtle
improvements such as greater system stability and general consistency.

Self-Hosting
The ability to build ReactOS on ReactOS, known as self-hosting, has often been touted as a sort of milestone in the OS’ maturity, but the
details are far more nuanced. Compiling any large codebase, whether it be an operating system or even a web browser, stresses the system in a
myriad of ways, with one of the biggest being memory usage and storage I/O. Code being compiled needs to be loaded from storage into memory,
and more memory is required to hold all of the compiled objects as they are linked together. Scheduling is also to a certain extent stressed, as
most modern build systems will attempt to spawn multiple compilation processes to speed up the build process.

In the past, ReactOS was actually capable of self-hosting, but this capability came with significant caveats, with the biggest being this was achieved in a much older version of the ReactOS kernel. Since the reworking of the kernel into a more NT-compliant design and implementation, various gaps in functionality that remained to be completed rendered ReactOS unable to build itself again. After many years of hard effort, including the most recent batch of filesystem related changes done by Pierre Schweitzer, ReactOS is once more able to self-host. And in the spirit of open source, it was the FreeBSD project’s implementation of qsort that helped Pierre bridge some of the last pieces needed to achieve this.

Image

Stability
A major source of system instability came from the complex interplay between the memory manager, the common cache, the hardware abstraction
layer (HAL), and the FastFAT driver. The biggest culprit in the instability came from the significant resource leakages caused by the FastFAT driver, resulting in it eating up the common cache to the point where attempts to copy large files would result in a crash. To rectify this problem, Thomas Faber and Pierre worked together to correct the FastFAT driver’s behavior, adding in write throttling support and restraining its usage of the cache. While a more conservative usage of the cache might see the system behave a bit more slowly during IO operations, it ensures that resources remain available to service for large IO operations instead of crashing like before.

Another notable improvement on FastFAT is the rewrite of the support for dirty volumes greatly reducing the chance of file corruptions. Whenever
a dirty volume is been detected during boot “chkdsk” (Check Disk) will trigger a repair on those volumes. This often can protect the system
from becoming unusable after a crash. The two images below are showing chkdsk in action:

Image

Image

In addition to the work done during regular development, Joachim Henze made a significant effort during the release candidate testing to track
down regressions and other bugs that have crept in since the last release. It cannot be overstated just how much work such manual testing
takes, and Joachim should be applauded for his dedication and perseverance in ensuring 0.4.9 would be the best release to date.

Shell Improvements & Features
Several quality of life improvements have come to the shell, the first of which is a built in zipfldr (Zip Folder) extension by Mark Jansen.
While Windows has long possessed this capability, now ReactOS can also uncompress zipped files without needing to install third-party tools to
accomplish it. And as the gif below demonstrates, ReactOS’ implementation is indeed very zippy.

Image

And of course with such new extensions it would probably be useful to be able to manage them, something that Katayama Hirofumi MZ has been
working on, along with plenty of other improvements to the shell.

Another major piece of functionality that might appear simple but is actually quite complex is the ability to choose whether to move, copy,
or link a file or folder when you drag it with the right mouse button. This piece was completed by Giannis Adamopoulos, whose prior work has
been so integral in making the current ReactOS shell behave and function in ways users are long used to from Windows.

Image

Other Improvements
There are of course plenty of other changes in less trodden parts of ReactOS, with many people providing contributions and improvements.
These range from the functional, like zooming no longer crashing in the Paint application thanks to Stanislav Motylkov, to more behind the
scenes like Timo Kreuzer’s continued efforts to prepare the codebase to actually function when building a x64 target (the project owes Timo many
bottles of beer for taking on that one).

Other quality of life improvements include a new mouse properties dialog in the GUI component of the ReactOS installer by Eric Kohl, while Eric’s
work involving starting and stopping of services, the device manager, and the sound mixer are more geared towards long term improvement and
functionality. Hermès Bélusca-Maïto has continued his work in what might be termed the utilitarian applications of ReactOS, such as the clipboard
viewer, the event viewer, the log-off dialog box, and the command prompt shell. And of course one can never forget RAPPS, the gateway program
used for getting various applications installed on ReactOS. Considering ReactOS is intended to support many different languages, it is only
appropriate that its unicode support be a priority, something that Alexander Shaposhnikov has lent his hand to.

Compatibility in Windows is reliant on a ShimEngine that allows the loading of slightly different versions of libraries and APIs. ReactOS is
much the same, and Mark has added the ability for ReactOS to present itself as Windows 8.1 with the Version APIs. As a sidenote, the engine
itself proved useful in a rather unconventional manner when it was demonstrated to help reduce the loading time of the game Globulation 2.

