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I want to run a big feature on Moblin and on netbook software; something that will complement all the hardware hard work that MikeS put in for our cover feature a couple of months ago. But I'm a bit worried: I'm not sure how many of you are interested in such a beast. Are you closet netbook fanboys? Do you want to be closet netbook fanboys? Do you see netbook distros as a great way to breathe new life into ageing computers?

I'm also thinking of running a coding series on Clutter, because it's a lot of fun. The question is, would you prefer we write that tutorial using Clutter's native C, or using Python and the PyClutter binding? Or are we just crazy and should leave Clutter well alone?

Your comments

I'd love another coding

I'd love another coding series, and especially Clutter, since I've been wanting to learn it for some time.

Knowing Python, I think you will cover more ground ( vs. time/space) with PyClutter than C, so I suggest that you stick to Python.

Moblin & UNR

Would love see a review of both Moblin and UNR, and why/where they are similar/differ


I have a netbook myself and use UNR at the moment, but would be very interested in reading more about other distributions as well.

Besides that, the interview with Theodore Ts'o in the latest LXF made me curious about the different filesystems. How about an introduction into the differences between ReiserFS, ext3, ext4 and so on (as beginner friendly as possible with such a complicated topic)?

Acer One User

I have an Acer Aspire One netbook with the extended desktop of Linpus Lite enabled. I have some years Unix experience so am pretty familiar with using command line interface. However, as well as more Linux information, I am particularly interested in netbook distros and anything that might make my comptuing on the go easier.

Fed up with netbooks

I feel that I have read articles over and over again on netbooks recently. I would rather see an article on SNMP. How can you utilize SNMP small and medium sized networks? Another product I would love to see an article on is freeradius. What is radius, which purpose does it serve and how the ... do you make it work?

Comparison would be good

An article comparing the main Netbook distros, including Moblin, would be welcome.

New Distro

Just bought my little brother a new netbook, came with this really strange distro called Windows CE, looked an awful lot like those old Motif style desktops.

as well as / Java Community

Would never disagree with any suggested article. Always good to learn and gain from others views.

So in addition, why not expand the reader base and include into the fold some of the 1,000,000 of Java developers who could so easily benefit from developing on Linux.

So would suggest a mini-series:
* reviewing hardware appropriate to running a decent Java/IDE and hosting an application
* reviewing available Java IDE
* reviewing application/web servers
* and of course a series on Java, but maybe looking at some of the available productivity frameworks e.g. Grails (
* throw in a article on a databases / JDBC


I'd like very much to see that article.

If possible I'd like you to do some research about the duration of the battery after changing the distro. I have got an Acer Aspire One and a few months ago I removed the original Linpus and installed a Ubuntu Netbook Remix. The whole user experience is much better with the UNR but I think that the battery lasts 25% less time. It would be great to know if this really happends and what we could do to extend the duration of the battery.

Netbooks and Coding.

I'd like very very much a detailed article about netbooks.
About coding, well, may i propose .. grails?

Keep up the good work!


I also have an ASUS 701 netbook running UNR. Whilst it works great it does chew through the battery because I cannot turn off wifi. I would be really interested in seeing something in detail about Moblin

Still an interesting topic to many.. where is it all headed?

Although much been said on netbooks, the new generation Netbooks are a renewed hot item imo. Good for the go and getting powerful enough for serious use. Adding thoughts to future possibilities of Netbooks (not only home use, but also at work/in the field) could add a nice touch?

Moblin in itself is news as it hasn't really hit the streets yet. I'd find it interesting to know more about the future plans/roadmap.
One thing would be to know how Moblin and other Linux variants have (or are) progressed in implementing single and multi touch technology.

Not on the Netbook topic, but this week I received an Acer Aspire Revo 3600 Nettop. Though it's different to a Netbook it has just as many options (for example XMBC runs sweetly as also openSUSE 11.2), just not for 'on the go'. It will be replacing my home server as it handles my mail and file services without a hitch... My electric bill is already looking much better. ;)

Thinking along those lines, could Moblin also be utilized as home media communication center on cheap and efficient Nettops?

