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Moblin 2 first impressions

Jan 28, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

The new Moblin 2 stack provides some snazzy new build tools aimed at helping Linux distributors and integrators create, maintain, and test custom Linux implementations. It also features a very welcome new network configuration utility for Linux, and some netbook-oriented sample stacks that boot in seconds, via packed read-ahead technology.

The new Moblin 2 tools and sample builds were released late Monday by the Intel-sponsored Moblin project. They provide an underlying platform for anyone implementing a custom Linux stack intended to run on Intel Atom processors. Given the prevalence of Atom in netbooks as well as single-board computers and Linux devices of all kinds, many Moblin 2 features — including near-instant boot — will likely see widespread adoption.

The Moblin 2 alpha release includes:

  • Command-line only (for now) Moblin Image Creator 2, derived from Fedora's kickstart build tools. It automates the creation of live CDs and VM images, by caching the answers an installer would ordinarily ask in a “kickstart” file.
  • The relatively new “Connman” [PDF download] connection utility
  • A lightweight sample netbook stack featuring the Minefield browser, Thunnar file manager, Totem media player, some PIM (personal information management) tools, the lightweight XFCE window manager. Presumably, downstream Moblin users will be building much fancier stacks! Yet, the stack has some nice features, like transparent windows. On the downside, there seems to be limited GPU support, even for Intel parts.
  • A version of the same stack, with tools, header files, and libraries such as Clutter, aimed at app developers interested in 3D-enabling their finger-driven UIs
  • Kickstart files for both the above stacks. Build your app, edit the kickstart file, then build a live CD or VM image with a single command.
  • Documentation accessible to casual experimenters, as well as developers, at

For a deeper look at the tools, and perspective on what they could mean in the ongoing battle between Windows and Linux for the netbook market, click below to for a “first impressions” article by LinuxDevices editor Henry Kingman, who also edits our sister site, DesktopLinux.

Moblin2 first impressions — wow, boots fast!

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