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Operating Systems List

Operating systems can be categorized by technology (Unix-like or others such as Windows), ownership and license (proprietary or open source), working state (historic like MS-DOS and OS/2 or current like Linux and Windows), application (general like Linux, Windows), desktop only (MS-DOS, MacOS), mainframe only (VM), real-time or embedded only (QNX), PDA, or purpose (production, research, hobby). Naturally, these groupings overlap.

Early, and historically important

  • CTSS (The Compatible Timeshare System, developed at MIT by Corbato, et al)
  • Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS, developed at MIT for the DEC 10 / 20 mainframes)
  • THE multiprogramming system (by Dijkstra et al.)
  • Multics (joint OS development project by Bell Labs, GE, and MIT)
  • Master programme (developed for Leo Computers, Leo III in 1962)
  • RC 4000 Multiprogramming System (developed by Regnecentralen in 1969)

Early, proprietary microcomputer OS

  • Apple Computer Apple DOS (initial version was Read-only memory firmware together with Integer BASIC; later versions included a Microsoft BASIC)
  • Business Operating System (BOS) - cross platform, command-line based
  • Commodore PET, Commodore 64, and Commodore VIC-20,
  • The very first IBM-PC (3 OS offered to start, UCSD p-System, CP/M-86, PC-DOS)
  • Sinclair Micro and QX, etc
  • TRS-DOS, NEW-DOS, ROM OS's (largely Microsoft BASIC implementations with file system extensions)
  • TI-99/4A
  • Flex (by Technical Systems Consultants for Motorola 6800 based microcomputers: SWTPC, Tano, Smoke Signal Broadcasting, Gimix, etc)
  • FLEX9 (by TSC for Motorola 6809 based micros)
  • mini-FLEX (by TSC for 5.25" disks on 6800 based machines)



  • Arthur
  • ARX
  • MOS (on the BBC Micro and BBC Master)
  • RISC iX (based on 4.3BSD)


  • AmigaOS
  • Amiga Unix, a.k.a. Amix


  • Apple DOS
  • ProDOS
  • GS/OS
  • SOS (Sophisticated Operating System)
  • Lisa OS
  • A/UX
  • MkLinux
  • Mac OS
    • System Software 1
    • System Software 2
    • System Software 3
    • System Software 4
    • System Software 5
    • System Software 6
    • System 7 (code-named "Big Bang")
    • Mac OS 8
    • Mac OS 9
  • Mac OS X
    • Mac OS X v10.0 (aka Mac OS X 10.0 "Cheetah")
    • Mac OS X v10.1 (aka Mac OS X 10.1 "Puma")
    • Mac OS X v10.2 (aka Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar")
    • Mac OS X v10.3 (aka Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther")
    • Mac OS X v10.4 (aka Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger")
    • Mac OS X v10.5 (aka Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard")
  • Mac OS X Server
  • Darwin - open source underpinnings to MacOS X, based on FreeBSD and NextStep

Array Networks

  • ArrayOS

Burroughs (later Unisys)

  • BTOS
  • MCP

Convergent Technologies

Later acquired by Unisys.

  • CTOS

Be Incorporated

  • BeOS
    • BeIA
  • ZETA (formerly BeOS)

Digital/Tandem Computers/Compaq/HP

  • AIS
  • OS/8
  • ITS (for the PDP-6 and PDP-10)
  • MPE (from HP)
  • TOPS-10 (for the PDP-10)
  • TENEX (from BBN)
  • TOPS-20 (for the PDP-10)
  • RSTS/E (ran on several machines, chiefly PDP-11s)
  • RSX-11 (multiuser, multitasking OS for PDP-11s)
  • RT-11 (single user OS for PDP-11)
  • DSM-11 DEC Standard MUMPS
  • VMS (by DEC for the VAX mini-computer range; later renamed OpenVMS)
  • Domain/OS (originally Aegis, from Apollo Computer who were bought by HP)
  • HP-UX
  • RTE HP's Real Time Executive (ran on the HP 1000)
  • TSB HP's Time Share Basic (yes, it was an operating system, ran on the HP 2000 series)
  • Ultrix
  • Digital UNIX (derived from OSF/1, and which became HP's Tru64)
  • NonStop Kernel (Originally from Tandem Computers for their line of fault-tolerant platforms; originally called Guardian). It supports concurrent execution of:
    • Guardian
    • OSS (POSIX-compliant Open System Services)


  • KSOS-6 Kernelized secure operating system for the Honeywell Level-6 minicomputer.


