User:Oldman/A layman's guide/Testing requirements
ReactOS is still being developed and therefore needs people to test the OS and software, then report any bugs, but not any missing futures.
The would be tester needs to be patient, you may report a bug that you think is a major issue, but the developers see it as only a minor issue, or your bug may not interest any of the developers, so no one looks into it. When or if that happens, do not be downhearted, just carry on testing; remember, developers are volunteers just like you and just as you do what you think and like to do, so do the the developers.
When you create a bug report (Jira Issue), be prepared to interact with any Developer, by following any instructions or request from them.
For the serious tester, you will need to setup a working environment (see the guide How to compile ReactOS and the Miscellaneous section) where you can compile the source, add patches and even alter configuration files if needed.
You will need a dedicated computer for testing; do not risk data loss by using your everyday computer.
ReactOS currently targets Windows NT 5.2 (server 2003/XP), so you may be able to purchase an ex-corporate computer from that era. What ever you buy or already have, it will need to have a serial port, else you will need to purchase a serial expansion card. You will also need to purchase a Null Modem cable (serial to serial or serial to usb), to be able to capture the debug output on a second computer.
You will need to acquire software and drivers that are designed to run in Windows 2003/XP. There are a few exceptions, where support for XP has just been finished for some software, that will still install, though it issues a warning.
DOS software will run in ReactOS's NTVDM.