Difference between revisions of "Installing ReactOS"

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'''Please bear in mind that ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use.'''
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{{Warning|Please bear in mind that ReactOS is still in '''alpha stage''', meaning it is not stable or feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use. Operating system bugs can and do result in corrupted file systems, overwritten partitions, and more. Do not install ReactOS on any computer containing important data without '''using a virtual machine''' or '''making full backups first'''.}}
  
== System Requirements ==
+
== Before installing ==
 +
There are several things to be made aware of before installing ReactOS, or even obtaining the installation media. These include how ReactOS will be installed, limitations of the installation, and backing up existing data.
  
The minimum requirements to install ReactOS are:
+
=== Limitations ===
 +
ReactOS is '''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Alpha alpha]''' level (or alpha phase) software. It is not yet [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feature_complete feature complete]. <br>
 +
Some major bugs remain to be corrected.  For the details see [[Known Issues]].
 +
Bear in mind that this is not a complete list of known issues. See also [[Missing ReactOS Functionality]].<br>
  
* 32 MB of RAM (Debug builds may require 48MB of RAM)
 
* IDE Hard Drive Disk
 
* FAT16/FAT32 primary boot partition
 
* VGA compatible video card (VESA BIOS version v2.0 and higher)
 
* PS/2 keyboard
 
* PS/2 compatible mouse or Microsoft Mouse compatible serial mouse
 
  
=== Hardware Support ===
+
The ReactOS itself, setup utility and [[FreeLoader|boot loader]] have a number of limitations. The most prominent are:
  
ReactOS has limited hardware support. Lists of hardware that have been tested can be found at the following:
+
* ReactOS is '''not''' able to boot from '''USB''' devices yet. Except [[User:Illen/RAM_Boot|RAM Boot]] method.
 +
* the setup utility does not prevent users from performing dangerous and potentially destructive operations.
 +
* some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS.
 +
* the boot partition is highly recommended be the first FAT16 or FAT32 partition on the first (or even better - single) disk in the system.
 +
* the setup utility can check the integrity of ONLY FAT16 and FAT32 file systems.
 +
* HD Audio or use of multiple audio cards at the same time are not yet supported. ReactOS versions and builds prior 0.4.12 will not boot after setup.
  
* [[Supported_Hardware/IO|IO]]
+
== System requirements ==
* [[Supported_Hardware/Video_cards|Video]]
 
* [[Supported_Hardware/Sound_cards|Audio]]
 
* [[Supported_Hardware/Network_cards|Network]]
 
  
Note that booting from CD-ROM is supported only for running the setup program unless using the LiveCD option, which is meant to be booted of the CD-ROM continuously. Otherwise booting from CD-ROM for normal use is not recommended. Although it is generally possible, the default configuration will prevent ReactOS from creating a swap file when booted from a CD-ROM. If no swap file is available, ReactOS will stop as soon as it runs out of RAM. In practice, this prevents the use of any non-trivial program.
+
=== Hardware support ===
 +
ReactOS has '''limited''' hardware support. Lists of particular hardware that have been tested can be found on the page '''[[Supported Hardware]]'''.
  
== Before Installing ==
+
=== Minimum hardware requirements ===
 
+
The minimum requirements to install ReactOS are:
There are several things to be made aware of before installing ReactOS, or even obtaining the installation media. These include how ReactOS will be installed, limitations of the installation, and backing up existing data.
 
 
 
=== Installation Strategy ===
 
 
 
The first consideration to make is whether to install ReactOS on a dedicated testing machine, or in a contained environment such as running on an emulator without direct disk access. The use of an emulator is preferable if the machine on which you will run ReactOS is your primary computer, and/or if you have important data on the computer which you cannot afford to lose.
 
 
 
If you decide to install ReactOS on a disk drive that contains an existing operating system (such as Microsoft Windows XP), you should ensure that the drive is formatted with a file system ReactOS can access and write to, and that there is sufficient free space on the drive such that ReactOS can be installed, which can be somewhere around 250 MB. Furthermore, the current hardware limitations to which ReactOS is constrained must be identified and compared to the target computer system (e.g., the limitation that only several SATA disk drives may be accessed, and that ReactOS has ''extremely'' limited [[USB_Stack|USB]] support as of the 0.3.10 release).
 
