July 2, 2011

MeeGo for Ice Cream

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:27 pm by dgcombs

Well, thanks Apple. Your OS X 10.6.8 update killed my Dell Hackintosh. You’d have thought you didn’t want me to run OS X on non-Apple hardware. Oh. Wait.

Well, as long as it’s broken and it’ll take a long time to fix, maybe I’m better off running some other operating system. What with open source Chromium OS just out, MeeGo just releasing version 1.2 and Ubuntu pressing the Unity interface into service. Maybe I should just give them a go for fun. At least until Lion comes out.

First up, MeeGo.

MeeGo is the result of combining an Intel effort named Moblin (“mobile-Linux”) with a Nokia Maemo Linux project. It boasts being able to run on phones, tablets, Netbooks and even those in-vehicle devices delivering content and directions on the Go. Unfortunately, after the one and only Nokia smart phone offering, they will put it on the back burner and move to Windows Phone 7. The underlying MeeGo technology is very familiar to anyone running a Linux desktop.

The Netbook UX is a continuation of the Moblin interface. It is written using the Clutter-based Mx toolkit, and uses the Mutter window managerMeeGo’s netbook version uses several Linux applications in the background, such as Evolution (Email, calendar), Empathy (instant messaging), Gwibber (microblogging), Chromium (web browser), and Banshee (multimedia player), all integrated into the graphical user interface. — Wikipedia

Except MeeGo is going for a real ease of use motif. They want to make it inviting, simple and usable. So I loaded up the netbook version on my Dell Inspiron 1318 laptop and right away noticed that I couldn’t use the wireless network. Hmmm… I did a quick Google search and found that this wasn’t unique. Here are the steps I had to go through to get the wireless network running (thanks, Mr. Slain) 

  • Activate the MeeGo toolbar and select the applications icon

  • Choose the Accessories section and select Terminal

  • Install the various tools you’ll need (sudo zypper install rpmdevtools)

  • Install the compilers and other tools (

    sudo zypper install pattern:meego-development-tools)

  • Install the kernel-netbook-devel package (

    sudo zypper install kernel-devel)

  • Now we’re ready to build and install the new broadcom drivers

    Download my moblin srpm wget http://slaine.org/meego/releases/1.2/ia32/source/wl-kmod-

  • Execute rpmbuild –rebuild –target=i586 wl-kmod-
  • Install the resulting rpm (

    (sudo rpm -ivh ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/i586/wl-kmod-

  • Load the module (

    sudo modprobe -a wl)

  • You should be able to now connect to a network.

OK. Not easy. In fact it reminded me of installing Ubuntu (another “easy”) distribution on my other Inspiron laptop. I get a message informing me that the firmware cannot be found. Similar to another message others have seen in their logs. This stuff just ain’t easy. And until it gets easy, I’ve got other things to do.


The killer though, was when I gave the system to my favorite Operating System tester. He’s all of thirteen now but a veteran of Windows XP, Windows 7, OS X Leopard (10.5) and OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), Ubuntu 10.4/10.10 and now MeeGo. His first comment was about the tool bar hovering just out of sight at the top of the screen and the single-app-on-screen feature. “Kind of annoying.” Then he looked at the graphical bits and bobs. “Kind of kiddish.”

And so it’s on to other things! Maybe Chromium OS next? Maybe. We’ll see.



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