Community WIKI for Librem 5

If people want the community FAQ to be more fact-based and less opinion-based, we can create a separate advocacy page just for those questions. I just got so tired of responding over and over to the critics, that I put all of the arguments in one page, so I could link to the FAQ and not be forced to rewrite the same answer over and over.


I changed the intro to the Cellular Providers page to make it clear that this is testing by the community, and not by Purism:

It is up to buyers of the Librem 5 to test the phone with their own cellular network provider. For people who wish to avoid testing, Purism offers its AweSIM cellular network service in the US, which is compatible with the Librem 5.

The following is a list of the cellular providers which community members have tested with the Librem 5:

Any objections to this wording?


No objections from me. I notice that there’s a mix of contributors there – even so, it’s still unofficial and best effort testing as I understand it.

Thanks for leading the charge with the FAQ. You could put the “advocacy” questions in the FAQ into their own section on the page, but it’s really up to you. I think that the idea of grouping the questions has already been raised, and that would be useful, I think. :slightly_smiling_face:


@amosbatto, this Ethernet adapter (AliExpress 1005001623728670) works with Calamares installer (with Byzantium for sure) out-of-the-box, meaning it should be working with Librem 5 and it will be useful with Librem 14 as well. Besides, it already works with the PinePhone USB Type C port.

idVendor=0bda, idProduct=8153
Product: USB 10/100/1000 LAN
Manufacturer: Realtek

Please add it to the list of compatible external devices, if no objections (or wait for another, based on Purism hardware, confirmation):

Thanks for the link. Apparently Purism had many mailing lists and Matrix channels as well.

Oh man! I am glad this discussion made its way to the top. I was trying to figure out which USB-C Hub has already been tested with the L5. :+1: :+1: :+1:

Just to let the maintainer know I found the Microsoft Surface USB-C to Ethernet and USB Adapter product page being unavailable.


Thanks for catching that. I updated the link to:

what do you mean ? why would it not work with the Calamares installer ?

While some others might not work. I meant that the Realtek RTL8153-CG 10/100/1000M Ethernet controller (chipset) is recognized (0bda:8153) from the Calamares (PureOS installer) side (no extra non-free firmware needed), to use it from/with this Live-image (and afterwards).

good to know ! thanks for the input !

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I added to the FAQ:

And I updated:

Some parts of the FAQ are probably out of date, so if anyone has some time, I would appreciate it if somebody would read or edit it to catch anything that needs to be updated.


Started reading …

Some comments:

§2.2 - omits mention, I think, that in the EU at least one user reported that VoLTE worked out of the box once VoLTE was enabled on the phone (which at the moment is a manual process)

§2.7 - would be nice to give the needed v4l2-ctl and dcraw commands but I understand that you don’t even have a Librem 5 to play with

§3.5 - spello: Ucranian

§3.15 - AIUI, the answer to “can the phone boot from the USB port?” is not simple.

a) If you power on, while putting the phone in serial download mode, then it can load an image via USB, provided that you are running the appropriate software on the host computer to which the phone is connected via USB and provided that said host computer has a suitable boot image for the phone available. What the boot image can do is basically unrestricted, limited only by your imagination.

b) The phone probably can’t boot from the USB-C port at all if you connect a USB mass storage class device (such as a portable SSD with USB-C interface) to the phone. I think the restriction here is that the boot firmware simply doesn’t “do” USB - hence can’t boot from the uSD card or a disk on the USB-C port.

The second interpretation is probably the more obvious one, so perhaps the simple answer to the question is “no, not directly”, and then move on to a follow-up question about serial download mode.

However maybe at “advanced wizard level” you could combine the two answers to load an image from a host computer that is capable of booting from a disk connected to the USB-C port (after disconnecting the host).

(I think other users have demonstrated chain booting, where the initial boot is from eMMC but it uses the root file system on a drive attached to the USB-C port. I don’t count that because a lot of times you are doing this because the eMMC drive is hosed.)

References to Jumpdrive are interesting but confusing. Jumpdrive is just a client application of the serial download mode. The boot image that is Jumpdrive basically seems to contain a fair chunk of a full Linux kernel, enough to do a fairly normal boot of Linux but with the kernel loaded from the host, ignoring the eMMC drive (and also containing a network stack so that you can remote in to the phone even if the eMMC drive is hosed). Then Jumpdrive does something interesting: it exposes both of the internal drives (the eMMC drive and, if present, the uSD card) as USB drives to the host. So it could be used to backup and restore the eMMC drive. Jumpdrive may warrant a section of its own.

Maybe you can get someone who actually knows what he is talking about :slight_smile: to review all this e.g. dos.

§4.3 In the text

In contrast, the security that companies like Google and Apple offer is based on the user having to trust those companies, because they can’t verify the security and they certainly don’t control it.

(which is in the opening paragraph), I found the politically correct “they” to be confusing - because on first reading I thought it referred to Google or Apple or Google and Apple (which admittedly, on further reflection, would be pretty amusing).

I suggest changing the ending to

“because the user can’t verify the security and certainly doesn’t control it”

That’s all I read so far.

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3 that I know of :smiley: two in Germany, one in Poland
But yes the process is still manual

Could you tell me the recipe? I cannot find any instructions on the wiki

This might help:

I added this:

It is possible to manually enable VoLTE in the BM818 and test whether its VoLTE works with your cellular provider. Purism Support Technician João Azevedo reports that he knows that the BM818’s VoLTE works with two cellular providers in Germany and another one in Poland.

I added a link to the bug report with instructions.

Thanks for spotting that.

Would you mind editing §3.15 to clarify that part?

I agree that part was confusing. I changed it.

Well OK I had a hack at it.

The following isn’t technically out of date but the list in §5.2 could include the quantified, foreshadowed June 30 price rise, as mentioned in §5.12 (as long as it makes clear that the price rise is foreshadowed but not absolutely definite).

I added little pages about phosh and sqeekboard and placed them top-level. Also I added a link under “Apps” to this thread:

I noticed a minor thing in semantics. There is the Tips & Tricks section with the note “Quick start for new Librem 5 users”. I understand tips & trick as little things that make life easier while possibly not being obvious. Tips & Tricks can be useful for novel and experienced users. I didn’t look into the contents to much, yet so I don’t want to make a big deal out of it but it could in theory become two sections, if we have content for both.


Thanks @prolog, for adding these pages:

The key combinations for Phosh are helpful.

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