How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

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IgorS
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:22 pm

How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by IgorS » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:59 pm

Hello!

Recently I tried to test explorer replacement for Win7, but failed to do that.
The problem is that ReactOS's explorer.exe from autobuilt ISO's doesn't start on Windows due to some missing imports. Also I believe it was built without WIN7_COMPAT_MODE macro defined.

So my question is, how can I properly build ReactOS explorer for Windows 7 myself? Preferably without using RosBE, but if it's mandatory it's ok. Just importing all required source files into VS solution doesn't help, build process doesn't even advance to linking stage possibly due to header incompatibilities.

Thanks for any help.

hbelusca
Developer
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Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by hbelusca » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:38 pm

Hi! The most simple way up to now to make it working on Win7 is to copy ReactOS vesions of explorer.exe, rshell.dll and browseui.dll together and put them in one same directory (please care not to overwrite the windows versions). Then normally you should be able to run ReactOS' explorer.exe on Windows 7.
Currently David (gigaherz) & Giannis are working on them so the procedure might change a bit in the future.
For building, it is preferrable to use RosBE (at least for having the tools allowing for configuring the build), with either GCC or MSVC as the compiler. After having compiled the host-tools as usual, you need to compile explorer, rshell and browseui, to finally get their binaries.

hbelusca
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Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by hbelusca » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:45 pm

Note: ReactOS is compilable using msvc, or through VS IDE. After having installed RosBE (2.1.2) and being sure to select the intall option for adding the RosBE bin path into the PATH environment variable (or doing it manually later on), you can open a VS command prompt, going to the build directory of your choice and configuring the build for VS, with the following commands:

Code: Select all

C:\> cd rosbuild
C:\rosbuild> C:\rossrc\configure VSSolution
where "C:\rossrc" is the directory where resides the source of ReactOS, "C:\rosbuild" is the build directory. This creates the two subdirectories "host-tools" and "reactos" inside the build directory (as usual). Then you need to compile the host-tools: open the "REACTOS.sln" solution inside "C:\rosbuild\host-tools" and compile the default target (which compiles all the tools), close it, then open the "REACTOS.sln" solution inside "C:\rosbuild\reactos" or any subsolution/subproject inside the build directory (in particular, for the shell, David & Giannis have configured the compilation options such that you can find somewhere a "SHELL.sln" sub-solution that you can use to play with the shell).

IgorS
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:22 pm

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by IgorS » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:12 am

Thank you very much for the detailed reply!

Copying mentioned dlls indeed fixed explorer startup. Except the start menu which doesn't open for some reason.
Now I'll try to build the thing myself using your instructions.

Raleks
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:22 am

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by Raleks » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:39 pm

Hi there. Terribly sorry to resurrect this old topic.

I'd like to replace 64-bit Windows 7 Explorer with the one you guys provide, as I felt sick of using the stock one ever since I moved from XP, mostly due to growing software incompatibilities.

Is it possible to do after these three years? And more importantly, are there precompiled binaries available anywhere?

Also just to be clear, I completely understand ReactOS Explorer is not feature-complete, but in my humble opinion it's already 100 times better than its crippled brother from Windows 7.

Zombiedeth
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:01 am

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by Zombiedeth » Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:23 am


dizt3mp3r
Posts: 1214
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by dizt3mp3r » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:45 pm

Raleks wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:39 pm
I completely understand ReactOS Explorer is not feature-complete, but in my humble opinion it's already 100 times better than its crippled brother from Windows 7.
XP was a good o/s and I still struggle with features of Win7's explorer that seem to work against the user, such as the ordering of files after an auto-refresh, there are good alternatives though to file explorer and sometimes they are more stable too. You can style Win 7 to react and respond as if it is classic XP. That is what I have in front of me now. You wait until you are forced to use Win10, that is the real shock and I am still not over it. It is truly schizophrenic and genuinely awful.

With regard to ReactOS being 100 times better, nice statement but not really true, not yet. The interface may well suit you and the explorer may suit you in style but substance...? Not yet. Give it a little longer, say two years and ReactOS may well be your solution in a VM.

Rather than building ReactOS explorer, if you need recommendations for explorer alternatives I can recommend Q-Dir and XN View, both bring something new to the party are not tied to the Windows desktop process and have extra functionality that I find useful.

Some have suggested that hiving off components of ReactOS and packaging them as discrete components for download might be a good idea, I agree with that but I don't think the devs want to spend time supporting them as usable items in their own right.

Raleks
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:22 am

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by Raleks » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:55 pm

Zombiedeth wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:23 am
This is the most recent x64 build

https://iso.reactos.org/livecd/reactos- ... win-dbg.7z
Thank you. Unfortunately, it lacks rshell.dll, which is required for working on NT6.

Zombiedeth
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:01 am

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by Zombiedeth » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:53 am

Raleks wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:55 pm
Zombiedeth wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:23 am
This is the most recent x64 build

https://iso.reactos.org/livecd/reactos- ... win-dbg.7z
Thank you. Unfortunately, it lacks rshell.dll, which is required for working on NT6.
I think the current explorer.exe no longer uses rshell.dll would probably need to include other dll's to get it working now. I know FILEBROWSER.EXE works under windows 7 64-bit with just BROWSEUI.DLL. It could also be that it would require registry entries to be added to get explorer working.

Janus
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:40 pm

Re: How to build ReactOS explorer for Win7?

Post by Janus » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:29 pm

A temporary solution that might work you is explorer++, which is open source and can be customized.

I use it along with classicshell, network activity indicator and 7+ task bar tweaker, together they give me most of what I want/need.

Not sure if they will work you until Reactos goes beta, but they just might.


Janus.

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