After reading yesterday on Digg that Intel was releasing it’s own operating system specifically made for netbooks, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. Moblin is a blend word created from “MOBle” and “LINux,” MOB + LIN = MOBLIN. One of the requirements was that it had to be an Intel CPU (which makes sense seeing as the majority of netbooks, if not all, use Intel’s Atom processor). I had forgot and the OS from my flash drive on my AMD 1.8 ghz Sempron computer, with approximately 1.5 gigs of RAM (This computer has Ubuntu as its OS.) After running it, I received the error, “unsupported CPU,” so you really do need an Intel CPU. It ran horribly and I wasn’t able to run the OS at all. This is the first Linux distro I’ve ever used that had a processor requirement, so that was odd and a bit of a let down. I couldn’t test it on any of my computers, because none of my computers met that requirement. I went on my sister’s computer and tested it out on her Pentium 4 and it ran fine, for a while anyway. For anyone who wants to look at the alpha, here’s a youtube link to a review of it:
Moblin 2.0 looks nothing like Moblin 1.0. The GUI’s are completely different. Moblin 1.0 has icons, uses Firefox’s minefield, and doesn’t change much from the standard GUI. Moblin 2.0 has no icons at all, instead has something similar to Apple’s launchpad; it also uses Google’s Chrome browser by default. There are only around 8 things that can be clicked in this launchpad interface. One of the most interesting being to me was the Twitter update status tab. It’s also important to note that all of these main tabs completely take up the window and cannot be resized or minimized, only closed or opened.
The OS defaults you into a tab called M_zone In it’s right hand corner, you can find handy buttons like the media player, web browser, and calender buttons. Another of these tabs is the Applications tab, this is the tab from which you can run all of your installed applications, as well as run new ones. One of the things I like is that the default text editor is Gedit, which is personally my favorite PHP file editor. The OS also has it’s own explorer to mount any hard drives that may be present, if you are root.
An odd but amusing incident occurred when I ran terminal:
“We trust that you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:
#1) Respect the privacy of others
#2) Think before you type
#3) With great power comes great responsibility.”
As I stated earlier, I had problems with the OS. When I ran the synaptic package manager to install some extra programs, I received an error saying I did not have sufficient privileges. on top of this, when i tried to run multiple applications, the OS hung. because of this, I had to do a hard shutdown to get the OS to turn off. Due to this, I was unable to really experience this OS since it won’t run on any AMD processors (thanks Intel!) From this experience with Moblin it seems very limited.
Is this the future of all OS’s? Are we heading into a iconless world where we have something like a launch pad from which we run all of our applications? It seems unlikely. It’s important to remember that this application is only in beta, and that it will be some time before we can really draw conclusions about it. As they’ve completely changed the GUI from the alpha to beta, I honestly have no clue what to expect in the final release. The crash could have been a problem on my end, so I can only say so much, but if you have an extra blank CD/ USB lying around (and a computer with an Intel processor), Then i’d give this OS a shot and see how you like it. It was definitely a new and interesting take on how an OS can function. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, I will leave for you to decide.
Source: BlogPirate Homepage: Moblin.org Download Link: Moblin IMG