Chinese government builds national OS around Ubuntu

Chinese government builds national OS around Ubuntu

Summary: The Chinese government has announced plans to release Ubuntu Kylin, an Ubuntu 13.04-based OS with features targeted at the Chinese market.

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The Chinese government is building an operating system based on the open source OS Ubuntu.

The China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP), part of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, on Thursday announced that Ubuntu would be a new reference architecture for an OS targeted at the Chinese market.

Working with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the CSIP plans to release the Ubuntu 13.04-based Kylin desktop OS in April this year, with plans to extend the Kylin OS to other platforms at a later date.

"This collaboration will bring local investment and participation to ensure that the platform is relevant for the Chinese market, and close coordination with the global Ubuntu project ensures that it is familiar to software and hardware vendors, and useful for export products made by Chinese companies as well," Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, said in a statement.

The Chinese government released an earlier Kylin OS in 2007, a system based on Mach and FreeBSD that was designed to be hardened against malware available at the time, in what was perceived as an attempt to block attacks by foreign governments.

The first release of the Ubuntu Kylin OS will include features and applications that cater for the Chinese market. Features include Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars, a new weather indicator and search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash. Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information.

The Ubuntu Kylin team is working with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools which could be incorporated into other flavours of Ubuntu worldwide.

The CSIP, Canonical and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) have also formed the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab in Beijing. The joint lab hosts engineers from each organisation who will accelerate the development of a China-focused version of Ubuntu for desktop, cloud and mobile devices.

The announcement is part of the Chinese government's five year plan to promote open source software and accelerate the growth of the open source ecosystem within China, Canonical said.

Topics: Open Source, Government Asia, Security, China

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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30 comments
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  • Anyone want to take odds

    On them releasing the FULL source code?
    NoAxToGrind
    • Has Google

      released the FULL source code for Goobuntu?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • They don't have to

        Since Goobuntu deployed only in-house, they are not obligated by any means to release the source code.
        JOB83
        • Guess what?

          Before this OS, which just begun, guess what OS they've been using? Windows! For years! So there you have it, Windows is a hardened communist product.
          JOB83
      • They don't have to.

        Since Goobuntu deployed only in-house, they are not obligated by any means to release the source code.
        JOB83
  • India should do this too.

    BOSS OS (Bharat Operating System Solutions) could try this.
    IndianArt
  • translates to;

    "Microsoft won't let us spy on our citizens enough, so now we have to try to make our own OS (by copying Ubuntu)!"

    BTW, aren't they going to be forced to release the source code due to the licence agreement? Or am I mistaking something?
    icyrock
    • Only software linked with GPL libraries

      Merely running apps on Ubuntu doesn't require release of source code, so only code that also includes GPL must be released - and only if the Chinese government chooses to recognize the applicable international copyrights.
      ricegf
  • Go Canonical!

    From the article:
    "The Chinese government released an earlier Kylin OS in 2007, a system based on Mach and FreeBSD that was designed to be hardened against malware available at the time, in what was perceived as an attempt to block attacks by foreign governments.

    Looks like the Chinese government likes AppArmor, Ubuntu's default LSM.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Chinese government builds national OS around Ubuntu

    So now we really can call linux communist. The U.S. government must be applauding this move by China because it makes spying on them a whole lot easier.
    Loverock-Davidson
    • Oh? And please tell us, O Fry Chef, why would it be easier to spy on them?

      I supposed your point is that you know that Ubuntu is more easily penetrated than Windows? Got any proof? Didn't think so. Bing! Fries are up again, better go back to your real job.
      WhatsamattaU
    • Loverock-Davidson: "makes spying on them a whole lot easier"

      Mr. Davidson, AppArmor, a Linux Security Module, provides much finer-grained control over what an application can do than Windows integrity levels.

      For your reading pleasure:

      http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/using-kernel-exploits-bypass-sandboxes-fun-and-profit-031813

      While Linux Security Modules such as AppArmor are also vulnerable to kernel exploits, for the Linux kernel 3.5 and up, secccomp-bpf provides kernel protection for that's not similarly available in Windows. China has to really like this new feature.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • P.S.

        Also relevant to the article, Linux kernel support for Seccomp-BPF has been included in Ubuntu since version 12.04. Google's Chrome (and, presumably, their open-source Chromium) browser takes full advantage of Seccomp-BPF. More here:

        http://blog.cr0.org/2012/09/introducing-chromes-next-generation.html
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • I guess China must also be pleased then ...

      ... as the NSA use their own SEL (Security Enhanced Linux) rather than anything from Microsoft. Everybody who cares about security is switching to secured Linux, so it appears...
      Li1t
      • Not exactly true.

        Anyone wanting to control what it's users do with the OS choose Linux.

        You think the NSA hasn't installed code that allows them to track everything the OS/computer/user does?
        William Farrel
        • You think the NSA hasn't installed code that allows them to track...

          You must be talking about the NSAKEY in windows, another reason not to use windows.
          guzz46
    • Don't fee the troll

      n/t
      ejhonda
    • What

      how do you arrive at this conclusion, Based on source code being available legally........ bahhhhhhhh bahhhhh I smell a sheep
      DoDbAnZ
    • Loverock dear...

      ...you must from now on call communists also companies like Lockheed Martin (which is using Linux too and manufactorin Patriot missiles). Then there are lot's of other commies too like: New York stock market, London Stock market, Frankfurth Stock Market, Tokyo Stock Market, Chicago Stock Market. Did i mention other followers of Linux Lenin gangs: IBM, Red Hat, Novell, NASA? Actually most of social media of internet is also captured by Linux communists too. So as you see you are now living in hell lot a red nightmare Loverock dear.
      Matsi66
  • source code

    I see this as an attempt to hv an OS which belong to them and under their control.

    It's obvious they can't do this with WINDOWS

    Question is are they required to release their source codes
    ThinkFairer8