I know there is RaspberryPI for bare-metal ARM, but wondering if there is an x86-64 machine in which either (a) it has no operating system preinstalled installed, or (b) you can uninstall the operating system and start from scratch with assembly / boot loaders and such to install your own custom operating system (non-linux, from scratch, bare-metal, etc.). I have seen minnowboard, but it seems out of stock and with a lack of support unlike the RaspberryPI, so doesn't seem like a great option atm.

If there is a way to get an x86-64 bare-metal device, wondering where to look to get started. I have seen a few posts saying warning and whatnot, using ChromeBook to delete the operating system. But I don't know enough to determine if that is the correct way you are supposed to get to a bare-metal x86-64 machine. Am interested to know if that is the correct approach, and the warnings are basically just that you won't be able to get your Chrome OS back (which makes sense). The warning makes it seem like you won't at all be able to use the hardware anymore. I wouldn't want to uninstall the OS and then try one time to install a custom OS only to make a mistake and now the hardware is ruined. Please let me know if that is the situation, or if it is more relaxed, and after you uninstall an OS you can try over and over again to debug/install a custom OS without ruining the hardware.

closed as off-topic by Ramhound, fixer1234, Pimp Juice IT, Burgi, phuclv Aug 24 '18 at 16:58

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  • 4
    Buy a motherboard, x86-64 processor, and RAM modules (plus power supply), and you will have a "bare-metal" system equivalent to an RPI. – sawdust Aug 20 '18 at 8:09

What you are describing is possible with any standard x86 computer.

The warnings you're seeing about Chromebook hardware are specific to that system, which is not a standard x86 platform.

  • Please explain how to do it with a standard x86 computer, I have no idea where to start. Or if it's complex, maybe a resource to get started. – user39251 Aug 19 '18 at 23:03
  • The OSDev wiki (wiki.osdev.org/Main_Page) is a good starting point. But I'll warn you ahead of time that, if you're having trouble with "how do I put my OS on a computer", you will not have a good time trying to write one. – duskwuff Aug 19 '18 at 23:06
  • Here is the first piece I have found suggesting how to do real hardware testing, but it doesn't describe it much more than I've already read before. I would like to know if I can get some sort of computer to test it out on, or any old computer would work. And I don't know what "may be disastrous" means, if that means my computer hardware is ruined, or it just means you lost your original OS. – user39251 Aug 20 '18 at 2:40
  • I have a Mac, so from what it sounds like I can't just erase my harddrive and get it back, so Macbook is out of the question. But maybe some other ~$200 x86 laptop would work, I really am unsure. – user39251 Aug 20 '18 at 2:43
  • "May be disastrous" is simply referring to the possibility of accidentally overwriting a partition containing another operating system or data. – duskwuff Aug 20 '18 at 2:43

It's very simple and costs nothing : Create an x86 or x64 virtual machine.

The created VM will be bare-metal, and you could have as many as you like in case one is all botched up.

For almost all purposes a VM is indistinguishable from a physical computer. Most computer centers have given up long ago on physical for a reason. Physical is only required for hardware experiments, and for that there are simpler and cheaper solutions than buying up a whole computer.

For example, you could get as low as US$15 with the Intel Quark™ D2000 Microcontroller Developer Kit. This super-cheap development board is Intel's answer to the Arduino. It comes with GCC, Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Microcontrollers, the Board Support Package for the Intel Quark Microcontroller Software Interface and sample applications.


  • Why downvote this answer? – harrymc Aug 19 '18 at 22:15
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    Not me, but: the term "bare metal", in its typical meaning, specifically excludes virtual machines. – duskwuff Aug 19 '18 at 22:49
  • This is the only creative answer here, which is not "buy a computer". – harrymc Aug 22 '18 at 20:14