Although we don't talk much about it for obvious reasons, China does have a Linux-based operating system intended for its audience. It is Ubuntu Kylin, based on Ubuntu and having to follow Canonical guidelines. On the 5th of yesterday in Asia and already on the 6th in Europe, China presented its first own open source operating system, and the name it has received has been openKylin 1.0. With this movement they hope to depend less on the West.
With such young news, it is difficult to know some details. visiting his website in english and comparing it to how I've come to see the layout of the Ubuntu Kylin page, one can't help but wonder if the developers of the version China from Ubuntu are behind openKylin. And, if so, there is a reasonable doubt about what will happen to this official flavor. Although this is pure speculation. There is clearer information.
Table of Contents
openKylin uses UKUI graphical environment
openKylin is based on linux and has been created by a community of nearly 4000 developers, 74 special interest groups, and 271 companies. Among the software that comes installed by default we have WPS Office, Firefox and applications to open documents such as players and viewers. The operating system has a software store that will allow us to install Linux applications, and also promises compatibility with Windows and Android applications. The name comes from "Qilin", a mythological animal with the body of a lion, the skin of a fish and the horns of a deer (more information).
What it also shares with Ubuntu Kylin is the graphical environment used, a UKUI (archive article) that reminds us a lot of Deepin. And that it is intended for the Chinese public, you can tell from the moment you start a live session: it is impossible to change the language because only some letters, such as those in the names of applications such as Firefox, are no longer in their language. It can be installed from its icon, something that Linux users know is on the desktop, and at that moment choose the installation in English. There is no other language, so the language configuration, keyboard layout and others must be up to us.
Linux kernel 6.1
Two kernels are available, the latest LTS, which are Linux 6.1 and Linux 5.15. Some of the software is from MATE, like Engrampa or MATE terminal, and it supports APT and DEB packages, so although I haven't read anything about it, it must be Debian based. On compatibility with android applicationsIt is something that I have not been able to verify. The software store has a "Mobile apps" section, but it doesn't work in a virtual machine because Android apps need to be emulated too -understandable; neither does it in blendOS-. In fact, in a virtual machine it works so badly that it has even changed my view settings without touching anything... I had to force the VM to shutdown several times.
To continue testing, I tried to download GIMP for example (I couldn't think of anything else) to Windows, to see if it was installed, and I need more information. It doesn't seem to have anything that supports them installed, and looking through the menu I found that they have Kylin Code, which from the icon I would say is a modified version of Code OSS, and a "Messages" application which is a Transmittal client. We also found tools to check the health of the computer and I think some more bloatware.
Do we recommend its use?
Leaving aside the political and social issue, I do not recommend the use at all from openKylin. To begin with, because a lot of it is in Chinese, and to continue because, for example, GIMP cannot be installed either by its software store or via APT. If someone wants something similar, better install Ubuntu Kylin, or even better a distro with Deepin.
If you are interested in trying it, in your download page there are x86_64, RISC-V and ARM images, so it can be installed on any PC and on boards like the Raspberry Pi.