Odd Operating Systems

Feb 18, 2009
Updated • Jan 2, 2013

When talking about operating systems, we generally talk about 3: Windows, Linux and Mac. But there are others!

GHacks has already covered ReactOS; a free and open source version of Windows, but there are many other operating systems out there which not many people use.

BeOS was a commercial operating system which died during the dot com crash. It was quite advanced and a number of hobbyists still maintain operating systems based on it. The biggest has to be Haiku, which is still in pre-alpha but now has a GCC4 build, so many more applications will be ported to it. BeOS, and presumably Haiku, are POSIX-compliant although not Unix-based.

is another personal favourite. Unlike Haiku, this is not POSIX or Unix-based. MenuetOS is free for educational use. The operating system has decent networking abilities, a web server, a web browser and a GUI. It even has webcam support! MenuetOS amazingly fits onto a standard floppy diskette despite this! This could be useful for a simple server with minimal demand.

AROS is an operating system based on AmigaOS and is now nearly complete to it. Unlike AmigaOS, AROS works on x86 computers. I haven't tried it but Wikipedia claims there's a basic version of the AMosaic web browser for it. The operating system is small too, being about 50MB big.

Have I missed any out?


Reactos is another interesting operating system, especially for Windows users who do not like where Microsoft is heading in recent versions of the operating system. It basically tries to build a free version of the windows operating system that is closely related to Windows XP, and not newer Windows operating systems.

The developers still have along time to go to get there, but the idea along could get new contributors interested, especially since support for Windows XP is running out in 2014.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Bobby said on October 8, 2011 at 1:37 am

    You forgot RISC OS!

  2. d2boy said on February 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Take a look at KolibriOS which succeded MenuetOS.

  3. HED said on February 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I almost fainted when I saw the Diablo 2 screenshot :D

  4. โปรแกรมแปลงไฟล์ said on February 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm


  5. benn nguyen said on February 18, 2009 at 3:24 am

    What about the infamous Geos which later became NewDeal?


Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.