Red Star OS: Linux distro from North Korea

North Korea has had its own internet from a long time now. Their internet is free of any American influence and now, they have their own operating system to power that internet. The Red Star OS is a Linux based OS, developed by orders from Kim Jong-il.

The OS has been developed by North Korean IT specialists to meet the needs and requirements of the North Korean people and the government, respectively. News of its release and existence got known, thanks to a student from North Korea’s Kim Il-sung University. The student is a Russian individual and writes a blog from the Russian embassy in Pyongyang.

Although Kim Jong-il is willing to go forward with this Operating System, it is not exactly the people’s favorite. It still needs a lot of polishing according to the local populace. For this reason, they still prefer using Windows XP and Windows Vista over this snappy OS.

Red Star is available for $5 and comes in the Server and the Desktop edition. Though, the apps available for the OS are selling at twice the price and need to be bought separately.

The language of the OS is “Korean only” and it takes around 15 minutes to install. The minimum system requirement is 256 MB of RAM and a Pentium III processor coupled with a 3 GB hard-disk space. Ironically, the web browser is named “My Country” which is actually a Firefox fork.

You can give Red Star version 2.0 a test run, provided you take a test flight to North Korea and get hold a copy from the nearest information kiosk.

[ Via: ]

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

  • Sinok

    The thing is just a linux running with a localized & rebranded KDE 3 desktop environement (and by the way KDE 4 was released two years ago).

    Nothing really new there

  • kagbalete

    people are allowed to use the internet in north korea??? they are not even allowed to watch anything from the west and all programs from the south are jammed; from the looks of it these os was developed for the use of the government so that they do not have to rely on microsoft because they think that the microsoft os have hidden backdoors that will allow the american devils hack into their systems…… as for this os not being the people's favorite, duh, they do not have a choice they use what the government tells them what to use or they end up being in the gulag (concentration camp)

  • please , i want to download it <<<>>>

  • Tensigh

    You have to do SOMETHING in lieu of eating!

    Seriously, I look forward to when the dictator regimes are overthrown, Korea is united and freedom comes to NK.

  • Fred

    KDE 3.0! And this is all hooked up to a Vax 6000 right? Goes to show that fascism doesn’t have a prayer in modern times.

    • Catchy phrase, but not smart. Their government’s ideology is not fascism or anything of this kind, it’s called Juche. Better read some things by Kim Il Sung before saying they’re fascist. We have to study before teaching, right? :p

      They also use Windows Vista. It’s not a modern OS? Yes, it is! Gotcha. :p

      • They want to continuously improve in everything without needing the hand of other countries, that’s something anyone should cheer on. And that’s why they choose Linux.

        Did you know that North Korean developers won the third Computer Go Competition UED Cup in 2009? Weren’t them in “old times”? Hint!

        At least in the social part of the thing, they’re far advanced than our sick individualist and consumerist society.

  • If “they do not have a choice they use what the government tells them what to use or they end up being in the gulag (concentration camp)” — what’s not equivalent to GULAG because it’s an acronym for the correctional labor prison system that existed in Russia, and there’s no exact, scientific, undeniable proof that the same thing exists in NK, or concentration camps – just propaganda, but they’re not proof for anything, so let’s talk about thinks we KNOW are real — there wouldn’t even exist a North Korean Linux distro!

    People there still want Windows (they primarily use XP and Vista) because Red Star OS is not better than those Windows versions yet – this is clear to anybody who used it. This is not because they use KDE 3 environment; about that… Maybe they couldn’t get more powerful computer equipment yet, capable of running KDE 4 without lags. That’s more logical than saying s#!t about them just because they use an older version of a GUI. Hey, there are people in your countries using Fluxbox and other “shit” GUIs because they can’t afford a good PC and you’re not complaining on that! What’s more, they have the same problems found in any other country related to migrations to Linux – people always used Windows, and many doesn’t want to change this habit.

    Simple like this. Nothing like evil and demoniac Korean politicians forcing people to use this or that OS. Common sense sucks.