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back to article North Korea mobilizes Red Star Linux rollout

Critics have often contended open source is a communist movement, and now North Korea is following Cuba and China by building its own Linux operating system. The Stalinist hangover from the Cold War is reported to have devised its own statist Linux in a country that had run Windows XP on the few PCs within its borders. Red Star …

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Troll

GPL

"the distro can control the web-viewing habits of those using it and the flow of information they receive."

I wonder if they will honour the GPL and provide all of their source code?

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Linux

Juche

Juche does not mean "My Country", it means "Main body" or "spirit of self-reliance".

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... well you must truely be mistaken

Given that everything on the internet is true, then I read here ....

http://www.korea-dpr.com/reunification.htm

.. how badly the south Korean people are being treated -- it is not the QA people in the north who are getting mistreated, but rather the people in the south by dogma of security laws....

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Anonymous Coward

Open source is communist?!

This will be a blanket sweep statement not very well informed by the article preceding it. If that bothers you, go read a newspaper.

Open-source is communist in the way that free healthcare is communist. It's not; it just makes sense. I suggest that the closed-source market hedges far nearer to communism than the community promoting Linux.

Did you catch the key word? If you missed it, it was "community."

Last I checked, a communist dictatorship, which, I think I can fairly say, is the image conjured by your ill-informed assertion, is far more similar to a monopoly (read: Micro$oft) than a community-driven and -oriented program like Linux.

But then, anything for an article that'll get people's attention, right? Like propaganda. Ya Commie...

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FAIL

Nononononono

UK website. Very diffrent view of communism in the UK. Not the evil boggie man but a political movement that works on the basis of equality of all and all working for the improvement of all. Much like open source. Its all so seen as being fundamentaly flawed.

You put a $ sign in MS so you clearly see they are not comunist but trying to make money.

Im constantly amazied by how stupid people can be when they fell offended.

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Megaphone

Ha, a Capitalist Running Dog

Please note that the Great Leader has declared that the article uses the word Communism in an ironic manner. While irony is not restricted to Britain it can pass over the heads of hasty readers, some (not all) residents of the Great Satan (USA) and other lackeys of Imperialism. On a final note, long live the Revolution and death to the hegemonists!

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FAIL

Err... txs man

You have just confirmed the suspicions held by many of the gentler sex, namely that IT geeks have no sense of humor and that the spread of their genes should not be assisted in any way.

The Reg waves a red flag. Nay a tiny faded pink shred of see-through cloth. And you come charging in like a self-righteous (somewhat pedantic) bull with all of the oratory subtlety of an IBM mainframe manual.

Ah, well, at least I am pretty safe in assuming that prospective dates have little likelihood of perusing the pages of this fine article.

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WTF?

Mix metaphors much?

"Open-source is communist in the way that free healthcare is communist. It's not; it just makes sense."

First there is no such thing as "free healthcare" inasmuch as even a free lunch is just one paid for by someone else. Second there is no correlation between the two, which is probably a good thing. Finally "just makes sense" doesn't imply something isn't communist any more than green apples imply ravens are black.

"Did you catch the key word?"

The key word is common, from which both communism and community are derived. Note that the former is a style of governance for a group of people and the latter is a fish of a different color.

Open source allows common people to take their fork and go home, that is, away from the current community and start one anew. That is not so with free health care, which looks very like a monopoly unless you're a freetard or philanthropist.

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Well...

..yaknow, the whole GPL ethos probably IS quite close to communism.

Difference is, unlike the governmental system, Linux actually works.

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Linux

Communist?

"Critics have often contended open source is a communist movement"

Open Source is as American as a good old fashioned barn raising.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising

"A barn raising is an event during which a community comes together to assemble a barn for one or more of its households, particularly in 18th- and 19th-century rural North America. In the past, a barn was often the first, largest, and most costly structure built by a family who settled in a new area. Barns were essential structures for storage of hay and keeping of horses and cattle, which in those days were an inseparable part of farming."

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Anonymous Cowards obviously have no sense of humour

It was a joke, chaps.

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Ummm....

I think you missed the point that a "Barn Raising" is essentially a communist activity - in the purest meaning of the word.

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Boffin

Communist.

To the unwashed:

1. "Communist" != "Communist Dictatorship"

2. Contrary to many "well-informed" opinions, "Communist" and "American" are not necessarily antithetical.

3. It amazes me how political terms in particular gather so many variations and connotations as people twist them for their own ends. What is Communism, really? At the root of it:

"Communism is a social structure in which classes are abolished and property is commonly controlled." (from Wikipedia)

So I can see where many Open Source projects may be run in a Communist manner. Ones based on sound object-oriented techniques would tend away from this structure, however, as classes would be recommended and many properties should not be commonly controlled.

