Choosing an Operating System
Secure & Private Operating Systems
- PC Operating Systems
- Qubes OS is an open-source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, the X Window System, and Linux. It can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers.
- Trisquel is a Linux-based operating system derived from Ubuntu. The project aims for a fully free software system without proprietary software or firmware and uses Linux-libre, a version of the Linux kernel with the non-free code (binary blobs) removed.
- Debian is a Unix-like computer operating system and a Linux distribution that is composed entirely of free and open-source software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License, and packaged by a group of individuals known as the Debian project.
- Live CD Operating Systems
- Tails is a live operating system, that starts on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving privacy and anonymity, and helps to: Use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; Internet connections go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt files, emails and instant messaging.
- KNOPPIX is an operating system based on Debian designed to be run directly from a CD / DVD (Live CD) or a USB flash drive (Live USB), one of the first of its kind for any operating system. When starting a program, it is loaded from the removable medium and decompressed into a RAM drive. The decompression is transparent and on-the-fly.
- Puppy Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use and minimal memory footprint. The entire system can be run from RAM with current versions generally taking up about 210 MB, allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system has started.
- Tiny Core Linux is a minimal Linux operating system focusing on providing a base system using BusyBox and FLTK. The distribution is notable for its size (15 MB) and minimalism, with additional functionality provided by extensions.
- Mobile Operating Systems
- LineageOS is a free and open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets, based on the official releases of Android by Google. It is the continuation of the CyanogenMod project.
- CopperheadOS is a hardened mobile open-source operating system by Copperhead Security and based on Android. It aims to provide stronger security and privacy. It also contains a hardened kernel and sandbox features for app isolation. Available for select Pixel and Nexus devices.
- Replicant is an open-source operating system based on Android, aiming to replace all proprietary components with free software.
Getting more Privacy from a non-privacy-based OS
It’s understandable that you don’t want switch over over to a Linux system, as there are several good reasons for not doing so, so here are some articles on improving your privacy on other operating systems:
Keep your OS up to date
It seems like a no-brainer, but some people seem to disable updates, for example, to avoid the forced update to Windows 10.