'Polished' Moblin adds 3G support, plug-ins

'Polished' Moblin adds 3G support, plug-ins

Summary: The latest version of Moblin, the Intel-sponsored Linux distribution for Atom-based netbooks and nettops, includes a new web browser and allows Bluetooth pairing

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Version 2.1 of Moblin Linux, an operating system tailored for netbooks and nettops with Intel's low-powered Atom chipset, has been released.

The development of Moblin was initiated by Intel, although it is now run under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. The new version adds plug-in support, support for 3G data connections, and performance and stability improvements among other features.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Intel's Open Source Technology Center director Imad Sousou wrote that Moblin v2.1 includes "the broadest feature additions, customer-requested improvements and overall polish to date".

The update includes a new web browser that, unlike its predecessor, can work with plug-ins. Data support for 3G in the OS is currently limited to connections using Ericsson's mobile broadband 3G modems, which are found in some embedded-3G laptops. Support for other modems is planned for the future, Sousou wrote.

Bluetooth device discovery and pairing is also now possible, as is using a Bluetooth phone as a 3G modem. According to Sousou, Moblin's connection manager has had "significant modifications, particularly in the areas of performance and reliability".

The application installer has been fully integrated into Moblin v2.1, providing a selection of applications from the Moblin Garage app store. In September, Intel launched a programme to encourage the development of applications that are tailored to run on Atom-based systems — whether on Windows or Moblin.

Various components of Moblin have been upgraded, so the operating system now uses version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel, Intel Linux graphics driver 2.9, X server 1.6.4 and Mesa 7.6. The operating system has also been localised into English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Finnish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional.

Moblin version 2.1 is available as a downloadable image to be installed by anyone with an Atom-based netbook or nettop. There are other distributions of the operating system available from companies such as Novell and Canonical, which also work with the Moblin project for Suse Linux and Ubuntu.

Topic: Tech Industry

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • "polished Moblin"

    I downloaded, and installed Moblin 2.1, on my netbook. It is an HP 1115NR
    Mini.webcam, Atom processor, 16 gig SSD, 1 gig ram. It is an extremely fast version, boot quickly and shuts down in seconds. Actual boot time was around 15 seconds. I was elated! But when I tried to find my neighbor WIFI, there was no connections available. I went online and tried to play an MP3 file, missing a plugin. Setup evolution mail, and it could not connect to mail server. The webcam came on but would not show anything but a black square. I was hoping this version was capable of replacing Mandriva, on this netbook, but it looks like it is still lagging in too many areas.
  • The Shine is off the Polish

    Ator - your experiences sound very similar to mine. After seeing that the new Moblin release appeared so cosmetically better, I was hoping it would be functionally better as well. NOT. Within minutes, literally, of installing it on the ASUS N10J, several common programs had crashed on me. Very disappointing. My only success, compared to yours, was that it connected to my home WiFi without problem.

  • A different polish.

    After deciding that Moblin wasn't as good as the press release indicated, I
    downloaded Mandriva 2010.0 One, and tried it on 3 different desktops. From an older ,2003 Gateway to a new AMD, AM3 socket, built less than a month ago, and it would not boot on any of them. I tried it on my netbook and it booted flawlessly. I decided to install it, and was pleasantly surprised. It is not as fast as Moblin, but it found my neighbor's WIFI, plays all media, got my mail, and so far I have not had any problems. It takes up a lot more space, being a full blown desktop installation, but it works, and in the end, that is all I expect.