The Tizen Operating System

Samsung Smart TV

Tizen is an open source operating system supported and maintained by Samsung and backed by Intel. Tizen is currently running almost all of Samsung’s products including Smart TV, mobile phones, printers, home appliances, wearables etc. Since it is open source and uses Linux and GNU C based API, it comes under the domain of the Linux foundation.


Initially Samsung created a Samsung Linux Platform for mobile devices. This was based on the LiMo Platform. This actually completed against the Open Handset Alliance from Google and Symbian from Nokia. Finally this platform yielded it’s power to the Open Handset Alliance from Google. Parallel to this, Intel and Nokia were working on the Meego Project which is an operating system for smart phones based on Linux. Finally Meego Project got discontinued and Intel left from Meego and backed Samsung for Tizen. Tizen slowly started growing and finally Samsung integrated one of it’s homegrown platforms Bada with Tizen.

Members of the Tizen foundation come from various industried like telecommunications, mobile industry, electronics manufacturers from various parts of the world. The Tizen associates decides what to do with the Tizen operating system. Samsung did more contributions to Tizen as an operating sytem by implementing on most of it’s devices including Smart TV, mobile phones and further planning to implement on most of it’s products replacing Android. During the initial quarter of 2017 Tizen became the second most operating system for wearable devices next to watchOs.


Applications for the Tizen Platform can be developed using JavaScript, JQuery and JQuery Mobile. The latest version also supports native application development using C++. Developers can utilize the latest HTML5 web technologies to develop applications for this platform. Apart from the normal development, Tizen uses the following technology stack.

  • Ofono for the telephony stack

  • Smack for sandboxing the HTML5 based applications

  • Xwindow system along with enlightment foundation libraries

  • Wayland for providing windows system in car infotainment systems

  • zYPP for package management

  • ConnMan for connection management


The Core Mobile Web Platform Community group was responsible for developing features in Tizen, that goes easily on with the developers. HTML5 applications on the latest mobile operating systems including Tizen do not need a browser to work. In Late 2013, Tizen scored 494 out of 555 tests, that shows a platform’s readyness for acceptance into the HTML5 world. Applications that are based on GTK+, QT and EFL can be run on the Tizen IVI architecture. However they need some third party support. Also the developers do not need the SDK IDE to develop applications on Tizen. They can use their own developing environments, as long as the packaged applications comply to the Tizen packaging rules.


Tizen was built around an open licensing model. The Tizen is built around many open source components. These include components that are internally developed at Samsung and released under a Flora license. Even though the SDK is built on top of open source components, the SDK as a whole is copyrighted by Samsung.


So far we have seen a bit overview of the Tizen operating system, the archtecture, history, licensing model etc. In my next article, we will look into setting up the development environment of developing applications using the Tizen platform.

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