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Intel launches mobile Linux initiative

Jul 16, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Intel has unveiled an ambitious project aimed at developing open source software for mobile devices. The Moblin project comprises a Linux kernel, UI framework, browser, multimedia framework, and embedded Linux image creation tools, along with developer resources such as documentation, mailing lists, and an IRC… channel.

(Click for larger view of Moblin's UI)

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Intel hopes Moblin will serve as a “point of integration” for multiple sub-projects. Current sub-projects include:

  • Kernel — platform-specific kernel patches and drivers
  • GTK-based UI (user interface) framework — uses Hildon application framework, similar to Nokia's Linux-based web tablets
  • Power management policy project — a project that aims to provide a “comprehensive, robust, and extensible” framework for mobile device power management (diagram)
  • Network profile manager — described as a unified, dynamic configuration system supporting the various protocols (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) used to connect mobile devices
  • Browser — based on Mozilla, but with a finger-driven UI and Hildon integration

  • Multimedia — a “Moblin Media Artist” player offering a choice of gstreamer or Real's open source Helix streaming frameworks (artist's rendering)

  • Image capture — an image capture, management, and sharing application for still and video images
  • Chat — based on Telepathy, but with added support for popular messaging protocols

  • Moblin Image Creator
    (Click to enlarge)

    Moblin image creator (pictured at right) — aimed at enabling quick creation of platform-specific build environments and target file systems, with “customized contents chosen from a list of available feature sets,” Intel said; produces binary images that can run on actual devices, or in an emulated environment

Open to non-Intel architectures

Currently, all sub-projects are focused on the Intel architecture; however, the project is “open to contributions for support of other architectures,” Intel said.

Specific Intel processors targeted by Moblin at this point include the 600MHz A100 and 800MHz A110. These parts combine with Intel's 945GU Express chipset and ICH7 I/O controller hub to form Intel's “Ultra Mobile Platform 2007” platform.

Besides git-based source repositories and other community development resources for the sub-projects listed above, Moblin offers a single unified developer mailing list, a hardware program aimed at distributing Intel development systems to open source developers, and an IRC channel (#moblin at

Additionally, the project hopes to coordinate demonstrations at muliple industry events, starting with the Ubuntu Live conference set for next week in Portland, Ore.

Additional details can be found on the website.

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