Notable Projects

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This page maintains a list of operating system projects considered to be notable. An operating system is considered notable if it has received some form of success outside of the relatively tiny sphere of hobby operating system development (e.g. has had a full release, is self-hosting, has been reported on outside of the hobby OSdev world, etc.) or if it has achieved such notability within the operating system development community as a useful answer to the question, "I want to see what kind of operating systems you guys have built"

If you believe your project meets one or more of the criteria above, feel free to add it to the list. The worst that could happen is you fall out of notability due to inactivity.

Everyone is welcome to add their own projects to the regular Projects list of all hobbyist operating systems

Active Notable Alternative Operating Systems



Plan9front (or 9front) is a fork of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system. The project was started to remedy a perceived lack of devoted development resources inside Bell Labs, and has accumulated various fixes and improvements.

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Icon license.png Open source

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-12-21)


BareMetal is a 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers. The OS is written entirely in Assembly while applications can be written in Assembly or C/C++. The two main purposes of BareMetal are for educational uses in learning low-level OS programming in 64-bit Assembly and to be used as a base for a high-speed data processing node. Source code is well documented and freely available. As of version 0.4.9 BareMetal OS officially supports multiple processors, memory management, and Ethernet communications.

Icon phone.png Ian Seyler (ian.seyler at

Icon license.png Open source (MIT)

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-03-06)



Today, FreeDOS is ideal for anyone who wants to bundle a version of DOS without having to pay a royalty for use of DOS. FreeDOS will also work on old hardware and embedded systems. FreeDOS is also an invaluable resource for people who would like to develop their own operating system. While there are many free operating systems out there, no other free DOS-compatible operating system exists.

Icon phone.png The mailing lists at

Icon license.png Open source (GNU GPLv2)

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-08-24)


Ghost OS

A homemade operating system with a microkernel for the IA32 (x86) platform. The project is written in C++ and Assembly. Features: multiprocessor- & multitasking support, kernel API library, custom C library, ELF support, IPC (messages, signals, shared memory, pipes), VFS, window server & GUI with homemade toolkit, PS/2 keyboard & mouse driver, VESA video driver and more...

Icon phone.png Max Schlüssel (

Icon license.png GPLv3

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Icon clock.png December 17, 2018 -- 0.5.6b Active (2019-02-25)


Kolibri OS

Kolibri OS was a fork of the 32-bit version of Menuet OS but has changed much along the way. Despite fitting on a standard 1.44 MB floppy, this wonderful OS contains: the complete GUI desktop, a lot of drivers and great software (such as web browser and music player), system programs and games! The Kernel and most applications, libraries and drivers are written in FASM, but some are in C-- ( ; link to their C-- compiler: At this OS you can write the ASM code and execute it after assembling. Source code is open - - and the contributions are welcome!

Icon phone.png The Kolibri OS team

Icon license.png Open source (GNU GPLv2)

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-12-07)


Open-source operating system for Texas Instruments calculators. Features preemptive multitasking, memory management, etc. Written in z80 assembly.

Icon phone.png Drew DeVault (sir at

Icon license.png No License Information

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-11-11)



Fully featured open source operating system inspired by the commercial Be Operating System. Has a preemptive, modular kernel, nearly complete POSIX compatibility, a nice (non-X11-based) GUI, and a wide variety of ported and native applications (including a WebKit based browser). Nearly the entire operating system is written in C++98 (including the kernel), albeit with little usage of exceptions.

Icon phone.png haiku-development [at]

Icon license.png Open source (MIT)

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Icon clock.png Latest release: 2018-09-28, is active

LK (Little Kernel)

An open source embedded multiprocessor kernel for ARM, x86, x86-64. Other platforms are work-in-progress and are in various stages of development with varying activity.

Icon phone.png Travis Geiselbrecht (travisg at

Icon license.png Open source (MIT-Style)

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-12-19)



Kernel and distro written in C and x86 assembly targeted at x86_64. Our philosophy is "keep it simple and make it work", which seems to have been working so far.

Icon phone.png OS Development discord server (not associated with, where most of the devs are:

Icon license.png Open source

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Icon clock.png Active


SeaOS is a hybrid kernel with loadable modules that supports ATA, AHCI, EXT2, ELF, and many other fancy acronyms. It has basic networking support, initial VT-x support, and is self-hosting with a fairly complete unix-like userland. Designed for simplicity.

Icon phone.png Daniel Bittman (danielbittman1 at

Icon license.png No License Information

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Icon clock.png Active Development



Serenity is a graphical Unix-like operating system for x86 computers. It has a 1990's style GUI with a POSIX-ish LibC and userland. There's basic networking support and a handful of GUI applications and games. A small number of 3rd party packages are available as optional ports, including GCC, bash, vim, Lua, and the Links web browser. It currently only targets the QEMU hardware, and so is only for research/development purposes. You can watch videos of the system being developed on YouTube:

Icon phone.png Andreas Kling, awesomekling [at] gmail [dot] com

Icon license.png Open source (BSD 2-clause)

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Icon clock.png Last commit: 2019-06-27, in active development



Sortix is a small self-hosting operating-system aiming to be a clean and modern POSIX implementation. It is a hobbyist operating system written from scratch with its own base system, including kernel and standard library, as well as ports of third party software. It has a straightforward installer and can be developed under itself. Releases come with the source code in /src, ready for tinkering.

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Icon license.png Open source (ISC)

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Icon clock.png March 28, 2016 -- 1.0

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とあるOS (ToAruOS)

32-bit modular kernel written in C. Supports pipes, shared memory, signals, POSIX-compliant file access, threading, audio, IPv4. Heavy focus on advanced GUI, including a compositing window system.

Icon phone.png #toaruos on

Icon license.png NCSA/University of Illinois License

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Icon clock.png August 2, 2017 -- 1.2.1 (Active)



Visopsys (VISual OPerating SYStem) is an alternative operating system for PC-compatible computers, written “from scratch”, and developed primarily by a single hobbyist programmer since 1997. Its primary "useful feature" is a reasonably functional partition management program - the ‘Disk Manager’, which can create, format, delete, resize, defragment, copy, and move partitions, and modify their attributes. It supports both DOS/MBR and UEFI partition tables. It can also copy hard disks, and has a simple and friendly graphical interface. A basic version can fit on a bootable floppy disk, or you can use the entire system from a ‘live’ CD/DVD

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Icon license.png Open source (GNU GPLv2)

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Icon clock.png Active (2018-09-08)


Vanadium OS

Vanadium OS is a multi-user Unix-like OS. i386, amd64. Fully protected mode. Memory, file and hardware protection. root and unprivileged users. GUI without X, modular kernel, and has a live floppy image with a single user mode! My homepage: ; project pages: , , . One of the great features is that you can write C code and instantly compile it to execute

Icon phone.png Piotr Durlej,

Icon license.png Open source (BSD 2-clause)

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Icon clock.png Latest release: 2018-02-13, is active

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