Devkit for ubports

Wouldn’t it be desirable to get ubports a librem5 devkit? Purism and UBports are partnering to offer Ubuntu Touch as a supported operating system on Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone. So I thought they have received a kit long ago.

In Ubuntu Touch Q&A 46 from March 26 2019 they state that they still have none, but they already have the Pinephone devkit, although it should originally be released after the librem5. I quote:

Marius showed a Pinephone devkit. It works up to a point already after just a few days. It is version 1.1. of the kit.
This kit is very close to the final product. Sensors and cameras are now included. To remind you, this has no Halium. We can run natively, which is nice. It will have kill switches and a removable battery. No notch.
The Alwinner chip limits to the 3.10 kernel but it is being mainstreamed quite fast.
The eventual device is expected to retail for around $150.
Librem 5 devkit is not available yet.

What is the reason for this? Is there still a partnership with ubports?


This question has come up in a couple of other places because it seems that nobody at UBports received a devkit. I don’t know why that is - I assume that we have contact/shippping information for someone working on UBports.

We’re looking at the situation regarding remaining devkits so I guess there will be a resolution to this soon. I’ll try and post an update if I hear something.


Almost one month later and still no news about that…

Many Ubuntu Touch users are also Librem5 buyers and might be disappointed if Ubuntu Touch is not ready when Librem5 will be shipping.


If you are in contact with the UBports developers then can you ask them to get in touch directly via an existing Purism contact? If you are a UBports developer then can you talk to your colleagues and find out what the status is from their perspectives?

My impression is that there are a very small number of development boards, but that most of them are already assigned to third party development groups. For some of those groups, the task of assigning the boards was left to the people in charge of those groups and I don’t know whether there was clarity about who should receive boards.


“Don’t Hold Your Breath On UBports’ Ubuntu Touch For Purism’s Librem 5 Smartphone”

I saw that article. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really add anything constructive to help solve the problem. :frowning_face:


Agreed. But help us understand. From the original announcement one would naively assume that you have contact data of Marius Gripsgård and Ricardo Mendoza. Are they both not responding?
I mean, there are several reasons why it’s in the best interest of Purism to resolve this quickly. :pensive:


Sure. I realize that it’s not a good thing if people who were promised devkits don’t get them, and it’s certainly not good in terms of maintaining trust between parties.

My understanding is that there were a number of development boards assigned to development groups. I’ve only been made aware of the efforts to get boards to GNOME and Plasma Mobile developers, and really only vaguely aware of those. I don’t know the status behind that effort. Some developers were backers of the campaign and already have their own boards, of course. There are people in the Librem 5 Matrix rooms who are affiliated with other mobile OS groups.

I always understood that UBports was another desirable software stack to have running on the Librem 5, but any arrangement happened quite a while before I started doing work for Purism. It’s good to get a link to follow, so thanks for that. :smile: I don’t personally have the contact details for those developers. I assume that they are on a distribution list that one of the higher-ups has. I think there was some attention given to this recently but don’t have anything concrete to share. :frowning:

All in all, it’s not great that people are still waiting for boards, but they haven’t been forgotten. I don’t think there’s been a falling out between Purism and UBports. If there has then it was kept very quiet by all parties. :wink:


How about asking them? This all sounds quite unprofessional and displays bad internal communication. I see all the good work Purism is doing so I can’t understand why this is handled so poorly.

These are small things but very important in the free software community (in fact, in all communities). Same with the launch of the Librem one where the forked software was not properly credited. With such actions you lose (their) support/credibility before you even got it. Rebuilding trust is difficult and takes time.

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You’re not exactly encouraging him to be transparent.
He already stated they don’t think it’s a good situation to have.

Don’t assume he doesn’t ask. Don’t assume they all sit collocated, same time-zone, in a cozy office and can merely shout “Hey, anybody got those details?”. Could be the person who had the correspondence in their mail box left the company.

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How so?

I don’t. He did:

I was not attacking @david.boddie - I just wanted to explain such cases shed a bad light on Purism and they should take it more seriously. It’s not like it happened yesterday.
They also reacted on the ‘not crediting the software forks’ quickly. Such things happen but I had wished this would have been handled in a better way. That’s all.

I can ask again. When the person responsible for handling this has been told about it, and they are putting in extra effort to care of it, I try not to nag them all the time about it. They have other things to do. I have other things to do.

I’ll post another message to this topic when I get more information.


On a side note, I noticed that craftyguy at AftermarketOS has been testing the Librem 5 Dev Kit. Here is what he was able to test:
USB Networking:
Touchscreen: Works
Display: Works
WiFi: Partial
Xwayland: Partial
3D Acceleration: Partial
Audio: Partial
Bluetooth: Partial
GPS: Works
Mobile data:
USB OTG: Partial

Most items on the list are blank and were apparently not tested. He must have tested flashing because otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to do the other tests. It is pretty sad that he wasn’t able to get more things working. I wonder what the problems were.

There are other devices that do much better with AftermarketOS, but the Librem 5 dev kit was the only device that has a working GPS with AftermarketOS, so that is something to celebrate.

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I think all of those things have been tested to some extent by others. The underlying software has been developing since the devkit was shipped, so many things that didn’t work initially now work to some extent.

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OK, we have the contact information for the main two UBports developers. I’ll try to get back to everyone here when I hear something about boards being tested and shipped out - unless you hear from the UBports developers first. :wink:

There were a limited number of devkits available when they were made and the paying backers were top priority. There weren’t as many spare boards as we had hoped and, of course, the Librem 5 team need working boards (and one or two spares).

Anyway, I’m happy to talk to the UBports developers directly about their expectations, if they’re still interested in talking. :smile:


Hello, David,
I am very happy to hear this information from you ! Many, many thanks for your efforts ! I wait longingly for the Librem 5.


Any news about that? Have you spoken with the Ubports developers?


I have not personally spoken to them, and nobody has contacted me. The issue keeps coming up in meetings, so we haven’t forgotten about it. :smile:

If I remember correctly from a recent team meeting, all the right people in Purism will be in the right place with the “spare” devkits this coming week (or two, I forget) to be able to decide what happens with them. The “spare” devkits needed some work doing to them to make sure they were usable.

We’ll see what happens. I don’t want to promise anything because it’s not me who has to sort this out.


That’s sad because I know they already have (for a while now) the pinephone development kit, and the Librem 5 project was announced one and a half years before, but still no devkit. It’s like you (Purism, not you personally of course) don’t really care about them!


I believe that two devkits should have arrived with UBports folks recently. :smiley:

Beyond that, I don’t have any more information. I hope that the boards survived shipping and that the developers can do something interesting with them.