The CLIP OS project is an open source project maintained by the ANSSI (National Cybersecurity Agency of France) that aims to build a secure, multi-level operating system, based on the Linux kernel and a lot of free and open source software.
Initially developed to answer the security requirements of French administrations, the previous versions of CLIP OS were not publicly available.
Since September 2018, the project sources are published and the project is open to contributions. Here is the list of the elements published:
The source code and documentation (in French) of CLIP OS version 4. This source archive is made available as a reference for upstream patches contribution and future developments. For more information, see the page for the version 4.
The source code and documentation (in English) of CLIP OS version 5. This is the current and actively developed version of the project which is considered to be in alpha status. For more information, see the page for the version 5.
Why is the ANSSI opening up the source code of CLIP OS?
The public release of the CLIP OS project is part of the “plan for a transparent and collaborative public action” (in French), driven by the French DINSIC.
Opening up the CLIP OS project source code is also a way for the ANSSI to share its work and to allow everybody to benefit from it and reuse it to build hardened Linux systems based on CLIP OS.
Will the CLIP OS project be maintained by the ANSSI?
Yes. The project is currently in alpha status and is under active development. The CLIP OS development team at the ANSSI will progressively add missing functionalities and security features. Once the project is considered complete enough, the first stable version will be released.
Is this a “government made” operating system?
No. The CLIP OS project is lead and maintained by developers from the ANSSI but most of the source code resulting in the final CLIP OS system image comes from popular open source projects (the Linux kernel, the GNU Compiler Collection, etc.).
The project is based on Gentoo Hardened and has many similarities with Chromium OS or the Yocto project.