Friday, 10 April 2009

Intel Promises 2 Second Boot with Moblin

Moblin is Intel's Fedora based distro specifically engineered for netbooks such as the eeepc range.

Currently at the early alpha stage, Moblin is already able to boot within 20 seconds but a 2 second boot seems a bit unrealistic. Intel engineers have managed to do some remarkable things so far, let's just hope they can achieve this.

Check out's test of Moblin against Ubuntu Jaunty.

I had a little play around with Moblin on my eeepc 1000h last week and unfortunately I didn't experience any lightning fast boot times. In fact it was slower than Ubuntu Intrepid which boots in about 30s. It was obvious that it was alpha stage software from the look of the UI but I didn't experience any crashes, although it did fail to boot once. Wifi worked out of the box. I found the fonts to be hard on the eyes and I also couldn't get update to work at all.

Moblin uses XFCE desktop environment which fooled me into thinking it was GNOME for the first few seconds but the differences become visible quickly. Being used to GNOME and Ubuntu I found the UI a little strange. However, it is alpha and Intel plans to completely re-design the look and feel of the interface to something more modern. The video below shows some of the ideas they are playing around with.

I only had Moblin on my netbook for a day, I replaced it with the beta version of Jaunty which is working perfectly. Currently I can't see myself using XFCE but with a 2 seconds boot I think I can live with it.

Update: Just found this video of Moblin booting in an incredible 5 seconds! See for yourself.


  1. One of the technologies I've heard of as a possibility is a built-in chip on the motherboard that would contain most of the operating system. Most of the boot time on a PC is moving those critical OS files into memory from the slower hard drive, so if you already had them loaded on that permanent chip, bootup would be nearly instant.

  2. In Moblin they are cutting down boot time by tweaking the Linuxkernel on the one hand and inventing new startup procedure for the programs on the other hand.

    The Linuxkernel is able to boot in less than a second. That can be achieved by only inserting the drivers which are actually needed. In the last movie you can see that the Kernel needs only a second (when it prints initrd, it is starting other programs).

    Also the statup procedure is outdated (is from the 80ies or so just *nix standard) and there is much potential for tweaking.