MeeGo IVI (reference implementation for GENIVI)


MeeGo IVI (reference implementation for GENIVI)


MeeGo is an open source, Linux project, which unites Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo efforts. It was announced during the Mobile World Congress 2010. The MeeGo IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) is an optimized MeeGo distribution for in-car headunits. As of September 2011 the most current version is 1.2 released on May 19th 2011[1]. The Genivi consortium has chosen MeeGo IVI as a base platform for their reference implementation in August 2010[2]. Genivi adds additional software packages to MeeGo IVI in order to be compliant with their specification[3].

During MeeGo SF 2011 the Linux Foundation announced, that they will gain access to Genivi’s compliance specification54 in order to have MeeGo IVI 1.3 and further releases fully compliant[4]. In contrast to MeeGo, Genivi is not an open source project. The objective among the project partners including numerous OEMs and first and second tiers in the automotive industry is to reuse and share code54.MeeGo IVI plays a critical role for webinos success inside the automotive domain, as it is the only significant open-source project in this field and has been adopted by the industry (cf. Genivi).

Part A1: Technical Information (web rendering engines)

Web components

MeeGo IVI uses Fennec as its web browser. Fennec is the mobile version of Mozilla’s Firefox. According to Mozilla Fennec supports HTML4 as well as HTML5 and implements W3C’s Geolocation and Device Orientation API. It fully supports JavaScript[5]. Fennec’s rendering engine is based on Firefox 4 Beta[6].

Widget availability

Fennec does not support W3C’s Widget spec. However, it supports Mozilla’s Add-on architecture [7].

Part A2: Technical Information (Operating Systems)

General OS features


MeeGo IVI supports ARM and Intel Atom Architecture. A list of supported boards is available at


The MeeGo security architecture is documented at and


MeeGo IVI has support for GSM/EDGE, UMTS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, LTE. Support for LTE, CDMA and WiMAX has been announced for the October 2011 release (v 1.3)[8].


As MeeGo IVI has not been largely deployed on consumer products, there is no credible information about the reliability available.

Technical Criteria

MeeGo IVI is specifically optimized for devices with limited resources.

Usability Criteria

MeeGo IVI’s user interface is optimized for touch inputs[9].

Product Diversity

There is no specific SDK for developing MeeGo IVI applications available. The standard MeeGo SDK can be used[10].

API codebase

The IVI edition provides the same API codebase as the other MeeGo editions. A special Vehicle API was not part of 1.2 and previous versions. A common vehicle API for QT applications is on the roadmap for the upcoming 1.3 release scheduled for October 2011[11]. MeeGo IVI provides access to a Bluetooth[12]  and USB stack. RFID and NFC are currently not supported, but addressed for upcoming releases[13]. The source code to these components is available.

Part B: Commercial information

Device coverage

MeeGo IVI is specifically designed for ivi-systems. In general, MeeGo is suited for a wide range of devices (Tablets, PC, Netbooks, and Smartphones)

Platform maturity

Due to the young age of MeeGo IVI the platform lacks some features. Current bugs for MeeGo IVI are listed at[14].

Market penetration/availability

MeeGo IVI is not widely used yet. There are two MeeGo IVI in-vehicle systems (Hawtei and Geely) and one after-market solution (ICP Deutschland) available[15].


The source code of MeeGo IVI is available at and binary files are available at


The webinos integration onto MeeGo IVI seems feasible within the project timeframe.

Partner Perspective

MeeGo IVI is used by the Genivi consortium as its reference implementation. The platform is sponsored by Intel. According to the participation in IVI working group meetings Intel, LG, Nokia, Pelagicore and Visteon seems to be the most active contributors to the IVI releases .


Availability of supported devices is currently very limited.

Part C: Licensing and Governance


Is source code freely available to all developers, at the same time? 4: MeeGo IVI source code is available.
Is source code available under a permissive OSI-approved license? 3: For kernel components GPLv2 is used. Platform itself is OSI-compliant and allows companies to build proprietary extension on all levels. As MeeGo IVI makes strong use of upstream projects, there is no general licence for MeeGo IVI. Licences are handled on a package level.
Are developer support mechanisms – project mailing lists, forums, bug-tracking databases, developer documentation and tools – available to all developers? 3: All documents are available at, mailing list archives are available.
Is the project roadmap publicly available? 4: The roadmap is available
Transparency of decision mechanisms – Are project meeting minutes publicly available to understand decision-making in the project? 4: The meeting minutes of the working group are available


Transparency of contributions and acceptance process – Is the code contribution and acceptance process clear, with progress updates of the contribution provided (via Bugzilla or similar)? 4: Development process and contribution acceptance can be monitored
Transparency of contributions to the project – can you identify from whom source code contributions are provided? 3: Contributions can be identified using the git protocols and the bug tracking system.
Accessibility to become a committer – are the requirements/process to become a committer documented and is this an equitable process, i.e., can all developers potentially become committers? 4: The process for becoming a committer is described
Transparency of committers – can you identify who committers to the open source project are? i.e., those developers that have the authority to ‘commit’ source code to the baseline 2: Information has to be aggregated from the git repositories of the different MeeGo projects
Does the contribution license require a copyright assignment, or copyright license and/or patent license? 2: The project requires a copyright license/’sign-off’. The process is described


Are trademarks used to control how and where the platform is used via enforcing a compliance process prior to distribution? 1. Yes – code must go through a formal compliance process prior to be distributed to other parties is described
Are go-to-market channels for applications derivatives constrained by the project in terms of approval, distribution or discovery? 0: No channels are available at present.


Is the formal community structure flat or tall, i.e., tiered rights depending on membership status 2: There is no formal membership or discrimination between the rights of members and non-members from a development/access perspective .


Total Score 36

Part D: Summary


MeeGo has gained some negative press after Nokia’s announcement of using Windows Phone 7 in favour of Symbian and potentially MeeGo. However, MeeGo is still heavily backed up by Intel, as it tries to expand its ecosystem beyond the microprocessor business [16]. Furthermore, MeeGo IVI is the only relevant open source platform for in-car headunits and was picked up by the Genivi consortium for its reference implementation.

Although the MeeGo IVI lacks some relevant features for an IVI-platform such as a common vehicle API, these open points have been addressed for the 1.3 release due in October 2011. The access to Genivi’s compliance specification will enable the Linux foundation to build a fully Genivi-compliant operating system, as new competitors (e.g. Canonical) are introducing new base platforms for Genivi[17]. Having a Genivi compliant platform as a basis for webinos will enhance webinos chances to be picked up by other automotive companies. Taking the long development cycles inside the automotive domain (around seven years) and the relatively young age of MeeGo (around 2 years) into account, it is not surprising that there is only a minor selection of MeeGo IVI based devices available.


Swot analysis in relation to webinos:

Strengths – MeeGo is heavily backed up by Intel. – Only fully fleshed out and true open source operating system for IVI-systems. Weaknesses – currently no standardized vehicle API available. – Not heavily in productive use yet.
Opportunities – Genivi uses MeeGo as a basis for their reference implementation. – Linux Foundation gained access to the Genivi compliance specification. Risks – after Nokia’s commitment to Windows Phone 7. The acceptance by developers and market penetration is being unclear. – Genivi might drop MeeGo as a reference open source implementation in favour of Ubuntu after Canonical announced a Genivi compliant Ubuntu version for summer 2011

References for MeeGo IVI analysis