  • PC-DOS (originally nearly indistinguishable from Microsoft MS-DOS)
  • OS/2 (developed jointly with Microsoft)
    • OS/2 Warp
    • eComStation (licensed to Serenity Systems International)
  • Basic Operating System (first system released for the System 360, as an interim)
  • TOS
  • OS/360 (first OS planned for the System 360 architecture)
  • DOS/360
  • z/VSE (latest version of the VSE line)
  • VM/CMS
  • z/VM (latest version of the VM line)
  • MFT (later called OS/VS1)
  • MVT (later called OS/VS2)
  • SVS
  • MVS (latest variant of MVT)
  • TPF
  • OS/390
  • z/OS, Unix-like, (latest version of IBM mainframe OS)
  • System Support Product, or SSP, for IBM System/34 and System/36 minicomputers
  • i5/OS formerly OS/400
  • AIX (a version of Unix)
  • AOS (a version of BSD Unix)
  • ALCS
  • DPPX
  • K42
IBM has also contributed a significant amount of code to the open source operating system Linux (below).


  • Xenix (licensed version of Unix; sold to SCO in '90s)
  • MSX-DOS (developed by MS Japan for the MSX 8-bit computer)
  • MS-DOS (developed jointly with IBM, versions 1.0–6.22)
  • Windows CE (OS for handhelds, embedded devices, and real-time applications that is similar to other versions of Windows)
    • Windows CE 3.0
    • Windows Mobile (based on Windows CE, but for a smaller form factor)
    • Windows CE 5.0
  • Microsoft Windows
    • Windows 1.0
    • Windows 2.0
    • Windows 3.0 (the first version to make substantial commercial impact)
    • Windows 3.1x
    • Windows 3.2 (Chinese only release)
    • Windows 95 (aka Windows 4.0)
    • Windows 98 (aka Windows 4.1)
    • Windows 98 Second Edition (often shortened to Windows 98 SE) (aka Windows 4.2)
    • Windows Millennium Edition (often shortened to Windows Me) (aka Windows 4.9, not 4.3 due to the version number)
  • OS/2 (developed jointly with IBM)
  • Windows NT
    • Windows NT 3.1
    • Windows NT 3.5
    • Windows NT 3.51
    • Windows NT 4.0
    • Windows 2000 (aka Windows NT 5.0)
    • Windows XP (aka Windows NT 5.1) (codename: Whistler)
    • Windows Server 2003 (aka Windows NT 5.2)
    • Windows Vista (aka Windows NT 6.0) (codename: Longhorn)
    • Windows Fundamentals (for legacy PCs)
  • WinPE

Non-Standard Language

  • Symbolics Genera written in a systems dialect of the Lisp programming language called ZetaLisp, for this reason referred to as Lisp machines.
  • Texas Instruments' Explorer Lisp machine workstations also had systems code written in Lisp Machine Lisp.
  • The Mesa programming language was used to implement some (all?) systems code in Xerox Star workstations.


