2 Years with the Librem 14 (Thoughts from a Casual Linux User)

I posted last year a little after hitting a year with my Librem 14 - Now 2 Years of being a Librem 14 and I can say its been an overall good experience, despite some bumps in the road. Here are some updates:

BAD Moment

  • My Librem 14 found itself with the dreaded situation where the battery could not charge. I had my Librem charging on a usb-c pd battery while on a trip and when I woke up in the morning, my Librem had a blank screen and the battery light was green. My Librem would not shut off no matter what I attempted. I had to just leave the laptop that way and after 4 days it finally shut off on its own. When I tried to charge it through the USB-C port again, it would not even turn on! I didn’t have my OEM charger on me, and I had seen some who encountered this issue before recommended that. I went to the Purism site, and at the time the shopping cart was broken or they were out of stock of these barrel chargers - either way I could not purchase (it seems to be in stock now) and I was week away from being home again. After researching charger specs in the forum I ended up purchasing this one on Amazon that was comparable an had it shipped to where I was staying. The charger turned on my laptop, but the battery would not charge. After following this forum post and troubleshooting based on information there I was finally able to get my battery charging again. I sincerely hope this issue is resolved in new Librem laptops that are purchased, as this is a bit of a nightmare to encounter especially if you are on the road and aren’t a very technical user.

Good on Purism

I’d have to say for as much as I travel and move this laptop around the chasis is still in great condition and barely shows any sign of wear. The keyboard and trackpad are holding up fine, and privacy switches still work great.

Despite the scary battery issue I encountered a few months back I have to give props to Purism for continuously improving the Librem-EC. 3 Things worth mentioning:

  • Even though this has been true for a long while now, I appreciate that Purism has made it easier to update the EC for those of us that are non Pure OS users. It’s pretty foolproof from the first time I did an update

  • My battery life has significantly improved with the last couple of EC updates. I went from getting around 3.5 hours to now getting over 5 hours on a charge, and this is a 2 year old laptop folks.

  • The laptop does not shutoff when I plug-in a USB-C charging source now. This was a pet peeve of mine and I attributed it to bad i/o or hardware. I am glad that they were able to resolve this.

Additional Notes

  • After 2 years of using the Librem 14, I’ve grown accustom to the right shift (which I like to refer to as the pinky shift). I’ve seen this being a big deal for some, but honestly now that I am used to it, I am not bothered at all.

  • After being a longtime Elementary OS user I switched over to Fedora for reasons to mundane to list here. I was a bit worried at first that Fedora may have some issues running on this laptop - since it’s not Debian based, I wasn’t sure what issues I might encounter. To my delight, I was able to install Fedora 37 flawlessly. I have not had one issue with it at all. I have gone on to update to 38, and it’s still working like a charm!

Final Thoughts

I am enjoying my Librem 14, I hope there aren’t any more surprises to come in the months/years ahead (like the charging issue). The laptop still runs smooth for what I use it for (web surfing, Office, media consumption, design & photo editing). I hope to get another good solid 2-3 years out of this machine before I upgrade to something new.

Will I upgrade to another Librem when that time comes?
Just as in my last post, I still say Maybe. I still think the points made a year ago are valid in regards to improved USB-C ports that are friendly with more devices, and improvements to the screws on the chasis. I can certainly sense the improvements Purism has made to improve the experience of this laptop overtime, but some of this should have been resolved out the gate especially after those initial delays. I think it’s just me here, but I’d still like a higher resolution screen or at the very least one that’s a bit sharper than the one on my Librem. I really fancy the Tuxedo Infinity Book 14, as it addresses the pluses I wish the Librem had (albeit significantly more expensive) - and you can shut off the webcam and microphone in their bios, and purchase the laptop with out any branding . It certainly removes the novelty of having a Librem for a basic user like myself. Despite that I still have a fondness for Purism,even with all the issues the org has worked through (and still is). I root for the mission of the org and still want to be a customer in the future, I just hope they continue improving their products and give us more options in the future.


I’d have to say for as much as I travel and move this laptop around the chasis is still in great condition and barely shows any sign of wear.

Glad to see this! How frequently do you open and close the lid?

My experience with L15v4 is much worse (the junction between the lid and the case is almost completely broken; I was opening and closing the lid one time every day for 2 years), and I’m currently thinking whether I’m ready to go for newer Librem (L14 or upcoming L16) or not.

I can say honestly that on weekdays at last 2-3 times a day and on weekends 1-2 times a day. The hinge still feels as solid as the day I purchased my Librem 14 and I have a launch model.

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There are a large number of posts regarding the hinge issues on the L13. I don’t know if the L15 is similar, but my understanding of the issue is that the L13 hinge was too tight and eventually the hinges wrench out of their sockets, destroying some of the plastic. If you adjust the hinge nut before the hinges tear out, that’s better than supergluing the hinges back down, which also works.
Note that Purism disputes this description of the L13 hinge issue. Note that my L13 hinges came out and I adjusted the hinge nut and glued them back in for a partially successful fix.