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Linux

Open source is communist

Yes it is. Communist in the true sense of the word, not in the commonly received sense of military dictatorship.

If Communism had been true to its origins, based on e.g. "News from Nowhere" by William Morris instead of "Das Kapital" by one of the Marx brothers, I would be a paid-up card-carrying Party member now.

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Linux

Open source is communist - Balmer

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/07/31/ms_ballmer_linux_is_communism/

I personally think Communism is a good idea, its a shame there has never been an actual Communist country (as outlined by Marx) in existence.

I think OSS/Linux is less communist - more of a 60's philosophy and its a good thing too.

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The Trabant of operating systems

Or whatever car the North Koreans manufacture that no sane human would want to drive.

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Red Flag Linux

And, of course, China already has its own Red Flag Linux, noted in passing in the article, which had a look suspiciously like that of Windows XP. I suspect, given that North Koreans often don't have enough to eat, and with the very tight controls in that country, even if the circle of people there with computers will expand slightly, it will not become particularly large.

I'm sure the browser is called "My Country"; it may be inspired by Juche, but that doesn't mean it is called "Juche" in Korean; presumably it is called whatever the Korean for "My Country" is.

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Anonymous Coward

Name Suggestions

* Starvix

* Kimux

* Stalinux

* Torturix

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Why limit to DPRK?

Well, Torturix could be used in USA too.

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Coat

...And here I thought...

...that Torturix was the enforcer in a certain small Gaulish village...

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Badgers

Sounds like a new 3D imaging tool.

"Extreme Rendition".

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It should be the dog's bollocks...

...as the Dear Leader gets credit for inventing everything over there (apparently he's done 18 holes of golf in 57 or something stupid), he will have invented Linux and so therefore will be the best thing since...well that nasty concrete hotel they're just getting round to finishing in the capital!

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Red Communist China

China is Communist, Red China is just as evil as North Korea though the difference is that the USA wants to exploit the cheap labor and goods for their own agenda thus the China Communists are "ok". It is a sick world.

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Anonymous Coward

title

USA and the UK (lapdogs) are not communist, yet some (including myself) would say that just because we abuse human rights and militarily dictate in other peoples countries doesn't make us any less evil than those that abuse and dictate in their own.

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Big Brother

Come brothers and sisters , the compiler struggles on...

the only marxists in NKorea and the PRC are in prison or in hiding.

I think linux in general is a good example of the voluntary cooperation between people for a common purpose , rather than the (aptly pointed out) stalinist totalitarian method of doing things.

(waiting for comparision to ubuntu :) )

<humour>

Total central control , massive restrictions, insane ideology -

Is the DPRK going to clone macOS?

</humour>

Orwell , because there are good people waving red flags too.

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Happy

"Shot for questioning the beloved leaders comman line"

Up there with "Regime change in the state of the art" for prose quality.

In West watch stuff on browser. In NK browser watches you.

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Timing

Very late with this one El Reg, I read about Red Star Linux over a month ago and you quote the same Russian reviewer.

@AC 08:21+ 08:31 - The author is not calling open source communist, he's referring to SCO doing so a few years ago during their anti-Linux campaign. You would have realised that if you'd read the link he provided (and understood it) instead of jumping to write a knee jerk comment asap without reading the article. But why let reading get in the way of a good rant, eh?

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Badgers

Where can I download it?

presumably it adheres to the Marxist labour theory of value and has value in proportion to the time spent on its creation and not on the market demand?

I want a copy - if only to see if the server falls over when someone visits it

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so..

"the distro can control the web-viewing habits of those using it and the flow of information they receive."

soon be mandatory here then.

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Anonymous Coward

The real question is...

...is it better than windoze?

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Just to clear things up...

For the benefit of the El Reg Readership, and to eliminate confusion pertaining to the meaning of communist / socialist / capitalist, I shall endeavor to put is to sleep once and for all, so we are all on the same page:

- Socialism : You have 2 cows. You give 1 to your neighbor that does not have any cows.

- Communism : You have 2 cows. The government confiscates them both and gives you a little milk.

- Fascism : You have 2 cows. The government takes them both and sells the milk

- Nazism : You have 2 cows. The government takes them both from you and summarily executes you.

