Need to Know: What is Maya OS, India’s Top Secret Windows Replacement for Defense?


As cyber threats loom large, India is betting on a homegrown operating system called Maya OS to secure its critical defense infrastructure and reduce reliance on foreign software like Microsoft Windows.

cybersecurity with Indian tri color flag

What is Maya OS?
Maya OS is an indigenous operating system built on the popular open-source Linux distribution Ubuntu. It provides a similar desktop environment and software compatibility as Windows while enhancing security features tailored for India’s defense needs.

What is Ubuntu and is it really more secure than Windows?

Ubuntu is a free, community-driven Linux OS developed as open source software. Its code is transparent and continuously vetted and improved by developers globally, making it more secure than closed source Windows. Regular updates and lack of commercial interests further boost Ubuntu’s reliability.

Who are the creators of Maya OS? 

Maya OS has been collaboratively developed over the past 6 months by India’s foremost technology agencies including Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) along with private Indian software companies and academic institutions.

Ancient connection in the name? 

‘Maya’ in Sanskrit refers to illusion or magic. This metaphorically indicates that the OS focuses on deception, disguising, masking and ultimately defending against cyber attacks through its multi-layered security architecture.

When will Maya OS be deployed? 

Maya OS is currently in the evaluation stage and its rollout is slated to begin by the end of 2023. It will first be installed in the defense headquarters in South Block before August 15th. Subsequently, the Army, Air Force, Navy and other defense installations will transition their systems to Maya OS in a phased manner.


Maya OS embodies India’s self-reliance mission in strategically critical technology domains like cybersecurity. Its adoption will reduce import dependence and allow indigenous innovation to bolster India’s defense in the digital age.

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