Maybe the picture is starting to get bigger then having a nice little Netbook. ;)

Love your Mag btw!

beefy netbook

i am just about to take delivery of DELL's "business class" netbook - a Latitude 2100 with 250Gb hdd, 2Gb RAM and a 10" touch screen.
the first thing i plan to do is wipe it and install Windows 7 and a linux distribution. having always been an avid Fedora user I really have no idea what distro can make best use of the "limited" resources and the touch screen.
i welcome the moblin article.


I bought a Samsung NC10 and I run Ubuntu NBR on it. Am interested to see how it compares with everything else.


Clutter would be good +/- either set of bindings, but connecting the article to the future netbook/moblin/etc and current projects that provide connectivity between thin client and linux cloud would be of greater interest me thinks.

Keep it coming.

Graham's article?

Perhaps something with a little more depth than Graham's recent article in PCPlus.


Bring it on i say i could use a good guide to moblin and all the other great software available for my new netbook.



I have an eee901 and have tried many linux distros on it.
The main challenges seem to pan out as the same for linux generally; finding one with the right hardware support (wireless and power!), and making it friendly enough for 'er indoors (UNR sometimes makes usb sticks read only for no reason).

After each update to moblin I have a play and then wipe it as basic functionality just doesn't exist .. I.e put in your id and watch it do nothing at all with it...
I'll be interested to see what you find to write about.

I have now settled on crunchbang with the eee scripts added which has become my new fave distro through an eee testing ground (after being a fedora user for sooo many years).


To add more support - YES, I'd love more information on Netbook software/distro's etc. Especially if you can highlight how well they work with the popular machines (make sure you include the AA1!!)

NC10 and linux

I have tried several distros on my NC10, using a flash drive, but none work quite well enough for me to risk installing on the hard drive. Mainly because I'm not experienced enough to sort out any real problem.
Main hassle is that the screen seems to be far too dim, getting even fainter after a few seconds of inactivity!
Also, I need to keep Windows on the computer - I really like PowerPoint's presenter view - and haven't found a linux alternative.
So please keep looking at the netbook distros - ones that work with the NC10!


I would love an article about Moblin. I have it on my netbook, and I really like it. In addition, I would like a comparison of all of the main netbook distros.

About the Clutter article, I would prefer the code to be in C.


I'm sure a article about netbooks will be most useful. You could cover topics such as what distributions are there for netbooks and how to get the most out of one.
Clutter is very interesting and doing tutorials on both C and Python will help everyone.

On the topic of programming, any chance you could do a Linux Format special on programming in different languages such as C, C++, C#, Ruby, Python, Perl etc... and using them in toolkits GTK and QT? It everyone learned how to program in Linux we would see vast improvements in many areas such as Usability, Security, Stability and Content.


Definitely Interested in comparing Netbook distros.

I gave up on UNR. Now running Ubuntu 9.04 with LPIA kernel and XFCE desktop for better performance. Interesting to see what other possibilities are out there.

I was keen on Moblin until I saw it doesn't support the Intel GMA500 used in my Dell Mini 10.

Coding & NetBook

I think using PyClutter can somehow fit with the latest coding tutorials that are python based. [the fact that I know and Like python may have some influence on this argument as well...] .
Regarding Moblin & netbooks - I don't own one , but would be interested to see moblin and Google Chrome Os compared.


There has been a lot of coverage of both netbook hardware and operating systems. But the technology is changing so rapidly, that even the excellent hardware coverage in LXF121 is getting out of date. Distros aimed at Netbooks are also changing rapidly. So, yes, up to date information would always be helpful- but perhaps a regular series aimed at Linux Netbooks would be better. Then the information could be spread out over several issues - and leave more space for other Linux topics too?

Netbook OS

Yes, I'd like to read about moblin although I'm generally happy with UNR on my Asus EEE PC 710, having ditched Xandros when another update busted CnR. Could be interesting to see how a netbook OS runs on legacy hardware.

Lightwiehght distro ++

I'm always interested in lightweight distros, Netbook or not, so keep it coming. Would be nice to see their effect on battery life, but I suspect the biggest factor will be how fun the distro is (my 'phone had a waaay longer battery life when I deleted all the games).

