fread.ink is a free as in freedom alternate operating system for electronic paper ebook readers.
fread is currently under development and not yet ready for normal use. We are aiming to launch a version 1.0 in Q3 2018 with basic support for at least 5hth generation Kindle non-touch.
August 23 2019: fread.ink is not dead. I quit my job a while back and have been taking a break from coding to recover some motivation. Currently I'm working to finish up the automatic install and backup system. I hope for a release of some kind later this year. I'm right now at CCCamp 2019, internal phone number 6780, call or text if you want to chat.
Status is: Currently you need a 5th generation non-touch Kindle device with root access to try things out. Graphics is working. Button input is working. USB networking is working. WiFi needs a bit more work. USB storage device mode is not yet working. Power button not yet working. Making an installer that doesn't require jailbreaking is in progress. Porting an e-book reader app (KOreader) is in progress.
July 25th 2018: Looks like juul's talk got a writeup on hackaday.com. Nice!
July 22th 2018: juul gave a talk about the project at HOPE 2018 which you can download in webm (VP9) format here (642 MB). Unfortunately several fascist and white nationalist intimidators and harassers showed up at HOPE and the organizers did almost nothing to prevent this. The fread.ink project fully supports the statement released by several attendee organizations and individuals.
The plan is to support the most popular e-readers with electronic paper displays starting with i.MX5 and i.MX6 devices, which surprisingly covers most of the widely sold models including all Kindles since the 4th generation (2011), every Kobo since the Kobo touch (2011) and the latest Nooks (since 2016). The older Kobos and Kindles that use older i.MX chipsets will likely be supported at some point. For older Nooks we haven't sufficiently investigated the available source code to know whether support is feasible.
We're working on an image that can be used to flash non-rooted devices, erasing the original operating system. To learn how to flash the system without rooting start here. This will be turned into a simple one-click cross-platform installer.