North Korea’s Desktop Interface Looks Uncannily Similar To Apple’s macOS



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Back in 2014, Will Scott—who was a Computer Science Graduate student then—spent his fall teaching operating systems and databases at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in North Korea.

It was during that time that he purchased a copy of the country’s ‘Red Star 3.0’ operating system. While that was four years ago, it’s still the latest version; ‘Red Star 4.0’ went in development at the end of 2017.

As you might be able to tell in the screenshots, ‘Red Star 3.0’ looks remarkably similar to Apple’s macOS. It’s worth noting, however, that older versions of the Linux OS looked closer to Microsoft’s Windows XP.

“It really does look Mac-like,” the web hacker recounted. “And is using a skin that, as far as I can tell, is custom-made rather than being modified from an existing Linux theme. Apps are packaged using a Mac-like folder structure as well, with ‘contents’ and ‘resources’ folders within the application folder.”

The newest update comes pre-installed with security software that tracks its users. If a person tries to deactivate the programs, ‘Red Star’ will reboot or self-destruct.

On the bright side, the operating system’s desktop wallpapers are pretty breathtaking, depicting some of the country’s most iconic landscapes.

View some screenshots below, and follow Will Scott on his website and Twitter to learn about more of his research projects.

Startup screen for ‘Red Star 3.0’



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Timezone settings (Seoul, South Korea wasn’t included in the list, but that could change in time.)



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Login screen



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Desktop



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

File manager



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Settings



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

Browser



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

‘Echo of the falls’ wallpaper



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

‘Night view of Zhuangzi River fire’ wallpaper



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

‘Iron’s Azalea’ wallpaper



Image by Will Scott and featured with permission

[via Business Insider, images by Will Scott and featured with permission]

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