Mostly Helpful Stuff

Free Carrots #5: MNT Reform

Free Carrots is an ongoing series of helpful tips for using Plan 9.

MNT Reform running 9front

MNT Reform is an 1.) expensive laptop that 2.) doesn’t spy on you. It doesn’t even have to run Linux, which, nowadays, can help with 2.). I bought one of these things last year, and suffered the indignity of running Linux regularly for the first time since the Clinton administration. (OpenBSD was not available for comment.)

9front developer cinap_lenrek also bought a MNT Reform, and so within a couple of months we had a mostly functional port of 9front to the device (sysinfo), which will be featured in the next release.

Working: Graphics, Ethernet, USB, PCIe, trackball.

Pending: WiFi, audio.

In the meantime…

Boot from sdcard

Occasional sdcard images are uploaded here:

Unzip the image and use dd(1) to write the .img file directly to your sdcard. This image provides a full running system on the hjfs(4) file system.

Install to NVMe

If you’ve installed a compatible NVMe drive in your MNT Reform, one of the above images may also be used to install 9front directly to the NVMe. Note: You’ll still need to boot from the sdcard.


Update the source code on your running system via the usual sysupdate(1) command. Build from source to update your binaries.

Install new kernel

Slightly different than other platforms:

   ; cd /sys/src/9/imx8
   ; mk clean; mk install
   ; cd /sys/src/boot/reform
   ; mk
   ; 9fs dos
   ; fcp /arm64/9reform.u /n/dos/
   ; fcp /sys/src/boot/reform/boot.scr /n/dos/

Strictly speaking, installing a new boot.scr every time is not always necessary; but doing so will avoid gotchas when something important changes and nobody warned you ahead of time.

Build your own sdcard .img

After updating your source and building a new kernel (see above), do the following:

   ; cd /sys/lib/dist
   ; mk /tmp/9front.reform.img

This can be especially useful if you don’t want to compile things on your Reform (although, really, building 9front is not that slow even on this machine).

MNT Reform links

What is this thing, etc.? See:

buy, community, faq, ifixit, reform school, sl’s reform page

this cat is not stuck thank you