7 Russian counterparts macOS and Windows: why do they exist?

In the Wake of talk in Russia about import substitution, increasingly emerges the theme of rejection of the products of American companies in the IT sector, and government agencies from the beginning of 2016 and completely banned the use of foreign software in the presence of domestic analogues. In [email protected] decided to find out what are the alternatives to Windows and macOS is in Russia.

The patriots Troll in style: “Now you are reading this message on a Chinese computer with American programmes, not Orthodox it.” Now, if I could have it all completely domestic… especially now that “under the bench” can easily win a large government contract: for such cases, many equipment manufacturers have started to produce its contract factories among our heart cute birches.

Quacks like a schoolboy who drew a headband and declared about the creation of the operating system BolgenOS, we do not take into account, and in the flow — it is full of serious developments.

Not very Russian ROSA Linux

For example, ROSA Linux (read not as “rose”, and as “Rosa”). It can hardly be considered fully Russian, because it’s actually what branch of the development of foreign Assembly Mandriva and Red Hat. Version for home users called Rosa Fresh; the latest build was released in August 2016.

The advantage of this free build compared to the same Ubuntu is the possibility to choose the graphical interface (KDE or Gnome), you have the drivers out of the box for a large number of devices, including proprietary (say, NVIDIA), and software titles — such as Skype, Java, Flash, Steam, own omnivorous media player, etc., as well as convenient means for creating restore points.

Astra Linux

Astra Linux is another Russian build of Linux (originally created Debian-based), designed for the security forces and intelligence agencies. It is characterized by the highest level of protection and is certified to work with the information containing a state secret. To heighten the patriotism of all releases are named after hero-cities of Russia.

Now the actual “eagle” version for everyday office, sorry, clerical tasks and “Smolensk” to work with the information the category of “top secret”. Preparing for the release of “Novorossiysk” — the mobile version of the OS for smartphones and tablets with ARM processors.

From a technical point of view, “Astra” differs from all other Linux systems own patented system of differentiation of access, and also has a number of other security functions — for example, deleting a file removes it completely and place that was occupied, filled with random masking sequence data (in other OS’s by default, changing only the entry in the FAT, and in order to have the remote file could not read sector-by-sector read of the drive, using special software).

IN for special services

“Dawn” is another build of Linux (based on Red Hat), it is only used in the Russian army and exists in multiple assemblies — for workstations, data centers, specialized computerized complexes, etc.

There is also the WASA — “Mobile system of the Armed Forces” and GosLinux — OS for the Federal bailiff service (also based on Red Hat). According to the latest statistics there are: it is installed on 660 servers and 16 thousand workstations, with the cost of copy per computer was equal to 1500 rubles (€24).

As you install more the number of PCs by the end of 2016 (when it will be installed on half the computers FSSP), the average cost will decrease to 800 rubles (€13). In any case, it is several times cheaper licenses for Windows and MS Office.


“Elbrus” — the operating system for computers with the Russian processors of the same name. Since these processors, though x86-compatible have their own unique architecture, decided to develop a special OS — again, on Linux kernel — which takes into account the peculiarities of the CPU, and make the best use of their benefits.

AT zero

All of the above operating systems are not completely Russian development, because it is different variations on a theme foreign to Linux. However, there is in Russia and all its OS under the name of “Phantom” designed from the ground up.

One of the key features of the Phantom is “persistence”, that means that applications run without stopping and even “not know” that the computer was turned off or restarted — work continues exactly the same moment. It’s something like a “sleep” mode in other systems (when content of memory is written to disk as files and then loaded), but is guaranteed to work without crashing drivers and programs, and everything happens automatically. Even if a sudden power down the computer, the data is not lost and after re-enabling everything will be the same as for a few seconds before shutting off.

The problem of “Phantom” is only one: it is necessary to write (or to port from Unix-based systems), application software, and this raises the problem of chicken and egg: until there is at least some penetration of the OS, nobody wants to write under it programs, and yet there are no programs — there will be no penetration.

“To make and OS, and programs at the same time, requires huge investments, which small company Digital Zone, author of “Phantom” no. Therefore, the system is in alpha-version for 32-bit x86 and prospects of its further development is very vague”.

In fact, the programs do not need to be able to write its state to a file, and indeed “Phantom” operates not “files”, and “objects”. According to the creators of the operating system, write programs under it is much lighter and 30% cheaper.

Disguise Russian

We should remember also about the noise that arose around Sailfish OS after Minister Nikolai Nikiforov met with executives of the Finnish Jolla. A year ago, Jolla was bought by Russian businessman Grigory Beryozkin and even won the competition of Ministry of communications on import substitution in the segment of Android mobile OS.

Since then nothing happened, and nothing Russian, except the buyer, in Sailfish yet. However, there has been talk about that in Russia in the “Innopolis” will be developed a new mobile OS aimed at the export market.

“Many of the media came out with headlines that the creation of the domestic mobile operating system. But online there is no a priori boundaries, all products must be global. On the contrary, we would like to see the Russian developers involved in creating the product that will be export-oriented, and ideally will become a platform for BRICS countries”, — said Nikolay Nikiforov, Minister of Telecom and mass communications of the Russian Federation.

And there’s a logical trick: Nikiforov said open operating system Sailfish one of the possible candidates to become the platform for further import substitution in the IT sector. However, that in the “Innopolis” will be to develop Sailfish, says nothing. But stating that the company “Open mobile platform” owned by, suddenly, Berezkin, only to get inspired by foreign Sailfish and finalize its easy for Russian users. That is, this is not another “Linux in the public sector”, and OS for the mass market.

Let’s put aside all these streamlined wording: it is clear that under the guise of Russian mobile OS, we will show it turned Sailfish. She, in turn, is a Linux-like successor of MeeGo and Maemo platforms, which were developed in the Nokia and was “killed” by Stephen Elopa, undercover from Microsoft since they were the competitors of Windows Phone. One device, the Nokia N9 managed, however, to release.

Sailfish can run Android applications, so that problems with software will not, however, the user is difficult to explain why it needs an Android application to run on Android, as on smartphone with another operating system.

The main advantage of Sailfish is the lack of dependence on Google and its services (for example, Samsung developed Bada and Tizen). The user promised a little magic, like Apple, and programmers — ease of creating applications without fragmentation issues. Rumored to be on the Sailfish will be released Yotaphone 3.

What is the result?

In a nutshell, we have this: all the “real” Russian OS really are redesigned for specific tasks a Linux distribution. Their mission of saving the state budget, and securing the data they carry. The degree of patriotism promoted. System administrators and software developers jobs give. That is, everything is fine.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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