- Bureaucracy : You have 2 cows. The government takes them both from you, shoots one, milks the other one to death and throws away the milk.

- Traditional Capitalism : You have 2 cows. You trade one for a bull, start breading a herd of cows, sell them and retire on the Bahamas

- Lehman Brothers Capitalism : : You have 2 cows. You sell 3 to a subsidiary company in Korea with a loan that your mother in law applied for with a bank in Brussels. You then negotiate a deal with a US company to buy your 4 cows back, so you can deduct the taxes owed on these 5 cows. The subsidies you receive from Europe for the milk from these 6 cows you invest, via a front company, in the Korean subsidiary. In your statement to the SEC you declare ownership of 8 cows with a call option on a 9th. You sell 3 cows to invest in a US breading farm, only to be unmasked as a fraud because you know nothing whatsoever about cows. You state you have no idea why the stables are empty and you’re put behind bars for a very long time.

- US Capitalism : You have 2 cows. You sell one and force the other to give milk for 4. You are very surprised when the animal drops dead.

- Walloon socialism : You have 2 cows. You go on strike because you want 3.

- Japanese Techno-Capitalism : You have 2 cows. You genetically alter them so they become100 times smaller than a normal cow and produce 20 times more milk.

- German Techno-Capitalism :You have 2 cows. You genetically alter them so they grow to be 100 years old, eat once a month and milk themselves.

- British Democracy : You have 2 cows. They’re both stone raving looney tunes.

- Italian Capitalism : You have two cows. You don’t know exatly where they are, though. And the pasta’s ready.

- Russian Bureaucratic Socialism : You have 2 cows. You count them and discover you have 5. A recount determines there are actually 30 of them. A subsequent recount determines the final number is 17. You stop counting and open the 4th bottle of vodka of the day.

- French Republicanism : You own 2 cows. They are the most important cows in the world.

- Swiss Capitalism : You have 500 cows, but none of them are yours. They were put in your care by an ‘anonymous foreign party’.

- Hindu Theocracy : You have 2 cows and you idolize them.

- Flemish/Dutch system : You have 1 cow and you marry err…her.

- Bulgarian Socialism : You have 2 cows and make life as difficult for them as you possibly can. Consequently, one cow dies. In line with the principle of equality you kill one of your neighbors cows.

- Turkish Socialism : You have 2 cows. You trade them for goats so you don’t have to stand on your toes.

There. I hope we can all talk about the same thing now.

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Communism

Communism - An idea for a system of government presented by Karl Marx.

Communism (as viewed by 90% of Americans) - What Lenin set up in Russia. It should be noted that Marx himself would not have been pleased with what Lenin called Communism.

Communism (as intended by the author of this article when referring to Linux) - An ironic device used for humor with neither intentional nor accidental bearing on real life.

Communism (as noted above) - You have two cows....

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Big Brother

Undocumented feature

The wallpaper in Red Star Linux is a picture of Kim Jong-il. If you attempt to change it, your IP address is reported to the police.

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The Other Red Star Linux

In doing web searches for more information on this story, I found that the was a Linux distribution called "Red Star Linux", based on Gentoo, produced by some Argentine radicals. It has been around for a few years, and is not related to the one in Korea.

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My Country

Other news items about Red Star Linux have noted that the Korean name for the browser, which means "My Country", is Naenara.

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Not yet on DistroWatch

But there already is a Red Star Linux from Argentina, also communist themed. I cannot find any link to download the North Korean distro, but will try to get my hands on it any way I can. In the mean time, I think I'll take up learning Korean, at least enough to know what the menus and everything else says.

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Created by Kim Jong Il

and not by those programmers we kidnapped from South Korea and Japan.

Peter R.1 : I knew there'd be some good comments on this one, but I was howling through yours. Write it yourself or find it somewhere?

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Happy

Not original work, I'm afraid.

But I'd never come across it in English so I thought I'd translate and provide a giggle inbetween all the seriousness !

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Happy

I thought it was a classic, though I don't know how old...

I've seen a few English versions, and they all started off with the example from history:

Feudalism: you have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

The "Lehman Brothers" example started off as "Hong Kong Capitalism", and was pretty much the same thing except that it ended: "Meanwhile, you have the two cows ritually slaughtered because the feng shui is bad." Later on it was amended to "Enron Capitalism", and ended "You sell one of your cows and buy the president. The US government buys your bull."

Other examples off the top of my head:

Anarchism: You have two cows. You trade the milk with your community, choosing a low enough price so they won't just decide to rob you instead.

Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take accordion lessons.

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