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What is Red Star OS 4.0 and why you should try it out


Red Star OS 4.0: What You Need to Know About North Korea's Linux Distribution




Red Star OS is a Linux distribution developed by North Korea's Korea Computer Center (KCC). It is the official operating system of the country, designed to replace Windows and other foreign software. It is also a tool for surveillance and censorship, as it tracks and controls the web behavior of its users.




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Red Star OS 4.0 is the latest version of the operating system, which was reportedly released in 2020. It has a KDE-based desktop environment that resembles macOS, a modified Firefox browser called Naenara, and various other applications and games. It also has a unique watermarking system that tags files on portable media with the serial number of the computer.


How does Red Star OS 4.0 compare to other Linux distributions and operating systems? What are its advantages and disadvantages? How can you download and install it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, as we explore the history, features, security, and entertainment aspects of North Korea's Linux distribution.


History and Development of Red Star OS




Red Star OS was first developed in 1998 at the KCC, under the guidance of Kim Jong-il, the former leader of North Korea. The project was motivated by the desire to create a national operating system that would be independent from foreign influence and compatible with Korean culture and language.


The first version of Red Star OS was released in 2003. It was based on Red Hat Linux and had a KDE 3-based desktop that resembled Windows XP. It also had a custom firewall called Paekdu that blocked access to unauthorized websites.


The second version of Red Star OS was released in 2010. It was also based on Red Hat Linux and had a KDE 3-based desktop that resembled Windows XP. However, it had some improvements and additions, such as a new file system called EROFS that encrypted files on disk, a new antivirus program called Woodpecker that scanned files for malicious code, and a new office suite called Uri that supported Korean fonts.


The third version of Red Star OS was released in 2013. It was based on Fedora Linux and had a KDE-based desktop that resembled macOS. It also had some changes and enhancements, such as a new browser called Naenara that replaced Firefox, a new media player called My Media that replaced VLC, a new file manager called My Com that replaced Dolphin, and a new watermarking system that tagged files on portable media with the serial number of the computer.


The fourth version of Red Star OS was reportedly released in 2020. It was also based on Fedora Linux and had a KDE-based desktop that resembled macOS. However, it had some updates and modifications, such as a new kernel version, a new login screen, a new wallpaper, and a new icon set. It also had some bug fixes and performance improvements.


Security and Privacy Issues of Red Star OS




Red Star OS is not a secure or private operating system. It is designed to monitor and control the web behavior of its users, as well as to prevent them from accessing or sharing information that is deemed harmful or subversive by the North Korean government.


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Red Star OS has a modified Firefox browser called Naenara that only connects to the Kwangmyong intranet, a closed network that is isolated from the global internet. Naenara has a built-in censorship system that blocks access to websites that are not approved by the government, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, and many others. Naenara also has a surveillance system that records and reports the browsing history, bookmarks, downloads, and cookies of its users to the authorities.


Red Star OS also has a security vulnerability that allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on the system. This vulnerability is caused by a buffer overflow in the Woodpecker antivirus program, which scans files for malicious code. A malicious file can exploit this vulnerability by triggering a stack-based buffer overflow in the Woodpecker process, which can lead to arbitrary code execution with root privileges.


Red Star OS also has a watermarking system that tags files on portable media with the serial number of the computer. This system is intended to prevent the spread of foreign media and information among North Koreans. The watermarking system works by injecting a unique identifier into the metadata of files that are copied or moved to USB drives, SD cards, or other removable devices. The identifier consists of 16 bytes of data that encode the serial number of the computer, the date and time of the operation, and a random value. The identifier is encrypted with AES-256 and stored in an unused area of the file header.


Gaming and Entertainment on Red Star OS




Red Star OS is not a gaming or entertainment platform. It has a limited selection of built-in games and applications that are mostly educational or propaganda-oriented. It also has a poor compatibility with Windows programs and a low performance with graphics and sound.


Some of the built-in games and applications on Red Star OS are:


NameDescription


Red FlagA strategy game that simulates the Korean War from the perspective of North Korea.


Red Star ChessA chess game that features different difficulty levels and hints.


Red Star GoA go game that features different board sizes and handicaps.


Red Star SudokuA sudoku game that features different grid sizes and difficulty levels.


Red Star TetrisA tetris game that features different modes and speeds.


Red Star PaintA paint program that allows users to draw and edit images.


Red Star CalculatorA calculator program that supports basic and scientific operations.


Red Star DictionaryA dictionary program that supports Korean-English and English-Korean translations.


Red Star EncyclopediaAn encyclopedia program that provides information on various topics related to North Korea.


Red Star MusicA music player that plays patriotic songs and anthems.


Red Star OS also has a compatibility layer called Wine that allows users to run some Windows programs on Linux. However, Wine does not support all Windows programs, especially those that require advanced graphics or sound capabilities. Moreover, Wine may not work properly on Red Star OS due to its modifications and restrictions.


Therefore, gaming and entertainment on Red Star OS are challenging and limited. Users may not be able to enjoy popular games or applications that are available on other platforms. They may also face legal consequences if they try to access or share unauthorized media or information.


Conclusion




In conclusion, Red Star OS 4.0 is a Linux distribution developed by North Korea's KCC. It is the official operating system of the country, designed to replace Windows and other foreign software. It is also a tool for surveillance and censorship, as it tracks and controls the web behavior of its users. It has a KDE-based desktop environment that resembles macOS, a modified Firefox browser called Naenara, and various other applications and games. It also has a unique watermarking system that tags files on portable media with the serial number of the computer.


Red Star OS 4.0 has some advantages and disadvantages compared to other Linux distributions and operating systems. On the one hand, it is a national operating system that is independent from foreign influence and compatible with Korean culture and language. It also has some features and specifications that are similar or superior to other Linux distributions. On the other hand, it is not a secure or private operating system, as it monitors and controls the web behavior of its users. It also has some security vulnerabilities and risks that expose it to remote attacks. Moreover, it is not a gaming or entertain


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