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back to article Dead Kim Jong-il's OS makeover takes a page from Dead Steve Jobs

The latest version of North Korea's official operating system has been given a makeover that lends it an all-too-familiar look and feel. The Norks have maintained a state-sponsored Linux distro – RedStar Linux – since 2010. The earliest version looked like a fairly stock KDE desktop Linux, for its time. But with the new version …

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Not like they're going to respect western IP anyway

The bad news is, there's no way the FSF can enforce the GPL since the NK "courts" would laugh at them.

The good news is, that means Apple can't chase them for using round-cornered rectangular windows either.

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Re: Not like they're going to respect western IP anyway

It is not like there is a significant contribution to the code anyway.

It has been skinned to look like Mac which is trivial. Several Linux GUIs can do that and in fact used to do that in pre-OSX days. The only reason they do not do it today is in order to avoid a subpoena from Cupertino. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can get to the required look-n-feel in one afternoon (or less).

The "look" says nothing about the code. The code may or may not be modified. My guess is that the only modifications are likely to be in the mandatory security agency data collection part. I do not think we need that code anyway, the NKs can keep their branch separate. We use a "different" (and more reliable) technology to achieve the same level of reporting to the comrades in Комитет Государственной Безопасности. Couhg... Cough...

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Re: Not like they're going to respect western IP anyway

For appley looks just try Pear. Surprisingly good.

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That featured screenshot doesn't look like the boot screen

That screenshot rather much looks like an installation screen instead, particularly given the order in which it's listed in the Google+ source and also given that there's a screen that looks distinctly like OS X's boot screen minus the Apple logo, plus a giant Red Star logo.

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Linux

Re: That featured screenshot doesn't look like the boot screen

That screenshot rather much looks like an installation screen

Yup, that graphic of the world in the last image looks like a dead ringer for the time zone selection dialogue in an openSUSE installation.

Anyone know if it's used in other distros?

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Happy

Re: That featured screenshot doesn't look like the boot screen

Looks very similar to and older Ubuntu and Mint in selecting where you live.

NK nicking ideas as their own. Next you will be telling me China is sweetness and light, having Watched Top Gears China Odyssey NK have nothing on them.

I digress. Yay, all those starving oppressed millions have Linux... A big round of applause for progress.

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Re: That featured screenshot doesn't look like the boot screen

Well, it was said that this would be the year of Linux on the desktop. Just a shame that so far its only on the desktop of the 5 people in NK that can actually afford a computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Is it new and improved with 200% more state sponsored spyware for free?

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Well why do you think it comes with no source code available?

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They don't need to make source code available

The NK government can take the position that they are a corporate entity and that their citizens are operating under full control of the goverment/corporation. Hence, they are not distributing the software, they are compelling their citizens/employees to use it as part of their 'duties'. In that situation, you don't need to make source code available.

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Interestingly in Panorama on North Korea (in the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology) you could clearly see them using XP. Hope they have got their Win 7 roll-out program going!

Just makes me wonder how many computers in NK actually run RedStar or whether its just for show. I think they could get some respect if they did release it to the world too. But I suspect that is unlikely

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Not surprising

I would not expect anything different from a secrecy obsessed , cult based dictatorship.

It's no surprise then that North Korea has followed their lead

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Re: Not surprising

"I would not expect anything different from a secrecy obsessed , cult based dictatorship.

It's no surprise then that North Korea has followed their lead."

Yep. That sure describes Apple to a T.

Wait, wait.. we were discussing North Korea?

...

[Disclaimer. I am one of those espresso drinking Mac posers actually. I don't however, drink lattes..]

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Please select firezone ...

Where are you? If not in North Korea, remain where you are and wait for destruction

FTFY

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Mushroom

Anyone else....

...thinking the dots on the map represented prime strike targets?

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Joke

Re: Anyone else....

Actually I'm pretty sure, while they may also be prime strike targets, those are to show how successful the NK missile program has been in placing things on target....oh wait.

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Didn't you know?

North Korea invented OSX, Kim Jong-il said so.

I mean, we can believe him can't we?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Didn't you know?

He actually wrote it himself, whilst simultaneously fighting off the imperialist aggressors and ensuring everyone was well-fed and happy.

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Big Brother

You better believe it

...or this distro could kill your uncle.

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Anonymous Coward

"Dead Kim Jong-il's OS makeover takes a page from Dead Steve Jobs"

NK copying OSX? Says it all, NK are so far behind the times, no wonder they chose to emulate an aged and fugly OS.

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Kim Jong Il Brief History?

It's 160 pages long! I've read tax codes that are shorter and less densely-written.

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Linux

File manager with column view

Anyone know what the file manager is? I quite liked the Miller columns when I used OS X. That, Preview (Tiger style) and Tinderbox (Eastgate) are what I miss from Mac OS.

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Norks.... Are you calling them a bunch of boobs perchance?

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