  • Desqview, allows running multiple copies of DOS concurrently on one machine.
  • EOS (Operating System), developed by ETA Systems for use in their ETA-10 line of supercomputers
  • GCOS is a proprietary Operating System originally developed by General Electric
  • GOS (Galaxy Operating System) is a new operating system being developed by Galaxy Productions
  • NCR IRX - operating system used by NCR I-9040 series
  • OSIRIS - Written in Ada for the BiiN series of fault tolerant high-performance multi-processor computers built on custom microprocessor designs.
  • PC-MOS/386 - DOS-like, but multiuser/multitasking
  • SINTRAN III - an operating system used with Norsk Data computers.
  • THEOS, THEOS Software Corporation
  • TinyOS
  • TRS-DOS A floppy-disk-oriented OS supplied by Tandy/Radio Shack for their Z80-based line of personal computers.
  • TX/4 and DX/10 - proprietary operating systems for TI 990 minicomputers
  • MAI Basic Four - An OS implementing Business Basic from MAI Systems.
  • Michigan Terminal System - Developed by a group of American universities for IBM 360 series mainframes

Other proprietary Unix-like and POSIX-compliant systems

  • Aegis (Apollo Computer)
  • Amiga Unix (Amiga ports of Unix System V release 3.2 with Amiga A2500UX and SVR4 with Amiga A3000UX. Started in 1989, last version was in 1992)
  • Clix (Intergraph's System V implementation)
  • Cromix (Unix-like OS from Cromemco)
  • Coherent (Unix-like OS from Mark Williams Co. for PC class computers)
  • DNIX from DIAB
  • Idris workalike from Whitesmiths
  • IRIX from SGI
  • iMAX developed (in Ada) for the Intel iAPX-432 object-capability based 32-bit microprocessoriAPX-4321.
  • Mac OS X from Apple Computer
  • Micronix from Morrow Designs, Inc. for its Z-80 machines.
  • NeXTSTEP (developed by NeXT; a Unix-based OS based on the Mach microkernel)
  • OS-9 Unix-like RTOS. (OS from Microware for Motorola 6809 based microcomputers)
    • OS-9/68k (Unix emulating OS from Microware for Motorola 680x0 based computers; developed from OS-9)
    • OS-9000 (portable Unix emulating OS from Microware; one implementation was for Intel x86)
  • OSF/1 (developed into a commercial offering by Digital Equipment Corporation)
  • QNX (POSIX, microkernel OS; usually a real time embedded OS)
  • Rhapsody
  • RISC/os (a port by MIPS of 4.3BSD to the MIPS RISC architecture)
  • RMX
  • SCO UNIX (from SCO, bought by Caldera who re-renamed themselves SCO Group)
  • SINIX (a port by SNI of Unix to the MIPS RISC architecture)
  • Solaris (Sun's System V-based replacement for SunOS)
  • SunOS (BSD-based Unix system used on early Sun hardware)
  • System V (a release of AT&T Unix, 'SVR4' was the 4th minor release)
  • System V/AT, 386 (The first version of AT&T System V UNIX on the IBM 286 and 386 PCs, ported and sold by Microport)
  • Trusted Solaris (Solaris with kernel and other enhancements to support multilevel security)
  • UniFlex (Unix emulating OS by TSC for DMA-capable, extended addresses, Mototola 6809 based computers; eg SWTPC, GIMIX, ...)
  • Unicos (the version of Unix designed for Cray Supercomputers, mainly geared to vector calculations)
  • MUSIC/SP (an operating system developed for the S/370, running normally under VM)
  • SkyOS (developed by Robert Szeleney)
  • DG/UX (Data General Corp)

UNIVAC (later Unisys)

  • EXEC I
  • EXEC 8
  • OS-1100
  • OS-2200
  • ClearPath
  • OS/3

Nonproprietary Unix-like

Research Unix-like and other POSIX-compliant systems

  • Unix (OS developed at Bell Labs ca 1970 initially by Ken Thompson)
  • Minix (study OS developed by Andrew S. Tanenbaum in the Netherlands)
  • Plan 9 from Bell Labs (distributed OS developed at Bell Labs) - based on Unix design principles but not functionally identical
  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • Plan B (distributed OS derived from Plan 9)
  • Xinu, (Study OS developed by Douglas E. Comer in the USA)
  • Solaris, contains original Unix (SVR4) code (code now open source via OpenSolaris project)

