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

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
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

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.

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