Comparison of open-source operating systems

Last updated

These tables compare free software / open-source operating systems. Where not all of the versions support a feature, the first version which supports it is listed.


General information

Name License Kernel typeKernel programming language Kernel thread supportOS familyOldest non-EOL version [Note 1] Forks
Linux GPL version 2 only Monolithic with modules C 1:1 Unix-like 4.4 elks
FreeBSD BSD; GPL, LGPL software usually includedMonolithic with modulesC1:1 BSD, Unix-like11DragonFly BSD
OpenBSD BSDMonolithicC1:1BSD, Unix-like6.4 MirOS
NetBSD BSDMonolithic with modulesC1:1BSD, Unix-like7.0OpenBSD
DragonFly BSD BSD Hybrid C1:1BSD, Unix-likeNo
OpenSolaris, illumos CDDL Monolithic with modulesC1:1, M:N Unix No
Darwin, OpenDarwin APSL HybridC, C++ [Note 2] 1:1BSD, Unix, Unix-like, OS X No
MINIX BSD Microkernel CUnix-likeNo
RedoxOS MIT Microkernel RustUnix-likeNo
FreeDOS GPLMonolithicC DOS 1.1
Genode AGPLMicrokernelC++1:1Genode
Haiku MIT HybridC, C++ BeOS No TiltOS
House BSD Haskell own/originalNo
KolibriOS GPLMonolithic ASM MenuetOS No
MenuetOS Menuet 64, commerce excludedMonolithicASMown/originalNoKolibriOS
GNU GPL Multiserver Microkernel (Hurd kernel) or Monolithic (Linux-libre kernel, fork of Linux kernel, and other kernels which are not part of the GNU Project) C 1:1 Unix-like 2.4 on Linux-libre kernel (not on Hurd kernel) Linux
ReactOS GPL, LGPLHybridC, C++ Windows-like No
RISC OS Apache 2.0Monolithic (with co-operative multitaslking)ARM assembly Dark Red x.svgRISC OSNoRISC OS 6
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio Some GPL, some BSDMicrokernelC++L4No
Plan 9 MITHybridC1:1, 1:M Cothread style.own, Unix informedNoInferno, Plan B, 9front
AROS APL Exokernel C AmigaOS No
Syllable GPLMonolithic with modulesC, C++1:1Unix-like, BeOS, AmigaOS, POSIX No
Inferno GPL, LGPL; MITC Plan 9 No OzInferno
eCos modified GPL, eCos RTOSC, C++RTOSNo
RTEMS modified GPL, BSD, StanfordRTOSC and ASM with native support for other languages including C++ and AdaPOSIX, RTEID/ORKID, uITRONRTOS4.7.1
HelenOS BSDMicrokernelCM:Nown/originalNo
E/OS GPLv2 MonolithicASM, C1:1BeOS, Unix-likeNo
TempleOS public domainMonolithicHolyC, C, C++ Commodore 64-likeNo
NameLicenseKernel typeKernel programming languageKernel thread supportOS familyOldest non-EOL versionForks
  1. No for single line development model.
  2. For I/O Kit.

