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Transmeta Linux flavour smoked out

Which flavour of Linux is in Mobile Linux?

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Curiously under-reported yesterday was exactly which flavour of Linux forms the core of Transmeta’s embedded Mobile Linux. This comes as part of the package for its offering to would be OEMs of Internet appliances. Recall that of the two chips, the little one - the single-watt TM3120 – is being shipped with a stripped down distro in 32MB, which Torvalds said amounts to roughly 64MB of code at current compression rates. Enough to run Netscape, and the usability gizmos added Transmeta such as a pop-up keyboard and support for Palm's Graffiti. Given Linus professional impartiality towards the distros he helped spawn – he often cites choosing Transmeta as confirmation of this – we think a little odd no one thought to find out yesterday. But rest assured folks, we've smoked it out. And the winner is … Debian. But if you’re a stockholder of Red Hat, don't send your class action seersucker to the dry cleaners just yet. Being Open Sourcetm natch, Red Hat wouldn't have seen a penny under the usual licensing conditions, and of course the collection of Transmeta add-ons – which includes power management too – gets released right back into the open source code cloud. Torvalds also ruled out the prospect of this package evolving into any kind of Transmeta distro. A nice Transmeta chap also intimated that the choice of distro had been the subject of fierce debate: "carpet" and "blood" weren't mentioned explicitly, but we kinda get the picture. And it's really rather sweet. Not only is this a vote of confidence in Debian – it’s as near to being sanctified as a distro can get – but it might close the gap between the high technical regard in which Debian is held, and the general punters’ ignorance of its existence. And isn't it touching that the blessing should go to the only distribution which is incapable of making its authors obnoxious, millionaired IPO'd superbrats? Debian is a collective organisation, not a private company. Don't even bother looking for the ticker. ® Transmeta launch coverage A Linux, Transmeta Web-enabled Diamond Rio for CeBIT? Transmeta could face Intel legal challenge No home for Rambus at Transmeta Transmeta OS tweaking auction Transmeta chips to run Linux, Windows, attack Intel x86

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