OSes usable on reform

So what OSes are actually usable on reform at this point?

I’m trying to find one that doesn’t have systemd, and doesn’t use gnome (or KDE) as I can’t stand the gnome3+ UI and KDE is just too heavy.

I’ve tried funtoo, which works, but runs into issues when compiling stuff that links to the kernel because of kernel source issues (presumably because of reform specific stuff)

Has there been any progress with upstreaming the reform specific kernel stuff?

gentoo handbook says gentoo requires a reform specific kernel config but then gives absolutely no details.

chimera linux reform image boots but has no (functioning) de at all and doesnt seem to be anywhere near usable yet.

my daily driver (desktop) currently runs mx linux but neither that nor devuan appear to have an aarch64 version.

i ran alpine linux for a while. now i run 9front.


I’ve not run linux aside from an initial boot. My personal unit and the loaners all run a newer OS called Plan9 (9front)


I used Void Linux[1] for some time which worked all fine, but preferring 9front[2] I eventually moved to it instead, after writing the audio driver (so I can enjoy the music).

[1] Release Install & Encrypt · ftrvxmtrx/void-packages · GitHub

[2] http://felloff.net/usr/cinap_lenrek/9front-reform.torrent

I used alpine linux on mine, but once 9front became available I started using that too. Generally I use 9front if there’s ethernet available and alpine linux when I’m on the move.

sigrid made a point about a/v and a reason to run plan9[1]. I’ve also had a great experience with H.264 video playback as well as simultaneous streaming to a peertube instance and Twitch from Plan9 on the reform[2]. Links to software and documentation can be found:

[1] https://sr.ht/~ft/treason/
[2] https://shithub.us/sigrid/rtmp/HEAD/info.html

A side effect of building and using these as a new user is that you may become quickly enamored with the simplicity of the entire process and at how well plan9 performs on the MNT Reform.

There’s also https://chimera-linux.org/ now with an official image. It’s a non-GNU Linux distribution with a BSD userland.

1 Like

Whoa, are there special instructions anywhere for getting Plan9 (9Front or whatever version) to boot on the Reform?

mnt reform isn’t supported in the latest release yet, but some images you can boot from sdcard (and install to nvme) are linked here:


1 Like

any update on the status of WiFi? Would a USB WiFi dongle work? Also does suspend/resume function?

thanks to the 9front devs for the work

Wifi not supported yet. USB wifi dongles are reported to work. I personally use my Android phone with RNDIS tethering when I’m out, otherwise Ethernet when at home.

Suspend/resume (or any other power-related functions) were never supported for any platform with 9front and I doubt it will be. Imo, there is little reason to do so anyway, considering how fast it shuts down and boots, while consuming substantial amount of power with Linux when in s2ram mode. Lowering power consumption while powered on was something done to some small extent, but ofc it’s still far from perfect.

there are no drivers for any usb wifi anything, but you can use an ethernet to wifi bridge (i use an iogear gwu637).

more setup info is here:


Eh, I got confused there for a second and forgot that wifi that only powers from usb (but has an ethernet cable) isn’t the same as “usb wifi” the original question had in mind. Sorry!

mnt reform is fully supported in the latest 9front release:


additional work has been done since then. this is more or less where it stands:



This is absolutely wild and absolutely awesome


Just a shot in the dark, but is it possible to run Pop!_OS (a descendant of Debian) on the Reform? Is it too resource intensive? Is there no way to get necessary drivers? I use that kernel on my daily laptop so it would be neat to have it on the Reform as well.

Does Pop-OS have an ARM version available for it? I don’t think so, and so that would answer your question.

1 Like

Ah, I see. Yeah, I don’t see mention of one in their Reddit. The closest I found was someone recommending installing Ubuntu Server for ARM and then downloading the Pop!_OS stuff through System76’s repo–but even that is compiled for x86.

Thanks for the response!

1 Like

No worries! It can be a bit confusing, but in general once you figure a few things out it makes a lot more sense. Just to note, Ubuntu and Pop OS are derived from Debian. The experience on all 3 is pretty similar. Debian is pretty excellent.

1 Like

the latest 9front release supports wifi on the reform. i’m typing this over wifi via intel 6205 right now. note: there exists a bug in the current release that causes hjfs on arm64 to be unable to create new files. a fix is on the way. in the meantime:

; bind -ac /dist/plan9front /
; cd /sys/src/cmd/7c
; git/revert -c 4fd09def0fc51d0606e677f1ab59ad695d1cd780 `{pwd}
; mk install

update: the bug is fixed with the latest commit to 7c.