Ubuntu Open Week - Ubuntu Moblin Remix - Bill Filler and Crew - Tue, Nov 3, 2009

  • utc

(09:59:02 AM) bfiller: ok
(09:59:03 AM) mode (+m ) by jcastro
(09:59:07 AM) bfiller: Hi, my name is Bill Filler and I'm an Engineering Manager in Canonical's OEM Services Group. We work on custom versions of Ubuntu for netbooks and other devices.
(09:59:21 AM) bfiller: I'll be joined by Software Engineer Paul Liu, also a member of the OEM Services Group. Paul did much of the packaging of Moblin for the Karmic release.
(09:59:42 AM) bfiller: We'll be discussing Ubuntu Moblin Remix and will be basing the presentation off of the wiki page at So you can follow along looking at that page.
(10:00:04 AM) bfiller: As I go through this presentation questions may arise. Preceed your question with the word QUESTION to gain a moderator's attention.  Copy your questions into #ubuntu-classroom-chat, and we'll do our best to answer them at the end of the presentation.
(10:00:22 AM) bfiller: ok, lets get started then
(10:00:33 AM) bfiller: What is Moblin?
(10:00:35 AM) mode (+o akgraner ) by ChanServ
(10:00:47 AM) bfiller: Moblin is a major initiative launched by Intel targeting the netbook market. Intel is the upstream and has developed some very appealing code for Moblin and it has gathered lots of interest in the market and community.
(10:01:02 AM) bfiller: Moblin is not a distribution itself (but does provide a "reference" implementation based on Fedora), but instead relies on OSV's (like Canonical and others) to support, package and ship Moblin on their distributions.
(10:01:23 AM) bfiller: So Canonical decided to release a version of Moblin running on Ubuntu (Ubuntu Moblin Remix) such that we could give users the freedom to try out Moblin on our great platform that they know and love
(10:01:38 AM) bfiller: that is what Ubuntu Moblin Remix in Karmic is
(10:01:53 AM) bfiller: Lets talk in detail about Ubuntu Moblin Remix release
(10:02:03 AM) bfiller: Ubuntu Moblin Remix is the Moblin 2.1 preview release running on Ubuntu 9.10
(10:02:15 AM) bfiller: It is developer focused, as based on an "preview" (i.e. not final) version of Moblin
(10:02:38 AM) bfiller: Moblin 2.1 final release will be out any day now but was not done in time for inclusion in Karmic
(10:03:00 AM) bfiller: Moblin's rpms were converted to debian packages, lots of that work was done by paulliu1 and others at Canonical
(10:03:11 AM) bfiller: Some packages in made it to "universe" for Karmic, others in PPA
(10:03:33 AM) bfiller: Ubuntu Moblin Remix image available for download here:
(10:03:57 AM) bfiller: Bug tracking:
(10:04:14 AM) bfiller: and there are forums as well for questions at
(10:05:06 AM) bfiller: now we can look at some of the Moblin components and UI screenshots
(10:05:15 AM) bfiller: and describe a bit about each
(10:05:34 AM) bfiller: (please see
(10:05:44 AM) bfiller: lets start with the Moblin toolbar
(10:06:00 AM) bfiller: it is the heart of the moblin interface and is the panel at the top of the screen
(10:06:12 AM) bfiller: it acts as the launching point for most activities
(10:06:31 AM) bfiller: starting with myzones, the button to the top-left
(10:06:56 AM) guillaume left the room (quit: Client Quit).
(10:06:58 AM) bfiller: myzones is the main home screen. Sections for calendar entries, favorites, recent docs, tweats from twitter
(10:07:25 AM) bfiller: it dynamically updates as tweets come in and documents are open
(10:07:52 AM) bfiller: it contains a "quick launch" section on bottom left for launch your favorite applications
(10:08:14 AM) bfiller: next in the panel is the status panel
(10:08:37 AM) bfiller: which shows your current social networking/im status and allows you to change it
(10:08:54 AM) bfiller: empathy is the default IM client moblin
(10:09:05 AM) bfiller: next is the People panel
(10:10:09 AM) bfiller: it shows a user's friends from Empathy and allows you to initiate chat from this panel
(10:10:24 AM) bfiller: it shows pictures of friends, etc..
