The Pi0 runs a bare metal OS called TK-Pie, developed by Victor Trucco specifically for the Next. The initial requirement for the accelerator board was to provide the HDMI functionality for the Next and this meant that boot up times and latency were important factors. This requirement changed as HDMI was moved onto the Next board itself.
With this in mind TK-PIE provides the bare minimum required in order to achieve its boot up time of less than a second (some say 0.3 seconds) whilst allowing interfacing capability between the Next and the Pi0.
More information on TK-PIE can be found here.
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