fread.ink is a free as in freedom alternate operating system for electronic paper ebook readers.
fread is currently under development. I am aiming to launch a version 0.1 for developers in 2017 with support for at least 4th generation Kindle touch and non-touch.
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 starting since the 4th generation (2011), every Kobo since the Kobo touch (2011) and the latest Nook (2016). The older Kobos and Kindles that use older i.MX chipsets will likely be supported at some point. For older Nooks I haven't sufficiently investigated the available source code to know whether support is feasible.
Status as of March 10th 2017Two other developers have begun hacking on fread! One of them already got the latest stable Linux kernel booting on the 4th gen non-touch! (though only minimally. no access to storage yet). I've been busy with work and moving to a new place but started putting some time back into the project over the last couple of weekends. Currently I'm focused on getting the graphics fully working with automatic screen updates and a window manager. We'll likely publicly announce the project at RSA2017 or 34C3. I'd like to have a modern webkit or gecko engine working at the point in time and a way of contributing apps that rivals `npm publish` in its simplicity.
Status as of June 1st 2016: Instead of forging ahead with more features I've gone back to the beginning to write documentation and scripts that make it easy for other developers to compile all of the different pieces into a working system. The most recently touched repos on the fread github should give you an idea. We now have easy to set up cross-compile environments and instructions for kexec, the kernel, the initrd and the userland is getting there. Next steps are to add the last of the fread-specific packages to the fread apt repository, specifically the X driver and Awesome wm. The current tentative schedule is to get a minimally useful system that can be used to read ebooks ready for release as version 1 a.k.a. Enheduanna at CCC 2016 in Hamburg.
Status as of January 8th 2016: The major stumbling block until now has been getting graphics working, since the electronic paper displays have their own unique drivers. I now have Xorg working on the 4th generation Kindle non-touch without relying on any non-open software. I moved from using buildroot to using a minimal armhf Debian Jessie which I managed to get down to about 180 MB including Xorg. There is lots of work still to do. The next step will be getting a minimal but modern webkit browser working. I'll evaluate Electron, NW.js and Kobo's modified QT WebKit. Other than browser/nodejs I'll need to add in the Lab126 version of the Awesome window manager and write some lua code to update the electronic paper display when XDamage events occur. Then I need to get wifi and usb storage working, make a UI, get buttons and touch display working and provide an easy installer. So... Lots of work ahead but none of it is especially difficult. Getting the graphics working on the other hand was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life which is why the project had been stalled for many months. Onwards and upwards!
You can find me on #fread on Freenode IRC if you want to chat :)
Note: "Kindle" and "Lab126" are registered trademarks of Amazon Inc. "Kobo" is a registered trademark of Kobo Inc. Nook is a registered trademark of Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc. "E Ink" is a registered trademark of the E Ink Corporation. None of these organizations are in any way affiliated with fread or this website and neither fread nor this website is in any way endorsed by these corporations.