(10:10:31 AM) bfiller: next is Internet panel
(10:10:55 AM) bfiller: which allows you to quickly launch/search web pages and view open tabs and pinned pages
(10:11:06 AM) bfiller: it's integrated with moblin web browser which I will describe later
(10:11:19 AM) bfiller: then comes the Media panel
(10:11:41 AM) bfiller: the media panel allows quick launch/search of recently opened media files, playqueue display
(10:12:15 AM) bfiller: it is integrated with moblin media player UI as well
(10:12:31 AM) bfiller: Pasteboard is next
(10:12:39 AM) bfiller: self explanatory :)
(10:12:49 AM) bfiller: Then comes the Applications tab
(10:13:09 AM) bfiller: it is essentially the launcher panel, where user's select installed applications to launch
(10:13:43 AM) bfiller: it is searchable which is very nice, and apps can be pinned as favorites from here which make them show up in the myzones space
(10:14:05 AM) bfiller: the Zones switcher comes next
(10:14:17 AM) bfiller: zone switcher shows active windows in all the zones (equivalent to workspaces)
(10:14:52 AM) bfiller: ok
(10:15:02 AM) bfiller: Moblin uses mutter as the window manager
(10:15:19 AM) bfiller: which is a clutter-enabled version of metacity window manager
(10:15:53 AM) bfiller: each application window in moblin is opened in it's own zone (workspace) and the zone switcher (activated by alt-tab) allows you to switch
(10:16:27 AM) bfiller: Next on the toolbar comes the system tray area
(10:16:53 AM) bfiller: which shows typical system type icons, like power, sound and networking
(10:17:12 AM) bfiller: of interest is the networking panel, called carrick
(10:17:22 AM) bfiller: (see screenshot)
(10:17:45 AM) bfiller: it talks to connman Connection Manager (i.e. NOT Network Manager)
(10:18:04 AM) bfiller: and has support for wired, wifi, 3G (in Moblin 2.1) and Wimax
(10:18:34 AM) bfiller: ok moving on, Moblin provides a couple of applications which Intel wrote
(10:18:43 AM) bfiller: moblin web browser and moblin media player
(10:19:09 AM) bfiller: moblin web browser uses mozembed with clutter wrapper (clutter-mozembed), moving to Firefox 3.5 in Moblin 2.1
(10:19:44 AM) bfiller: the version in Ubuntu Moblin Remix is not the Firefox 3.5 version but the embedded mozilla clutter version
(10:20:22 AM) bfiller: the current version supports flash, plugins etc but is not as robust as standard Firefox 3.5
(10:20:50 AM) bfiller: Moblin Media Player - clutter based media player, talks to gstreamer back-end
(10:21:14 AM) bfiller: is a library in that you can add music, videos and photos
(10:21:58 AM) bfiller: other Moblin distros may include other media players (like banshee), UMR includes moblin media player only
(10:22:21 AM) bfiller: Moving on to other key components in Moblin stack
(10:22:36 AM) bfiller: I briefly mentioned Mutter
(10:22:56 AM) bfiller: Mutter is a clutter enabled window manager, Moblin Toolbar is an example of a mutter plugin
(10:23:08 AM) bfiller: Clutter btw is key to the moblin system
(10:23:29 AM) bfiller: it's a library that provides GL functionality for the UI
(10:23:50 AM) bfiller: Moblin uses nbtk (netbook toolkit) as a widget library so to speak on top of Clutter
(10:24:35 AM) bfiller: Clutter provides the ability for all the fancy animations and effect which are done so well in Moblin UI
(10:24:52 AM) bfiller: mojito  is a daemon and API for social networking
(10:25:14 AM) bfiller: it's used by myzones, people and status panels to talk to different backends
(10:25:35 AM) bfiller: bognor-regis is the media playback daemon used by moblin media player
(10:26:08 AM) bfiller: and bickley is the media meta-data engine used by the media player as well
(10:26:33 AM) bfiller: I'm sure I'm missing some, but those are the important Moblin components that come to mind
(10:26:54 AM) bfiller: ok, next topic
(10:27:06 AM) bfiller: how are are Ubuntu Moblin Remix and Ubuntu Netbook Remix different?
