OpenPandora is designed to run Open Source Software, but Open Source misses the point of Free Software. In this case this is a good warning as what to expect generally with regard to other freedom-related aspects of the device.
- It is documented hardware, with schematics avialable for noncommerical use.
GPU requires proprietary drivers and firmware, there is a reverse engineering project at fsf.org. However many games such as Wesnoth and Tetris are playable without installing any nonfree software.
Wifi/Bluetooth requires non-free blob. but you replace it with one that Respects Your Freedom which will work after installing the free firmware. The internal non-free component might be replacable with a third sdcard.
- Forum community not friendly to those seeking to have a Free Software only system but main devs (evildragon for one) is friendly, try IRC.
- Kernel stuck with hacks for the human input (keyboard and gaming controls), don't expect a new, upgraded, recent, kernel.
However it shout be easy to deblob the kernel using the scripts that come with linux-libre. Newest kernel is 3.2.0.
In summary, it is much better than most Android devices and Raspberry Pi, no nonfree software is required to boot.
- USB 1.0 Host is broken, requires external hub, USB 2.0 works fine, no crashes with the new kernel. USB OTG works with any device that does not draw more than 100mA.
- Default distribution is a mess as far as upgrades go. You can install Debian, if you use their kernel.
- With all this having been said, basic updates are apparently planned.
OpenPandora is being superseded by DragonBox Pyra, which may have better Free Software and Open Hardware characteristics, but this remains to be determined. The GPU will not be usable in the free world.