North Korea goes OSX-like with new operating system

The latest version of the software dumps a Windows-like interface for a Mac-style desktop

The desktop set-up screen in Red Star Linux 3.0

The desktop set-up screen in Red Star Linux 3.0

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, might the folks in Cupertino be pleased when they see the latest version of North Korea's home-grown operating system?

Version 3.0 of Red Star Linux presents users with a radical refresh of its desktop design, one that closely resembles Mac OS X. The new look replaces the Windows 7-like desktop that was used in version 2.0 of the software.

The Korea Computer Center (KCC), a major software development center in Pyongyang, began developing Red Star about a decade ago. Version 2 is 3 years old and version 3 appears to have been released in the middle of last year.

The world has gotten its first look at version 3 thanks to Will Scott, a computer scientist who recently spent a semester teaching at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST). The school is North Korea's first foreign-funded university and many of the lecturers come from overseas.

Scott said he bought the operating system at a KCC dealer in the capital city and the screenshots he provided were of the basic version 3 software without any modifications.

While most North Koreans are restricted from accessing the Internet, many can get access to a nationwide intranet through universities and public libraries. The intranet offers websites for domestic institutions and is heavily skewed towards offering information, educational materials such as PDF versions of books and scientific papers, and government propaganda.

Red Star Linux includes a web browser based on Mozilla that has been re-branded "Naenara," or "My country."

It also includes a copy of Wine, a Linux application that provides an environment under which Windows software can be run.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Korea Computer CenterLinuxsoftwareoperating systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?