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Compact Linux appliance targets web surfing apps

Oct 30, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

[Updated Oct. 31] — Parisian startup Linutop is readying a compact Linux-based computing appliance aimed at web surfing kiosks in libraries, schools, offices, hotels, hospitals, Internet cafes, and family rooms. The Linutop device features a fanless x86-compatible Geode processor, and flash-based storage for completely silent operation.

(Click for larger view of Linutop PC)

The Linutop PC is based on a Geode LX [email protected] processor, a 433MHz version of AMD's LX-800. The chip has a TDP (thermal design power) of 3.1 Watts, according to AMD.

The Linutop has 256MB of RAM, and 512MB of flash-based storage. I/O includes 10/100 Ethernet and VGA, along with four USB 2.0 ports and audio I/O. Wireless Ethernet will also be an option, possibly through a USB peripheral.

Linutop PC has four USB 2.0 ports and audio I/O

The Linutop measures 3.7 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches (9.3 x 2.7 x 15 cm), and weighs 9.9 ounces (280 grams).

Linutop desktop
(Click to enlarge)

The Linutop PC will be supplied with a 2.6.18 Linux kernel and Debian-based filesystem that includes a number of popular open source applications, including:

  • Firefox web browser
  • AbiWord word processor
  • Evince PDF viewer
  • Gaim instant messenger
  • Totem media player

Additionally, an impending upgrade to 2.6.19 is expected to bring “even better support for those Zydax-based WiFi dongles that everyone has,” said Martin-Eric Racine, Linutop's software specialist.

The stack also includes an XDMCP client, enabling it to work with LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project) installations, Racine notes. It also supports Etherboot, with PXE a possibility given sufficient demand.

And, users can easily customize the Linutop's Linux OS, the company says.


The Linutop is expected to ship “within a month or two,” priced at 280 Euros (~$357) in single quantities, according to company spokesperson Frederic Baille. Volume pricing will also be available, Baille said.

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