How much can we customize the Librem5

My question is how much will we be able to customize the Librem 5? Will we have the same customization power as Android in the end? I wish for it. As I love to customize my phone to my liking.

How about the homescreen? Will it be able to look like this:

Will the Appdrawer support Blur? Soft and round corners? How will the overview look? The same as in the videos/pictures? Then will I be able to change that? I really don’t like the fast shortcuts at the bottom. How about widgets on the homescreen?
Will there be different Accent Colors system-wide + in apps and system-wide dark theme + in apps?

This really is just a dumb question. But I wanted to create it to share my thoughts on the phone.


I wish the same. Freedom to customize on Android as well fill control of the content on my phone is what made me dump iOS long ago.
I doubt week have anything close on L5 in the first year or so.

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Not a dumb question, but if i may, why don’t we first - before trying to answer - try to make it a better one, so the answer(s) will be too…

How much can we customize? -> It’s yours. Do what you like. It’s open software, you can program Linux to do what you like and change which flawor you want. You can take it apart, change the M.2 cards and 3D print (or papermache) a new cover.

But the question really was only about homescreen, which is part of UI (used interface) and UX (user experience). The general answer would be, you can do a lot to them if you are GNOME and linux guru. For a user though, if I got it right, what needs answering is:

  • How locked is the appgrid (or what ever it’s called)?
  • How much can the app list be altered by user - what is shown, their positions?
  • Can the icons and themes be altered?
  • Do we have tools/setting to do this or is this done via settings file or something else?
  • What effects are there for the home screens and if it’s based on some compositor/library, which one (maybe there’s a list or a how-to)?
  • Can the homescreen theme be changed and how to make our own (if it’s based on a known one, there might be tutorials)?
    … and the other details mentioned.

My whish is that this leads eventually to a coherent wiki-article that can be shared.


and also

  • what are the answers at Day 1?
  • what are the answers X months down the track?

I guess the good old answer is quite useful here: if the feature doesn’t exist. Build your own and upstream it.


Either that, or they do like on android and make the default launcher simple and allow users to easily replace the default launcher with a custom one. That’s the way I’d prefer personally.

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You can always launch Plasma Mobile on PureOS.


But then you switch out the whole compositor and shell, I was more refering to modularizing the launcher so it can be replaced.

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I’m doing that from the very start. I’ve always preferred KDE to Gnome.


So, so far (and I’m not judging the choices, just the extent, compared to the original question):

  • code your own
  • replace OS
  • replace GUI
  • replace compositor
  • replace launcher
    … but no thoughts on modification and user experience options of look and feel. May have to wait until virtual-images get more ready or even for Aspens to know more…?

good subject. i think the potential is as great as Freedom is since anybody who orders the L5 practically OWNS it (the parts that aren’t binary only). this means that the user OWNS any aspect that he/she has acces to source-code and hardware documentation (if that code and documentation is copyleft licensed or better yet GPL-ed - is legally protected by the FSF and ensured to remain in the public domain “forever”)

now things only get better since there is a whole market waiting to happen for customising L5 like devices professionally (for anybody who can afford to pay for someone else to do it for them if they aren’t sufficiently tech savy to do so themselves) it’s kinda like interior-design services only more “personal” :wink:

the “downside” to this freedom is ofc the fact that it can get “hairy” when all the variety starts to “get-in-the-way” of education since any “too-customised” mspcd (mobile-smart-personal-compute-device) will be a pain to understand or relate to. try following a super customised Blender GUI tutorial :wink:

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From my POV (someone tried to contribute to phosh but failed). Modularizing and modifying phosh at this stage is too difficult. Unlike KDE and Gnome, most of phosh’s code is undocumented. And the fact that GTK, GTKMM and libhandy has little to none (comparing to Qt/QML) document doesn’t help either.

Maybe we should start by documenting everything?


" thunder only happens when it’s rainin’ / players only love you when they’re playin’ " Fleetwood Mac - Dreams

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Offtopic: Phosh on PostmarketOS (usually Plasma) actually seems to be a thing. (added video at very bottom of Chronology).
Not sure if they just want to have choice or like the Wayland-only ways of Phoc.

OTOH, I’m not sure if Plasma mobile will be available in PureOS right away.

Same on Desktop for me, but Gnome 3 always felt like mobile to me and I like what Purism is doing, so they might convert me for mobile :wink:
It also seems likely that Phosh will initially work much better.

Not many things will be customizable in the first months. I expect most-requested things to be added, and if somebody makes a nice patch/pull-requst, Purism will likely say yes.


For reference (I have done this). I can build a fully usable clock app in Qt/QML by RTFM in a few hours, but I’ll be lucky to learn how to get libhandy cooperating with gtkmm in a day.


@reC @JR-Fi Slightly out of topic. Would you be interested if I started a project documenting the L5, GTK and making reference/learning apps?


I would be curious at least. At this point (or soonish), it would be nice [hint to admins, hint] to start the L5 wiki. Not much yet to contribute, but community could at least try to come up with topics and questions to answer and a proper information architecture (“logical table of contents”).
@david.boddie probably has some ideas on that front too…


I would be happy to start using the wiki on the developer documentation repository for things. I know that others have an opinion about where it would otherwise be hosted (within the Purism infrastructure). Suggestions are welcome. :smile:

There is also this wiki which has a slightly misleading name. I would be willing to rename it to something more general.


I’d be interested in this as well. I found the developer documentation for BlackBerry 10, and especially all the sample apps they provided extremely helpful in building apps (BlackBerry 10 also used Qt/QML for their UI). I’m not sure if something like this exists in any form yet but good documentation and sample/starter apps could really help get more devs building apps.


I got a 404 from the link. Have you set the repository to private?