 
 
Once the available hardware and software situation is determined, the installation media can be selected. For example, if your computer includes an ATA CD-ROM and an IDE hard disk that does not contain irreplaceable data, a good installation option may be to write an ISO image of the ReactOS installation media to a CD-RW and proceed to install ReactOS on the IDE hard disk via the CD-ROM.
 
 
 
=== Limitations ===
 
  
The ReactOS setup utility and [[FreeLoader|boot loader]] have a number of limitations. The most prominent are:
+
* '''RAM:''' at least 64&nbsp;MB, recommended 256&nbsp;MB, and even 2048&nbsp;MB if you want to test  large software suites or bundles.
 
+
* '''Processor:''' x86 or x64 architecture, Pentium or later and compatibles; for more information see [[ReactOS ports]].
* ReactOS can only be booted from IDE CD-ROMs and hard disks.
+
* '''HDD:''' IDE/SATA with minimum 450&nbsp;MB of free space on the primary partition (please note that some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS):
* The boot partition must be the first FAT16 or FAT32 partition on the disk.
+
** FAT16/FAT32 primary boot partition.
* The setup utility cannot check the integrity of file systems.
+
* '''Video:''' VGA compatible video card (VESA BIOS version 2.0 or later).
* The setup utility does not prevent users from performing dangerous and potentially destructive operations.
 
  
 
== Getting ReactOS ==
 
== Getting ReactOS ==
 
 
Due to the current state of the project, the ReactOS Foundation does not offer official installation media for distribution. Installation CD-ROMs must be created by the user by writing an available image file to a CD-ROM.
 
Due to the current state of the project, the ReactOS Foundation does not offer official installation media for distribution. Installation CD-ROMs must be created by the user by writing an available image file to a CD-ROM.
  
=== Downloading Files ===
+
=== Downloading the image file ===
 
 
 
Official ISO image files can be downloaded at one of the following locations:
 
Official ISO image files can be downloaded at one of the following locations:
 +
* The official [http://www.reactos.org/download Download] page.
 +
* ReactOS [http://www.reactos.org/getbuilds trunk builds]
 +
* ReactOS at [http://sourceforge.net/projects/reactos/files/ReactOS SourceForge] (ReactOS-{{ReactOS-Curr-Version}}-REL-iso.zip)
  
* The official [http://www.reactos.org/en/download.html Download] page. (Installation CD)
+
WARNING: Some anti-malware programs will detect false positives in ReactOS files.
* ReactOS at [http://sourceforge.net/projects/reactos/files/ SourceForge] (ReactOS-{{ReactOS-Curr-Version}}-REL-iso.zip)
 
  
 
=== Creating the Installation CD ===
 
=== Creating the Installation CD ===
 
 
The downloaded file is a compressed archive in ZIP format, containing a single file named "ReactOS.iso". The ISO image contains everything needed to create the CD.
 
The downloaded file is a compressed archive in ZIP format, containing a single file named "ReactOS.iso". The ISO image contains everything needed to create the CD.
 
 
* Extract the image file from the archive into a temporary directory.
 
* Extract the image file from the archive into a temporary directory.
 
* Burn the ISO image to a CD-R or CD-RW using any software of your choice.
 
* Burn the ISO image to a CD-R or CD-RW using any software of your choice.
  
When burning the ISO to disc, be sure it is written as an image file. Writing to the disc as another type of data will not work and render the Installation CD unbootable. Look for an option similar to "Burn from ISO".
+
When burning the ISO to disc, be sure it is written as an image file. Writing to the disc as another type of data will not work and render the Installation CD unbootable. Look for an option similar to "Burn from ISO" or "Write disk image".
  
