Purism unveils plans to build Librem 5, the world's first open smartphone ecosystem

The news are quite well explained by @deedend below:


This looks very exciting and interesting, especially the idea to use matrix for everything. But matrix itself, especially federation is not really finished yet afaik.

And I don’t like the arrogance / ignorance of history:

A fully standards-based freedom-oriented system, based on Debian and many other upstream projects, has never been done before–we will be the first to seriously attempt this.

There have been some attempts at least and they should say what they will to different and better than the legendary OpenMoko, the old N900, the recently started postmarketOS, ubuntu phone, neo900, etc.


Hi all,

Recently I found a new crowdfounding campaign by a small American company specialising in blob-free laptops (at least is what they claim) that launched the idea of a completely open smartphone with a full stack FLOSS approach, using a modified version of Debian as OS and Matrix as primary communication system. I find this idea extremely interesting, they intend to use the mx6 (or hopefully the mx8) chipset with a completely isolated modem and blob free firmware for gpu and cpu, with hardware kill switch for the various modules (camera, Bluetooth, WiFi, modem) . Something impossible with qualcomm’s chipsets. Obviously this will represent a compromise in term of pure calculation power, but I really love the idea. The bad points are that the phone is expected by January 2019 (yes, 19) and the price to anticipate to have one is 600 American dollars, currently 510€.
The project is really interesting, I have only some doubts about the repairability of this phone.

More informations on the matrix blog(https://matrix.org/blog/2017/08/24/the-librem-5-from-purism-a-matrix-native-smartphone/) or on their site (https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/)


News! The Librem 5 is now fully founded and will be a reality!


There’s still one week to go and get it. I’m probably getting some…


does anyone know if they plan to use fair trade / conflict free hardware in their device?

I mailed them about it, but the reply was pretty vague, just referring to what looks like talking points, with no mention of certification or definite decisions.

same with working conditions for manufacturing, would be interested to know if they can guarantee a living wage for employees, since they’re using custom hardware.

any thoughts?

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I really hope that Librem5 will come a long way and succeed in the end. But that said; there is a lot of hurdles to be taken between a successful crowd-funding, making some mock-ups* and making, shipping and servicing an actual, working phone.

There is only so much wonders a group of people can perform at the same time. If Librem5 succeeds in their goals, with complete disregard for how the phone was made, it will already be very impressive. The same goes for Fairphone; you can’t win on all fronts at the same time.

That said, Fairphone and Librem are in contact to see how we can work together and bring a little more Librem spirit to the Fairphone and put some more fair into the Librem5.

*(ps. I am exaggerating a little here, I know that the Librem team has done much more already)


I never used this smiley before, but this is a good moment: :heart_eyes:


Maybe can add Firefox OS (*) and sailfishOS as well to the list.

Good shot on mentioning all those. Also agree they’re not giving credit where credit is due. The last mock-up where you see convergence of smartphone plus PC is invented by Ubuntu Phone and innovated (applied in a relatively large product) by Microsoft with a Lumia (IIRC 950?).

Windows Phone just got (pretty much) discontinued even though Microsoft poured billions into that. Why discontinued? Not enough apps! Maemo/MeeGo had the same issue. Even though browser is most important… no WhatsApp? No banking app? No Spotify? No Netflix? No games? Forget it.

At this point of the game you need a very good Android emulator, native apps, or actually both. I’m aware of two Android emulators: BlueStacks, for desktops really, and the one in sailfishOS (emulates 4.4.x). I doubt Netflix, for example, is gonna run on either since it won’t run on rooted Android devices.

Of course the project also has its upsides (see their comparison chart). This is just going to be a massive downside. After the initial happiness, it will be apparent, and a community can fix only so much. The end result is a crippled phone with worse software than Windows Phone or sailfishOS. That might change in the long-term! Who knows.

FairphoneOS and FP2 have their fair share of upsides and downsides but lack of software isn’t one of them.

To end with a positive note, maybe the Librem 5 can do it a lot better in the software updates dept. than the average Android vendor :slight_smile:

(*) WTB OS-wide uBlock!


Oh that’s an extremely good news! I have to thanks @muppeth to point me here and read about that!
I am really curious about what this means (if it means something) for both the projects!

Is it similar to uAdBlock available on UBPorts’s Ubuntu Touch ? :slight_smile:

I don’t know, depends how it works.

Every system-wide adblocker either requires root (due to tampering with hosts file or DNS zone) or a VPN. Obviously, Google doesn’t like any of this. So they don’t care if a system-wide adblocker works or not (they’d prefer it not to work). Contrast that with Apple’s iOS.

Wishlist: FP3 core module using the i.MX8-SoC while being fully hardware-compatible with FP2 :wink:

Hi @Douwe,

Could that be an information for the blog as well? Think it would add to people having faith in FP’s reliability and credibility to read some stuff about strategic networking.

Nope, there is really nothing yet here. They wanted to talk to us, we liked the idea, but as far as I know we haven’t even had a first meeting yet. Also, I can’t imagine it would be much more then sharing information about manufacturing and value-chain related topics. Don’t even dream about a merge of both devices; it isn’t going to happen.


Thanks for the honest answer. I think there is a place for both projects and devices. And maybe many more.


FP could run PureOS on it’s phone, at some point in time when it’s developed…
Maybe the FP-organization can help with development of the OS. I’m well aware that the Librem people would have to contribute most of the work to the OS, but maybe FP could share some expericence there or even help developing, where possible. On the long run I would find it desirable to have PureOS running as the main OS on FP, even tough I know that Android is very popular even for Fairphone users.

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Not gonna happen. PureOS is just that, pure in the meaning of libre software. The Fairphone 2 relies heavily on BLOBs (i.e. non-free software pieces that make hardware work, like camera, wifi, radio, and so on).
Purism make devices that are built from the ground up for freedom. Not the case of Fairphone (their purpose is another type of fairness)

That’s why I bought both, Fairphone 2 and Librem 5. I couldn’t have both fair project (one technological, other human) merged, but I will support them for the future.


Maybe not the case with FP2, but why not with FP3 or FP4?
I know it’s hard to even build a fair phone without the rest of what Librem 5 is about, but I don’t think it’s wrong to think about how to achieve the other goal as well for the long term.

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I recommend you to read @Douwe reply above:

Each one “picks their battles”. Picking all battles at the same (early) time harms projects more that benefits them —adding complexity, mixing solutions, generating insustainable expectations. IMHO, we had a clear example with the FP2: modularity —designed primarily for repairability— made some people expect a huge quantity of upgradability options quickly, while having an Open OS made other people expect libre software purism. We all see continuously people here in the forum ranting about stuff Fairphone doesn’t have as primary goals.

Experience have taught us to build solid things with time and patience —two things that the actual “liquid society” effectively loses everyday. Different goals can be achieved by different paths. Fairphone and Purism (nor any other entity doing good) cannot generate hype for convergent, hypothetical ideas so far in time.


very well written @Roboe! You have summarized and answered many misunderstandings in only a few words - it almost should be used in the welcome to the forum post :grinning: