What is the most unique operating system? If by unique you mean exceptional compared to other existing operating systems, then here are, in my opinion, the most unique operating systems that exist:
- Qubes OS: A reasonably secure operating system
Qubes OS is a free and open source security-oriented operating system. It differs from other OSes in the same category by its approach: compartmentalized security. As the name suggests, this approach allows you to “compartmentalize the different parts of your digital life into securely isolated compartments called qubes.”
Compartmentalization security allows you to securely separate the different things you do on your computer from each other into qubes so that if one qube is compromised, the threat cannot spread to the others. As the official OS website explains, you could, for example, have one qube for visiting untrusted websites and another for online banking. This way, if your untrusted browsing is compromised by a malware-laden website, your online banking activities will not be threatened. Similarly, if you are concerned about malicious attachments, Qubes OS can ensure that each attachment is opened in a “throwaway” qube. This is a sort of compartment that will only be used once, for opening the attachment here, and then “thrown away”.
The system consists of two virtual machines, running Debian. One is connected to the Tor network as a “gateway”; the other is used for the user’s applications, and is called the “workstation”.
Updates are done via Tor, using the Debian package manager: apt-get .
At startup, each of the two virtual machines performs a check to make sure their software is up to date and that the date and time are set correctly.
The “Gateway” virtual machine is responsible for running Tor and has two virtual network interfaces. One is connected to the external Internet via NAT (Network Address Translation), and is used to communicate with Tor relays. The other is connected to a virtual LAN that runs entirely inside the host.
The workstation virtual machine runs user applications and is only connected to the internal virtual network, and can only communicate directly with the gateway, which requires all traffic from the workstation to pass through the Tor network. The “workstation” virtual machine can only “see” the IP addresses on the internal LAN, which are the same in every Whonix installation.
- Temple OS
It is not based on any other operating system and was written by a single developer – Terrence Andrew Davis, convinced that it was the third temple promised by god.
Written in a dialect of C – “HolyC” (yes, yes), the commands and applications were based on bible verses.
Despite the peculiarities of its developer and its functioning, it remains an exceptional operating system, equal or superior to Linux when the first versions were published by Linus Torvalds. In particular, Terrence Andrew Davis has solved in an elegant way several problems that Windows and Unix-like systems had to work around with thousands of lines of code. For example it has native support for 3D objects (allowing a 3D running char to be used as a character in the code) and also uses JIT rather than compiled binaries.
For experts in the field, this operating system is a “skyscraper built by one man”. It has no peers, it shares neither code nor syntax with any other OS.
Linus (Sebastian, from Linus Tech Tips) gave a presentation a few years ago trying to explain what it really was.