 
== Installing ReactOS ==
 
== Installing ReactOS ==
 +
Please consider '''making full backups''' of any sensitive data before you start any experiments with ReactOS in the production environment!
 +
 +
=== Installation strategy ===
 +
The first consideration to make is whether to install ReactOS on a dedicated testing machine or in a contained environment, such as running on an emulator without direct disk access. The use of an emulator is preferable if the machine on which you will run ReactOS is your primary computer or if you have important data on the computer which you cannot afford to lose.
 +
 +
If you decide to install ReactOS on a disk drive that contains an existing operating system (such as Microsoft Windows XP), you should ensure that the drive is formatted with a file system ReactOS can access and write to (now, primary FAT32/FAT16 partition) and that there is sufficient free space on the drive such that ReactOS can be installed (now, >=450&nbsp;MB).
 +
Furthermore, the current hardware limitations to which ReactOS is constrained must be identified and compared to the target computer system (e.g. that ReactOS has only basic [[USB]] support as of the [[0.4.7]] release).
 +
 +
Once the available hardware and software situation is determined the installation media can be selected. For example, if your computer includes an ATA CD-ROM and an IDE hard disk that does not contain irreplaceable data, a good installation option may be to write an ISO image of the ReactOS installation media to a CD-RW and proceed to install ReactOS on the IDE hard disk via the CD-ROM.
  
 
ReactOS goes through three stages during setup. The first two stages deal with the installation of the system, while the third stage is the first usable boot by the user.
 
ReactOS goes through three stages during setup. The first two stages deal with the installation of the system, while the third stage is the first usable boot by the user.
 +
* First stage – Text mode setup, started when booting from a ReactOS CD-ROM.
 +
* Second stage – Booting to GUI installer. Input of user information and registering of files.
 +
* Third stage – Booting to desktop, user configurations.
  
* First stage - Text mode setup, started when booting from a ReactOS CD-ROM.
+
If you '''encounter problems''', disable all secondary or unnecessary devices, especially '''USB'''-cameras and '''sound cards''' of any type.
* Second stage - Booting to GUI installer. Input of user information and registering of files.
 
* Third stage - Booting to desktop, user configurations.
 
  
=== Real Hardware ===
+
=== Virtual Machines ===
 +
A Virtual Machine is a software program that provides a virtual hardware platform. Software instructions that would be run on hardware are now interpreted by the emulator software. This allows you to "run" a different kind of computer hardware and its software in a window on your computer.
  
* Make sure your BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM first
+
See article [[Virtualization software]] for the details.
 +
 
 +
=== Real hardware ===
 +
* Make sure your BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM first.
 
* Insert the ReactOS setup CD-ROM into a CD-ROM drive and reboot your computer. On the next boot, the ReactOS setup utility will start.
 
* Insert the ReactOS setup CD-ROM into a CD-ROM drive and reboot your computer. On the next boot, the ReactOS setup utility will start.
 
* Follow the instructions on the screen to install ReactOS on your computer.
 
* Follow the instructions on the screen to install ReactOS on your computer.
* After the installation has finished, remove the setup CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive and press "Return" to reboot your computer. Now, you can start ReactOS by selecting it from the boot menu.
+
* After the installation has finished, remove the setup CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive and press ''Enter'' to reboot your computer. You can now start ReactOS by selecting it from the boot menu.
 +
 
 +
=== Real hardware without CD Drive ===
 +
* create a virtual Machine but without the Harddisk
 +
* create a virtual Harddisk for Virtualbox which points to the real one.
 +
** on Linux: VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename "~/VirtualBox VMs/reactos/disk.vmdk" -rawdisk PathToHarddisk
 +
** important: PathToHarddisk must be the whole disk, not a partition: /dev/sdb
 +
* add disk.vmdk to virtual Machine via Storage->add Harddisk
 +
* install reactos as usual
  
=== Emulation Software ===
+
=== USB Installation ===
 +
Due to problems with the USB stack it is '''NOT''' currently possible to install ReactOS from a '''USB''' stick or CD-ROM, the setup process will fail partway through. This worked previously but was broken several years ago by a rewrite of the USB code. See the [[LiveUSB]] page for more details.
  
