Desktop Replacement Questions: What Kernel is on Librem 5, and does Convergence Support Dual Monitors


#1

Hi all,

I’m interested in the Librem 5 (And any smart phone that promises convergence features), and have not seen a final word regarding two common shortcomings of convergence devices.

First off, is the kernel for the Librem 5 phone a Linux kernel, or is it forked off of Android like UBPorts? This significantly impacts the software that can be run on the device as well as drastically changes the development environment.

The other question is about the convergence system, which appears to be using display port via usb-c. Can this be split into two HDMI outputs? Would be good to get confirmation one way or the other.


#2

The kernel is a Linux kernel, not an Adroid fork.


#3

For mirroring? Wide desktop? Two independent desktops? Your choice of all of the above?


#4

my guess is that it will be possible to split into two hdmi outputs but there might be limitations of resolution and frame-rate.


#5

According to the current developer docs it will be able to support one external display:
https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/FAQ.html#can-the-usb-c-connector-drive-an-external-display

The USB-Cs capable of driving more than one external screen are likely to use something like Thunderbolt - the Librem 5 USB-C connector will not support Thunderbolt.


#6

Hence my question as to what the exact requirement is - because you can probably do mirroring by using an external HDMI splitter.


#7

I’m a pretty hardened software developer, and the Librem 5 is one key requirement away from me ditching a typical development laptop for a phone / convergence device.

The days of go big or go home for hardware specs are over. Even Google ships its developers chromebooks as their primary dev environment. Real work is done remotely on beefier machines instead of hauling them around.

Which is why we need dual monitors as the absolutely last domino to fall in the list of requirements making the Librem 5 not just a good dev enviroment, but actually more practical than existing ones.

The Librem 5 already supports 90% of modern development requirements- an ultra portable form factor, a linux kernel (sorry Ubports), and plenty enough horsepower to support a text editor and modern web browser.

Plenty of developers are used to working on one monitor- but studies have shown (and the industry has adopted as a standard) two monitors as more productive and lowering the mental taxation of development. Being able to have docs on one screen and an editor on the other, or a terminal / editor combo, is just more effective.


#8

@TimWinter pretty sure that two of these babies and a proper dedicated docking station would work ok a few months after the initial launch once people start hacking.