China has released its own Linux distro called Kylin OS. The Linux-based operating system should help make the country less dependent on the West; Windows and macOS also have large market shares in China.
OpenKylin 1.0 came out on Wednesday and runs on Linux kernel 6.1, which is the latest LTS release, with support until 2026. According to Global Times, which bases its statements on developer Kylinsoft himself, is the open source operating system developed by a community of 3867 developers, 74 special interest groups and 271 companies. It doesn’t use any other Linux distro as a base, which means it should be more independent.
The operating system must run on both desktops and mobile phones. It’s FOSS News took it for a test drive with the OS and also mentions that Kylin OS is compatible with x86, RISC-V and ARM. The source code is available via a Gitee repo. The site also posts several screenshots.
The It’s FOSS test drive resulted in some minor textual errors and bugs, but overall it’s a functional OS, says the author. The UKUI desktop environment is described as ‘very nice’ and ‘familiar’. The application launcher is reminiscent of the Windows Start menu. Elements like the file manager, multitasking and settings were all functional.
Also included are apps such as Firefox and WPS Office. The latter is a Chinese product, but Firefox developer Mozilla is an American party. It is not known whether China is also working on an alternative in that area.
It is not the first time that the Kylin name has been discussed in the context of China and operating systems. Before OpenKylin it was there FreeBSD-based Kylin and Ubuntu Kylin. Another Chinese distro is the Debian-based one Deepin.