Chestnut shipping

:roll_eyes: same can be said of the librem, what guarantee do you have they will continue development after release? The pine architecture has been in development for years and it’s not just the phone that used that chipset, so yeah it makes total sense for pine to just stop all development after releasing the phone so their whole product line becomes deprecated

No, it cannot. Whereas the Librem 5 with the I.MX8 boots with a mainline kernel, Allwinner SoCs need proprietary firmware. They typically don’t release necessary source code but instead bundle a single linux kernel version with the compiled firmware. Correct me if I’m wrong. Allwinner has been violating the GPL for so long, it simply doesn’t care about the free software movement. The I.MX8 works with future kernel versions.

Does that matter? Other pieces of hardware are affected by the same problem. Librem 5 tries to not repeat that problem.

I didn’t say that. But why do you think the Pinephone will be that cheap? It’s of course because they don’t need that much development. Usual smartphone are also using this kind of SoC. The I.MX8 has not been used for smartphones before. And yes, Allwinner is always a bad idea in the free software area. Even Qualcomm would be better.


That is wholly incorrect. First: There is the crust project which is open source. Second: It can indeed using mainline kernels, which is the whole point of the device. Right now they are using a custom kernel until the pinephone’s hardware patches are mainlined (think modem support, cameras, audio, I2C pogo pins, etc)

The A64 also was never used in phones, but rather tablets. That’s also why it’s actually performing quite well power and thermally wise.

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So am I understanding it correctly that Allwinner does not offer free firmware support and this is more ore less reverse engineering? What about the Mali GPU, does it work? Yes you are right, I did a little bit of research which shows that the A64 can at least boot headless without blobs.

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Yes, it’s reverse engineering done by the Sunxi community as i hear. They are the ones that provide all the support and tools for allwinner chips to run mainline Linux.

The Mali 400 MP2 works 100%, and there is a FOSS driver called Lima which is what the Panfrost driver is derived from.


Have you verified that the EU tax authorities are accepting of this approach?

Another way of approaching the quoted paragraph is: the phone shall be supplied without software (i.e. literally hardware only - hence unbootable as a phone) and the software is purchased separately and downloaded by you and flashed by you. That might be a good learning experience anyway. :slight_smile:

What I am suggesting - a more hard-line separation of hardware and software - is maybe a tiny bit more likely to be accepted by the EU tax authorities but I am in no way asserting that it will be accepted by the EU tax authorities.

You may argue that you don’t want to purchase the software at all and theoretically that is valid in an open source scenario but in reality Purism has done a lot of software work to get to this point, and I suppose that none of the software engineers works for free, so Purism does want you to purchase the software.

Perhaps some years in the future and the hardware design is open sourced, some other company can manufacture just the hardware and sell it as hardware only (and you obtain the software free in the obvious manner). However if Purism took that approach today then probably there would be no Librem 5.


One important difference is that the TeX Users Group is a registered non-profit organization, so it is tax exception in the US, but Purism is a social purpose corporation and they are not tax exempt in the US. Purism would have to set up a non-profit just for software development.

The second problem is that the European Commission decided in 2008 that non-profits in Europe should pay the VAT, so even if Purism registered as a non-profit in Europe, it wouldn’t help you. However, a new provision was recently added for non-profits:

A refund scheme will be introduced in 2019 to compensate charities for VAT they incur in 2018. The level of refund will be restricted in proportion to the level of non-public funding they receive. A capped fund of €5 million will be available and the scheme will be reviewed after three years. If total claims exceed €5 million, the individual claims will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

However, this only applies to voluntary donations, and you aren’t making a voluntary donation when you pay for Purism’s software development.

At any rate, Purism decided that it didn’t want to operate as a non-profit, so you are going to have to pay the tax. It is not easy for non-profits to raise capital, and Purism became a social purpose corporation so that it could get money from investors without undermining its mission.