An emulator is a software program that provides a virtual hardware platform. Software instructions that would be run on hardware are now interpreted by the emulator software. This allows you to "run" a different kind of computer hardware and its software in a window on your computer.
+
Or watch this video-tutorial for different installation method: '''https://youtu.be/eancDwmWyCw''' 
 +
 +
Or try these unofficial experimental builds '''http://vgal.ru.com/reactos-0-4-10-new-usb/'''
  
For information on installing ReactOS on emulation software, see [http://www.reactos.org?page=newbies_install here].
+
=== USB RAM boot ===
  
== Boot options ==
+
RAM boot might prove useful when there is no other way to install ReactOS (mostly a case on modern notebooks that can boot only from the xHCI USB ports). Installation from RAM disk is possible since 0.4.11 release.
  
=== Kernel command line ===
+
See [[User:Illen/RAM_Boot|RAM Boot]] article
  
The [[kernel]] command line is a text string that is passed to ReactOS by the boot loader (usually [[FreeLoader]]). It consists of several switches, each of which has a special meaning to ReactOS. A switch is a forward slash (<code>/</code>) followed by a text string (the name of the switch), and optionally an equal sign (<code>=</code>) and a text string (the value). If the equal sign is present, then at least one value is required to follow.
+
=== Network boot or network installation via PXE ===
 +
See article [[Building PXE-ready ReactOS]]
  
The syntax, variables and device strings used by FreeLoader conform to the [[Wikipedia:Advanced_RISC_Computing|ARC]] firmware and boot specification, similarly to the boot system used in all Windows NT implementations (such as the Windows NT boot loader on the x86 architecture, or the ARC console used to boot Windows NT 4.0 on the [[Wikipedia:Jazz_(computer)|MIPS]], Alpha AXP and PowerPC architectures).  Because of this, boot disks and other firmware- or BIOS-accessible devices are specified by each of the bus, disk, slice, and partition values associated with the device.
+
== Installing drivers ==
 +
You may also be interested in how to install a driver for a device in ReactOS. If so, see [[Install a driver]] article.
  
In FreeLoader the kernel command line is specified in an <code>Options</code> setting in <code>freeldr.ini</code>. The following text is an example of the contents of <code>freeldr.ini</code>, which boots ReactOS from the first partition of the first IDE drive of the computer system:
+
== Unattended Installation ==
<code>
+
You may also be interested in how to install ReactOS in the automatic (non-interactive) mode. If so, see [[Create an unattended Installation CD]] article.
[ReactOS]
 
BootType=ReactOS
 
SystemPath=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\reactos
 
Options=/DEBUGPORT=SCREEN
 
</code>
 
As used in the above sample file, <code>DEBUGPORT</code> is a boot option. By adding the boot option <code>/DEBUGREPORT=SCREEN</code>, ReactOS will print debugging information to the screen.
 
  
=== Options ===
+
== See also ==
 +
* [http://www.virtualbox.org/ VirtualBox] – a free virtualization software for Windows, Linux and Mac ([[VirtualBox|HOWTO]])
 +
* [http://wiki.qemu.org/Main_Page QEMU] – an open source machine emulator
  
The following boot options may be used:
+
* [[Boot options]] for FreeLoader
<br>
+
* [[Boot FreeLoader from GRUB]] – How to boot ReactOS from GRUB
; <code>DEBUGPORT</code> : Specifying <code>DEBUGPORT</code> as a boot option will enable certain debugging features.
+
* [[Install a driver]] in ReactOS
* Format: <code>DEBUGPORT=[SCREEN|BOCHS|GDB|PICE|COM1|COM2|COM3|COM4|FILE|MDA]</code><br>Any one of the following values may set:
 
