Open Source Operating Systems

Open Source operating systems are released under a license where the copyright holder allows others to study, change as well as distribute the software to other people. This can be done for any reason. The different open source operating system available in the market are −


This is an open source operating system written mostly in programming language C#. Its full form is C# Open Source Managed Operating System. Till 2016, Cosmos did not intend to be a fully fledged operating system but a system that allowed other developers to easily build their own operating systems. It also hid the inner workings of the hardware from the developers thus providing data abstraction.


This was a free operating system developed for systems compatible with IBM PC computers. FreeDOS provides a complete environment to run legacy software and other embedded systems. It can booted from a floppy disk or USB flash drive as required. FreeDos is licensed under the GNU General Public license and contains free and open source software. So there is no license fees required for its distribution and changes to the system are permitted.


Genode is free as well as open source. It contains a microkernel layer and different user components. It is one of the few open source operating systems not derived from a licenced operating system such as Unix. Genode can be used as an operating system for computers, tablets etc. as required. It is also used as a base for virtualisation, interprocess communication, software development etc. as it has a small code system.

Ghost OS

This is a free, open source operating system developed for personal computers. It started as a research project and developed to contain various advanced features like graphical user interface, C library etc. The Ghost operating system features multiprocessing and multitasking and is based on the Ghost Kernel. Most of the programming in Ghost OS is done in C++.


The incompatible time-sharing system was developed by the MIT Artificial Intelligence Library. It is principally a time sharing system. There is a remote login facility which allowed guest users to informally try out the operating system and its features using ARPAnet. ITS also gave out many new features that were unique at that time such as device independent graphics terminal, virtual devices, inter machine file system access etc.


This was an operating system released in 2013. It was mainly focused on cloud computing and was built to run on top of a virtual machine as a guest. This is the reason it doesn't include drivers for bare hardware. In the OSv operating system, everything runs in the kernel address space and there is no concept of a multi-user system.

Phantom OS

This is an operating system that is based on the concepts on persistent virtual memory and is code oriented. It was mostly developed by Russian developers. Phantom OS is not based on concepts of famous operating systems such as Unix. Its main goal is simplicity and effectiveness in process management.