Ubuntu MID works on two devices at present, the Samsung Q1U and the Intel Crown Beach development station for building devices using the company's Atom processor. It also can be run on ordinary computers through the KVM virtualisation software. A MID — a concept Intel is aggressively promoting — is a mobile device larger and more like a regular computer than, say an Apple iPhone, but smaller than an ultraportable PC.
"This release marks the start of a way for new users to experience Ubuntu and Open Source software and as the hardware becomes commonplace it will become a very exciting place to get users experiencing applications from our communities," said David Mandala, project manager of the Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded Group, in a blog posting.
Canonical will release new versions of the software on the same six-month cycle as it uses for the desktop version of the open-source operating system, the company said.
"Ubuntu MID Edition, a fully open-source project, gives the full internet, with no compromise," according to the project description. "All unnecessary complexity in the user experience is eliminated."
Ubuntu MID can be used with a touchscreen and has a specially designed Web browser.