Devkit for ubports



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:


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.


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:


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 !


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.


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.


I still don’t get it. HW changes I presume should be related to sensors and similar things. These are supposed to be submitted to platform vendor (purism) unless they detect existing mainline driver does not work properly in which case they submit mainline.
Now on submission purism will be able to comment on whether it is relevant or not and if not how it will be handled on real device (eg provide stub code to emulate real hw on devkit).
And pine… how can they (ubports) be certain that what they received is what actually will be sold to end users? The phone is not yet available for sale meaning it’s not yet finished.


A big reason is possible changes to the IMX8MQ used on the shipping phone. There might be included hardware or CPU firmware fixes that can’t be fixed on the devkits, for heat management bug fix.


The SoC on the Librem5 is different between the devkit and the final device (iMX 6(M) vs. iMX 8M). This is not the case for the pinephone (devkit and final device are supposed to use both the Allwinner A64 SoC).


That was the internal dev kit of 2017.
The one shipped to ~350 campaign supporters in Dec 2018 of course uses the i.MX8 M.


There was some discussion between Purism folks and a UBPorts dev in one of the Matrix channels yesterday, and the impression I got was that the hardware differences between devkit and real Librem 5 should not introduce many headaches. Purism staff developed using devkits, too, after all.

My reading of the conversation was that the UBPorts dev was pleased to hear how similar things were, and believed there would not need to be many changes.


PinePhone will not be ship to end users until one project partner OS is ready to use.
So of course, UBports and others will receive the final hardware version before to have the time to finalize.
UBports has already received two devkit iterations and a pre-develloper item of the pinephone and they will receive the next hardware versions…