Crowd Supply - Novena Laptop

Project name: Novena

storage: sda - Samsung 840 EVO SSD, 250 GB


PMB - runs off serial port ttymxc3, to communicate, use sudo screen /dev/ttymxc3 115200

operating systems: Debian,

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Links Forums, User Guides, MyriadRF: Assembling the Novena Laptop, gfx - Vivante GCxxx GPU driver: Etnaviv, Samsung SSDs: SSDdiag, Github: u-boot-novena, Debian: HowToUse WiFi, wiki: keyboard,


2022-02-12: after the power outage (2023-02-01) the machine doesn't boot fully. Recovery boot (mainboard - hold down USER button while pressing the RESET button) works. Did a fsck on the sda1 and sda3 partitions, and now it works again.

2021-08-31: after the power outage (on 2021-08-27) the machine doesn't boot fully anymore. I tried booting into recovery (hold down USER button while pressing the RESET button - both on mainboard) which works. Did a sudo shutdown -r now but the normal doesn't complete after that either. Hmm.

2017-11-03: speakers - mounted the speakers inside the case.

2017-11-03: front bezel - mounted keyboard retainers.

2017-11-03: SSD - upgraded Samsung 840 EVO firmware from EXT0C6BQ to EXT0D6BQ. I used answer 3 in this thread to extract the image needed, and put it onto a usb stick with dd.

2017-11-01: according to the forum (this thread), it is a battery of type BR1225A digikey P2090-ND) which is a non-rechargeable Lithium 3V coin battery).

2017-10-23: interesting - I plugged out the main battery connector, connected the power to the machine and powered it on. It booted.

2017-10-23: ok, the battery (or is it a supercap?) below the DIMM on the mainboard reads 0.3V when the unit is powered off. Perhaps that confuses the RTC chip. Time to break out schematics.

2017-03-29: battery - I reconnected the battery again (taps connector first, then molex connector). Before connecting, I measured the voltage again. Still 12.1 volts.

2017-03-24: battery - following a discussion on the Kosagi hardware forums, I disconnected the battery (molex first, then taps connector). When measured, the voltage on the molex is 12.1 volts.

2015-10-07: when I power on the Novena now it says "systemd[1]: Time has been changed" prefixed with " 12 printk messages dropped " (or 13 instead of 12). This forum thread looks relevant. Ok, letting the Novena be powered up for a while, then powering down an on again seems to have fixed the problem for now.

2015-06-03: project newsletter. Novena's Debian repo is hosted at, changes are on the wiki, Debian updates are installed by:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

you can get source for all packages, example U-Boot: $ sudo apt-get source u-boot-novena. To take advantage of better hibernate support, the swap partion size nedds to be increase, see this forum post.

2015-05-13: unpacking. the package contains the keyboard, one usb-to-microUSB cable and a sheet of paper (parts and warranty terms).

2015-05-13: I got a pick-up notice from Posten during the day, and picked up the package at my local PIB (RIMI Trondheimsveien) on my way home from work this afternoon.

2015-05-12: I got a message from Posten (transporter of the Multicom package) stating that my package would be delayed.

2015-05-11: I got a message from Multicom stating that my package (the ThinkPad Compact USB keyboard) is ready for shipping. Later in the day I also got a message from the transporter (Posten) stating that the package was sent.

2015-05-06: try to get a WiFi connection:

$ sudo ip link set wlan0 up

but I have no iw tools. Hmm,ok, it looks like NetWorkManager is installed, I have nmtui.

$ nmtui

starts a text user interface and allows me to select the correct wilreless SSID and connect. Afterwards, I just quit nmtui. Nice!

2015-05-06: connecting the PSU to the Novena makes the machine power on and boot up.

2015-05-05: Today I ordered a ThinkPad Compact USB keyboard from Multicom for NOK 446.- + NOK 89.- in shipping, a total of NOK 535.-.

2015-04-29: first poweron - I just pushed the power button, and the machine came to life. Next it walked me through first-time setup. I opted to NOT have graphical logins enabled (I can always change this later). I had to use a Logitech usb keyboard, as my other usb keyboard didn't work (perhaps it draws to much power?).

2015-04-29: mounting. I followed the Laptop User Guide. Using the 2.0mm hex wrench, I unscrewed the three screws holding the LCD bracket, and removed it. Next up, mounting the LCD panel with four screws and nuts (very carefully), then connecting the LCD connector (also carefully), finally screwing on the LCD bracket (with 7 screws this time).

2015-04-29: unpacking. The main box contains the laptop (in case), an extra bezel (green), and the LCD (in an extra box). The accessory box contains a power supply (output: 18V DC, 3.47A, center positive). The mains cable has an american plug at one end, and the "shaver" (inifinty or "horisontal eight") plug on the other end. Input voltage is rated 100 - 240 V AC, so I only need to find a new mains cable. I got one ziplock bag with tools (one philips and two hex wrench screwdrivers), a bottle of Loctite 243, speakers and more.

2015-04-24: I got a pick up notice in my (physical) mailbox and picked up the package at my local PIB (Rimi Trondheimsveien). I paid NOK 4005.- in value added tax, and NOK 288.- in handling charge, a total of NOK 4293.- Value of the package was USD 1995.- which was converted to NOK 16020.- which gives 1 USD = NOK 8.03.

2015-04-18: I got a "Your order has shipped" message from the project.

2014-05-13: I pledged USD 1995.- for a Novena laptop, estimated shipping January 2015.