Linux Entertainment in Airbus A380

Aug 28, 2007

When the Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 takes off for its maiden flight October 25, it will have a complete Linux client/server system on board.

The in-flight entertainment system, "KrisWorld", on board of the new Airbus A380 jumbo is based on Red Hat Linux, at least for Singapore Airlines machines. The core of the entertainment system is a server with several terabytes of storage capacity. Every seat, no matter what class, will have a network client with a VIA processor and an additional 40GB of local storage. This doesn't mean that there are no "class distinctions": business class passengers can look forward to 15.4" screens, whereas economy class passengers have to make do with 10.4". First class passengers will have 23" displays.

The system offers various entertainment components, such as video and music on demand, 22 radio streams and 65 different games. To allow passengers to make meaningful use of the time they spend above the clouds, passengers have access to the Staroffice office suite by Sun Microsystems. Users can access their own documents via a USB port. The ports also allow passengers to attach their own input devices, meaning that business passengers can leave their laptops behind.

The system will also be deployed in the upcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The airline is currently updating previous systems in its planes.

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