Porting Operating Systems

In general, if trying to port things to the Novena, a good place to start would be finding existing ports to other hardware platforms based on the Freescale i.MX6 processors. Eg, the Wandboard, the Gateworks Ventana, the Solidrun CuBox-i4Pro, and Boundary Devices’ Nitrogen6.

GNU/Linux Distributions

It should be reasonably easy to port arbitrary GNU/Linux distributions to Novena. Either the existing microSD boot partition, u-boot, and kernel can be used (with the distro rootfs on a SATA disk), or an entire fresh image could be generated. Many of xobs’s patches to the Linux kernel have been upstreamed to mainline, which helps immensely.

Additional work will be necessary on non-debian-based distributions to port the userland utilities for things like EEPROM access and pulseaudio support. All these utilities are of course free software, and can be found by poking around on the Novena wiki (try starting at Novena packaing overview).

Some earlier work had been done on an OpenEmbedded build.

Other Operating Systems

Wikipedia states that basic i.MX6 support has been included in FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Android. There is probably also vendor (Freescale) support for some proprietary industrial operating systems like QNX and VxWorks.

Beyond that it will probably be a matter of studying the documentation and refering to the Linux implementation for pointers.