** <code>SCREEN</code>: Send debug output to the screen.
 
** <code>BOCHS</code>: Send debug output to bochs.
 
** <code>GDB</code>: Enable the GNU debugger (GDB) stub so remote debugging using GDB is possible.
 
** <code>PICE</code>: Enable the Private ICE driver so debugging using Private ICE is possible.
 
** <code>COM1</code>: Send debug output to COM1.
 
** <code>COM2</code>: Send debug output to COM2.
 
** <code>COM3</code>: Send debug output to COM3.
 
** <code>COM4</code>: Send debug output to COM4.
 
** <code>FILE</code>: Send debug output to a file %systemroot%/reactos/debug.log
 
** <code>MDA</code>: Send debug output to MDA ''(The old text graphic card from IBM)''.
 
<br>
 
; <code>BAUDRATE</code> : Specifies baudrate of the serial port to be <code>[baudrate]</code> bps. Used in conjunction with <code>COM1-4</code> or <code>GDB</code>.
 
* Format: <code>BAUDRATE=[baudrate]</code>
 
<br>
 
; <code>IRQ</code> : Specifies the IRQ number of the serial port to be <code>[irq-number]</code>. Used in conjunction with <code>COM1-4</code> or <code>GDB</code>.
 
* Format: <code>IRQ=[irq-number]</code>
 
<br>
 
; <code>PROFILE</code> : Enables profiling. Profiling information will be written in <code>%windir%\profiler.log</code>. This will slow down the system quite a bit.
 
* Format: <code>PROFILE</code>
 
<br>
 
; <code>MAXMEM</code> : Will restrict ReactOS to use only the first <code>[maxmem]</code> MB of physical memory.
 
* Format: <code>MAXMEM=[maxmem]</code>
 
  
 
[[Category:Tutorial]]
 
[[Category:Tutorial]]

Latest revision as of 12:54, 8 April 2019

Icon speedy deletion.png Warning: Please bear in mind that ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not stable or feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use. Operating system bugs can and do result in corrupted file systems, overwritten partitions, and more. Do not install ReactOS on any computer containing important data without using a virtual machine or making full backups first.


Before installing

There are several things to be made aware of before installing ReactOS, or even obtaining the installation media. These include how ReactOS will be installed, limitations of the installation, and backing up existing data.

Limitations

ReactOS is alpha level (or alpha phase) software. It is not yet feature complete.
Some major bugs remain to be corrected. For the details see Known Issues. Bear in mind that this is not a complete list of known issues. See also Missing ReactOS Functionality.


The ReactOS itself, setup utility and boot loader have a number of limitations. The most prominent are:

  • ReactOS is not able to boot from USB devices yet. Except RAM Boot method.
  • the setup utility does not prevent users from performing dangerous and potentially destructive operations.
  • some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS.
  • the boot partition is highly recommended be the first FAT16 or FAT32 partition on the first (or even better - single) disk in the system.
  • the setup utility can check the integrity of ONLY FAT16 and FAT32 file systems.
  • HD Audio or use of multiple audio cards at the same time are not yet supported. ReactOS versions and builds prior 0.4.12 will not boot after setup.

System requirements

Hardware support

ReactOS has limited hardware support. Lists of particular hardware that have been tested can be found on the page Supported Hardware.

Minimum hardware requirements

The minimum requirements to install ReactOS are:

  • RAM: at least 64 MB, recommended 256 MB, and even 2048 MB if you want to test large software suites or bundles.
  • Processor: x86 or x64 architecture, Pentium or later and compatibles; for more information see ReactOS ports.
  • HDD: IDE/SATA with minimum 450 MB of free space on the primary partition (please note that some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS):
    • FAT16/FAT32 primary boot partition.
  • Video: VGA compatible video card (VESA BIOS version 2.0 or later).

Getting ReactOS

Due to the current state of the project, the ReactOS Foundation does not offer official installation media for distribution. Installation CD-ROMs must be created by the user by writing an available image file to a CD-ROM.

Downloading the image file

Official ISO image files can be downloaded at one of the following locations:

WARNING: Some anti-malware programs will detect false positives in ReactOS files.

Creating the Installation CD

The downloaded file is a compressed archive in ZIP format, containing a single file named "ReactOS.iso". The ISO image contains everything needed to create the CD.

  • Extract the image file from the archive into a temporary directory.
  • Burn the ISO image to a CD-R or CD-RW using any software of your choice.

