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26 June 2008, 13:40

Ubuntu goes mobile

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Ubuntu sponsor Canonical has released its first public developer versions of Ubuntu MID Edition. This Linux operating system is intended especially for what have become known as Mobile Internet Devices (MID). This term was coined by chip manufacturer Intel and describes a class of devices that falls between ultra-portable PCs, such as Asus' Eee PC, and mobile telephones. Canonical announced this new variant of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution a year ago.

Ubuntu MID Edition is highly flexible, allowing it to be tailored to a desired target group. For the user interface, for instance, developers have a choice of Flash, HTML, Clutter, Python, C/C++ with GKT, and Java. Along with the Gecko Engine based browser, applications for mail, news, GPS, camera, video, audio, television, instant messaging, and blogging are in the works. The operating system will be suited to touch screen navigation.

The Mobile and Embedded wiki and the accompanying FAQ help people to get involved with development. The developer version can be installed on a normal PC using an ISO image for KVM – TAR file. Ubuntu MID Edition's release cycle will follow the semi-annual rhythm of the other Ubuntu flavors.

For the Eee PC and its cohorts – known as Netbooks – Canonical is currently working on Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a system for mini notebooks that use Intel's Atom processor. A release is expected this summer.


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