Friday, July 31, 2009

A Test Drive of Moblin 2 Beta

Yesterday I was finally able to test drive Moblin, Intel's Linux distribution for netbooks. Moblin has received acclaim for its fast boot time and its innovative GUI, and I have been eager to try it out. Since Intel has tailored the distribution to run only on systems with a SSE3-capable Intel processor and an Intel GPU, my only choice was to let my Atom-powered home server double as a desktop system for a while.

Installing the Moblin Live on a USB stick was a breeze, with clear instructions available on the site. Booting into the desktop was fast, though not as fast as demonstrated on Phoronix, where Moblin has been tested on a Samsung NC10 with a very fast SSD.

As for the user interface, I cannnot but agree with the reviewer mentioned, that it is very appealing and easy to navigate. On my system, animations were slightly choppy, which might have been due to my relatively slow USB flash drive, or the high resolution at which I was running the system (1920 x 1080).

Moblin is a very promising distribution for netbooks. Even during my very brief testing, I found quite some points where improvements could be made, I'm sure in time these minor flaws will be corrected. It seems like quite some OSes are intending to compete for netbook dominance (Cloud, Google Chrome OS, etc). It will be interesting to follow the development.

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