The new software for promoting ‘made in India’

Cyber security is of profound importance especially when it comes to the three military forces. In order to increase the cyber security, Indian military uses the BOSS operating system better known as the Bharat operating system solutions for guarding its communication and important information from the foreign networks. The threat to the cyber domain is a matter of national importance, which is why the honorary Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji asked the three services to test the indigenous BOSS for guarding all communications.

The Indian Military use Linux too!
The Indian Military use Linux too!

BOSS has been developed by the CDAC Chennai, and it has been customised to the meet the military requirements. Cyber has become an important part of the warfare domain, which is why using BOSS is the best thing that the military analysts have done. Protection of information is quite crucial when it comes to cyber domain for all the three forces, because leaking out of even a minute detail about the itinerary of a convoy can prove to be quite dangerous. Earlier the Indian Military was using foreign originated software but it was not considered safe and frequently also came under the scanner.  

Why is BOSS or Bharat operating system being used?

  • Cyber is a fast emerging warfare domain and BOSS is known to be software that promotes the use of free software all over the country. Use of BOSS is considered to be a great initiative by the military analysts.
  • As foreign origin software cannot be considered safe for the sharing of important information and communication, BOSS is considered the best choice and also a great way of promoting ‘digital India’ and ‘make in India’. No foreign software is safe to use when leakage of information and cyber espionage is on a rise.
  • It has some unique features like the web server, proxy server, mail server, file server, network server, SMS server and it also has an advanced server which consists of the toll such as the PHPmyadmin, PG admin and a web based interface.
  • This military software is available in all major languages, like Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Assamese, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Bodo, Urdu, Kashmiri, Maithili, Konkani, and Manipuri, which makes this military software Standout from the rest. As this software is available in almost all Indian languages, it can be used in all government domains and also by those are non English users.

Issues with BOSS

The government considers it to be an all purpose software but it is hardly the case; this ‘made in India software doesn’t have much documentation and there is not much knowledge about its latest release. Another drawback with this OS is that it doesn’t consist of a forum like the other operating systems, for the users to discuss their issues and problems. This software as termed by the government is a free and open software but it is not good for cyber cafes and is perfect to be used if you are a government servant working in a government office or any other government agency.

The positives

It is perfect for the government agencies and offices as it reduces the cost and also gives the government its own personal operating system. It can easily be used as uniform software through all government agencies for controlling everything all throughout the government computers.

The latest version

The latest version of this military software is BOSS 6.0 better known as Anoop; it has various applications and certain updates like the XORG, Libreoffice, Evolution, Gimp, GTK, keyring manager and GCC. This latest release of the BOSS is compatible with LSB 4.1.

Linux Software for Military Purposes

Military operations are always under the radar and are scrutinised by the nation as its top priority to protect the integrity. While each military base takes this at the core, it realises that protecting and preserving its data on its military Linux software has to be paid some heed. The Department of Defence of the United States has an official policy stating there shall be no use of an open platform without a waiver. Well, we may think that it’s a stone cold stupid rule being implemented to line the pockets of tech giants Oracle, IBM and Microsoft including others. When you actually look in practice at the ground level, there are a ton of Linux and other based software that are open sourced stuff in whole of the defence department. They have the allowance of granting those waivers at any given time.

Secure systems use Linux, since it's open source and there's no secret backdoors.
Secure systems use Linux, since it’s open source and there’s no secret backdoors.

Most of the servers operated across the Department of Defence work on Linux. While other versions like FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris and SCO Unix among others were extensively used in the past among which HP-UX and Solaris are still in operation. The US military predominantly makes use of Linux software and the Security Enhanced Linux being the most trusted software for hardening Linux against Linux has been sponsored by the National Security Agency. Linux is made use in all the important national security departments of the United States such as aviation, navy and the ground based military camps. It’s the main source of communication and data analysis platform medium for the department. It has got its various versions being used in different departments such as Lightweight Portable Security for the Air Force application and secure usage.

Linux for Military:

The military Linux software is highly powerful and optimized in all aspects to run solely for the purpose and therefore leave no trace of it while being operated on parallel sides. If we go down a decade, the seeds for shifting towards a Linux based infrastructure had been sowed with the army eventually taking its stance forward for the new software to boost its $200 Billion weapon program.

  • It allows you to have web browsing and remote network connections while including all verifications and encryption wizard.
  • It thereby converts your untrusted Mac or Windows into a very secure and powerful device operating on the minimal level to comprehend complex tasks in hand.
  • Perhaps the most striking feature is its encryption where you can easily have controls of encrypting, decrypt and archive for all files.

Astra Linux has been considered as a de facto open platform for its wide use in the variety of products and segments in the market. It’s found in powerful servers, desktops and highly sophisticated devices run on the platform and hence for the same reason the military considers it as an open standard. With a large community of experts in software development for Linux and its open source management, it makes it easier to retain such personnel. Defense programs require high performance and real-time capabilities which the modern Linux software’s have been offering.

Arguments:

While there have always been the arguments over its use and unwisely usage at times from both the military and the government, it still helps the fact that it has increased its security levels for open standards drastically. Known for its high performance and secured interface, it helps in getting the work done easily by leveraging the tasks efficiently making it time-saving and money saving too. I the current scenario is anything to be considered with high tech operations on Linux, it can be claimed to be the best open standard software interface for the military to have adopted.