March 13, 2001

Transmeta's mobile Linux project releases beta

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -
Chipmaker Transmeta, the employer of Linux godfather Linus Torvalds, has released its first beta version of a Linux designed to run on small devices.

The 1.0.0-beta1 version of Midori Linux, formerly called Mobile Linux, is available for download today at http://midori.transmeta.com/downloads.shtml.

Maybe because of Torvalds' proximity to the project, Midori has generated a lot of buzz, even though several other "small Linux" projects exist. Already, a couple of companies have lined up to use Midori in their devices. Listed on the Midori in use page are Gateway's Connected Touch Pad, a small, mobile Web device using America Online as its ISP, and the similar Hitachi FLORA-ie 55mi. Says the Midori site: "We feel that there are many unexplored uses of Midori. More than once, we have been pleasantly surprised when finding out that Midori (or technology from Midori) is being used somewhere we didn't expect it to be used."

Midori Linux, released under the GNU General Public License, includes "a build system, a Linux kernel with memory- and storage-conserving features, and system-level support for normal Linux software on platforms which might otherwise require custom 'embedded' applications" according to the Midori Web site.

The Midori team, hosted at SourceForge, also has started a wishlist of future projects, the first item a router based on Midori. "Midori is small and ideal for tight environments. A router is a perfect application to take advantage of these benefits. Some possibilities include GNU Zebra," says the wishlist page. GNU Zebra is a free routing software project.

For documentation the the Midori projects, go to http://midori.transmeta.com/manual/. The page even has a neat logo: a space-suited, green-haired woman apparently using Midori on a wrist device. For Midori bug-tracking, go to the SourceForge Midori tracking page.

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