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What Is a Custom OS? (Explained) | WhatsaByte

What Is a Custom OS? (Explained) | WhatsaByte

If you’ve spent time with electronic devices, you probably have at least a basic understanding of what constitutes an operating system. A machine’s operating system, often abbreviated as OS, is what drives its processes. It is the system that helps your device’s hardware and software work properly within the given parameters, while giving you flexibility and control in how you perform your tasks.

You might recognize names like Windows, macOS, Linux, and others, and your devices will likely use a version of one of these to handle their processes for day-to-day activities.

There are other systems to choose from, and many are custom designed to do specific things or deviate from the more conventional operating system options you can do. We’ll discuss custom operating systems, how they can be beneficial, and the potential security concerns associated with them in our article below.

Depositphotos_86080878_S TOS laptop operating system software

What is a custom operating system?

To some extent, even the major operating systems you may be familiar with are custom operating systems. They are designed in specific ways that are different from each other, and can perform similar functions in unique ways. Much of this functionality exists behind the scenes, but there are ways to get into the details of how one operating system may differ from another.

Even within the same family of operating systems, customizable elements can do different things.

For example, Apple’s general macOS operating system is one you might know. However, an Apple smartwatch could use watchOS, a different operating system designed to do things in ways specific to watches rather than desktops or laptops.

These things are separate from each other, and they’re customized, but they’re not necessarily what we mean when we talk about custom operating systems for the purposes of this article.

True Custom OS Builds

We are using the term “true” here just to differentiate between custom operating systems that you can find on different versions of Windows, Mac, and many others that create various systems that specialize in running different devices


Most commonly, when referring to a custom operating system, it means one that isn’t built by one of the industry’s “big names.” Also, it’s probably something small that one or two people built that. This is a good way to start thinking about custom operating systems.

With enough knowledge, you could build a custom operating system the same way you could build your own house. If you’re doing everything yourself with limited resources, your home may seem small compared to other homes on the market.

However, you will have created the house you want, and it will look the way you want it to look. Above all, you’ll have created it with a specific purpose in mind, and it will do the tasks you want it to do within the framework you’ve provided.

The same principles apply to a custom operating system. A custom operating system can be as large as you want. However, a large, sleek operating system on par with Windows, for example, will take a lot of time, resources, and manpower.

The key thing to remember here is that you can build or use a custom operating system for whatever you want if you can devote the energy to giving it the resources it needs. Of course, there are also custom operating systems you can use if you know they can perform the exact and specific functions you need, and the developer has put them in the public domain.

Are custom operating system builds secure?

Our answer to this is yes and no. A custom operating system can be secure or insecure, depending on how you’re using it. We’ll walk you through the differences below.



the main ways a custom operating system could be considered secure or not is in how it protects itself from attacks. As technology grows and expands, so do the capabilities of malicious actors to attempt to hack, attack, block, or compromise your devices. Sometimes, they can compromise other parts of your life besides simply playing with your electronic devices.

However, to access their devices, they need to write code designed to attack their operating system. This is easier to do if it is an operating system that they know and can study, and it is also one that is used by millions of people.

In short, a standard, well-known framework may be easier to crack than a small, custom system. We should keep in mind here that large standard operating systems like Windows and macOS are well aware of these issues and implement various security features and continuous updates to keep their users and their data safe.

Still, if you’re using a custom operating system, it can make it difficult for malefactors to access or compromise your device. Depending on the custom operating system you are using, you could be one of the selected few people who operate it.

Even if a relatively large number of people use it, a custom operating system will work with a different framework through different parameters than one of the more well-known ones. This fact alone can make it difficult to access your devices and data. There’s still risk here, but it’s mitigated by the relative unknowns of a new operating system.

Risks of custom systems On the

other hand, using a custom operating system can also be risky. Primarily, this relates to how much you know about custom OS builds or how much you understand about the specific custom OS you’d like to use.

It’s a good idea to read up on the custom system you’re interested in and learn as much as you can about it. Even then, it’s best to download a custom OS only from trusted sources or those highly rated from knowledgeable communities that develop, share, and discuss them.

Although there is little risk of something malicious coming with your custom operating system, downloading and installing one without knowing how it might interact with your device could cause major issues in performance or functionality, and it can be difficult to get your device back to normal afterwards.

Some operating systems may not work well with your device, and you should be aware of that before installing anything. Always have a backup handy and get custom OS builds from sources you trust.

<img src="" alt="Depositphotos_23894023_S Pros and cons of

sticky notes” /> Pros and cons

of a custom operating system The specific pros and

cons of a custom operating system

depend on the ROM and may vary. However, we’ll try to provide you with some of the general pros and cons you’re likely to encounter when dealing with your average custom operating system.

Benefits of the custom operating system

1. Although

this can be very dependent, many custom builds don’t necessarily need as much personal data as some of the standard operating systems


You should be able to use the programs you want without entering your personal data or handing over access to data you’d rather keep private.

Of course, make sure you’re using a custom operating system with a reasonable user base. The unpopular ones may have security issues or viruses hidden in them.

2. Faster update

Again, this is general, but using a custom operating system means you don’t have to wait or rely on your device manufacturer to provide you with the latest updates. These updates could be related to security, performance, or many other things.

The benefit of a faster update would only apply to a popular custom operating system.

3. More flexibility

Most devices will tie you to a specific brand to get the most out of your electronic devices because you trust that brand’s software features and how they work. With a custom operating system, you won’t be tied to a specific brand or the way they do things.

This could give you more freedom to use your devices in personalized ways that personally give you a greater benefit rather than just in the ways a manufacturer intends.

Cons of Custom Operating System

1. This

could be especially true if you’re using an early or beta version of a custom operating system. It’s a good idea to wait until there’s at least one stable version. An early operating system might need some refinement and using it before this is done could result in weird functionality while testing things.

2. Loss of features

This is not secure, but some custom systems may not be able to communicate with various programs or applications. This means that you may lose the functionality of these things until the problem is fixed. In some cases, you may need to revert to your original operating system to restore features on your device.

3. Bricking

This may be rare, but if you flash ROMs that are incompatible with your device, you risk crashing it in a hard or soft way. Always make sure that you are using the proper ROM recommended for your device and version.

4. Slow


If you choose a custom operating system with few users, it is very likely that there will be no updates or that updates will be relatively slow. An unpopular custom operating system could simply be someone’s side project.

Are custom ROMs worth it?

Custom ROMs are definitely worth considering, depending on your needs and the devices you’re using.

1. In many ways, a custom ROM can be a great solution to upgrade or upgrade old devices in the low or mid-range in terms of functionality. A different ROM could give you access to several newer features without needing to buy a new device.

2. Many custom ROMs

seek to improve performance, functionality, and security over the standard ROMs that come with your devices. If there’s a stable version of a different ROM that can do that for your electronics, it may be worth checking out.

3.It is easier to make modifications and customize things to your liking with different ROMs. You might not get factory upgrades, but greater flexibility could make up for this.

Stock operating systems or ROMs come with many great features that many users enjoy. However, a custom operating system can be designed for different specifications, meaning you can have more freedom to do things your way on your devices. If you want to try out greater flexibility that could also boost performance or security, it’s worth at least learning about what ROMs and systems exist from trusted sources.

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