Supported architectures

Name x86, i386, IA-32 x86 SMP Xen IA-64 x86-64 PowerPC PowerPC SMP SPARC32SPARC SMP Alpha MIPS ARM XScale M68k PA-RISC OpenRISC othershosted mode
Linux YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes FR-V, Cell, ETRAX CRIS, M32R, Xtensa, h8, s390, SuperH UML, coLinux, MkLinux, Itanium Linux-on-Linux, wombat
FreeBSD [1] YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYesNoNoNo PC98
OpenBSD [2] YesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo SuperH
NetBSD [3] YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes SuperH, ns32k, VAX, hppa, M68010, mipseb, mipsel, sh3eb, sh3el, sparc64
DragonFly BSD [4] NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo vkernel
OpenSolaris [5] illumos YesYesYesNoYesNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Darwin, OpenDarwin [6] YesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo L4/Darwin
MINIX [7] YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
FreeDOS YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Genode YesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo RISC-V Linux
Haiku YesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo [Note 1] [8] NoNoNoNo
KolibriOS YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
MenuetOS YesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
GNU YesYes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] Yes [Note 2] FR-V, Cell, ETRAX CRIS, M32R, Xtensa, h8, s390, SuperH [Note 2] UML, Itanium Linux-on-Linux [Note 3]
ReactOS YesYesNo [Note 1] NoYesNo [Note 1] No [Note 1] NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
L4, Pistachio YesNoNoYes [Note 4] Yes [Note 4] Yes [Note 4] NoNoNoYes [Note 4] Yes [Note 4] YesNoNoNoNo
Plan 9 YesYesYesNoYesYesYesYes [Note 5] Yes [Note 5] YesYesYesYesYes [Note 5] NoNoSee [9] [10] lguest, vx32
AROS YesNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo i386-linux, i386-freebsd
Syllable YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Inferno Yes?NoNo?Yes?Yes?NoYesYesYesYes [Note 5] NoNo AMD Am29000, [Note 5] Texas Instruments OMAP Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Plan 9, OS X, Solaris, Irix, UnixWare, [Note 5] HP-UX, [Note 5] Internet Explorer
FreeRTOS YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoYes AVR, PIC, MSP430, HCS12, 8052, MicroBlaze, Cortex-M3, H8S
eCos YesYesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNoYes CalmRISC, ColdFire, FR-V, h8, Matsushita AM3x, Nios II, NEC V8xx, SuperHMicrosoft Windows, Linux
RTEMS YesNo Xen NoNoYesNoYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYes Blackfin, Nios II, Coldfire, Texas Instruments C3x/C4x, SuperH, H8S Linux, Solaris, Cygwin, FreeBSD, multiple CPU simulators
HelenOS YesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNo
TempleOS NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoQEMU, VirtualBox, etc.
Namex86, i386, IA-32x86 SMPXenIA-64x86-64PowerPCPowerPC SMPSPARC32SPARC SMPAlphaMIPSARMXScaleM68kPA-RISCOpenRISCotherhosted mode
  1. 1 2 3 4 work in progress
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 with Linux-libre kernel and others, but not on Hurd kernel
  3. with Linux-libre and Linux kernel
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Pistachio supports AMD64; Fiasco only in the CVS version.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Support is outdated or unmaintained.

Supported hardware


Name ATA SATA SCSI USB 3.0USB 2.0USB 1.1 FireWire PCMCIA/PC card AGP Nvidia official driver IA-32Nvidia official driver IA-64Nvidia official driver AMD64 ATI official driver x86ATI official driver x86-64ATI r200 free software driverATI r300 free software driverNvidia free software driver Audio TV tuner, video editing, or webcam
Linux YesYesYesYes 2.6.31+ [11] YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes,nv(2d only), nouveau(3d with mesa) OSS, ALSA V4L,V4L2
FreeBSD YesYesYesYes 8.2+YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
OpenBSD YesYesYesYes 5.7+YesYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYes [12] 2d only [12] 2d only [13] YesYes
NetBSD YesYesYesNo 7.1 [14] YesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
DragonFly BSD YesYesYesYes [15] YesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
OpenSolaris, illumos YesYesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNoYesV4L2
Darwin, OpenDarwin YesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
FreeDOS YesYesYesNoNo [16] No [16] NoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Genode YesYesNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Haiku YesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
KolibriOS YesYesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
MenuetOS YesNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
GNU YesYes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] YesNo [Note 2] No [Note 2] No [Note 2] No [Note 2] No [Note 2] No [Note 3] No [Note 3] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 1]
ReactOS YesYesYesYes [17] Yes [17] NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
RISC OS ?YesYes?YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesTV tuner [18]
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio NoNoNoNoNo
Plan 9 YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
AROS YesYesNoNoNoownNo2D only
Syllable YesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
Inferno YesNoYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
eCos YesYesYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
HelenOS YesYesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
E/OSYesYesYesNo YesYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
NameATASATASCSIUSB 3.0USB 2.0USB 1.1FireWirePCMCIA/PC cardAGPNvidia official driver IA-32Nvidia official driver IA-64Nvidia official driver AMD64ATI official driver x86ATI official driver x86-64ATI r200 free software driverATI r300 free software driverNvidia free software driverAudioTV tuner, video editing, or webcam
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 is not supported on Hurd kernel for now
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Proprietary Software is not officially supported on GNU system
  3. 1 2 Proprietary Firmware blob is not officially supported on GNU system


