Mobile Linux on its way

Transmeta is getting set to release Mobile Linux as a toolkit, which is optimised for the company's Crusoe processor, specifically for systems without hard drives and software to support devices such as MP3 players.

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By  Michelle Sturman Published  February 13, 2001

Transmeta is to release Linux as a toolkit, aimed directly at mobile devices shortly. Mobile Linux is targeted towards OEMs and designed for systems without hard disks, more specifically mobile Internet devices.

“It’s more of a toolkit [than a full Linux distribution], says Dan Quinlan, a Transmeta engineer.

During the last twelve months, Transmeta engineers, including Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, have rewritten the file system of Mobile Linux in a smaller footprint, adding file system features such as directory sorting and an error checker. The software has also been enhanced to provide a modularised install and support MP3 players.

Primarily developed on Transmeta’s Reference Architecture, Mobile Linux is optimised for Transmeta’s Crusoe processor, with device driver support and enhancements for the company’s LongRun power management technology in Crusoe, giving the company valuable in-roads into the open-source community.

Future plans for Mobile Linux will aim to provide a smaller BIOS, ACPI support and a smaller footprint, with Transmeta believing that it can be squeezed down by another five to ten precent.

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