For the Clutter article I'd definitely prefer C to Python, and I won't even mention assembly. Oops.

Netbooks On Tour

How about featuring netbooks on tour, currently using Ubuntu in a bar in Fethiye Turkey :)

And Free Beer may not catch on in the UK, but here it's practically on tap. :)


I am interested in netbook distros and their potential for providing a desktop interface that I might like to use to replace my current desktop.

Moblin is interesting (despite the fact that it only runs on Intel chips with SSSE3 (I think?)).


Personally, I'm not really interested in the netbook stuff and I'd rather have more articles about Linux that programming. After all, it's not 'Beginner Programmer Format'. Sorry if that sounds a bit negative - but that's honest feedback for you.

Moblin vs Xpud

I would like to see the Moblin article, and maybe a comparison with xpud.
I have used xpud on my acer aspire one, and it boots in 15 seconds, moblin takes 25 seconds.

Netbooks - still not bored of them!

I have to admit, I am in love with my EeePC 701. Maybe not enough to give the dear little thing a pet name, but the mere mention of it has been known to lead to hushed tones and milky eyes... and no, it isn't laryngitis and conjunctivitis taking over.

What, however, I am not quite so enamoured with is the Xandros distro and Fisher Price-esque GUI (or even Xandros with a proper desktop). I want to go my own way but after having tried several replacements, I'm usually stumped by at least one thing (usually surrounding wifi). I will admit that my meagre skills are not really up to it on their own and I'm rather lacking in good brain-time as opposed to junk time in the wee small hours.

So yes, a netbook article concerning how do successfully depose the distro your particular model arrived with would be appreciated.

Netbooks rule ok!

Yes I would like to see an article on Netbooks and Moblin.
It was actually an article in Linux Format which inspired me to buy an Acer Aspire1.
It's great. I have it triple booting Ubuntu NBR, Antix (via the a2GB SD card) from the latest LXF cover disc. In the Ubuntu boot environment I am running Virtual Box
which I tried out the AmigaOS ,FDOS, Kolibrios etc from an LXF issue a while ago.

I really enjoy the LXF magazine and the humour in the TUXRADAR podcasts.
Keepup the great work guys.

Yes, Please, more on the

Yes, Please, more on the netbooks.

I've an ASUS 900A and have given a try to: Mepis AntiX, CrunchBang, Slax, Mandriva 2000, Foresight Mobile, PCLOS Gnome, Mepis 8, Moblin, Mini Me, Mint 6 XFCE & Fluxbox, debris 104, Vector 6.0 lite, ARCH, Firefly, Feather, Mint 7, Myah 3.0 B1, Knoppix 6.0.1, Granular 1.0, Kiwi 9.04, Toorox 06.2005, Absolute 130.RC1, Galli Pup, GloPup 0.713, Scientific, eeeTiger Puppy, eeexubutu, Eeepclinuxos B3, Mandriva 2008 spring, DebianEeePC, Gentoo, Open Suse, gOS,pupEEE, Xubuntu, Zenwalk 5.2, and settled on Mint 7 XFCE.

While most performed, some acceptable, a few outstanding, the biggest complaint was the lack of WPA. WEP no longer qualifies as real security. It is poor planning not to include a viable form of security for a wifi oriented society.

go for it!

i have a aspire one a150l which i hate because it keeps going wrong either no BIOS or dead mobo... but i run the full ubuntu but i am interested in moblin plus most of your new python tutorials i cant do so clutter with c please !!

Not Enough C

Although Python is my main & favorite language you haven't covered C/C++ for years. I seam to remember a tutorial with OGRE a couple of years back...


Re your proposed Netbook topic, my vote is *YES,* Do That. Because, I've noticed in going to various meetings, conventions, and events at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that nowadays, laptops are *everywhere*. Sometimes reading Linux Format, I've wondered if you had noticed this. I have two Asus "netbooks" and I find them very portable compared to full-size laptops. It's convenient when you get around a lot, but also, at age 78 I'm losing strength as people do at my time of life, and the easier weight to carry around becomes important. So in my view, do publish your proposed Netbook pieces, and I hope I'll see more about laptops generally in your pages.

