Moblin 2.1 released
The Moblin developers have announced the release of Moblin 2.1 for Intel Atom based netbooks. The 2.1 release sees many updates and fixes since version 2.0 released in September. In particular, the developers say they have upgraded the browser application to support plug-ins and add-ons and improved its performance. 3G Data support has been added for the Ericsson MBM 3G modems; the developers plan to support other 3G modems in future releases. The release incorporates Clutter 1.0 as the basis for animation. Moblin's Bluetooth implementation now supports device discovery including mice, keyboards, and audio, can handle OBEX file transfer and use a Bluetooth enabled phone as a modem.
Other improvements include an integrated application installer, support for Ethernet, Wi-Fi, WiMAX and 3G within the Connection Manager, better UI scaling to allow for the larger displays of net-top devices and improved integration for Instant Messaging and networking. Moblin 2.1 also updates it's Linux Kernel to version 2.6.31, Intel Graphics Driver to 2.9, X Server to 1.6.4 and Mesa to version 7.6. Moblin 2.1 is available to download as a 790MB image suitable for burning to CD or copying to a USB stick and can either be installed from those media or run as a LiveCD/USB. Instructions for using the Moblin live image and release notes are also available.
In an initial test at The H, Moblin 2.1 was, at least visually, much improved over its predecessor, but on a Dell Mini 10v, one of the machines its developers use to test Moblin, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware was either not detected or not functioning, severely limiting the functionality of the mobile operating system. Moblin 2.1 was more successful on the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE, where Wi-Fi operated successfully. The H was also able to confirm that a bug in Moblin 2.0, which stopped Twitter messages being displayed when clicked on in Moblin's integrated Twitter display, was fixed. The first impression of Moblin 2.1 is a very responsive user interface for basic networking tasks and the improvements to the browser are noticeable.