(10:27:23 AM) bfiller: Ubuntu Netbook Remix was developed by Canonical well before Moblin. Canonical continues to develop and support UNR going forward. We are testing and supporting many hardware models out of the box with UNR and will continue to develop UNR past Karmic.
(10:27:41 AM) bfiller: UNR is quite popular, intuitive and well integrated in our platform.
(10:27:49 AM) bfiller: some key points
(10:27:59 AM) bfiller: about UNR
(10:28:01 AM) bfiller: UNR is well integrated with the Ubuntu platform (gnome, Ubuntu One, notifications, etc..)
(10:28:11 AM) bfiller: UNR user interface is straight forward, simple to use
(10:28:20 AM) bfiller: UNR has been shipping commercially for over 1 year, it's well tested and proven
(10:28:52 AM) bfiller: some folks are confused which to use Moblin Remix or UNR
(10:29:20 AM) bfiller: we view Moblin Remix as a developer's version and should be used as such
(10:29:45 AM) bfiller: UNR on the other hand is a fully functional, tested release
(10:30:09 AM) bfiller: Canonical wanted to give people the choice to play with both on our platform
(10:30:26 AM) bfiller: hence doing Moblin Remix
(10:30:35 AM) bfiller: next topic
(10:30:47 AM) bfiller: What vendors are shipping Ubuntu Moblin?
(10:31:16 AM) bfiller: to date, Dell Mini 10v is shipping with a 9.04 (Jaunty) based Moblin
(10:31:26 AM) bfiller: this used the Moblin 2.0 release (not 2.1)
(10:31:54 AM) bfiller: Dell has made the image available for download: Available for download here:
(10:32:28 AM) bfiller: ok last topic before we get to questions
(10:32:37 AM) bfiller: How do I get more information about Moblin?
(10:32:54 AM) bfiller: Intel upstream for Moblin at
(10:33:08 AM) bfiller: Bugtracking
(10:33:18 AM) bfiller: #moblin on freenode
(10:33:51 AM) bfiller: Intel you'll see releases a "reference" implementation of Moblin based on Fedora. This is availabe for download from
(10:34:30 AM) bfiller: that's all for the presentation, I'll start looking at the questions now..
(10:35:09 AM) bfiller: Amaranth:QUESTION: Moblin specifies LSB-style RPMs as the way to distribute 3rd party software, doesn't it? How is that being handled?
(10:35:11 AM) BillGates is now known as Guest20750
(10:35:37 AM) bfiller: Amaranth: we repackage as debian packages and push into debian/ubuntu or ppa
(10:36:17 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: QUESTION: media playback is all gstreamer based ?
(10:36:32 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: in Moblin Remix, yes it's all gstreamer based
(10:36:56 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: I believe Moblin may be releasing some sort of helix support in the future
(10:37:13 AM) bfiller: <lifer999> Question: Does UMR use X?  Is the UI built on Gnome?
(10:37:27 AM) bfiller: lifer999: UMR does use X
(10:37:53 AM) bfiller: lifer999: UI is built on clutter and mutter, mutter-plugins
(10:38:16 AM) bfiller: lifer999: but there are still many gnome components installed, but not the traditional gnome panels you are used to seeing in ubuntu
(10:38:42 AM) bfiller: <erUSUL> QUESTION: what is the position of ubuntu devs regarding NetworkManager vs ConMan ?
(10:39:10 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: in Moblin Remix we tried to be true to what is provided by Intel in their Moblin distribution
(10:39:28 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: and Moblin uses Connman by default so that is what we provided
(10:39:47 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: I'll say connman has come a long way since the beginning of Moblin and is getting quite good :)
(10:40:01 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: network manager is still the default for all other Ubuntu release (desktop, UNR, etc..)
(10:40:17 AM) bfiller: <erUSUL> QUESTION: will the browser migrate to webkit ??
(10:40:38 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: not that I know of, but is migrating to firefox 3.5 themed for Moblin
(10:41:00 AM) bfiller: <AlanBell> QUESTION: what should applications developers do (or avoid doing) to make sure applications targetted to the regular Ubuntu desktop also work on Moblin?
