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This article was published on January 8, 2015


    Hands on with North Korea’s homegrown operating system, Red Star

    Hands on with North Korea’s homegrown operating system, Red Star
    Owen Williams
    Story by

    Owen Williams

    Former TNW employee

    Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

    North Korea has its own national desktop operating system and the very latest version, called Red Star 3.0, has leaked online, giving us a rare glimpse into what happens when you build something like an entire operating system in isolation.

    Red Star 2.0 resembled Windows, but this new version has a whole new inspiration: Apple.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 4.49.18 pm

    Red Star booting

    North Korea Tech says that Red Star was developed by the Korea Computer Center in Pyongyang and is based on Linux, which can be openly modified.

    We saw Red Star 3.0 for the first time last year when Will Scott, an American graduate who taught Computer Science in North Korea leaked screenshots from the OS.

    The new version of Red Star reportedly leaked on torrent sites, with Will Scott confirming to Gizmodo that he believes it’s real.

    The OS features a web browser called Naenara, which is a modified version of Firefox, and a number of other oddities, such as a Wine wrapper that allows the user to run Windows 3.1 applications.

    It’s incredible the amount of painstaking reproduction of OS X the creator has used, theming the mouse when loading just like Apple’s spinning beachball and even each setting screen, as seen below.

    redstar

    Jump into the gallery below to enjoy North Korea’s exclusive operating system, which features an incredible amount of UI that looks like it could have come straight from OS X.

    Oh, and we don’t recommend that you install the operating system yourself – best stay safe, eh?

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