Creating a Mobile Device Image with the Moblin Image Creator
Creating an image to load onto a mobile device in the Moblin Image Creator is fairly simple. Generally, the process of getting a mobile image configured with Moblin Image Creator is as follows:
- Add a platform project, which defines the hardware platform and operating system for a device on which the image will be loaded.
- Create a target, which includes predefined or custom function sets (see Figure 2) for the target platform that defines which applications, GUI, and other tools will be preloaded into the mobile device image. Included in the default list of available targets are a mobile GNOME GUI, mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system, and development tools such as the GNU C++ compiler.
Figure 2 Functional sets in the Moblin Image Creator.
- After the platform and targets have been created for the project, you can start building user applications for your Moblin platform. Most of the default Moblin images come preloaded with a standard GUI and various applications such as a web browser, picture viewer, camera, video player, music player, chat, email, and games (see Figure 3).
Figure 3 The Moblin device GUI.
- Test the mobile image by using a window manager called Xephyr that allows for running an X session within an X session. Booting the image into Xephyr allows for testing the GUI and applications in the mobile image on a regular workstation, without loading the image onto the device to test applications and functionalities. Xephyr can be configured and started automatically by running the command ume-xephyr-start on the target's terminal command line.
- Package the mobile image onto a Live USB image, CD image, or NAND image.
- Load the image onto the device and boot the mobile device.
Other Mobile Development Tools
The Moblin SDK also includes a free version of the Intel C++ Software Development Tool Suite for Linux-based mobile devices. The development suite is licensed for free to foster mobile application development for the Moblin project and includes a full mobile C++ IDE, optimization, and debugging utilities for Intel-based mobile architectures. The suite includes various code libraries for audio, video, and data processing, such as compression and cryptographic libraries.
Getting Help with Moblin
The Moblin project includes many resources and is well documented for setting up a development environment for Moblin development. Step-by-step instructions are provided for building the required dependencies for supporting the Moblin Image Creator. The Moblin project source is kept in git repositories, so the git core installation is required for Moblin sources. The Moblin documentation provides the details for setting up a development environment for Moblin development. Moblin also has a developer mailing list where users can post questions to other Moblin developers for any problems they may encounter.
Standardizing Mobile Development with Moblin
The Moblin project proposes a specification and compliance toolkit for hardware and software vendors to certify their hardware and software platforms that are based on the Linux Standard Base (LSB) appchk utility. The Moblin Compliance Toolkit is available to software vendors and ensures that a hardware vendor's software is compliant with the Moblin specification. In addition, it offers a set of standards for other mobile open source development projects, to ensure quality application development in the mobile world.