What's the installation process like?
Well, QNX support for the EFIKA is a beta product so I have to watch what I say :) - but I'll make some general comments on installing QNX on a target system.
I'm new to QNX, having only installed it on self-hosted x86 systems before this. IMO, most of the QNX documentation is targeted at this situation. The descriptions of how to install QNX on target systems is very detailed, but is really targeted at engineers porting to a new system. So it's confusing to a newcomer (I'm coming from a low-level embedded background - assembly on 6811s, bare C on i960s, stuff like that) who hasn't built OSs before.
The big realization is that to be scalable, QNX has designed things so that target systems are VERY different from host systems - and a self-hosted system is more like a host system than a target system. Targets don't necessarily have anything, including filesystem drivers, photon (windowing system), etc already built in. So you have to choose exactly what you want in the build. A good thing, IMO, as you can't afford a bunch of drivers floating around memory that you aren't using, but it does make it difficult for a novice such as me to figure out what I want in the build.
It would be nice to have some collection choices, kind of like other OS installs, built into Momentics (the IDE used on the host system to build the target) - so that you could choose sets of packages rather than the individual binaries and shared libraries.
I should point out that the microkernel architecture does mean that you can boot a VERY minimal system and start up drivers on the command line, playing with arguments and such, till you are happy with them, then put them in the automatic startup. The ability to start and stop services is IMO even better than linux and vxworks, which sometimes don't clean everything up all the way.
I think that if you're familiar with using QNX on target systems, once this port is finished, this will be just the same. That is, most of the issues that I've had with installation are probably either beta issues or due to my inexperience with QNX.
In contrast, the linux that I had on the EFIKA (I had debian for a week or so) is definitely what I'm calling a self-hosted system. It's a full-fledged OS, that you have to go through and turn off the drivers that you don't want. So you're paring down rather than building up as in QNX.
Kevin Nickels, Assoc. Prof, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, USA