Open source Unix-like

  • OpenSolaris, contains original Unix (SVR4) code
  • BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution, a variant of Unix for DEC VAX hardware)
    • FreeBSD (one of the outgrowths of UC Regents' abandonment of CSRG's 'BSD Unix')
      • DesktopBSD FreeBSD distribution for desktop use
      • PC-BSD FreeBSD distribution for desktop use
      • DragonFly BSD forked from FreeBSD
    • NetBSD (one of the outgrowths of UC Regents' abandonment of CSRG's 'BSD Unix')
    • OpenBSD forked from NetBSD
  • GNU Linux
  • OpenDarwin
  • GNU Hurd
  • SSS-PC Developed at Tokyo University

Nonproprietary non-Unix-like

Research non-Unix-like

  • Mach (from OS kernel research at Carnegie Mellon University; see NeXTSTEP)
  • Nemesis Cambridge University research OS - detailed quality of service abilities. >>http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/old-projects/nemesis/
  • V (operating system) from Stanford, early 1980s
  • L4 Second generation microkernel
  • ILIOS Research OS designed for routing purposes. Look at >>http://www.rink.nu for the sources.
  • iRMX-86 real-time operating system, variants for other processor families like iRMX-88, iRMX-386, manuals
  • House Haskell User's Operating System And Environment -a research OS written in Haskell and C. >>http://www.cse.ogi.edu/~hallgren/House/
  • StarOS and Medusa object-based operating system to support distributed software for CM* Capability-Based Computer Systems
  • Coyotos Capability based Operating System, successor to EROS, aims at becoming the first formally verified OS.
  • Amoeba (research OS by Andrew S. Tanenbaum)
  • Singularity - An research operating system written mostly in managed code (C#) by microsoft. >>http://research.microsoft.com/os/singularity/
  • Spring operating system (research OS from Sun Microsystems)

Open source non-Unix-like

  • ReactOS (A free software Windows NT compatible OS - still in early development stages.)
  • FreeDOS (an open source DOS variant)
  • FreeVMS (an open source VMS variant)
  • Haiku (an open source BeOS reimplementation - still under development)

Disk Operating System

  • RDOS (Data General Corp)
  • QDOS (developed at Seattle Computer Products by Tim Paterson for the new Intel 808x CPUs; also called SCP-DOS; licensed to Microsoft -- became MS-DOS/PC-DOS). This should not be confused with the Sinclair QDOS operating system of the same name for the Sinclair QL computer.
    • MS-DOS (Microsoft's now abandoned DOS variant)
    • PC-DOS (IBM's DOS variant)
    • PTS-DOS (DOS variant by russian company Phystechsoft)
  • DR-DOS (Digital Research's (later Novell, Caldera, ...) DOS variant)
    • Concurrent DOS (Digital Research's first Multiuser variant of DOS)
    • Multiuser DOS (Digital Research's (later CCI's. Real's/...] Multiuser variant of DOS)
  • FreeDOS (an open source DOS variant)
  • ProDOS Operating system for the Apple II series of computers

Network operating systems

  • NetWare (networking OS by Novell)
  • Plan 9 (distributed OS developed at Bell Labs) - based on Unix design principles but not functionally identical
  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • Plan B (distributed OS derived from Plan 9)
  • Cambridge Ring O/S
  • CTOS (Convergent Technologies, later acquired by Unisys)
  • NOS, developed by CDC for use in their Cyber line of supercomputers.
  • Brocade Fabric OS

Generic/commodity, non-Unix, and other

  • Bluebottle also known as AOS (a concurrent and active object update to the Oberon operating system)
  • BS1000 by Siemens AG
  • BS2000 by Siemens AG, now BS2000/OSD from Fujitsu-Siemens Computers (formerly Siemens Nixdorf Informationsysteme)
  • BS3000 by Siemens AG (functionally similar to OS-IV and MSP from Fujitsu)
  • Control Program/Monitor (CP/M)
    • CP/M-80 (CP/M for Intel 8080/8085 and Zilog Z80 from Digital Research)
    • CP/M-86 (CP/M for Intel 8088/86 from Digital Research)
    • CP/M-68k (CP/M for Motorola 68000 from Digital Research)
    • CP/M-8000 (CP/M for Zilog Z8000 from Digital Research)
    • MP/M-80 (Multi programming version of CP/M-80 from Digital Research)
    • MP/M-86 (Multi programming version of CP/M-86 from Digital Research)
  • DESQview (multi-tasking windowing user interface for DOS)
    • DESQView/X (X-windowing GUI for DOS)
  • FLEX9 (by TSC for Motorola 6809 based machines; successor to FLEX, which was for Motorola 6800 CPUs)
  • GEM (windowing GUI for CP/M, DOS, and Atari TOS)
  • GEOS (popular windowing GUI for PC, Commodore, Apple computers)
  • JavaOS
  • Jnode JNode.org's OS written 99% in Java (native compiled), provides own JVM and JIT compiler. Based on GNU Classpath
  • KERNAL (default OS on Commodore 64)
  • MERLIN for the Corvus Concept
  • MorphOS (by Genesi)
  • MSP by Fujitsu (successor to OS-IV), now MSP/EX for 31-bit mode
  • nSystem by Luis Mateu at DCC, Universidad de Chile
  • NetWare (networking OS by Novell)
  • Oberon operating system/(developed at ETH-Zurich by Niklaus Wirth et al) for the Ceres and Chameleon workstation projects. see also Oberon programming language
  • OSD/XC by Fujitsu-Siemens (BS2000 ported to an emulation on a Sun SPARC platform)
  • OS-IV by Fujitsu (based on early versions of IBM's MVS)
  • Pick (often licensed and renamed)
  • PRIMOS by Prime Computer (sometimes spelled PR1MOS and PR1ME)
  • SEAL System is a free 32-bit GUI for DOS.
  • Sinclair QDOS (multitasking for the Sinclair QL computer)
  • SkyOS (Commercial desktop OS for PCs)
  • SSB-DOS (by TSC for Smoke Signal Broadcasting; a variant of FLEX in most respects)
  • SymbOS (GUI based multitasking operating system for Z80 computers)
  • TripOS, 1978
  • UCSD p-System (portable complete programming environment/operating system/virtual machine developed by a long running student project at the Univ Calif/San Diego; directed by Prof Ken Bowles; written in Pascal)
  • UMIX, made for the ICFP Programming Contest 2006.
  • VME by International Computers Limited (ICL)
  • VOS by Stratus Technologies with strong influence from Multics
  • VOS by Hitachi for its IBM-compatible mainframes, based on IBM's MVS
  • VM2000 by Siemens AG
  • VisiOn (first GUI for early PC machines; not commercially successful)
  • VPS/VM (IBM based, main operating system at Boston University for over 10 years.)
  • aceos under GPL

Operating systems for БК Soviet personal computer

  • MK-DOS
  • NORD
  • ОС БК-11 (a version of RT-11)
  • AO-DOS
  • FA-DOS
  • DOSB10
  • PascalDOS
  • MicroDOS
  • DX-DOS
  • HC-DOS
  • RT-11 (ROM embedded)
  • KMON
  • Turbo-DOS

Hobby OS

  • Agnix
  • AMOS
  • AROS (Amiga Research Operating System)
  • AtheOS became Syllable
  • BlueIllusion OS
  • BOS - 100% assembler OS
  • Brainix
  • CalotaOS (Calota Software Labs Operating System)
  • Clicker
  • Desert Spring-Time - An Ocaml based operating system
  • Dex4u - a pure 32-bit pmode OS written in 100% assembler
  • EROS
  • Glider - Homepage
  • Haiku (open source BeOS clone)
  • HelenOS
  • IsaacOS
  • LainOS (FreeBSD-based project that aims to become a next-generation operating system inspired by the operating system shown in Serial Experiments Lain)
  • LSE/OS
  • MenuetOS is an extremely compact OS written entirely in FASM assembly language
  • MMURTL (written by Richard Burgess; presented in MMURTL V1.0 (2000) ISBN 1-58853-000-0)
  • NewOS
  • Panalix
  • RetrOS is a compact native Forth-based environment. The site also features an MS-DOS port of RetroForth.
  • Sanos (Minimalistic x86 OS kernel)
  • SOFregit (Operating System for educational purposes)
  • Syllable (a modern, independently originated OS; see AtheOS)
  • Tabos (a rescue/network/desktop system)
  • Trion Operating System
  • V2_OS
  • Visopsys


