Update: Our worry has been confirmed. Moblin V2 for MIDs is now planned for 2010(See bottom of page.) “Moblin MID is a fully featured platform for next generation smart phone devices built on Moblin Foundations. It is expected for release in 2010.” Where does this leave Linux-based MIDs in 2009. Windows only?
I was pleased to see the announcement of the Moblin V2 Core Alpha Release today but annoyed to see that it’s “initially targeting Intel(r) Atom(tm) based Netbooks.”
Moblin, the Intel-funded core Linux distribution intended for OEMs and end-users is something we’ve been following on UMPCPortal since it’s launch and we’ve been looking forward to V2 for UMPCs and MIDs but the talk about little notebooks has us wondering if they’re going to ignore the touchscreen altogether. To state that it won’t even work with Menlow, the platform used on small UMPCs and MIDs, is a setback.
- The user interface is under heavy development. The final user interface will look very different than the current user interface and will not be based on XFCE.
- 3D performance is known to be slow.
- Currently, Wifi is not supported on Asus eeePC 901.
- Platforms with GMA-500 Graphics chipset are not supported.
(My emphasis.) Netbooks are slowing down innovation. Obviously netbooks have been on the roadmap for Moblin for a long time and if Intel can provide an efficient core then it’s likely they can get the distributors to standardise. This brings in the possibilities of app stores and unified dev communities but it just turns my stomach to see MIDs pushed to one side in this way. Innovation is important.
If anyone want’s to give this a spin on their netbook, the downloads are available here. It fails to boot on a Samsung Q1P but I’ll give it a shot on a few other devices today.
From the Moblin website:
The Moblin Project is happy to make the Moblin Core Alpha for Netbooks available for testing and taking the bits out for a ride.
Moblin is a community open source project, initially targeting Intel(r) Atom(tm) based Netbooks.
This Alpha release is the first chance for the larger community to start multiple-level testing of:
- The core Linux O/S, boot process, inter-process, and package interactions.
- The new “Fastboot” feature of Moblin, which fundamentally improves boot time and allows for unprecedented speed for a general purpose Linux.
- Connectivity and networking, using the new ConnMan connectivity manager.
- Kernel 2.6.29-rc2.
- The Moblin Core Components (first look at this), including Clutter and all other UI development tools.
- Xserver 1.6 (with DRI2).
- New Moblin Image Creator (MIC2) and installation tool.
- CPU: Intel Atom or Intel(r) Core(tm) 2 CPU (support for SSSE3)
(Note: Moblin will not work on non-SSSE3 CPUs)
- Graphics: Integrated Intel graphics (915/945/965)
- Network Adaptors:
- Intel e100/e1000/e1000e/iXGB
- PCNet32 (Vmware)
- RealTek 8139/8169
- SIS 900/190
- Broadcom ATL1/ATL2
- Intel 3945/4965/5000
- Atheros 5K/9K
- Broadcom 4300
- RealTek 8180/8187
- Ralink 2400/2500/61/73
Moblin also supports various external, USB-based Wifi devices.