Titeotwawki -- Martha Adams [2009 Oct 17]

Yes please!

Yes please!

Yes please

Articles about Moblin innards would be nice as well as comparison of netbook distros. And all graphics programming articles in any language.

More info on netbooks pls

I have an acer one netbook, running ubuntu netbook remix 9.04. I would be interested in reading about Moblin and netbook software.

Also a guide on getting the intel graphics drivers to work well with flash would be nice (although helpfully this will be fixed with unbuntu 9.10).

Keep up the good work.

Netbooks, UNR, brown-ness

I would certainly welcome more on Netbooks, as the initial flurry of development, improvement, punch and counter-punch seems to have died down now - unless I am missing out somehow. I have owned an Eee 701 (too small), an Eee 900 (not bad), and an Acer Aspire One (superb), and UNR is best on all, and particularly good on the Aspire. Have now retired my full-size though lightweight Fujitsu-Siemens laptop and just use Aspire when travelling (all over the place). UNR need not be brown, mine operates nicely in a variety of grey and black shades!

Lower Powered Netbooks Too

I am still running an EeePC 701 and I've noticed recently more bias towards the higher powered atom based netbooks as opposed to mine running a lowly Celeron.

I'd be interested as long as the guides didn't exclude a lower powered machine.

I have an Acer One running UNR + Love the Python Tutorials

I would love an article on Netbooks. I have an Acer One running UNR 9.04. I'm very impressed with the performance of these little machines. So much more convenient than lugging around a normal laptop. An article on how to get the most out of a Netbook would be great!

I've really been enjoying the Python programming tutorials. I have always been a lover of Perl but have given up waiting for Perl 6. Python seems to me the best way forward. So yes, I would love to see more on Python. PyClutter, bring it on!

Yes, netbooks would nice

I have a hard time finding good information and updated articles on Moblin, so if my favorite Linux subscription would cover this more, I'd be thrilled :)

And in my case, since I don't do much C work, following a Python based Clutter tutorial would be the most helpful.

What does Moblin work on?

Would be good as I've loooked at Moblin but confused as their website states that any netbook will work but then on other pages says it only supports Atom processors. So I can't run on my eeepc 900?

Netbook software

I'm a acer aspire one owner and I would love to hear about netbook software , while i'm running Fedora 11 on mine now ,I remember being very happy with linpus and am very keen to read any articles on netbooks, there operating systems, and software.
Love the magazine

Agree about lower powered netbooks

I have stuck with my 701 since its purchase despite buying my wife a 901. I was really quite miffed when I realised that Moblin was not to be configured for these devices. It was the original cheap netbook of volume so why are the developers leaving it out? UNR runs slowly enough on the 901 so despite liking it, I haven't bothered on my 701. Puppy doesn't work properly and most other distros are too weighty. Don't make the same mistake as the Moblinites - include us in your feature, there must be loads of us 701 ownwers out there champing at the bit for more good info.


Yes, compare netbook distros

I'd love to see a good article comparing distros designed specifically for netbooks. Many of them are offshoots of more mainstream distros and I'm finding it difficult to find much information on them. Except UNR. I'd really like to read about some other ones, for a change.

XP nil - Ubuntu netbook remix 1

A friend brought their Eeepc 900 running XP which was sooooo slow, I helped him install UNR and he is so happy. wifi just worked and it took minimal fiddling to get the 3g dongle to work.
He has just installed gtraffic to monitor his usage, he just said "how cool is that"

Massive Moblin Article

As Ubuntu Netbook Remix is a complete waste of time, a massive Moblin article would be a "don't miss" feature!

I've tried UNR umpteen times: every time they improve it, it breaks everything I've so painstakingly gotten it to work with. This is COMPLETELY unlike my Moblin experience! Even though I installed Moblin on my Dell Latitude D520, it was no worries from the start in terms of performance. I disliked the layout and lack of features (at the time) and that's why I have Karmic Koala RC installed right now.

But make no mistake! Moblin's a little speed demon (even on my old hardware) and will one day rule the world. Or my little part of it anyway. Bring on the Moblin goodness!

World Famous for Not Being Famous,
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