Codenames For Windows, macOS, And Linux Operating Systems

Microsoft assigns codenames to its operating systems, like many other OS manufacturers. This is primarily done because, at the time of developing these projects, the final version, or the final name of the product is yet to be decided. Therefore, whilst they’re still in production, the developers use the codenames for the products to identify them.

Microsoft does not only assign codenames to the Windows operating system versions but also to other products, such as .NET releases, SQL Servers, etc.

While some prefer using the finalized names of the products, others prefer using the operating system codenames. Codenames eliminate the error of misunderstanding and often refer to exact product descriptions. For example, with the Windows OS, a codename illustrates an exact build of the operating system, eliminating any confusion.

This post lists the codenames Microsoft used or uses for the Windows operating system.

Microsoft’s naming strategy for Windows

Microsoft has shifted a few times from its codename strategies. Earlier Windows versions used simple and random names, which then shifted to theme-based codenames, such as weather or astronomical phenomena. This then changed to aspirational names, such as “Redstone,” which was used for Windows 10 versions.

When Windows 11 was launched, Microsoft again changed its naming strategy and used names for valleys as codenames. The theory behind the reasoning is still unknown.

That said, not all Windows releases need to have a codename – some are without a codename, or even if Microsoft assigned one to them, they did not catch on.

Codenames for Windows OS

List Of Windows Codenames Graphic Opt
List Of Windows Codenames Graphic
Windows VersionCodename
Windows 1.01Interface Manager
Windows 1.02
Windows 1.03
Windows 1.04
Windows 2.01
Windows 2.03
Windows 2.1
Windows 2.11
Windows 3.0
Windows 3.1
Windows NT 3.1Razzle
Windows 3.11
Windows 3.2
Windows NT 3.5Daytona
Windows NT 3.5.1
Windows 95Chicago
Windows NT 4.0Shell Update Release
Windows 98Memphis
Windows 98 Second Edition
Windows 2000Windows NT 5.0
Windows MeMillennium
Windows XPWhistler
Windows VistaLonghorn
Windows 7Windows 7
Windows 8Windows 8
Windows 8.1Blue
Windows 10 version 1507Threshold
Windows 10 version 1511Threshold 2
Windows 10 version 1607Redstone 1
Windows 10 version 1703Redstone 2
Windows 10 version 1709Redstone 3
Windows 10 version 1803Redstone 4
Windows 10 version 1809Redstone 5
Windows 10 version 190319H1
Windows 10 version 1909Vanadium
Windows 10 version 2004Vibranium
Windows 10 version 20H2
Windows 10 version 21H1
Windows 10 version 21H2
Windows 10 version 22H2
Windows 11 version 21H2Sun Valley
Windows 11 version 22H2Sun Valley 2
Windows 11 version 23H2Sun Valley 3
Windows 11 version 24H2Germanium
Windows 12Hudson Valley
Codenames for Windows versions

Codenames for macOS

Like Windows and other operating systems, Apple also assigns codenames to its operating systems which are released on an annual basis. The codenames for Apple’s operating systems catch on rather quickly and are usually known by those codenames, and rarely by the macOS versions.

Here are the codenames for the different macOS versions:

macOS VersionCodename
System 6.0.4Antares
System 6.0.5Big Deal
System 6.0.6SixPack
System 6.0.8Terminator
System 7Blue, Big Bang, M80, Pleiades
System 7.0Furnishings 2000
System 7.0.1Road Warrior, Beta Cheese
System 7.1Cube-E, I Tripoli
System 7.1.1Jirocho
System 7.5Mozart, Capone
macOS 7.5.1Danook, Thag
macOS 7.5.2Marconi
macOS 7.5.2 Unity
macOS 7.5.3 Revision 2.1Buster
macOS 7.5.3 Revision 2.1Son of Buster
macOS 7.6Harmony
macOS 7.6.1Ides of Buster
macOS 8Tempo
macOS 8.1Bride of Buster, Scimitar
macOS 8.5Allegro
macOS 8.5.1Rick Ford Release
macOS 8.6Veronica
macOS 9Sonata
macOS 9.0.4Minuet
macOS 9.1Fortissimo
macOS 9.2Moonlight
macOS 9.2.1Limelight
macOS 9.2.2LU1
macOS X Cyan, Siam
macOS X Developer Preview 3Bunsen
macOS X Developer Preview 4 Gonzo
macOS X Public BetaKodiak
macOS X Public Release 1Hera
macOS X Public Release 2Beaker
macOS X 10.0Cheetah
macOS X 10.1Puma
macOS X 10.2Jaguar
macOS X 10.2.1Red
macOS X 10.2.2Blue
macOS X 10.2.3Green
macOS X 10.2.4Pink
macOS X 10.2.7Blackrider, Smeagol
macOS X 10.3Panther (Pinot)
macOS X 10.4Tiger (Merlot)
macOS X 10.4.1Tiger (Atlanta)
macOS X 10.4.4Tiger (Chardonnay)
macOS X 10.5Leopard (Chablis)
macOS X 10.6Snow Leopard
macOS X 10.7Lion (Barolo)
OS X 10.8Mountain Lion (Zinfandel)
OS X 10.9Mavericks (Cabernet)
OS X 10.10Yosemite (Syrah)
OS X 10.11El Capitan (Gala)
macOS 10.12Sierra (Fuji)
macOS 10.13High Sierra (Lobo)
macOS 10.14Mojave (Liberty)
macOS 10.15Catalina (Jazz)
macOS 11Big Sur (GoldenGate)
macOS 12Monterey (Star)
macOS 13Ventura (Rome)
macOS 14Sonoma (Sunburst)
Codenames for macOS

Linux codenames

As you would already know, Linux has many different distributions and flavors, and each of those has different codename strategies. Here, I have highlighted the codenames for the common types of Linux distributions.

Ubuntu codenames

Ubuntu VersionCodename
4.10Warty Warthog
5.04Hoary Hedgehog
5.10Breezy Badger
6.06 LTSDapper Drake
6.10Edgy Eft
7.04Feisty Fawn
7.10Gutsy Gibbon
8.04 LTSHardy Heron
8.10Intrepid Ibex
9.04Jaunty Jackalope
9.10Karmic Koala
10.04 LTSLucid Lynx
10.10Maverick Meerkat
11.04Natty Narwhal
11.10Oneiric Ocelot
12.04 LTSPrecise Pangolin
12.10Quantal Quetzal
13.04Raring Ringtail
13.10Saucy Salamander
14.04 LTSTrusty Tahr
14.10Utopic Unicorn
15.04Vivid Vervet
15.10Willy Werewolf
16.04 LTSXenial Xerus
16.10Yakkety Yak
17.04Zesty Zapus
17.10Artful Aardvark
18.04 LTSBionic Beaver
18.10Cosmic Cuttlefish
19.04Disco Dingo
19.10Eoan Ermine
20.04 LTSFocal Fossa
20.10Groovy Gorilla
21.04Hirsute Hippo
21.10Impish Indri
22.04 LTSJammy Jellyfish
22.10Kinetic Kudu
23.04Lunar Lobster
23.10Mantic Minotaur
24.04 LTSNoble Numbat
Codenames for Ubuntu versions

Debian codenames

13 (upcoming)Trixie
Codenames for Debian versions

OpenSUSE codenames

10.1Aagama Lizard
10.2Basilisk Lizard
Codenames for OpenSUSE versions

Closing words

Codenames may not be used as widely after a product has been released, but they are very important when a product is under development.

Since the developers are not certain what the actual version name of the stable release will be, they tend to use codenames for OS versions in their communications. These codenames are then carried forward when a version is rolled out.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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