Hands-On With Moblin 2.1 OS: The Netbook Linux Anyone Can Master

Sure, Windows 7 is around the corner and there are lots of Linux alternatives for your netbook. But Moblin, which has been pioneered by Intel specifically for netbooks and internet devices, is gonna rival them all.

Based on a Linux kernel, Moblin has a sleek shell that was clearly designed for the novice Linux user and internet social butterfly. The images below give you the best look at what it is like to use Moblin. At the core of the interface are a series of tabs that line the top of the screen. They are all pretty basic and include a Web browser, applications, etc.

View gallery »

I've got to say I like the communications aspect of the OS the best. I logged into my AIM and Google Talk accounts right from the interface and then all my buddies showed up on the People tab. You can also log into Twitter; updates show up on the home screen and you can tweet from the Status tab.

Moblin 2.0 came out of beta just about two weeks ago, which was around the same time that the next version (2.1) was released. The interface in 2.1 is unchanged, but added is an app store. Instead of having to dig through a Linux repository, Moblin has its Garage for easy access and installation of applications. Loading programs from Garage is so easy Kylie could do it. I had no problem selecting Abi Word from the store; as soon as you install it from Garage it appears on the applications tab.

You don't have to wait for someone like Dell to sell Moblin 2.1 pre-installed on a netbook or MID. Try it now and share your thoughts. I warn you that there may not be full support for your Intel Atom powered netbook - some drivers may not be compatible. I tried it on an HP Mini 5101 and there was no Wi-Fi support. I never said the install was the easy part! [Moblin]