We first got excited for Moblin 2.0 back in January when seeing how fast this Linux distribution had booted on Atom-powered netbooks. This Fedora-derived distribution booted even faster with a newer development release that came out this past March. While Moblin 2.0 final is not yet released, there is now more to get excited over than just amazing boot times. Moblin 2.0 will introduce a Clutter-based user interface and from our initial encounters with this release, it is very impressive! In this article we have more information on this new UI along with screenshots and videos.
The new "visually rich user experience" was introduced today with the Moblin v2.0 beta release and is written using Clutter. For those unfamiliar with the Clutter Toolkit it provides a way for rendering to OpenGL / OpenGL ES (Embedded Systems), but by exposing a simple and fast API for development. Intel backs Clutter but Moblin will be one of the first major projects relying upon this toolkit that has yet to reach a 1.0 status. With Clutter depending upon OpenGL / OpenGL ES, Moblin v2.0 Beta is shipping with the latest DRI2 and kernel mode-setting code for those netbooks and nettops using Intel integrated graphics.
This new Moblin-specific user interface replaces the standard Xfce desktop they were using previously. From the Moblin "home screen" panel, which is called m_zone, the user can access a synchronized calendar, appointments, recently used files, and other features. The m_zone is divided into three areas: recent activities, recent files and web-sites, and social network updates.