When burning the ISO to disc, be sure it is written as an image file. Writing to the disc as another type of data will not work and render the Installation CD unbootable. Look for an option similar to "Burn from ISO" or "Write disk image".

Installing ReactOS

Please consider making full backups of any sensitive data before you start any experiments with ReactOS in the production environment!

Installation strategy

The first consideration to make is whether to install ReactOS on a dedicated testing machine or in a contained environment, such as running on an emulator without direct disk access. The use of an emulator is preferable if the machine on which you will run ReactOS is your primary computer or if you have important data on the computer which you cannot afford to lose.

If you decide to install ReactOS on a disk drive that contains an existing operating system (such as Microsoft Windows XP), you should ensure that the drive is formatted with a file system ReactOS can access and write to (now, primary FAT32/FAT16 partition) and that there is sufficient free space on the drive such that ReactOS can be installed (now, >=450 MB). Furthermore, the current hardware limitations to which ReactOS is constrained must be identified and compared to the target computer system (e.g. that ReactOS has only basic USB support as of the 0.4.7 release).

Once the available hardware and software situation is determined the installation media can be selected. For example, if your computer includes an ATA CD-ROM and an IDE hard disk that does not contain irreplaceable data, a good installation option may be to write an ISO image of the ReactOS installation media to a CD-RW and proceed to install ReactOS on the IDE hard disk via the CD-ROM.

ReactOS goes through three stages during setup. The first two stages deal with the installation of the system, while the third stage is the first usable boot by the user.

  • First stage – Text mode setup, started when booting from a ReactOS CD-ROM.
  • Second stage – Booting to GUI installer. Input of user information and registering of files.
  • Third stage – Booting to desktop, user configurations.

If you encounter problems, disable all secondary or unnecessary devices, especially USB-cameras and sound cards of any type.

Virtual Machines

A Virtual Machine is a software program that provides a virtual hardware platform. Software instructions that would be run on hardware are now interpreted by the emulator software. This allows you to "run" a different kind of computer hardware and its software in a window on your computer.

See article Virtualization software for the details.

Real hardware

  • Make sure your BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM first.
  • Insert the ReactOS setup CD-ROM into a CD-ROM drive and reboot your computer. On the next boot, the ReactOS setup utility will start.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to install ReactOS on your computer.
  • After the installation has finished, remove the setup CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive and press Enter to reboot your computer. You can now start ReactOS by selecting it from the boot menu.

Real hardware without CD Drive

  • create a virtual Machine but without the Harddisk
  • create a virtual Harddisk for Virtualbox which points to the real one.
    • on Linux: VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename "~/VirtualBox VMs/reactos/disk.vmdk" -rawdisk PathToHarddisk
    • important: PathToHarddisk must be the whole disk, not a partition: /dev/sdb
  • add disk.vmdk to virtual Machine via Storage->add Harddisk
  • install reactos as usual

USB Installation

Due to problems with the USB stack it is NOT currently possible to install ReactOS from a USB stick or CD-ROM, the setup process will fail partway through. This worked previously but was broken several years ago by a rewrite of the USB code. See the LiveUSB page for more details.

Or watch this video-tutorial for different installation method: https://youtu.be/eancDwmWyCw

Or try these unofficial experimental builds http://vgal.ru.com/reactos-0-4-10-new-usb/

USB RAM boot

RAM boot might prove useful when there is no other way to install ReactOS (mostly a case on modern notebooks that can boot only from the xHCI USB ports). Installation from RAM disk is possible since 0.4.11 release.

See RAM Boot article

Network boot or network installation via PXE

See article Building PXE-ready ReactOS

Installing drivers

You may also be interested in how to install a driver for a device in ReactOS. If so, see Install a driver article.

Unattended Installation

You may also be interested in how to install ReactOS in the automatic (non-interactive) mode. If so, see Create an unattended Installation CD article.

See also

  • VirtualBox – a free virtualization software for Windows, Linux and Mac (HOWTO)
  • QEMU – an open source machine emulator