Emergency calls from lock screen

As discussed in a different topic the phone should have a possibility to make calls without having to unlock the screen. Also the call should be able to work without sim card or sim card not unlocked or without any signal from the own provider. Following the GSM standard the following numbers are emergency numbers: 112, 911, 999

This feature saves lives and is free of charge.

Previous discussion (I created a new topic to split the off-topic topic from the Librem 5 Hardcore Mode):

Ticket which I found:

Related topic (Location on Emergency Calls):


yes to able to make emergency calls from lock screen - should command line require super user privileges ?

This feature is already tracked: Allow emergency calls.

It’s a useful feature, if controversial for some people. When previously searching for opinions about it online, I found that there were quite a few users of early Android handsets who wanted to disable it. It seems that they would accidentally activate the feature when handling (or maybe pocketing) their phones. I believe it was made configurable in later versions.


You’ve put up multiple independent but related ideas in your post but regarding the part that I am quoting … that would be my expectation (no SIM, not unlocked, wrong network - all work for an emergency call). That part of it shouldn’t be controversial.

Exactly what work is required where is another question. Best case scenario … the cellular modem handles it, at least for 112 (which I thought was the real GSM standard emergency number).

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I was under the impression that every phone had a federal requirement to make 911 calls without a cell service plan and without unlocking the phone. I’ve been wrong many times before… Will duckduckgo this later when I’m home…

there are very basic phones (non-smart) targeted for seniors that can dial any-programmed emergency number anywhere with just a push (or hold for a few seconds) off a dedicated button.

it’s probably possible to program one of the dedicated hardware buttons on the L5 (to do the same without having to go to the terminal or anything - not talking about the wifi/bt/cellular/camera/mic ofc just the regular mute/volume-up-down maybe ?)

(going to vary from country to country so I assume you are asking about the US)

That is my expectation.

I just checked on my current phone (which I hope to cease using fairly soon!) and on the lock screen it does offer a link for “Emergency”. I had to turn on the lock screen as I don’t usually bother with it. LOL.

None of this tells you anything about what is a legal requirement however.

One complication is that if you are incapacitated and someone comes upon you and your phone and you have the killswitch for the cellular modem so as to disable the modem then some random is not going to know to unkill the modem, so a call isn’t going to work no matter what special cases are made or code is written. Just sayin’. You better hope that person has his or her own phone!


So it is an FCC requirement that as long as you have battery power, and are in range of a cell tower that your phone can communicate with you do not need cell service with that company to make a 911 call.

I haven’t been able to find anything regarding if the a smart phone is to have"emergency call" access if locked.

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I would hope that when someone enters the emergency call screen, that an animation appears, showing the guest user how to flip the kill switches off. Ideally, it should use graphics and not language to avoid language barrier problems. I would show the animation if the kill switches are on, and before they start entering the emergency number because it will take time to boot up the modem and join the network. That sequence can happen in the background while the number is being entered to save time.

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I was looking at Full-disk encryption performance in Librem 5 and think that it might be better to post it here, since this is about emergency calling from the lock screen, assuming that this includes the lock screen that appears when you first boot the phone.

It should be possible to boot the phone and make emergency calls without having to enter a password or PIN. This means storing part of the operating system and essential parts of the network configuration outside of the encrypted partition. All of this unecrypted data should be read-only prior to entering the correct PIN (assuming that the disk encryption key is decrypted via the smart card) and hashed and verified (or cryptographically signed) to protect against “evil maid” attacks.



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