  • A/ROSE
  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • Embedded Linux
  • Rockbox (Free Software operating system for music player devices)
  • Minix version 3
  • Windows Embedded

Personal digital assistants (PDAs)

  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • Palm OS from Palm Inc; now spun off as PalmSource
  • EPOC originally from Psion (UK), now from Symbian, preferred name now is Symbian OS
  • Windows CE, from Microsoft
    • Pocket PC from Microsoft, a variant of Windows CE.
    • Windows Mobile from Microsoft, a variant of Windows CE.
  • Linux on Sharp Zaurus and Ipaq
  • DOS on Poqet PC
  • Newton OS on Apple Newton Messagepad


  • Windows CE
    • Windows Mobile
  • Embedded Linux, MontaVista Linux in Motorola's A760, E680
  • Mobilinux by Montavista.
  • Symbian OS


  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • Cisco IOS (originally Internetwork Operating System) by Cisco Systems
  • IOS-XR by Cisco Systems
  • CatOS by Cisco Systems
  • PIX OS by Cisco Systems
  • JUNOS by Juniper Networks
  • ROX by Ruggedcom
  • LinkBuilder by 3Com

Microcontroller, Real-time operating system

  • ChorusOS
  • Contiki written in C programming language
  • eCos
  • FreeRTOS
  • Inferno (distributed OS originally from Bell Labs)
  • LUnix written in 6502
  • LynxOS
  • MontaVista Linux (see also Embedded Linux)
  • Nucleus
  • On Time
  • OS-9 by Microware
  • Operating System Embedded usually known as OSE
  • OSEK
  • Phoenix-RTOS
  • QNX
  • Rtems
  • RTKE by Philips
  • RTLinux
  • RTAI
  • Salvo
  • ThreadX
  • TRON (also ITRON, BTRON, CTRON, MTRON, etc.)
  • µCLinux
  • VRTX
  • VxWorks by Wind River Systems
  • XMK (eXtreme Minimal Kernel)
  • Xenomai


  • Par-OS
  • J98
  • GWOS
  • Swodniw

Fictional operating systems

Operating systems that have only appeared in fiction.

  • Finux - A pun on the Finnish origins of Linux - appears in Cryptonomicon
  • ALTIMIT OS - From .hack
  • Hyper OS - From the movie Patlabor
  • Wheatonix - April fool's joke
  • Digitronix - From The Hacker Files
  • Luna/X - Google's 2004 April Fool's joke 12
  • Copland OS - From Serial Experiments Lain Navi computer, which is also the codename of a never released Apple Computer OS (see Vaporware).
  • LCARS- From television's Star Trek
  • NNIX - an operating system for running programs in MMIX assembly language, which are both used as (fictional) illustrations in The Art of Computer Programming.
  • Yellow Hat GNU/Linux: A distribution produced by the Gelugpa branch of Tibetan Buddhism intended to allow the user to advance in programming skill and advance towards enlightenment.
  • Jesux - A Linux distro supposedly for Christian hackers - was a hoax.
  • lesbian GNU/Linux
  • HeliacOS - Parody on SkyOS
  • Winux: 2004 - A merger of Windows and Linux. A joke from the comic Sluggy Freelance.
  • O-Yes - A very old Indian joke. About some OS which is "54% quicker than Windows 95 or OS/2". Very definitely a hoax.
  • BarbieOS - A hoax Mattel Linux distribution.

LEGO Mindstorms

  • BrickOS operating system
  • leJOS operating system
source: wikipedia

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