Name Networking support NE2000/RTL8029 RTL8139 Gigabit Ethernet 10 Gigabit Ethernet Wireless LAN Bluetooth IrDA
Linux YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FreeBSD YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
OpenBSD YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
NetBSD YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
DragonFly BSD YesYesYesYesYesYes
OpenSolaris, illumos YesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Darwin, OpenDarwin Yes
FreeDOS YesYesYes
Genode YesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Haiku YesYesYesYesYes
KolibriOS YesYesYesNoYes
MenuetOS YesYesNoNo
ReactOS YesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio
Plan 9 YesYesYesYesYesYesNoNo
Syllable YesYesYesYes
Inferno YesYesYesYesYesNoNo
eCos YesYesYes
RTEMS YesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
HelenOS YesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
E/OSYesYesYesYesYesNo NoNo
NameNetworking supportNE2000/RTL8029RTL8139Gigabit Ethernet10 Gigabit EthernetWireless LANBluetoothIrDA

Network technologies

Linux netfilter iptables/nftables YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FreeBSD IPFW2, IPFilter, PF YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
OpenBSD PF YesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
NetBSD IPFilter, NPF, PF YesYesYesYes [Note 1] YesYesYesYesYes
DragonFly BSD IPFW2, PF YesYesNoYesYesYesYesYesYes
OpenSolaris, illumos IPFilter YesYesYesYesYesYesYes [Note 2] YesYes
Darwin, OpenDarwin IPFW YesYesYesYes
FreeDOS YesYesYesYesYesYes
Genode software IP routingYesNoNoNoYesYes
Haiku NoneYesYesYesYesYes
KolibriOS NoneYesNoYesNoYes
MenuetOS NoneYesNoNoNo
GNU netfilter iptables/nftables (with Linux-libre and Linux kernel) [Note 3] YesYes [Note 4] Yes [Note 5] Yes
ReactOS YesYes
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio
Plan 9 ipmuxYesYesNoYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
Syllable YesYesYesYesYes
Inferno ipmuxYesYesNoYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
eCos YesYesYesYesYes
RTEMS YesNoYesYesYesYesYes
HelenOS YesYesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo

Supported file systems

Name FAT16, dosfs; FAT32, vfat NTFS Ext2 Ext3 XFS ReiserFS UFS UFS2 HFS HFS+ MINIXfs BFS ISO 9660 UDF NFS SMBFS RAM disk, tmpfs ZFS Other special file systems
Linux YesYes [Note 1] [Note 2] YesYesYesYesYes [Note 3] Yes [19] YesYes [Note 4] YesYes [Note 3] YesYesYesYesYesYes 9P, [Note 5] FUSE, [Note 5] sysfs, [Note 5] configfs, [Note 5] Reiser4, [Note 5] [Note 6] JFS, Btrfs, UnionFS, Ext4
FreeBSD YesYes [Note 3] [Note 2] YesYes [Note 3] Yes [Note 1] Yes [Note 3] YesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYesFUSE, nullfs, UnionFS
NetBSD YesYes [Note 3] [Note 2] YesNoNoYesYesYes [Note 3] NoNoYesYes [Note 3] YesYesYesYes PUFFS, LFS, EFS
OpenBSD YesYes [Note 3] YesNoNoYesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesNo AFS
DragonFly BSD YesYes [Note 3] YesNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoYesYes [Note 7] YesYesYesNo HAMMER, nullfs, PUFFS
OpenSolaris, illumos YesYes [Note 2] [Note 8] NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYesYes SMB (native), QFS
Darwin, OpenDarwin YesYes [Note 3] [Note 2] YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FreeDOS YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Genode YesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoExtensible VFS layer
Haiku YesYes [Note 2] Yes [Note 9] Yes [Note 9] YesYesYesYesNo [Note 10]
KolibriOS YesYes [Note 3] Yes [Note 3] Yes [Note 3] Yes [Note 3] YesYes
MenuetOS Yes
GNU YesYesYes [Note 11] Yes [Note 12] YesYesYesNo
ReactOS YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio YesNo
Plan 9 YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYesNo Fossil, Venti, most system services
Syllable YesYes [Note 3] Yes [Note 3] Yes [Note 3] YesYesYes AFS
Inferno YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYeskfs, most system services
eCos YesYes [Note 3] YesMMFS, ROMfs, JFFS2, YAFFS
HelenOS YesNoYesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNoYesYesNoNoYeslocfs, exFAT
E/OSYesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYes [Note 13] YesNoYesYesYes
NameFAT16, dosfs; FAT32, vfatNTFSExt2Ext3XFSReiserFSUFSUFS2HFSHFS+MINIXfsBFSISO 9660UDFNFSSMBFSRAM disk, tmpfsZFSOther special file systems
  1. 1 2 Experimental.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Read/Write support via NTFS-3G.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Read only kernel driver.
  4. read/write access without journaling; HFS+ with journal either be opened read-only or be written with journal ignored (potentially corrupting the file system).
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 2.6 and later.
  6. With patch Archived 15 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine .
  7. Read only.
  8. OpenSolaris also has an in-kernel, native SMB server built directly on the ZFS DMU.
  9. 1 2 Ext2/3 read and write support for Haiku (jvff's blog).
  10. The GSoC 2009 project assignment was never completed (Obaro Ogbo's blog Archived 17 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine ).
  11. Ext3/4 is not supported on Hurd kernel for now
  12. UFS support is dropped on Hurd kernel for now
  13. Default in series 028.

