Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Try 10 OSes You've Never Heard Of

Filed under
OS

After a wave of operating system releases, it’s easy to become somewhat bored with the software side of computing. Windows 7 is here and looking like the ‘real’ Vista for many; Mac OS X 10.6, meanwhile, adds spit-shine to Leopard and gives its engine a good tuning too. In the Linux camp, distributions are taking regular steps forward in usability. But it’s all become rather routine; a case of incremental improvement rather than revolution.

So where’s all the real fun happening? Where are the radical new ideas, the Wild West code commits and the geekery and hackery that really drive innovation? Well, it’s all going on in the alternative operating system world. There are hundreds of projects in varying stages of development, from small, one-man-band shows to serious attempts at mounting an assault on the desktop.

We’re going to look at 10 of the most intriguing open-source operating systems in this brave new world. In most cases these are available as CD ISO images that you can burn to CD-Rs and boot up for testing if you fancy it. Alternatively, a simpler approach is to use a PC emulator such as VirtualBox or Qemu. With these and similar tools you can use ‘.iso’ image files (or ‘.flp’ floppy disc images) as virtual drives, so there’s no need to write any physical media.

Rest Here




More in Tux Machines

NHS open-source Spine 2 platform to go live next week

Last year, the NHS said open source would be a key feature of the new approach to healthcare IT. It hopes embracing open source will both cut the upfront costs of implementing new IT systems and take advantage of using the best brains from different areas of healthcare to develop collaborative solutions. Meyer said the Spine switchover team has “picked up the gauntlet around open-source software”. The HSCIC and BJSS have collaborated to build the core services of Spine 2, such as electronic prescriptions and care records, “in a series of iterative developments”. Read more

What the Linux Foundation Does for Linux

Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, talks about Linux a lot. During his keynote at the LinuxCon USA event here, Zemlin noted that it's often difficult for him to come up with new material for talking about the state of Linux at this point. Every year at LinuxCon, Zemlin delivers his State of Linux address, but this time he took a different approach. Zemlin detailed what he actually does and how the Linux Foundation works to advance the state of Linux. Fundamentally it's all about enabling the open source collaboration model for software development. "We are seeing a shift now where the majority of code in any product or service is going to be open source," Zemlin said. Zemlin added that open source is the new Pareto Principle for software development, where 80 percent of software code is open source. The nature of collaborative development itself has changed in recent years. For years the software collaboration was achieved mostly through standards organizations. Read more

Arch-based Linux distro KaOS 2014.08 is here with KDE 4.14.0

The Linux desktop community has reached a sad state. Ubuntu 14.04 was a disappointing release and Fedora is taking way too long between releases. Hell, OpenSUSE is an overall disaster. It is hard to recommend any Linux-based operating system beyond Mint. Even the popular KDE plasma environment and its associated programs are in a transition phase, moving from 4.x to 5.x. As exciting as KDE 5 may be, it is still not ready for prime-time; it is recommended to stay with 4 for now. Read more

diff -u: What's New in Kernel Development

One problem with Linux has been its implementation of system calls. As Andy Lutomirski pointed out recently, it's very messy. Even identifying which system calls were implemented for which architectures, he said, was very difficult, as was identifying the mapping between a call's name and its number, and mapping between call argument registers and system call arguments. Some user programs like strace and glibc needed to know this sort of information, but their way of gathering it together—although well accomplished—was very messy too. Read more