(10:41:15 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: good question
(10:41:45 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: I believe Moblin will be releasing (or has released) and SDK
(10:42:02 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: but in general most Ubuntu apps work fine in moblin
(10:42:40 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: just beware of using newer libraries that may be in one vs. the other (like a newer clutter or something like that)
(10:42:52 AM) bfiller: paulliu1: any comments from you on this question?
(10:43:34 AM) paulliu1: bfiller: Most GTK+ and QT applications works fine. I just met some resolution problems. Resize window not working good in mutter.
(10:43:50 AM) paulliu1: bfiller: But it's not related to moblin.
(10:44:14 AM) bfiller: <AlanBell> QUESTION: can you comment on that Intel/Microsoft Silverlight on Moblin announcement? Does that have any relevance to UMR?
(10:44:40 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: don't know much about this, but can tell you the silverlight stuff is not in UMR
(10:44:59 AM) bfiller: AlanBell: we will only ship components that are open-source in our community verison of UMR
(10:45:21 AM) bfiller: <stesind> QUESTION: will normal gtk applications run in Moblin?
(10:45:24 AM) bfiller: stefanlsd: yes
(10:45:42 AM) bfiller: <erUSUL> QUESTON: can you expand on the description of mojito ?
(10:45:52 AM) bfiller: paulliu1: I'll let you take this one
(10:46:37 AM) paulliu1: erUSUL: Mojito is a services which manage social services. moblin-panel-myzone will read data from mojito services and display the content (eg. from twitter).
(10:46:49 AM) paulliu1: erUSUL: Developer can use libmojito-dev to develop their own plugins.
(10:47:29 AM) paulliu1: erUSUL: So it's not hard to add Yahoo 360 blog services into mojito.
(10:47:46 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: I believe mojito also supports facebook, lastfm and others
(10:47:51 AM) bfiller: <lifer999> QUESTION: Any long-term plans to merge UNR and UMR?
(10:47:56 AM) paulliu1: erUSUL: Currently mojito supports facebook, lastfm, twitter, digg, and flickr.
(10:48:21 AM) bfiller: lifer999: don't think so
(10:48:57 AM) bfiller: lifer999: they are both on different paths/codebases so I think it's doubtful, but that's just my opinion
(10:49:14 AM) bfiller: <erUSUL> QUESTION: How usable is upstream fedora based moblin for day to day use ?
(10:49:41 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: I use it as a reference only, so not sure how robust it is
(10:49:52 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: but I expect it works ok for personal use
(10:50:08 AM) bfiller: <Pres-Gas> QUESTION: Will moblin support enterprise grade wireless at some point or is there a way to have moblin use NM?
(10:50:15 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: good question
(10:50:25 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: moblin can use Network Manager instead of connman
(10:50:51 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: you just need the network-manager-netbook UI, which is the moblin UI toolbar plugin that talks to network manager
(10:51:17 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: in fact network-manager-netbook is in our PPA but failing to build :) So if someone wants to fix it that would be great :)
(10:51:42 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: ppa is here:
(10:52:01 AM) bfiller: Pres-Gas: it actually works really well
(10:52:19 AM) bfiller: <keffie_jayx> QUESTION: Is installing propietary hardware drivers as easy as in Ubuntu?
(10:52:58 AM) bfiller: keffie_jayx: yes, jockey-gtk is installed but you'll need to manually run it as there is no gnome-panel to show the notification icon :)
(10:53:11 AM) bfiller: keffie_jayx: but should work just fine
(10:53:26 AM) bfiller: <lifer999> QUESTION: What's your opinion of ChromeOS?
(10:53:36 AM) bfiller: lifer999: that's for a different day :)
(10:54:34 AM) bfiller: <erUSUL> QUESTION: what is the situation regarding the infamous GMA500 graphic driver regarding UMR ?
(10:54:46 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: oh, the poulsbo (:
(10:55:47 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: there is no pouslbo driver for karmic so it's not supported, but I've heard Intel will be releasing a driver in the future (hopefully open source) that will make it work
(10:56:11 AM) bfiller: erUSUL: see
(10:57:06 AM) bfiller: just a few minutes left, any other questions?
(10:58:07 AM) bfiller: ok, I guess that's a wrap! Thanks everybody.

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/MoblinRemix (last edited 2009-11-03 19:29:45 by ausimage)