Devkit for ubports

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.



It’s confirmed that the dev-kits have arrived on the “Ubuntu Touch Q&A 55” at 37:14

The focus will go to the Pinephone first, because they are already working on it, but they expect a lot of that work will also help porting to the LIbrem5.

Thank you for looking into this and thank you Purism for sending the dev-kits!


Thanks for the update!


Ubports on Librem 5 dev kit:


That video is awesome. Now I’m going to have a hard time deciding which interface to use. :thinking:

Having played with phosh in Qemu, I like it, but UBports looks even better!
I would love to see an option to dual boot, because I know that I’m going to want to constantly reinstall just to see how UBports and KDE Plasma Mobile are progressing.

After years of being stuck with just Android, I don’t know if I can handle all this choice! :grin:


I love the swipe gestures of Ubports!! I woukld prefer the SailfishOS ones, but the UI is closed source :disappointed_relieved:

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With time there might come the possibility to choose between different UI in some kind of login screen. I think postmarketOS will probably be the first to support this. Some of the devs have a L5 devkit. And i think they have Plasma and Gnome running and posh and unity 8 in a WIP state.

In their biweekly “Q&A” video conference the UBPorts core developers disclosed that Purism has declined sending them Librem 5 devices earlier than some time in 2020 - apparently they will receive their devices only after the original backers receive theirs. This means that UBPorts cannot continue to work on porting Ubuntu Touch to the Librem 5 for the time being.

These news are kind of disappointing. In my eyes Purism does not live up to their original announcement of the partnership between Purism and UBPorts:

When the Librem 5 is delivered to pre-order customers, it will become one of just a few smartphones that support the free and open source operating system.

I believe I am not the only backer who based their decision to support Librem 5 development on the prospect to be able to run UBPorts on the device once they receive it. Any chance that you guys reconsider your decision to delay the Ubuntu Tourch porting that long, @david.boddie ?


I do understand where you’re coming from, but I also understand the argument that paid backers should receive their devices first and I’m sure there are multiple backers with opinions on both sides of that issue.

I don’t have the knowledge to say just how different the Librem 5 is from its devkit, but it may be possible that it is similar enough that there is no meaningful difference from a development perspective and this is a non issue? Sure it would be preferable to have the actual hardware and not a devkit, but I don’t think that will mean an absolute halt to development either.

Hopefully Purism can ramp up shipping enough that this is ultimately a non-issue… one can hope.

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I don’t have the knowledge to say just how different the Librem 5 is from its devkit, but it may be possible that it is similar enough that there is no meaningful difference from a development perspective and this is a non issue?

The UBPorts people claim that this is in fact an issue - watch the video starting at 6:33min:

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It wasn’t an issue for Purism or PostmarketOS.
The problem with UBport is that it uses a Android Linux kernel and not the mainline Linux kernel which already includes L5 devkit’s and final phone’s drivers.


UBports doesn’t uses Android Linux Kernel for Librem 5, Pinephone, Raspberry Pi.

The issue is detailed in this new blogpost from UBports foundation :

And, remember .

At this time of april 2018, it was very far from what we read now: you will get devices to contribute Ubuntu Touch after every one !

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There is not a really issue, they guess that they will need to do again all the work they have to do in the dev kit.
I don’t know why they should get the Librem 5 before me, I paid 600$ for it, they as developers should work with the devkit that is design for that purpose.

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Exactly, that’s why they have a lot of problems. The original UBp distribution is based on an Android kernel that does not have the necessary drivers for these devices.
The transition to the mainstream Linux kernel is not trivial.

Looks like they’re trapped by Canonical’s bad choices.
Fortunately, Purism has chosen to develop an OS that he masters based on Debian and GNOME.

UBports is not trapped at all. The work with mainstream Linux Kernel is progressing and well advanced.

As they said, specifically for the Librem 5, “Unfortunately, hardware changes between the Librem 5 devkit and the final phone mean that we can’t be certain that any of the fixes we make on the devkit will carry over to the final product.”.

For Pinephone and Raspberry Pi, this problem doesn’t exist. Pine64 sends first to partner projects, each new version of devkits or pinephone according to the improvements made. About Raspberry Pi , the final versions of the devices are available for purchase and very inexpensive.

So the problem of unavailability of the device for UBports is specific to Librem 5 and and this is the main problem for finalizing development.

This has nothing to do with Debian/Ubuntu or GNOME/QT.

Funny to always want to bring everything back to the old, totally sterile wars.