China launches its own open-source operating system
China has recently released the country’s first open-source desktop operating system. Named openKylin, the OS is considered a part of China’s growing efforts in cutting down its reliance on US technology.
The Linux-based operating system openKylin was built by over 4,300 contributors. According to a report by Reuters, the OS is currently used in China’s space programmes, as well as the country’s finance and energy industries.
According to the openKylin official website, the community behind the Chinese OS was founded by basic software and hardware enterprises, non-profit organisations, several colleges and universities, and a number of scientific research institutions and individual developers. Their collective goal was to create a cooperative, open-source, volunteer-based operating system that promotes the development of Linux open-source technology.
At the time of writing, the website states that the OS has 9,11,318 total users, 278 members, and 75 SIG (special interest group).
The current version of the OS, OpenKylin 1.0, supports X86, ARM and RISC-V architectures for PCs and tablets. The vast amount of compatibility it provides makes it ideal for both academic and professional purposes. Additionally, the ARM architecture has been adapted to Raspberry Pi, Cool Pi, Chillie Pi and other development boards, while the RISC-V architecture has been adapted to VisonFive2, HiFive, SG2042 EVB, Lichepi4a and Lotus2 development boards.
As per a report by The Strait Times, the OS aims to replace foreign-owned products which are currently dominant in the Chinese software market. There have been notable tension between the US and China-based tech companies as of late, including the US’s last year ban of Huawei and ZTE telecommunication equipment sales over cited “national security concerns”.
While China is still far from abandoning sales of internationally popular OS such as Windows and Mac, creating an open-source, community-made OS is a welcome first step.