Charging via USB C port?

From what I’ve seen, the magnetic connector on macs were a nice innovation.

I used to think that and then spoke to various Macbook users in recent years, who used the magsafe and such, and they were complaining it was unreliable as well. Oh, and their power adapters tend to fail too (so Apple’s design doesn’t seem to be immune to these problems, just saying)

Ugghh!! That’s a dirty word if I ever heard one, Proprietary.

Personally I’d prefer a power plug with a 90 degree bend right at the connector to the laptop if that’s a reasonable option. USB-C would obviously be a different story but with the round coax power plugs that seems to make them significantly more durable. There’s less of the plug sticking straight out for anything to apply the sort of sideways pressure that can break your gear.

If this needs to be in some other place as a feature request let me know.

I’ve had Apple laptops (sorry) - and yes, Magsafe sucks

I was so sick of buying new power adaptors; I ended up buying a non-original power adaptor instead.

It lasted until I sold the laptop.

So yeah, I was so happy to find out that Librem use standard coaxial DC power port. Woohoo !

Well done, Purism.

Now, about charging through USB-C port … :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

cheers, HS

Now, about charging through USB-C port ….. ? ? ?

Yeah, I would like to see this, too.

So to have a clear answer: There is nothing proprietary about the Librems’ current connector.

A bit more clear for all that would prefer not ordering from Librem or after it is not available any longer …

  • It is a “Coaxial power connector” with 5.5 (outer diameter) x 2.5mm (pin-hole diameter) – sometimes called barrel-connector.
  • (The PSU delivers) output: 19V at 2.1A for the device.
  • (Mine is a) EU Version, input says: 100-240V~ 1.0A 50-60Hz
1 Like


I have the EU version of the power connector. I will travel to the US soon, and I want to bring my Librem 15 laptop with me.

Will the power connector also work in the US? Is a 2-pin plug adapter (not grounded) sufficient?

US uses 120V, 60Hz power and A/B plug types. Check your charger labels, it should be stated there whether or not it can be used with 120V/60Hz.

Howdy folks! I just found Purism and I am really excited for future improvements to the hardware. After everything I have seen I am planning for my next laptop to be one from here.

Power connections have been a real sore spot for me. I have never owned an Apple product, nor do I EVER intend on doing so. Taking that in to consideration, I have always envied their “Magsafe” (?) magnetic connectors. Now, the “failures” I have seen with these have been with the “cord” spitting and breaking AT the connector. Any of the other problems (like the power block failing, etc) I am unaware of and as far as I am concerned are irrelevant. It’s the “Magnetic Connection” that I think is BRILLIANT.

For me, a magnetic connector would be a HUGE win - if built properly.
I have taken more pc laptops apart than I care to admit, and resoldered the connector back to the motherboard due to cracked connections.
Solder is NOT that strong, and the constant stresses of plugging in and pulling out of the connector are NOT good for it . . . and lets not forget the “tripping over the cord” issue that rips the laptop right off the desk and onto the floor! I have never done that, but have seen it happen so many times that I am blown away that we still use this type of connector! The whole concept is archaic - you’d think we’d have come up with a better way by now.

I’d ask that Purism Seriously consider adding something like a magnetic connector to their build.
If they can not, then may I suggest at the very least that the female portion of the power plug be anchored to the chassis of the computer, and then have “wires” from there link it to the motherboard. This, at the very least, would relieve the stresses associated with plugging in and removing the barrel connector.

I would also love to hear the specifics from anyone who has used and disliked the Apple Magsafe connectors.
Again, I have never used them personally, but would like to know more as to why this “isn’t a good option”.
From what I have seen, its a good idea - the point of failure has nothing to do with the “Magnetic Connector”, but the material around it that was poorly designed.

If it is truly a bad design, then how about the surface pro magnetic connectors?
How have they fared?

I am looking forward to the laptops development, and I hope the Purism folks take into consideration these comments (and even join in). I think a lot can be gained by listening to their customer base and solving the problems they have had to live with in the past.

Cheers everyone!

1 Like

Since this original discussion two months ago, I’ve given the matter some more thought & research, and I think I have a workable plan to get magnetic connectors for the Librem’s power supplies in future revisions alongside USB 3.1 type C “power delivery”. However, besides needing to herd cats (negotiate with suppliers) and to be extremely careful about sourcing components (lots of crappy non-spec-compliant cables out there), from a purely technical standpoint this will require non-trivial motherboard redesign work, so we’ll see when we can make this happen. No promises/ETAs for now, as we’re focused on producing the current batch/inventory of laptops without creating more delays. But at least I’m reasonably certain it’s “possible” so it’s near the top of my wishlist, personally :slight_smile:


Thanks Jeff. That is really great to hear. Hopefully some of the options in my post were useful.

I’ve just created my forum account today and so I haven’t fully explored the forum yet. Maybe I am missing it, but do you have a section in the forum for hardware suggestions? Maybe a place were we (the end users) could post such suggestions, and possibly vote on the most popular of them for Purism to consider implementing in future production runs?

In lieu of that, here are a couple of my discoveries that you might find thought provoking:

  1. It is yet another example of a magnetic connector, but for the Android power cable: If you do end up sticking with the Barrel connector, maybe you’d be able to source a “PC Option” that we could purchase . . . you could even market it to the rest of the pc world since they’re still being pumped out with basically Barrel only connectors - just a thought. It might even be a way to get more people looking at Purism’s other products.
    Now, if I may expand on this, the physical connector needs to be as small and low profile as possible. This is where these guys might be able to help : “Polymagnet Correlated Magnetics” I first heard of them when listening to a “Security Now!” podcast with Steve Gibson. You can see their work here on this Youtube video (jump to the 2:09 mark in the video):
    There is the potential to create a connector with a VERY low profile, and a VERY strong connection with a magnetic field that has an extraordinarily short reach (important for not affecting mechanical HDD’s - they will still be used for quite some time).

  2. Consideration for Battery Care options in the industry has been abysmal.
    The closest thing I’ve seen that actually addresses this properly (IMO) came out from Lenovo.
    It is software based, so I am not so sure if it is really going to be practical in this situation. In short, the software is programmable (by you the user). It allows the user to tell the system to start charging the battery at a certain percentage and stop charging at another. (ie start at 40% and stop at 55%). If the battery happens to be at 70%, then the system just uses the corded power and ignores the battery (unless of course the cord gets unplugged). Again, it’s BRILLIANT!
    The majority of people don’t have a clue how a Lithium ion battery works, but many of us do.
    Fast charging is not good for them.
    Holding them at a 100% charge - constantly being plugged in - is not good for them, among other things.
    Now on my current laptop, I keep my battery at around 50% charge and then just pop it off to help extend its life - it’s not ideal, but it works well enough. If I know I am going to need it I’ll charge it to 100% and run with it. The majority of the time however, I am plugged into the cord and I pop the battery off. That is not going to be a great option with the Librem form factor due to the screws.
    A software solution like Lenovo’s would be the best as the system could just fail over to the battery in a brownout/blackout situation, but I also recognize that the effort here for your return is not likely to be worth it.
    If I may make a low tech suggestion: Could we please have a “Guarded Switch” that will disconnect the battery from the system?
    It would allow those of us who ‘get it’ to be able to manage our battery care (like I’ve mentioned above) more accordingly.
    A low cost “fail over” could possibly be a “Guarded Switch” which is spring loaded and electromagnetically held with the battery circuit open. If it was possible to have a short term (0.5 -1.0 second capacitive charge) that could power the system during the brownout/blackout and give the switch a chance to snap over and reconnect the battery . . . then we’ve got a solution that is almost as good as Lenovo’s - with no programming required.

As I said, I am quite thrilled to find you folks, and I am really looking forward to migrating to your hardware solution.

Hopefully these suggestions have been thought provoking.

With the Librem 5 coming and also using USB-C for power delivery, display port, data and so on, you should definitely switch to USB-C with all your devices, and better sooner than later.

Imagine, you would only need one charger for all devices. You would not need any special docking stations, just use any common USB-C docking cable for power, display, ethernet, usb ports, … you name it. And they are way cheaper as well. Use USB-C power banks to charge multiple devices. Use your librem 11/13/15/xx to charge your phone and vice versa (you know, bidirectional charging). Endless possibilities!

It would be more efficient, way cheaper, more environment friendly (less resources), less development work, much more convenient for the user (one charger for all, one dock for all, less to carry,…). It’s sad that this hasn’t been considered from the beginning.

1 Like

Yes, this is planned.


Imagine, you would only need one charger for all devices.

better not. I mean cable with usb-c is ok. and having chargers compatible, very much. but only one, for sure not. a phone needs less to charge than the notebook.

plus “cheaper” is no qualifier for purism products, if you compare prices we are paying for other qualities than the market aside would provide.

It’s sad that this hasn’t been considered from the beginning.

who said it was not?

1 Like

I’m not sure if this was posted before the Librem 13 V2 came out, but if that is the case, does the V2 support charging over USB-C?

No. (Damn character limit!)

1 Like

How about to use directly Thunderbolt 3? Librem notebooks could be connected just via 1 wire to the external docking station with all the ports (USB for keyboard, mouse, DVD drive; monitor(s), ethernet, headphones, etc.) and it can also supply the notebook.


The thing that confused me was the tiny lightning bolt next to the USB C port. i guess that’s an electrical symbol that does not mean ‘charge here’.
I have an ASUS USB C mini doc, which is connected to power, mouse and HDMI cable to screen. However, non of these three things worked with my librem laptop, even though they all worked fine with my work laptop. And even if I just plug in the mouse via the USB C docking station, it does not work. Why not?

I suspect that lightning bolt is for Thunderbolt:

So is this a thunderbolt port or a USB C port? It also has the USB C three pronged symbol, but it does not seem to work.