Operating Systems?

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I'm just curious but is it true that if you took a kernel from an OS and rewrote enough of the code that you could end up with a completely different OS?
The reason I'm asking is because I'm thinking about Linux. Now I don't know the exact number of Linux distro there are outright now but just for example lets say there are 300 different Linux distro. Does that mean there are 300 Different Linux Operating systems out?

Other answer:

Yes you could say that there are over 300 linux OSes.
The kernel is the heart of the OS but it cannot stand alone. You need software, a desktop environment (gnome, kde, etc) or terminal for commands.People regularly take the linux kernel and make changes to it, change some other elements to make it "better": run faster, easier to install, different desktop, different method to install software, optimize for multimedia or programming, etc.

Android took the linux kernel and made the android OS….

One person could not re-write even 20% of the kernel in a year. It is too big.

Unless you have a 4GHz computer, compiling the kernel might take 8 hours.

You can make your own distro any time you like.

If you took a book and rewrote enough of the words you'd end up with a different book.
If you took a song and rewrote enough of the lyrics and notes you'd end up with a different song.
If you took a poem and rewrote enough of the words you'd end up with a different poem.
If you took this answer, and rewrote enough of the words you'd end up with a different answer.

All of these are obvious and not particularly illuminating. A piece of software is no different. Change enough of the code and you get a different piece of software.

I'm not sure if knowing that is of any particular value, though.

Re-write the kernel……ok fine….what about drivers…..program / software support….??? ….not much sense in booting up and having a black screen with a blinking cursor on it…….
Not truly. It would still be based on the original OS.