On February 15, 2010, the world’s largest chip manufacturer, Intel, and the world’s
largest mobile handset manufacturer, Nokia, announced joining their existing open
source projects (Moblin and Maemo respectively) to form a new project called
MeeGo, hosted at the Linux Foundation.
This article provides an introduction to the MeeGo project, a brief overview of the
MeeGo architecture, the benefits the MeeGo platform offers to the various players in
the ecosystem, and discusses the role of the Linux Foundation as a host of the project
MeeGo is a Linux-based platform that is capable of running on multiple computing devices, including
handsets, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.
The primary goal of the merger of the Maemo and Moblin projects was to unify the efforts of the Moblin
and Maemo communities and to enable a next generation open source Linux-platform suited for a
variety of client devices. Most importantly, MeeGo will be doing so while:
1. Maintaining freedom for innovation
2. Continuing the tradition of community involvement (inherited from Maemo and Moblin)
3. Accelerating time-to-market for a new set of applications, services and user experiences
With the merger, the MeeGo project has now the opportunity to significantly expand the market
opportunities on a wide range of devices and support multiple chip architectures (ARM and x86) from
the get go.
MeeGo also provide a rich cross-platform development environment so applications can span multiple
platforms and will unify developers providing a wealth of applications and services. Such opportunities
for instances were out of reach for Maemo and Moblin individually.
Furthermore, MeeGo is committed to work in the upstream projects so that everyone using those
upstream projects can benefit from MeeGo’s contributions to upstream projects; we will discuss this
later in the article.
The Maemo project, initially created by Nokia (http://www.maemo.org),
provided a Linux-based software stack that runs on mobile devices.
The Maemo platform is built in large parts of open source components and its
SDK provides an open development environment for applications on top of the
A series of Nokia Internet Tablets with touch screen have been built with the
Maemo platform. The latest Maemo device was the Nokia N900, powered by
Maemo 5, that introduced a completely redesigned finger-touch UI, cellular
phone feature, and live multicasting on the Maemo dashboard.
The Moblin project, short for Mobile Linux, is Intel’s
open source initiative (http://www.moblin.org)
created to develop software for smartphones,
netbooks, mobile internet devices (MIDs), and
in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, and other
mobile devices. It is an optimized Linux-based
platform for small computing devices. It runs on Intel
Atom, an inexpensive chip with low power
requirements. A unique characteristic to devices
running Moblin is that they can boot up quickly and
can be online within a few seconds.
MeeGo provides a full open source software stack from core operating system up to user interface
libraries and tools. Furthermore, it offers user experience reference implementations and allows
proprietary add-ons to be added by vendors to support hardware, services, or customized user
Figure 2 illustrates the MeeGo architecture as divided into three layers:
• The MeeGo OS Base layer consists of the Hardware Adaptation Software required to adapt MeeGo to
support various hardware architectures and the Linux kernel and core services
• The MeeGo OS Middleware layer provides a hardware and usage model independent API for building
both native applications and web run time applications
• The MeeGo User Experience (UX) layer provides reference user experiences for multiple platform
segments. The first UX reference implementation was released on May 25, 2010 and it was for the
netbook UX. Other UX reference implementation will follow for additional supported device types.
A detailed discussion of the MeeGo software platform is available from:
Figure 2 offers a component level view of the MeeGo architecture highlighting the various building
blocks inside each of the architectural layers and featuring the open source projects used to provide
the implementation of the referenced building blocks. For instance, the communication services (in the
OS Middleware) consist of four different services:
• Connection management, provided by the ConnMan project (http://connman.net)
• Telephony services, provided by the oFono project (http://ofono.org)
• VOIP, instant messaging and presence services, provided by the Telepathy project (http://telepathy.
• Bluetooth support, provided by the BlueZ project (http://www.bluez.org)
MeeGo Netbook UX
The netbook is the first user experience to become available for MeeGo. Released on May 25,2010, It
delivers a wealth of Internet, computing and communication experiences with rich graphics, multitasking
and multimedia capabilities, and highly optimized for power and performance.
Figures 3, 4 and 5 provide screen shots of the netbook user experience featuring the MeeGo MyZone,
the MeeGo networks panel, and the MeeGo time and date panel.