ALl ideas welcome. We can dismiss MSDOS anything right away... That is so early 90s, and other than retro-gaming, it is dead. Good back then when geeks made things happen with non-protected mode multitasking and little memory. Andrew's suggestions are spot on. My preliminary plan was to pick a distro that has an ARM clone that is almost identical to its x86 distro. Then, work out the booting and system configuration on the x86 with VMs. Then do the same on the ARM side. Final toolchaining can be left to somebody smarter than me. I need to think more and ahrd about this now. I need to put some time into it. All additional info most welcome.