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Linux distro spins netbook version

Sep 15, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Foresight Linux has developed a mobile netbook version of its desktop Linux distribution. Aimed at netbooks, Foresight Mobile Edition 1.0 integrates Ubuntu's Netbook remix desktop, along with rPath's Conary package management system for embedded appliances, says the Foresight group.

(Click for larger view of Foresight Mobile Edition 1.0)

Like the GNOME 2.22-based Foresight Linux 2.0, which forms the foundation of the mobile version, Foresight Mobile Edition 1.0 incorporates elements of the the rPath distribution and includes the rPath group's related Conary package management system, aimed at helping developers assemble distributions by drawing from multiple upstream projects and repositories. Conary enables Foresight to introduce features and fixes through rolling releases, updating the software as soon as it is available, says the development group.

Introduced in 2004, Conary was developed by Eric Troan, former Red Hat CTO, as well as Michael K. Johnson and Matt Wilson, a trio that in 2006 also launched rPath, a small-footprint distribution that was recently rev'd to rPath version 2. Conary is built into both rPath Linux and the rBuilder development tool.

Unlike the desktop version of Foresight Linux, Foresight Mobile Edition uses Canonical's Ubuntu Netbook Remix desktop environment. Designed for smaller screens, Foresight's version of the Remix desktop offers “quick and easy links to applications, documents, and other GNOME software,” says the group. So far, the Foresight Mobile Edition has been tested on both the Asus Eee PC and the Intel Classmate netbooks, says Foresight.

Foresight Mobile Edition 1.0 is said to feature the following applications:

  • F-Spot photo manager
  • Firefox web browser
  • Pidgin instant messenger
  • Banshee media player
  • GNOME movie player

Shuttle KPC
(Click to enlarge)

The desktop version, Foresight Linux 2.0, is available pre-installed on Shuttle's new 6.4 x 11 x 7.5-inch Shuttle KPC (pictured). The Shuttle KPC offers a choice of Intel Celeron, Pentium, or Core 2 Duo processors, with prices ranging from $200 to $300 for the Linux version.

Another netbook that uses the Ubuntu Netbook Remix is Digital Gadgets's “g netbook MESO” notebook. In other netbook news, Dell announced today that its Inspiron Mini 9 will be delivered with Sightspeed video-conferencing software, rebranded as “Dell Video Chat powered by SightSpeed.”


Foresight Mobile Edition 1.0 is available for free download now, says the Foresight group. More information and a download link should be available here.

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