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SGLNX takes Moblin 2.1 for a spin! Part Two

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http://feedproxy.google.com – [Continued from Part One : SGLNX takes Moblin 2.1 for a spin] The MSI Wind netbook was the platform used for installation of Moblin 2.1. Installation was relatively easy. One has to make sure that the media or harddisk used is the correct media. Else, the primary OS residing in the PC’s harddisk may be deleted. To be safe, SGLNX advises those whom want to try the Moblin 2.1 to install it on a removable media such as a USB stick. The capacity of the media detected by the Moblin installation can help identify the desired media/harddisk to install Moblin on, eliminating any chances of accidental deletion of primary OS on that PC/notebook. Another advantage of installation on a USB media is that it allows portability of the OS on different hardware. At SGLNX, we demonstrated the portability by using the same USB media, which Moblin was installed on, to boot on both the netbook and an ITX Atom 230 board. It was observed that Moblin 2.1 only supports up to ext3 journalled filesystem and not up to ext4, unlike the recent releases of popular distros. Perhaps the simplicity of Moblin 2.1 does not call for such a high end sophisticated filesystem. Once installation is completed on the USB media, it is booted using the MSI netbook. On the first boot, it resulted in a kernel panic. Kernel Panic on initial boot After doing some research, it was realised that the media is described incorrectly in the boot process and it is necessary to change some kernel parameters in order to boot correctly. The MSI netbook detected the USB media as “/dev/sdb” having 2 partitions “/dev/sdb1″ and “/dev/sdb2″ respectively. Because the installation was done using the original live image on the first USB media, the installation resulted in Moblin thinking that the second USB media was permanently set as “dev/sdc” and the boot configuration was defaulted to boot Moblin from “/dev/sdc1″ which was the primary partition that Moblin was installed on. Since after installation, the live image USB media was removed, that leaves only the primary harddisk, “/dev/sda”, and the second USB media with the Moblin installation, “/dev/sdb”. To boot properly, the boot process must be changed and in order to do that, upon reaching the OS selection screen, it must be interrupted by pressing any key. ( See screen capture below ). Press any key to interrupt the boot process here. Press the “e” key on the keyboard to alter the boot parameters Go to the end of the line, add “rootdelay=10” and change the “/dev/sdc1″ to “/dev/sdb1“. Press “Enter” after the changes are made. Press “b” on the keyboard to boot with the altered kernel parameters. The “rootdelay=10″ is appended to the kernel parameters because without it, the USB storage would not have been fully initialized and will result in a kernel panic as well. If “rootdelay=10″ still results in a kernel panic, increase it to 15 or even 20. For the boot partition identification, if it is installed on a system without any connected harddisk or storage media other than the USB media with the Moblin installation, it should be changed to “/dev/sda1″ on the kernel parameters. This means if there are already 2 physical harddisks connected in the system, and the USB media with Moblin is the 3rd storage device, then the kernel parameter to identify the Moblin drive will be “/dev/sdc1″. For our installation USB media running on the ITX reference Atom 230 board, it was running without any other HDD, hence “/dev/sda1″ was used. And for the MSI Wind netbook, since there was already a physical sata harddisk in it, the USB media was the second storage device and “/dev/sdb1″ was used to identify the Moblin OS location. Our tests concluded with testing of the boot speed and on the MSI Wind, it took only a mere 9 seconds for the background image to appear and 15 seconds for the user interface to be fully functional. For the ITX Atom 230 reference board, it took 8 and 15.5 seconds respectively. On our tests of boot speed, we experimented with the rootdelay timings and rootdelay=6 was the optimal kernel parameter used that did not result in a kernel panic. At SGLNX, we are amazed by the boot speed of the Moblin 2.1. Despite the childish appearance, it is well integrated as a social networking operating system with Twitter, Last.fm and various popular IM client support built in. Moblin has great potential as an alternative operating system on top of the primary OS already installed in the computer. This may be used for the sole purpose of leisure web browsing and social networking without having the fear of corrupting the primary OS due to web-based threats. Though the Java platform and runtime isn’t included in Moblin, the Linux Foundation, project owner of Moblin, should seriously consider including it for enhancing the use of the Moblin OS as a quick boot, safe environment that is good enough even for online banking. With its fast bootup speed, even on USB storage media, we believe Moblin can even compete with commercial products such as DeviceVM’s Splashtop and Phoenix’s Hyperspace to be an Instant-On OS. Related Posts: SGLNX takes Moblin 2.1 for a spin! Part One Make Ubuntu complete with these additional installations! New Dell Netbook ships with Ubuntu Moblin Netbook Remix! Boot up speed craze Moblin v2.0 beta released (General)