Friday, May 22, 2009

Moblin v2.0 Beta on EeePC 901

So, Moblin is out of alpha and now Moblin v2.0 Beta is available from here
I followed the detailed instructions to put the image on a pendrive and then install it to the /dev/sdb9 and I also created /home on /dev/sdb10.
However as with the last alpha, the file /etc/udev/makedev.d/00-base.files had to be modified as detailed in this post before I could get it to boot.
It still boots fast but quite a bit slower than the first alpha and somewhat slower than the last alpha at about 25 seconds. Still fast but not alarmingly so.
So what's it like once it's booted?
Well, it's much more like the UNR version of Ubuntu than what I would recognize as regular Linux. In other words it seems to be geared more towards ex-Windows users who just want to do no more than email, twitter, IM and look at photos of themselves (or perhaps like >90% of computer users worldwide).
I imagine it will be something of a disappointment for the real Linux geek as there seems to be little opportunity for fiddling around and correcting shortcomings.
Obviously, as it's still in Beta there are likely to be problems. Some I found are:

1. Can't download stuff using the inbuilt browser (which seems to be a version of Google Chrome -- although AFAIK this is still not available for Linux. So where did they get this from?
However, among the stuff I couldn't download were Adobe Flash (so no YouTube) and my favourite browser Opera. I couldn't even download an .mp3 file I emailed over to try to test the media player.
2. No shutdown/reboot button. However can easily shutdown or reboot from terminal with these commands:

sudo /sbin/shutdown -h now

sudo /sbin/reboot

3. No facility to either select DNS servers (other than the trusty immutable /etc/resolv.conf) or to check connection information (DNS servers, IP and others).

Nevertheless, it seems to be a distro that's being developed rapidly and is chasing after what's likely to be the very lucrative Netbook market. However, it may be a problem to get Windows users to turn away from XP towards what for them will be an unknown version of the dreaded Linux.
Linux geeks on the other hand are likely to look elsewhere to get to the challenge they need in their computer activities.

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