North Korea Linux now resembles Apple's OS X for Macs

In today's open source roundup: North Korea Linux moves toward a Mac-like interface. Plus: Alternatives to the Pirate Bay for torrenting, and Firefox OS now available in 28 countries

North Korea Linux and OS X

North Korea has had its own Linux distribution for quite a while now. It first surfaced outside of North Korea back in 2010, and has now reached version 3.0. The latest release has taken on a more Mac-like look than previous versions.

Martyn Williams of North Korea Tech reports on changes to North Korea Linux:

north korea linux redstar os looks like mac osx North Korea Tech

The latest version of the country’s home-grown operating system, Red Star Linux, has been restyled and ships with a desktop that closely resembles Apple’s Mac OSX. The previous version was based on the popular KDE desktop that mimicked that of Windows 7.

Red Star Linux was developed by the Korea Computer Center (KCC), a major center of software programming in Pyongyang, and is based on Linux, the open-source operating system originally developed by Linus Torvalds.

More at North Korea Tech

I did a review of version 2.0 back in 2010 on Desktop Linux Reviews:

One thing puzzles me though; the North Koreans are usually heavy on the propaganda stuff (see the Vice Guide to North Korea videos at the beginning of the review). And yet, they appear to have blown a major propaganda opportunity. They could have released this distro around the world in different languages, with lots of propaganda built into it for each language. Instead, they released it only in Korean. Odd.

I also wonder why North Korea bothered to even create this distro. They could have had a much better version of Linux had they simply based it on Ubuntu, and perhaps copied what distros like Linux Mint offer. Instead they went this route, and really ended up with nothing particularly special.

More at Desktop Linux Reviews

Sorry I don't have a more recent review to share of North Korea Linux, this is the first I've heard of a new version of that distribution. However, it looks like version 3.0 of North Korea Linux Server has leaked so you can download it as posted on the Opening Up North Korea blog (just be sure that you view the Read Me file before trying to do an install). There was also a Pirate Bay torrent link posted, but the Pirate Bay is still down as I write this update.

Apparently nobody has the desktop version of North Korea Linux 3.0 available, but if you come across it please do post a link in the comments below. Thanks.

Alternatives to the Pirate Bay

Speaking of the Pirate Bay, it's been down for a while now and many torrenters have been seeking alternative sites to download the latest public domain works, Linux distributions and other legal downloads.

I found some great alternatives to the Pirate Bay that you might find useful:

As you may have heard, the Pirate Bay was raided and is down as I write this post. The closure of the Pirate Bay has generated a lot of discussions online, and many people have been looking for alternative torrenting sites. Fortunately, there was an interesting thread on Reddit about that very topic and one redditor was kind enough to post a list of alternative torrent sites.

More at Jim Lynch

Neha D'Souza at Techmunks also has a list of 30 alternative torrenting sites:

Is The Pirate Bay Down? Well it could be sometimes, because of the high load effecting its servers, in such a case you might want to check for a few alternatives for downloading your torrents. So here is a list of the pirate bay alternatives for you to look into.

Techmunks Presents a huge list of 30 different alternatives to The Pirate Bay. However, these websites are not just alternatives, they are unique torrent downloading websites in their own way. I sorted them according to Alexa’s Web Ranking System, starting from the worst to the best. So if you want to see the best ones, go to the bottom of the page.

More at Techmunks

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