Apps help newbie to Linux and Pure OS


Total newbie to Linux here, and I bought the Librem 5 because I really want to support and learn OS tech. Sooooo… I need to get my feet wet with downloads. I did the easy ones from the Pure OS store, but I want Telegram and Signal, and whatever app I need to open video sent via text.
Any help is really appreciated. TY!

Do I copy the code into the terminal? I have no idea what the following actually means…need help translating what action steps need to be taken.

Signal instructions:
Linux (Debian-based) Install Instructions

# NOTE: These instructions only work for 64-bit Debian-based
# Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint etc.

# 1. Install our official public software signing key:
wget -O- | gpg --dearmor > signal-desktop-keyring.gpg
cat signal-desktop-keyring.gpg | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg > /dev/null

# 2. Add our repository to your list of repositories:
echo 'deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/signal-desktop-keyring.gpg] xenial main' |\
  sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/signal-xenial.list

# 3. Update your package database and install Signal:
sudo apt update && sudo apt install signal-desktop
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Ok no problem. :slightly_smiling_face:

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No, the instructions are meant for AMD64, not ARM64, which PureOS on the Librem 5 is based on:

It seems the repository itself is unable to be publicly accessed using my Librem 5 USA, so I cannot determine if other architectures are supported.


Thanks for your reply.

So, I see it says arch=amd64; and you’re saying that the Pureos uses Arm64; what does the amd/arm mean?
What is the repository?
thanks for your patience.

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Basically, most computers use x86-64, otherwise known as AMD64, which is an architecture associated with AMD and Intel. Aarch64, otherwise known as ARM64, is typically used for low-powered devices, such as smartphones. The software repository is a location where distribution folders are typically stored, containing files compatible with each distributions’ codename.



I have been using Librem 5 as my phone for slightly over 1 year as much as possible, occasionally getting out a nonfree phone like a heathen, and usually regretting it. (Otherwise the nonfree phone stays in its faraday cage!!) For example, I’m writing this post from my Librem 5 :smile:

But maybe I am an unusual, careless user. I haven’t ever used Telegram that I can recall, and although I used to use Signal on Android, generally I have given up on Signal app for the Librem 5. Of course many solutions exist; you can install Signal desktop to a Librem 5 and link it to a nonfree phone accepted by Signal, or you can install a custom Signal client such as Flare for the Librem 5 which will typically have bugs and not work quite right because if it was ever working properly, Signal would most likely update and change their APIs.

It turns out, when I looked around it ended up looking like Signal is:

  • funded by the US government CIA
  • actively hostile towards modified clients connecting to the Signal servers, saying that doing so is in violation of Signal ToS
  • reporting metadata about every message sent to Google in real time

These are real, known facts about Signal and reposting them on the Signal forum (with citations) got my messages blocked/deleted for spreading “FUD” and saying stuff everyone “already knew.”

Signal is one of those eye-opening cases that reminds us that people do not agree on what the word “security” actually means. For the Signal developers, they would never want to allow a Librem 5 as the primary device because the Librem 5 is rooted by default and is therefore not secured from the owner who buys it.

Librem 5 users, by contrast, would be more of the opinion that security is to do with whether your device does what you want and nothing more; I have heard someone say, “the Librem 5 is the most secure phone on the planet.” Is this true? People who ascribe to the theory of the Android security model would surely tell us this is not true. Certainly I would find it much more believable that the Librem 5 is the most user modifiable phone on the planet and so it is conceivable that a user could make it secure. But they could also fill it with malware.

And so, Signal developers would probably tell you that you would never want to tie your data to something so insecure.

By contrast, I kind of feel like I will never want to tie my data to Android ever again.

I could go on about how Signal is so beautifully edgy. When I had it on my Librem 5, somehow it always did automatic updates through PureOS store when everything else on the phone was doing manual updates. But, at the end of the day, everybody has to make their own decisions.

My security is not good, and I have most likely been hacked totally without even knowing it, and probably remain hacked, and I just keep using my Librem 5 for fun and writing this post with Gnome Web even when it has known unpatched CVEs. I am using Librem 5 because I choose to, not because I am doing it the right way.

So, my solution to Signal was to stop using Signal, and that is of course bad for my data. The alternatives that we could convince friends and family to use are most likely worse. But then my other friend, the cool one who has his own Librem 5, has a server with the Signal protocol ripped out and used to wrap XMPP messages so we can message each other’s L5s with the encryption Signal advertises but without using their server and without sending all the metadata of our chats to Google. Honestly his server has been working great.

But convincing members of our society to use it, well, that’s another matter entirely.

For video watching I’ve been using vlc but I guess they say Lollypop is also good, or something like that.

If you browse these forums there are definitely folks who run an Android emulator, or signal-cli, and they sign up for Signal from the Librem 5 itself then link Signal desktop on the Librem 5 to the emulator or command line.

So, some may say that my naysaying of signal is unjustified and the information I provided is not accurate. Everything I stated is simply my own current opinion and is not guaranteed to be factual; I am not affiliated with Purism in any way and am only a user such as yourself.


You can use Clapper for video consumption. Note that Clapper within PureOS’ Flatpak remote repository was not working when I used it last time, so here are instructions for installing it using Flathub’s remote repository instead:

In Terminal, copy and paste the following line of code, then press Enter/Return to add Flathub’s remote repository:

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Restart your Librem 5, open Terminal again, copy and paste the following line of code, then press Enter/Return to install Clapper using Flathub’s remote repository:

flatpak install flathub com.github.rafostar.Clapper

Love these replies, thank you. Yes, for me there is so much to explore and learn. I have heard the rumors about Telegram and Signal as far as security.

It always brings me back to Orwells 1984, the scene from the movie, (I read the book when i was very young), but the image is so striking, when you realize the trash incinerator is actually a way to spy on everyone…look at us now.
Anyways, I appreciate the discourse and answers to my questions. It’s so helpful.

I realize that data security is perhaps a misnomer, and you really need to know what you’re doing to have actual security.


thank you for the baby steps!

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Welcome, @jrains .

As stated above, the instructions you found won’t work on the Librem 5’s architecture, but in answer to your request for help in understanding their meaning and usage:

Those groups of text, one at a time, would be copied or typed into the terminal, with each one followed by a press of the Enter key, to execute them.

The # symbol in this context means “what follows this symbol is just a comment or instruction.” It is used throughout the file system, for example, in configuration files. You will frequently see online guides telling you to “Comment out that line” or “Uncomment that line.” Translation: insert or remove the #.

In the terminal, every action begins with a “command,” and everything you type is case-sensitive. (Spaces matter, too.) Some commands require “admin-level” access and must be prefaced with the sudo command (sudo = “superuser do”), because they could damage your system if not used properly. If you try to run such a command without sudo, you’ll get a “permission denied” message.

The terminal command wget basically means go get a file from the indicated website. (Caution: this implies that you trust that website.)

The -o- following wget is an “option” that tacks on an additional instruction for performing the command, e.g. “output to a file.” You can learn which arguments are used with specific commands by typing --help after the command in the terminal; for example: wget --help will list all the arguments usable with wget.

The commands in those instructions are directing the system to download files, verify the files’ integrity, save them to the appropriate directories in the file system, and finally install the application. Read about them by typing or copying each command into the terminal, followed by the Enter key, one at a time.

gpg --help
cat --help
tee --help
echo --help
apt --help
update --help
install --help

You can also find lots of guides on the internet about how to use any command.

It’s important to always perform an update following any installation, and also on a regular basis, i.e. daily, or whenever the system notifies you that updates are available. Many updates are critical to security and should be applied as soon as possible.

On the Librem 5, you can update from the PureOS software application with the press of a button, or from the terminal.

The terminal commands to perform updates are:

sudo apt update
(That downloads the list of available updates for any applications in the system.)

sudo apt upgrade
(That applies the updates, if any were found.)

Note that if you have installed flathub and any flatpaks, they will be updated along with system packages when you update from the PureOS software app, but in order to update them from the terminal, you’ll need to execute a separate command:

flatpak update

Learning Linux is a process that happens naturally as you use it. There’s no need to try and memorize everything immediately; whenever any particular need arises, just go to the internet and find a reputable guide that’s relevant and recent. Most of the time, you’ll probably just use the graphical user interface, but the terminal is very helpful, if not unavoidable for some actions.

Here’s a great overview for using the terminal, with a free, downloadable e-book at the end. You can refer to it as needed.


Just a note ARM architecture in Linux software is mostly called aarch64 (instead of arm64).
I think flatpak would be better than deb, Signal aarch64 Flatpak that maybe helpful.