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Ubuntu Mobile Edition: Review - page 2

Ubuntu Mobile Edition

  • August 7, 2008
  • By Paul Ferrill

Canonical and Intel have teamed up to sponsor the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded (UME) project with a goal of providing the infrastructure and necessary components for mobile application development. The current version is considered "alpha" quality meaning it"s not super stable. Images are available for download on the UME website for the Samsung Q1 Ultra and Elektrobit MIMD. These devices are based on the Intel McCaslin and Menlow chipsets respectively.

Not to be hindered by hardware specifications, I set out to get the Samsung version running on my Q1U. The UME wiki provides step-by-step instructions for creating a bootable USB memory stick to use for the installation. This is a necessary step as the Q1 has no CD-ROM (although it will boot from an external USB CD-ROM).

The Image Creator software (see figure 1) is a breeze to use and does the job quickly and efficiently. The first step is to download the image (img file) from the UME site to a Ubuntu workstation. Next you'll need a copy of the Image Creator software. This can be obtained by opening a terminal window and entering the command:


sudo apt-get install moblin-image-creator

To start up the program then type:


sudo image-creator

The sudo gives you the permissions you'll need to write directly to the USB device. When that completes you will have a bootable USB memory stick with the base UME operating system image and the necessary installation scripts. I had to tweak the BIOS on my Q1 to make it boot from the USB port first.

Once the installation completes a reboot produces a screen much like the one in Figure 2. The large buttons make it easy to launch different applications with a finger touch. Other areas designed for finger interaction include the top status bar where you have easy access to network / wireless settings, volume control and a quick application filter to display different categories. A good source of information for designing application user interfaces for mobile devices can be found on the UME guide page.


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