China releases openKylin open source desktop operating system

It’s been a busy month in open source, already.

While Red Hat continues to wrangle with its approach to open developer access on the Red Hat Enterprise Linus (RHEL) source code front (and that’s another story in and of itself), China has stepped up its efforts to achieve IT independence in the face of a traditional reliance upon US technologies with the launch of its open source desktop operating system.

OpenKylin, or openKylin, stems from what its makers call an ‘open source community’ founded by (again quoting from its core home page) ‘basic’ software and hardware enterprises, non-profit organizations, community organizations, colleges and universities.

The organisation and community pledges to uphold ‘voluntariness, equality and cooperation’ at its core.

“It [the community] is committed to building an open source community of desktop operating system through open source and open community cooperation and promoting the prosperity and development of Linux open source technology and its software,” reads the home page.

Reuters reports some 4,000 developers being involved in the project. The news organisation also suggests that openKylin has been used by the Chinese space programme and across industries including finance and energy.

“China’s massive market for operating systems was worth 15.5 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) – [£1.63 billion] last year, state media said, citing an industry report,” according to Reuters.

Whether Microsoft Windows, Apple’s MacOS or indeed Google’s Chromium operating systems have a future in the country is impossible to predict, but signs show a growing momentum for home-grown technology.

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