Back in January Intel had pushed out its first alpha release for Moblin V2. This Intel-optimized Linux distribution targeting systems with Intel Atom hardware was quite unique and offered a number of advantages for being a netbook-oriented operating system. Particularly special about Intel Moblin V2 was its boot-time, which was extremely fast when using a Solid-State Drive. Intel has now put out a second alpha release for Moblin V2, which we are briefly exploring today.
One of the features that excite us about Moblin V2 Alpha 2 is that it now uses kernel mode-setting. Moblin is strictly targeted for Intel hardware, and as of the Linux 2.6.29 kernel, mode-setting for this hardware has been pushed into the kernel. Kernel mode-setting allows a nearly flicker-free boot experience, fast and reliable VT switching, improved support for suspend-and-resume, and numerous other advantages we have talked about before. The Linux 2.6.29 kernel was officially released earlier this week, but the second alpha release of Moblin is actually shipping with Linux 2.6.29-rc7.
In Moblin V2 Alpha 2 are a number of other updated packages including Xfce 4.6, the GNOME 2.26 Release Candidate, an updated version of the Clutter library, and various other package updates. Some of the other items mentioned in the release notes include updated Moblin system services, support for the MSI Wind netbook, updated ConnMan (the connection manager for Moblin), enhanced boot-process / inter-process / package interactions, updates to the OS libraries, an updated Moblin Image Creator, and many other fixes. On the desktop are a mixture of GNOME and Xfce applications -- the Mousepad text editor, Totem for audio/video playback, Cheese for any web-camera needs, and Firefox for the web-browser.
In this article are screenshots we took as we ran Moblin V2 Alpha 2 on a Samsung NC10 netbook.