Of course ReactOS is not just about the features in the here and now, but also about preparations for the future. Thomas and Vadim Galyant
have started merging in their improvements to the USB stack in preparation for native, official support for the oft requested booting
from such devices. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer with every release.

Since the transition to GitHub, the project has also received many pull requests from old and new contributors alike. The team offers its
sincere thanks to everyone that has taken an interest in helping improve the project, and we look forward to meeting even more of you in the future.

Syncing third parties
ReactOS, being an open source project as well as its ecosystem, uses several bits of other open source projects. In 0.4.9 release Amine
Khaldi has synced many user mode DLLs to WINE Staging version 3.3.

Statistics
JIRA Issues fixed (this includes both bugs and improvements) - 137+
Number of commits - 922
The oldest bug fixed for 0.4.9 - CORE-7744
Pull requests merged - 109

0.4.9-release branch was forked from master on 2018-05-20 after 0.4.9-dev-885-gddd03a8

dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1449
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by dizt3mp3r » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:55 pm

Really impressive achievement - a release of ReactOS is always incredibly heartening news. I am in awe of all the contributions of such talented people.

Darune Albane
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by Darune Albane » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:44 pm

Every update makes me more excited for this OS am planning on using this as my main OS once it hits beta or 5.0 .. hope you build an updater for ease of updating (willing to use a subscription method for the ease)

Still think you need to make an SBC to sell with this setup as default OS

ctasan
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by ctasan » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:23 pm

Congrats!!! I see some big advancements for the ReactOS here:

* Common Cache and FAT32 fixes. One of the biggest issues was instability while copying large files. Now you can install larger applications, I think, games and... wait, find another bug to crash ReactOS! This is an advancement, actually!
Also, we are progressing on repairing corrupt volumes, which is another issue ReactOS suffers for a long time, and hopefully registry. Another step for stability.
Making ReactOS self-hosting is another bonus.

* Transaction Translator support. It was a major hole for ReactOS causing many boot crashes with USB enabled. Hopefully, with new USB stack in the future, ReactOS will be far ahead than Windows 98.

*Built-in ZIP support. (Where is RAR!!!!!11111)

*Application compatibility. Silently, most apisets have been added, some releases later, ReactOS will shine more.

There's a new video demonstrating new features of ReactOS (Good job!) and giving a link of 0.4.9 Community Changelog. I'm very happy that our once-unnoticed changelogs got acknowledged, advertised and doing its job: showing users that ReactOS is progressing nicely!

Julcar
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by Julcar » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:09 pm

Everything is ok, but ReactOS needs more attention on his USB stack, and in his networking compat. There is a lot of reports of bugs for both areas, but seems our developers has been gone :( :(

cernodile
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by cernodile » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm

Amazing release as usual, congratulations to ReactOS team for another successful release!
ctasan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:23 pm
There's a new video demonstrating new features of ReactOS (Good job!) and giving a link of 0.4.9 Community Changelog. I'm very happy that our once-unnoticed changelogs got acknowledged, advertised and doing its job: showing users that ReactOS is progressing nicely!
Glad you liked the video, I and Illen worked on it. If you have any suggestions, feel free to ask us :)
Julcar wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:09 pm
Everything is ok, but ReactOS needs more attention on his USB stack, and in his networking compat. There is a lot of reports of bugs for both areas, but seems our developers has been gone :( :(
LiveUSB work just isn't merged in yet. Such undertaking must be very carefully reviewed before even risking it. As for networking, there is work being done for a few more drivers, specifically Intel e1000 which should target VMWare's network adapter. If you mean making it overall more stable, then I'm unsure if there is anything being done in that direction.
My working rigs:
Dell Latitude E5430 on 0.4.9-vgal - i5-3340M, 8GB (4 utilized) DDR3-1600MHz RAM, booting off a USB.
Image

Julcar
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by Julcar » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:29 pm

cernodile wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm
LiveUSB work just isn't merged in yet. Such undertaking must be very carefully reviewed before even risking it. As for networking, there is work being done for a few more drivers, specifically Intel e1000 which should target VMWare's network adapter. If you mean making it overall more stable, then I'm unsure if there is anything being done in that direction.
I mean, ReactOS' current usb stack only recognizes usb 1.1 devices (my verbatim 256mb pen drive from 2006 is fully functional) but 2.0 are totally ignored by the system (my Imation 8GB pen drive from 2014 don't work).