I didn’t talk about VAT exemption at all. I said there might be within Invoice for EU separation of software and hardware cost. For example, talking about Purism, we know that the: “Final assembly includes customizing the base hardware with any upgrades customer ordered, flashing the boot firmware, installing the OS.” Please take a look at my Microsoft Office 365 (software) link above and let me know if the VAT rate is more than 7 (seven) percent (for Germany). So, let me say I like to buy Librem 13 today and I want to have included PureBoot Bundle Anti-Interdiction (PureBoot Bundle Plus + Anti-Interdiction Services) that is having base price of 249,00 USD, and this software feature is not separated within Invoice (for EU) clearly I will pay on top of 249,00 USD exactly 19% of VAT. And this is why I’m deciding now that I’m not investing in such Librem 13 package (even though I like to use it and by paying 249,00 USD in advance say Thank You all that developed and maintain this Anti-Interdiction Service). This is, IMHO, what can make significant difference for us within EU (as for those living in Switzerland something like this would be obsolete, maybe). Furthermore to me it is relatively clear that Purism will not start selling Librem 5 Lite (without Purism’s BOOT (PureBoot), etc. software installed) version to the customer, but separating cost for hardware and their authored software would be more than appropriate “thing” to do, or at least to be considered as an civilized option. If Purism thinks that @antonis and I want to have things as simple as this gets than hopefully they may understand why someone is not ordering Librem 5 in quantities that Purism expects. To make it clear: I’m talking here just about sourced/authored software/firmware coming from Purism’s manufacture (that belongs to the VAT rate of 7% within Germany, taken just as one EU country, as example). Again and of course there are other than private “customers” concerned about privacy and can as registered company get back 19% of in business invested VAT, yet I don’t think or talk about them here.

@amosbatto, within your link is written something out of context here: “At the moment, voluntary organisations can sell hot dogs or biscuits, and not pay tax on the proceeds, for example, but the Commission says that’s unfair.” What if they already payed for hot dogs or biscuits VAT rate by buying them on the free market, should they pay for the offered meal, on the organized occasion, to the hot dog belonging VAT rate, twice? This is not like in some restaurant, while people that are offering, on the proceeds (organized occasion), hot dogs are not payed for their “working” time (and didn’t buy needed sausages and hot dog buns with proof of having VAT exemption).

Why not? After all, and if you are “afraid” of them, they are humans in their best sense :slight_smile:. I believe (quite sure) that they (European Commission) “invented” GDPR as well. Thank you very much for this input!

Because to assert that I would have to have a detailed knowledge of the regulations (I don’t) and familiarity with any relevant case law (I don’t).


I assume that is part of this European Commission ruling against VAT exemptions in 2008.
Here is what Article 132 of the VAT Directive says:

Exemptions for certain activities in the public interest
Article 132

  1. Member States shall exempt the following transactions:

(a) the supply by the public postal services of services other than passenger transport and telecommunications services, and the supply of goods incidental thereto;

(b) hospital and medical care and closely related activities undertaken by bodies governed by public law or, under social conditions comparable with those applicable to bodies governed by public law, by hospitals, centres for medical treatment or diagnosis and other duly recognised establishments of a similar nature;

© the provision of medical care in the exercise of the medical and paramedical professions as defined by the Member State concerned;

(d) the supply of human organs, blood and milk;

(e) the supply of services by dental technicians in their professional capacity and the supply of dental prostheses by dentists and dental technicians;

(f) the supply of services by independent groups of persons, who are carrying on an activity which is exempt from VAT or in relation to which they are not taxable persons, for the purpose of rendering their members the services directly necessary for the exercise of that activity, where those groups merely claim from their members exact reimbursement of their share of the joint expenses, provided that such exemption is not likely to cause distortion of competition;

(g) the supply of services and of goods closely linked to welfare and social security work, including those supplied by old people’s homes, by bodies governed by public law or by other bodies recognised by the Member State concerned as being devoted to social wellbeing;

(h) the supply of services and of goods closely linked to the protection of children and young persons by bodies governed by public law or by other organisations recognised by the Member State concerned as being devoted to social wellbeing;

