Splashtop: Embedded Linux For Your Motherboard - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/11/2007
11:36 AM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Splashtop: Embedded Linux For Your Motherboard

Every so often I bump into yet another example of Linux being used in creative ways.  Here's a new one: an ASUSTek motherboard, the P5E3, which ships with a built-in Linux variant called Splashtop.

Every so often I bump into yet another example of Linux being used in creative ways.  Here's a new one: an ASUSTek motherboard, the P5E3, which ships with a built-in Linux variant called Splashtop.

Splashtop's a small but fairly useful Linux desktop environment that boots and runs entirely in RAM.  The current iteration of Splashtop features network connectivity (both wired and wireless), a rebadged version of Firefox 2.0, and the Skype VoIP client (version 1.3) -- a small but useful clutch of tools. I read through a sneak preview of the product at Phoronix.com, and the impression I got was that it's still pretty rudimentary but that it will over time be expanded into something far more functional.

The biggest limitations are quickly obvious.  Splashtop doesn't let you save anything to a local file system -- it can only communicate with the web at large.  This isn't that bad if you're using, say, Gmail or any other kind of Web-based productivity tools, but it does make it a hindrance if you want to use Splashtop to do something like obtain a needed hardware driver for the system to install another OS -- which was one of the first and most immediately useful things I thought of as a possible application for Splashtop.  (It's always possible to do that with a rescue-CD distro like Damn Small Linux, though; I just hoped it would be possible to do this without anything additional!)

The P5E3 is the first motherboard to implement Splashtop, but Splashtop's site hints at other "desktops and notebook PCs" that will soon implement it, and offers links to obtaining the P5E3 immediately.  Their blog also mentions that they plan on adding more applications and features as time goes by, so this is just the first step. I'm extremely curious to see where things go from here, and how far they can take the concept.

(Footnote: My last post about unbundling the OS from the PC generated an amazingly broad and fierce swath of responses.  I'm still sifting through them and will have a follow-up as of next week.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll