I am preparing to use librem 5 as daily driver, so I have some questions

I will use it as my daily driver, so I need to prepare. I have some questions.

1.How to scan QR-code?

2.How to use it like compass? (I don’t think it is important, but it would be good)

3.How to use firewall? (I use AFWall+ on my android to serve my internet, so is there some alternative for librem 5? (I prefer GUI alternative, not terminal iptables))

4.Can I use mobile internet from my SIM-card? And can I enable/disable it in the top tray (or what is it)?

5.Can I use librem 5 for VR? (cardboard vr, youtube 360 videos)

6.Can I use it like secret camera, record a video with display turned off, I use secret video recorder on android. Or I think it would be good to have an option to just turn off the screen, without turning off something else. I’ve seen here, that display just turns off when you press power button, but I think it will be fixed

7.Also will I be able to use USB with OTG-cable?

8.And the last. Will I be able to share wifi like on android?

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I would say that the phone is not ready to be a daily driver.

Most of the answers to all of your questions are no or with a big chunk of tinkering.

But they are real questions and the answers need to be addressed


i believe so - the L5 has an usb type C connector - so if your OTG cable is microUSB then you’ll need an adapter or a usb C one … i’m waiting to see some good open-hardware/free-software docking stations for the glorious convergence mode …

no. VR requires higher than 1080p resolutions for each eye due to the close proximity …

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My mobile internet is working but I have seen posts on here about people who haven’t been able to get it to work for them. And you can disable mobile data. Not from the top tray, but from the settings app that you can get to from the top tray.

For all camera questions, I don’t think the camera is working yet. But if you are able to get the camera working I expect there are existing QR apps that could be used.

Yes, the WIFI hotspot is working.


USB host mode cannot be used without some manual fiddling right now, so OTG does not work out of the box. In general it is possible and it is planned to be enabled AFAIK.


1.How to scan QR-code?

I don’t think the camera is working yet. I stand to be corrected, but I think the best way to scan a barcode on GNU/Linux currently is with zbarcam from the zbar-tools package. Someone will have to write a GUI though, because zbarcam just spews the text content of the QR code into the standard output on the command line, without further processing to determine what kind of data it contains.

6.Can I use it like secret camera, record a video with display turned off

I don’t think that will be very difficult to achieve, assuming it can record video at all. But you’ll probably have to write a script yourself to turn the display off and on. Ideally you’d make it a feature of a video recording program, so that it can save a bit of energy by not rendering the video to the screen when the screen is off.

8.And the last. Will I be able to share wifi like on android?

That’s a pretty well-established feature in NetworkManager.

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I’m going to need a new phone soonish. I need it to make and take calls, need to send and receive texts, need the battery to last through 12 hours of occasional calls and texts. I don’t NEED anything more than that, but I really do need those things to be 100%. Will the Librem5 do all that now?

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Battery life.
Calls. And many more details in the linked FAQ

Thanks, fsflover. I hadn’t yet found the FAQ, so that’s helpful.

Reading the part about battery life, it says that `` WWAN wakeup from BroadMobi BM818 not working so can’t wake up the system when a phone call.’’ It’s hard to tell what is fixed and what isn’t, but it looks as if this one is still current. If I don’t have to suspend to keep the battery going through the day, it won’t matter.

The no VoLTE thing is going to be a problem. My old Blackberry Passport will stop working in a year because of that, so I’ll need to have VoLTE in something by then. The AweSIM thing might help if it works on ATT, but ATT is the only carrier with usable service where I live.

I’ll keep reading the FAQ. Thanks again.

  1. Get a small-form-factor USB-C camera
  2. It’s native linux, ports are closed by default, you probably don’t need to mess with firewall rules (gui or otherwise).
  3. Try it and see?
  4. Easily.
  5. It’s USB-C, OTG isn’t really needed, just need a USB-C to whatever adapter or a hub.
  6. It’s linux, yes.

This topic is being woken up, more than a year later, but it doesn’t hurt to review periodically, all the more so now that vanilla users like me have their phones.

  1. Scan QR code: no working camera as yet, so not conveniently. In the COVID era, this is not ideal.

See previous post. To be honest, I haven’t tried either of the webcams that I have and which work well with Linux, on my Librem 5. I don’t think I fancy carrying a web cam around. LOL. Mine are both USB-A too, so I would need to carry an adapter too (and I don’t think I have that). Because the low level software for the built-in cameras is not ready, maybe the needed app is not available / working well either.

So, all in all, not ready for prime time.

  1. Compass: Good question. No idea. Anyone? I use the compass app on my existing phone occasionally, so it would be a “nice to have”. Low priority for me.

  2. Firewall: Refer existing topics on setting up the firewall on the Librem 5.

  3. Mobile internet … definitely works.

As far as disabling it, that’s what the Hardware Kill Switch (HKS) is for. However let’s say that you don’t wish to kill in hardware and want to kill in software instead: Touch battery icon at top right, brings up notification and status, touch mobile icon, brings up Mobile Settings, do whatever specifically you wanted to do (e.g. disable mobile, or keep mobile enabled but disable mobile data).

Not as convenient as the HKS but still pretty easy.

  1. VR: No idea. Not a priority for me. Try it. Would need more specifics.

  2. Secret camera: No idea. Not a priority for me.

  3. OTG: No idea. See previous post.

  4. Turn into WiFi hotspot: I believe the answer is “yes but”. The underlying stuff works but there’s no GUI for it. Not ready for prime time. Medium priority for me.

There is the alternative option of … Turn into “hotspot” via USB: I believe the answer is still “yes but”. May work but probably no GUI, so not ready for prime time.

I really hope there have been significant changes during that year. Irvinewade, how is your phone as a phone? Does it wake up when it’s in your pocket and you get a call? Does it just work every time you get a call or dial out? How long does your battery last?

As a phone for me, it “just works”. It wakes up in my pocket. I haven’t had any reliability problems with calling in or out (or with SMS in or out). I’ve done deliberate testing but also mainly just routine use.

I think that the ring tone is not loud enough (and there doesn’t seem to be a GUI to replace the ring tone at this time) but that doesn’t really matter because with the phone in the pocket, the vibration is enough to wake me up. :slight_smile:

The significant change during that year is that the phone has been and is being released to the masses! A year ago any answer was basically theoretical for the masses.

Battery life for me is about 9 hours. (That’s on one battery. I have a spare and an external charger. So if I really needed it, I could push towards 18 hours.) Battery life wasn’t discussed a year ago but I would suppose that it has improved in that year due to two factors: 1. minor improvements resulting from software changes 2. bigger battery capacity in mAh.

I tested this a couple of months ago and since then there have been maybe up to half a dozen software updates. So maybe it is a bit better than what I am quoting.

The big change that, as a user, I am keenly waiting for is having the phone use more standby (low power) states so that it basically goes to sleep and minimises power consumption while it isn’t doing anything. In other words, right now, the phone runs for 9 hours but I don’t want it to run at all when it isn’t doing anything.

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That’s all good news, irvinewade. The only issue left is getting a modem that does VoLTE.

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@irvinewade: What carrier/MVNO are you using, and do you have solid voice, text, and data? Can you add your info to the Wiki: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Cellular-Providers

What country are you interested in? I’ve tested two carriers and they have been edited in to that table on my behalf.

Ah, sorry. I see that now. Thank you! I’m interested in USA. Didn’t scroll down far enough.

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In the USA, we’re going to be pretty much stuck with AT&T (and MVNOs on AT&T) for the foreseeable future, at least while the L5 doesn’t have VoLTE capability.

Amarok, ATT is telling me that my old Blackberry will no longer be usable next February, apparently because of no VoLTE.


Interesting… That’s pretty much what I suspected, although it was unclear whether it would be a hard cut-off (and who knows, maybe it won’t be). Thanks for the heads-up.

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