Would running PureOS in a Fairphone 2 be viable at some time in the future?

What I would be interested in is ability to install PureOS on a Fairphone. The point is, with all those f*%in’ closed source drivers, we never know if thi is feasible.

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We know it isn’t. FP2 needs those propietary blobs and PureOS is a 100% libre OS. It just does not work. And won’t, ever, because the complexity of reverse engineering all those parts is too expensive in time and mental health.


So even if I would be ok with having “non-libre” stuff in PureOS, it is a technical problem, right?
For example, with Desktop Linux I can also install whatever closed source stuff I want on it (e.g. adobe acrobat, NVIDIA drivers).

It is not ok to have “impure” software in PureOS, by definition. PureOS is all about 100% guarantee of control (and usability). Non-free software breaks that in the technical level —specially firmware and low-level stuff.

If you are looking for wide compatibility, head for other distros (Ubuntu OS, Sailfish OS) or custom ROMs (LineageOS).


In understand the point not to have non-free software in PureOS. But shouldn’t that only concern the base PureOS? If Fairphone users would rather go for PureOS instead of UbuntuOS or Sailfish, then why shouldn’t there be a non-free version specifically for Fairphone? For me there is not much difference if I have non-free components in UbuntuOS or PureOS. As long as it is transparent what the non-free components are, then everybody can choose. To me it seems like it’s unnecessary to keep every single version of PureOS clean from any closed source software. If that would be the case, then I fear that PureOS would be another OS for geeks only.
The base PureOS yes, only the Open-Source stuff. But from a conceptual point of view I can’t see any difference between PureOS with non-free components and, say LineageOS and non-free components. Maybe PureOS could be rebranded when in contains non-free software, so that this is already reflected in it’s name (e.g. PureOSn or PureOSx)

Pureism wouldn’t port their OS to the Fairphone because of their principles and depending on the license(s) they used someone else could or could not make an unofficial port legally. If they used a strong viral license then their OS can not be modified to work with non-free software.

With Ubuntu and Lineage OS you don’t have this issue, because they don’t aim to be a purely free OS.

It would rather have to be PureOS and NonPureOS, since it’s no longer pure if it works with non-free software.


Extending @paulakreuzer’s reply:

Firmware blobs (drivers) already are base PureOS.

Excuse me, with all the respect, I think you have not understand yet the point of Purism and PureOS itself. From their websites:

Purism follows a strict belief in users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom.

With PureOS, you are the only one in control of your digital life.

With firmware containing obscure parts, a system cannot guarantee information security, thus it cannot guarantee privacy, thus it cannot guarantee freedom.

PureOS is an OS just for 100% freedom-respecting hardware (like Purism, ThinkPenguin, Technoethical, Minifree, Libiquity and maybe other devices). So, no, it’s not for everything, and yes, it’s limited and that’s ok. Their challenge it’s changing the electronic industry in a similar way that Fairphone does.


I understand your point. But what I mean is this. You could think of it like Debian Linux and Linux Mint. The one who wants a somewhat “pure” Linux can choose to install Debain. Others may choose to install Linux Mint, which is based on Debian/Ubuntu. Similarly there could be a base PureOS in the true meaning that you described and some other Version of PureOS with blobs. Its not that I find it desirable to have a PureOS with blobs. It’s just a workaround to have both, Fairphone and PureOS at the same time.

I don’t think that a thing such as “absolute freedom” does exist. There is only relative freedom. I’m absolutely for as much freedom as possible. I’m asking though, will the goal of absolute freedom be at the expense of further fragmentation of the FOSS community?

Well, what I don’t find ok is the massive fragmentation of the open source community. This fragmentation is what’s preventing FOSS to become somewhat mainstream. I’m not talking about the majority of people. Just 5-10 or 20% would be mainstream enough to have intelligent people “from the street” get on board. I’ve seen too many promising FOSS projects come and go and mostly because of fragmentation of the developers and user community (e.g. FirefoxOS, Ubuntu touch, LinageOS and many others, not only mobile OS). In part also because of too high goals. PureOS is a high goal and I’m not saying it’s not worth to pursue. Quite the opposite is the case.

Please don’t get too upset with what I’m writing here. I’m just an avarage IT-guy who isn’t even developing software. It’s just an opinion of another FOSS and non-free software user . Nothing more.
I want to thank you all for your explanation and all the links. It has helped me a lot, to better understand PureOS and FP.
Maybe I’m also just too frustrated to wait another 5, 10 or 15 years until a Fairphone with free hardware will exist, if ever.

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