(i) the provision of children’s or young people’s education, school or university education, vocational training or retraining, including the supply of services and of goods closely related thereto, by bodies governed by public law having such as their aim or by other organisations recognised by the Member State concerned as having similar objects;

(j) tuition given privately by teachers and covering school or university education;

(k) the supply of staff by religious or philosophical institutions for the purpose of the activities referred to in points (b), (g), (h) and (i) and with a view to spiritual welfare;

(l) the supply of services, and the supply of goods closely linked thereto, to their members in their common interest in return for a subscription fixed in accordance with their rules by non-profit-making organisations with aims of a political, trade-union, religious, patriotic, philosophical, philanthropic or civic nature, provided that this exemption is not likely to cause distortion of competition;

(m) the supply of certain services closely linked to sport or physical education by non-profit-making organisations to persons taking part in sport or physical education;

(n) the supply of certain cultural services, and the supply of goods closely linked thereto, by bodies governed by public law or by other cultural bodies recognised by the Member State concerned;

(o) the supply of services and goods, by organisations whose activities are exempt pursuant to points (b), (g), (h), (i), (l), (m) and (n), in connection with fund-raising events organised exclusively for their own benefit, provided that exemption is not likely to cause distortion of competition;

§ the supply of transport services for sick or injured persons in vehicles specially designed for the purpose, by duly authorised bodies;

(q) the activities, other than those of a commercial nature, carried out by public radio and television bodies.

  1. For the purposes of point (o) of paragraph 1, Member States may introduce any restrictions necessary, in particular as regards the number of events or the amount of receipts which give entitlement to exemption.

@amosbatto, I don’t know who is misleading here, @antonis perhaps, just by trying to get some proper answer, but yes, sorry for disturbing you, my intervention (discussion) was unnecessary as we know that EU tax law is strict. Anyway, this link, covering Article 56 of Council Directive 2006/112/EC, for example, is for me easier to understand when talking about that VAT needs to be payed indeed, but still up to the belonging rate (either 19% or eventually 7% within Germany) for products (like Librem 5) and services “provided by suppliers established in a third country to non-taxable persons (B2C) established in the EU, must be taxed at the place where the customer resides or has a permanent address.” My approach is clear to me: Purism (as manufacturer and privacy orientated software developers team, and as such, it is clearly not some kind of registered non-profit organization) needs to be oriented toward all customers (B2C), including proper separation and therefore calculation of products and services they offer to us within EU member countries. If Purism Invoice includes only (without mentioning of their own, self-certified software):

  1. Librem 5 v1 - 1 pcs. – this would mean that I, as B2C, need to pay 19% of VAT (nothing else).

Simple (VAT) solutions are not always the best way to play with potential/additional customers, if it is about privacy, or much better, almost professional privacy orientated product. I think insisting on such SW/HW differentiation of applicable VAT rates within EU make some sense to me, but I might be wrong. I at least tried to contribute and not to disturb (not a single person).
Have a good New Year!

The German text says that Purism will reorganize the service and open a new customer care, service and delivery center in Carlsbad, Ca


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I got my librem5 today. I had to pay 142EUR for coustoms/VAT/handling. DHL took a about 40 EUR for handling. Their service was pretty good. I got a SMS at 8am with payment instructions. I payed via Creditcard. at about 12 I had the package in my hands.


Thanks for your experience, that sounds like a decent experience. Which country is that?
…and… Have fun with it!

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Austria. I also think the experience is OK.But for evergreen It would really be nice to get the shipment from within Europe.


For canada/quebec DHL there is a VAT fee of 135$ CAD.

Thanks for posting about this, as I honestly didn’t realize we might be subject to this in Canada as well. Knowing this now, at least it won’t be a shock when I finally get my Evergreen phone.

I called CBSA in 2017 and my duty for the initial crowdfunding price is going to be around $155
(we pay different taxes here)

We don’t pay what they’re referring to as VAT (because we’re not part of the European union). Call 1-800 O-CANADA and tell them you want to talk to a border agent because you have questions about importing by mail and duty fees.

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