Skip to main content

North Korea ‘upgrades’ to copycat version of Mac OS X

north korea upgrades to copycat mac os x red star 140130 redstar background

When we wrote this tounge-in-cheek piece about what North Korea could do to look more technologically advanced than it is, we weren’t seriously expecting the reclusive totalitarian state to make some ridiculous moves to upgrade – it was just a joke. However, given North Korea’s tech track record, which includes the use of Windows XP at one of its rocket control facilities, as well as its status as a nearly failed state, perhaps we should’ve seen this coming.

The newest version of North Korea’s Red Star operating system looks a heck of a lot like Mac OS X. But it’s not. Once again, we shouldn’t be surprised by this copycat maneuver. After all, the previous version of the OS looked quite a bit like Windows 7. Take a look at a screenshot of the previous Red Star release below to see what we mean.

 Red Star or Windows 7?

Red Star 7

News of Red Star OS and its existence hit the Web when Will Scott, an American computer scientist who was lecturing at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology last year, bought a copy and took some screenshots of Red Star in action. It’s worth noting that while this earlier version of Red Star looks like Windows 7, its foundation appears to be Linux-based. The images were then posted online, which you can see here.

 Red Star or OS X?


You don’t have to stare at the screenshots for long to realize that apps in the newest version of Red Star look incredibly like Apple’s OS X, down to the placement of the Close and Minimize buttons for individual windows. 


 Perhaps most creepy of all about Red Star OS is its calender, which allegedly indicates that the year is not 2014, but year 103. How’d the North Koreans arrive at that number? It’s been 103 years since the birth of Kim il-Sung, one of the nation’s former leaders.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

(Images via North Korea Tech)

Editors' Recommendations

The best Mac apps for 2023: top software for your Mac
macos mojave hands on review app store

One of the best parts about owning an Apple computer is the massive ecosystem of superb Mac apps it gives you access to. There are apps available to Mac users no matter what you are looking for, whether that's productivity, photo and video editors, security suites, and more. You can get them from Apple's own App Store or from third-party developer websites, and many of the best Mac apps are even free.

Whether you just bought your first Mac or you're a longtime Apple customer, here's a look at some of the best Mac apps you can get.
Mac apps to change your interface

Read more
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D vs. Intel Core i9-13900K: only one choice for PC gamers
AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside of its packaging.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Intel Core i9-13900K are undoubtedly two of the best processors you can buy, but they aren't equal. We threw both of the CPUs on the test bench to answer the age-old question: is AMD or Intel better?

Based on our testing, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D wins this bout, mostly on the back of the excellent gaming performance AMD's 3D V-Cache technology brings. Intel's Core i9-13900K still holds up, particularly in productivity apps, but Team Red takes the win this time around.
Pricing and availability

Read more
This AMD GPU from 2021 beats the RX 7900 XTX and the RTX 4080
The AMD Radeon Pro W6800X Duo graphics card.

An AMD graphics card that launched in 2021 managed to beat both Nvidia's RTX 4080 and AMD's own flagship, the RX 7900 XTX. Surely that would make it one of the best GPUs you could buy right now -- unfortunately, it's much too pricey to be considered worthwhile, and you can't even use it in a regular PC.

The crazy GPU in question is the AMD Radeon Pro W6800X Duo. Thanks to tests performed by a hardware expert, we were able to see it run far outside of its usual environment. Here's how it fared.

Read more