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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
DeveloperAlibaba Cloud
OS familyAndroid OS
Working stateCurrent
Source modelClosed source
Initial release28 July 2011; 12 years ago (2011-07-28)
Latest release2.0 / 22 September 2018; 5 years ago (2018-09-22)
Official websitealios.cn (Chinese)
AliOS Things
DeveloperAlibaba Cloud
OS familyReal-time operating systems
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial release20 October 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-20)
Latest release3.1.0 / 10 April 2020; 4 years ago (2020-04-10)
Latest preview4.0 / 16 October 2020; 3 years ago (2020-10-16)
Official websitealiosthings.io

AliOS (formerly YunOS and Aliyun OS) is a Linux distribution developed by Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Mainland Chinese company Alibaba Group. It is designed for smart cars and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and it had been used as a mobile operating system.


On 28 July 2011, Alibaba Cloud confirmed the existence of its own mobile operating system, the YunOS. The system was described as the result of three years of development and uses Alibaba Cloud's self-developed distributed file system and virtual machine, making it fully compatible with Android-based applications. With its YunOS, the company is challenging the dominant Android in China and is also looking to expand into Western markets.[1] It was first used in the K-Touch W700 in 2011.[2]

As of May 2012, 1 million YunOS-powered smartphones have been sold.[3] It was expected to become the second biggest operating system in China by shipments at the end of 2016, with 14% of the market.[4] The latest publicly available version of YunOS, YunOS 5 Atom, as a forked version of Android 6.0, was released on 10 December 2015.[5][6]

In October 2017, Alibaba Group decided to upgrade its operating system strategy to focus investment on the burgeoning Internet of Things sector. As part of the move, Alibaba rebranded its YunOS operating system as AliOS, an operating system offering OS solutions for automobile, industrial and IoT devices. At the same time, Alibaba introduced an open-source IoT edition of AliOS, named as AliOS Things.[7][8][9]


AliOS revolves around the idea of bringing cloud functionality to smart devices. According to the company, AliOS will feature cloud-based e-mail, Web search, weather updates, and GPS navigation tools. In addition, the AliOS services will synchronize and store call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access across other devices, including personal computers. Alibaba says it will offer customers 100 GB of storage at launch. AliOS would allow users to access applications from the Web, rather than download apps to their devices.[10] In the meantime, AliOS Things, as a lightweight IoT embedded operating system for the IoT field, would be suitable for all kinds of small loT devices, and can be widely used in smart home, smart city, new travel and other fields.[8]

Relations with Android[edit]

According to Google, AliOS is a forked but incompatible version of its open-source Android operating system. Google therefore attempted to prevent Acer Inc. from shipping an AliOS-powered phone, arguing that Acer, a member of the Open Handset Alliance, had agreed not to produce phones running incompatible Android versions.[11][12] Andy Rubin, who at the time was in charge of the Android division at Google, stated that while AliOS is not part of the Android ecosystem, it uses runtimes, framework and various tools from Android.[13]

Alibaba disputes the claim that AliOS is a version of Android by stating the following:[13][14]

"Aliyun OS [now AliOS] incorporates its own virtual machine, which is different from Android's Dalvik virtual machine. AliOS' runtime environment, which is the core of the OS, consists of both its own Java virtual machine, which is different from Android’s Dalvik virtual machine, and its own cloud app engine, which supports HTML5 web applications. AliOS uses some of the Android application framework and tools (open source) merely as a patch to allow AliOS users to enjoy third-party apps in addition to the cloud-based AliOS apps in our ecosystem."

However, as of September 2012, the AliOS app store still contains some pirated Android applications, including many from Google.[13][15]

AliOS Things[edit]

AliOS Things is the IoT version of AliOS announced and open-sourced in 2017. It is designed for low power, resource constrained MCUs, as well as connectivity SoCs.[8]

AliOS Things comes in two editions, one based on the Linux kernel and the other based on Rhino, Alibaba's RTOS kernel.[16]


In November 2015, following Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television's policy, dozens of third-party applications installed by users on their own YunOS set-top boxes were automatically removed and blocked from re-installation.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Osawa, Juro (2012-09-09). "Chinese Software to Challenge Android - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  2. ^ "Alibaba announces 'cloud-powered' Aliyun OS, K-Touch W700 phone". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  3. ^ "Alibaba Cloud Computing and Haier GroupLaunch AliOS OS-Powered Smartphone : Global Growth Investors". General Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  4. ^ Perez, Bien (27 November 2016). "Alibaba's AliOS overtakes Apple's iOS as China's second-largest smartphone operating system". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  5. ^ "阿里AliOS 5发布:稳居国内手机操作系统前三". csdn.net. Archived from the original on 2020-11-05. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  6. ^ "Xiaolajiao A1 with Dual Rear Cameras, 3GB RAM, YunOS 5.1 – TheGadgetsFreak.com". TheGadgetsFreak.com. 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  7. ^ "Alibaba Cloud aims to connect 10 billion devices by 2023 · TechNode". TechNode. 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  8. ^ a b c "alibaba/AliOS-Things". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  9. ^ "Alibaba Sets Sights on IoT, Rebrands Operating System AliOS". Alizila.com. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  10. ^ Reisinger, Don (2011-07-28). "Alibaba OS-powered handset launching this month | The Digital Home". CNET News. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  11. ^ Andy Rubin. "We were surprised to read Alibaba Group's chief strategy…". Google+. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  12. ^ Brodkin, Jon. "Google blocked Acer's rival phone to prevent Android "fragmentation"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  13. ^ a b c Jon Brodkin (2012-09-17). "Pirated Android apps featured prominently on Aliyun app store". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  14. ^ Moyer, Edward (2012-09-15). "Alibaba: Google just plain wrong about our OS". CNET News. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  15. ^ "Aliyun App Store Confirmed To Be Distributing Pirated Android Apps, Many From Another Pirate Site". Androidpolice.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  16. ^ "Welcome to Alibaba Cloud Developer Center and Build an Open & Innovative Community!". developer.alibabacloud.com. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  17. ^ "广电总局再发大招 七成电视盒子被"阉割"_国内国际_新闻首页_成都全搜索". News.chengdu.cn. Retrieved 2017-05-09.