Report: North Korea develops own Linux distribution

Russian student posts screenshots, review of North Korean Linux distribution

North Korea's Red Star OS is based on Linux and KDE

North Korea's Red Star OS is based on Linux and KDE

North Korea has reportedly developed its own version of the Linux operating with a graphical user interface that closely resembles Microsoft Windows.

A copy of the North Korean Linux distribution, called Red Star, was purchased in Pyongyang for US$5 by a Russian student named Mikhail, who then posted a brief review of it on his blog using the Russian embassy's Internet connection, according to the English-language Web site of Russia Today, a Russian television news channel.

Mikhail, who described himself as one of two Russian students at North Korea's Kim Il-Sung University, posted several screen shots of the operating system, including a system clock with a date based on North Korea's calendar, which considers 2010 to be year 99 of its Juche ideology -- with his review.

Although the operating system is still considered stable, it was easy to set up, taking around 15 minutes to install, Mikhail wrote, adding that it came with a single language option: Korean.

The desktop interface shown in the screenshots closely resembles Windows, and appears to be based on a recent version of the K Desktop Environment (KDE). The Red Star browser, which Mikhail said was called My Country, is based on Mozilla's Firefox browser, and allows users to access North Korea's closed network , called My Country BBS.

Other features of Red Star include a word processor, an e-mail client, antivirus software, multimedia players for audio and video, as well as several games.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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