Maybe the compatibility for wired networking is mostly stable and functional, but in wireless there is almost none card working, and if we add usb to the recipe the chances of success are very very low, for example, installing a simple DLINK DWA-123 wifi usb adapter is completely impossible right now, while even on linux there is some chances to successs.

Fraizeraust
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by Fraizeraust » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:13 pm

Julcar wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:09 pm
Everything is ok, but ReactOS needs more attention on his USB stack, and in his networking compat. There is a lot of reports of bugs for both areas, but seems our developers has been gone :( :(
Mainly because USB is a very sensitive subject amongst developers and providing a fully working USB stack component is not all that easy as you may have thought. Vadim Galyant has done a lot of work regarding USB however much of his work must be reviewed by developers in an appropriate and careful matter for potential magical constructs, bugs and things that could go against ReactOS' legality. So far Thomas Faber has mainly reviewed the parts of USB yet there's still much work to do. USB is a huge feat on itself.

As for the release, as usual I'm very excited to see progress and effort by developers and contributors alike! You guys are awesome! :D

erkinalp
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by erkinalp » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:40 am

Zipfldr was an interface to a third party library on Windows.
https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnew ... 0/?p=98755
We can support more formats and add a Windows-style API, because we implemented it from scratch and are not bound by the license terms which constrain Microsoft.
-uses Ubuntu+GNOME 3 GNU/Linux
-likes Free (as in freedom) and Open Source Detergents
-favors open source of Windows 10 under GPL2

verserk
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by verserk » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:32 pm

Julcar wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:29 pm

I mean, ReactOS' current usb stack only recognizes usb 1.1 devices (my verbatim 256mb pen drive from 2006 is fully functional) but 2.0 are totally ignored by the system (my Imation 8GB pen drive from 2014 don't work).
Odd, my 8 and 16 gigabyte flash drives are recognized as normal on my test machine. I use them regularly to move over installers and the like to test as the networking card and wifi drivers are not functional as of yet.
ReactOS: HP pavilion dv6500.

ctasan
Posts: 384
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Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by ctasan » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:57 pm

cernodile wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Amazing release as usual, congratulations to ReactOS team for another successful release!
ctasan wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:23 pm
There's a new video demonstrating new features of ReactOS (Good job!) and giving a link of 0.4.9 Community Changelog. I'm very happy that our once-unnoticed changelogs got acknowledged, advertised and doing its job: showing users that ReactOS is progressing nicely!
Glad you liked the video, I and Illen worked on it. If you have any suggestions, feel free to ask us :)
Julcar wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:09 pm
Everything is ok, but ReactOS needs more attention on his USB stack, and in his networking compat. There is a lot of reports of bugs for both areas, but seems our developers has been gone :( :(
LiveUSB work just isn't merged in yet. Such undertaking must be very carefully reviewed before even risking it. As for networking, there is work being done for a few more drivers, specifically Intel e1000 which should target VMWare's network adapter. If you mean making it overall more stable, then I'm unsure if there is anything being done in that direction.
I really liked this. If you continue that kind of videos, it'll be a really nice bonus for ReactOS.
You can concentrate on visual things, stability improvements and fixed programs.

middings
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by middings » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:57 pm

Share experiences with the new ReactOS 0.4.9 release in the General Discussion and Feedback forum. Many posts here are becoming off-topic to the announcement that ReactOS 0.4.9 is now released.

crackez
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by crackez » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:32 am

Can't wait the 0.5 beta :D

Free OS that's open source and can run windows and use windows drivers? impressive. Following this project like 8 years now but at least now it moves quite fast(compared to a few years back)

wildschwein
Posts: 413
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Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by wildschwein » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:51 am

I also follow this project over 8 years, and i must say there was done a lot in 8 years.

Let's wait and see and be patient. Give developers may be another 8 years - and the version will be higher than 0.5 perhaps 0.9 or even 1.0 !

I am convinced that at some time 90% Windows compatibility will be achieved, and then the mass of user will use it ! It will be clear that this or that programm doesn't still work, but it will be an "extra challenge" for a certain group to make these programmes run. So the percentage will over the years move and move from 90% to 95% and farther and farther. In my dreams there is in future a counter of percentage of compatiblity on ROS Website.
This will ran farther and farther over the years it will be 99% and then there will be a list of single programms that don't still run or work correct.

Commmunity will dart at the list and one day every programm will run !

Yes, this is a dream, but let me dream a little bit :-)

jbdurbs
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:48 am

Re: ReactOS 0.4.9 released

Post by jbdurbs » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:49 am

Hi,

Can this release run on real hardware?

Thanks for all the hard work.

JB

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