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Made in the DPRK – Red Star OS

Red Star OS, or Red Star Linux is the native operating system of North Korea. North Korea often has an unfair reputation as lacking the technology of the West, but like everything with North Korea, the truth is usually a little bit more complex. We’ve previously reviewed the Arirang Smartphone and the Samjiyon Tablet. Today we’re going to look at the home-grown North Korean operating system: Red Star Linux.

Generally speaking, most of the computers that you see in North Korea tend be running on Windows – at least the ones I’ve seen, anyway – but North Korea has been heavily involved in creating its own flavour of Linux.

Beginnings of Red Star OS

Work on Red Star Linux first began in 1998 by the Korean Computer Centre. Before its release most computers either ran Windows or Red Hat Linux. Red Star Linux/Red Star OS was designed to be in the (North) Korean language and adapted for the nuances of North Korea.

Red Star OS runs a modified version of Mozilla known as Naenara, which literally means “my country”. It is used to connect to the North Korean Intranet, known as Kwangmyong. It also has a locally-based e-mail client, an office suite, and even supports video games.

Latest version of Red Star OS?

The latest version Red Star OS, version 3.0, is alleged to have taken its influence from Mac OS, with the look being more than a little similar. When you consider the leaders of the country are known Mac users, this theory is well-founded.

Red Star OS - Red Star Linux

The system is (at least technically) only available in North Korea, although foreigners have been known to purchase the OS and a few copies have been not only reviewed, but bootlegged versions have even been downloaded. Torrenters beware, however: it is apparently very prone to hacking

What operating systems do they actually use in North Korea?

So, while North Korea have Red Star OS in actuality most people are trained in and use Microsoft and Windows although quite how legit the copies are is anyones guess. An interesting exception to thos would have been General Kim Jong Il who famously used Mac OS as anyone that has visited his mausoleum can attest to.

What OS does Marshall Kim Jong Un use? We have no udea…

That’s our Made in the DPRK review of Red Star OS! Keep following the series to learn about the many different products of North Korea.

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