Supported file system features

Name RAID quota Resource access control encryption other special file system features
Linux YesYes Unix, ACL, MAC Yes LVM, EVMS
FreeBSD YesYesUnix, ACL, MACYes GEOM, snapshots, background fsck, user-mountable file systems
OpenBSD YesYesUnixYes
NetBSD YesYesUnix, Veriexec YesSnapshots, Journaling
DragonFly BSD YesYesUnixYes HAMMER, Snapshots, Checksumming, Deduplication
OpenSolaris, illumos YesYesUnix, ACL, MACYes Solaris Volume Manager, ZFS, snapshots, transparent data repair
Darwin, OpenDarwin YesUnix, ACLYes
FreeDOS No
Genode NoNoNoNoPer-process virtual file-system layer
KolibriOS No
MenuetOS No
GNU Unix
ReactOS No
L4, Fiasco, Pistachio
Plan 9 NoNo Unix-like, no rootNosnapshots, venti archival storage, per-process namespace, user-mountable file systems
Syllable Unix 64-bit, journaling, extended file attributes
Inferno NoNoUnix-like, no rootNoper-process namespace, user-mountable file systems
HelenOS NoNoNoNoNo
NameRAIDquotaResource access controlencryptionother special file system features

Security features

Operating system Mandatory access control Software executable space protection Operating system-level virtualization VirtualisationUserspace protectionOthers
Linux SELinux, AppArmor [Note 1] Exec Shield, [Note 1] PaX [Note 1] Chroot, namespace and cgroups, [Note 2] Linux-VServer, [Note 1] OpenVZ [Note 1] KVM IPFilter, Iptables grsecurity, [Note 1] RSBAC [Note 1]
FreeBSD SeBSD, [Note 3] [Note 4] TrustedBSD ProPolice/SSP [Note 5] jail bhyve [20] IPFW, PF, IPFilter
Darwin SEDarwin, TrustedBSDjailIPFW
OpenBSD W^X, ProPolice/SSP [Note 6] vmm [21] PF
OpenSolaris, illumos TrustedBSD Solaris Containers KVM [22] IPFilterRBAC [23]
Plan 9 NoNoper-process namespaces
Inferno NoNoper-process namespaces
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 available as a patch(not integrated into the linux kernel or the userland utilities), see the security features of the Linux distribution for more details
  2. LXC is a front-end to this; also see
  3. not integrated into the operating system
  4. see here for more details
  5. ProPolice/Stack-Smashing Protector has been enabled in base system since FreeBSD 8.0 release.
  6. see here for more details

See also

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