Introducing the Librem 11

I’m keeping an eye on the MNT Pocket Reform mini laptop - it might even become capable of gsm phonecalls - which supports multiple System-on-Module with up to 16GB DDR4. They are also working on a server/workstation around these modules.

And the HiFive Pro P550 with a 4 core RISC-V and 16GB DDR5 in microATX format.

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Of course, why would it not :thinking:

I meant that as an either-or sort of question. Is it more similar to the Librem 5 or to the Librem 14? I could see it going both ways, but yeah, it definitelly makes more sense for it to run phosh like the Librem 5. It’s just another unanswered question about the Librem 11. There is a lot of information that needs to be added to its product page.

More like the Librem Mini: without hardware kill switches. As for the DE, definitely GNOME.



If you look closely on the top right corner, there is a button to close the application windows.

What I find interesting from the images is that the status bar at the top of the screen looks like the Librem 5 and not the Librem 14, but there is no home bar at the bottom of the screen.

Edit:

I think there is a home bar, but it is hidden because of fullscreen mode.

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I agree, and was about to say that too.

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Also forgot to address another question:

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Rushed may be a bit harsh but yes, some details are missing.
I think they wanted to make it available to early adopters and also show what they have.
Now they can work on some details (battery runtime, maybe BT?) and also gauge interest, so they know how many to stock before the holiday season.

The goal, quite clearly, is to increase liquidity, and I hope it will play out.
While philosophically, I’d prefer ARM or RISC-V, blob-less BT and kill-switches, it’s not a hard requirement for me. I feel reasonably safe on a Linux device (WiFi off when it says so) and appreciate all the extra steps Purism is doing.
And I understand they need to generate revenue in order to come up with devices closer to their and our ideals.
For the moment, creating an iMX based tablet would probably have been to risky/expensive/time consuming, and at the end people would complain about the performance plus the high price.
So, while Intel-based without HKS can be viewed as a step back, I can imagine it will sell better outside the hardcore privacy bubble.
I’d agree that

If it sells well, they hopefully have the means to improve the software further, and develop a decent Fir Phone, and hopefully a tablet based on it.

Let’s not forget that it is currently basically unthinkable to have blob-less radio (WiFi, BT, 5G), so an Intel CPU is only a minor inconvenience in comparison.

Purism needs to grow their audience & revenue, so future projects like Fir can be funded well.
Also, by (hopefully) growing the audience with a not-too-overpriced tablet, they can hope to sell more Fir units, which in turn can bring down the price for Fir.
And with more units (tablets, phones, whatever), their leverage grows to have radio components with (at least) flashed firmware, (hopefully) full documentation and (eventually) free firmware.

I think it’s a good addition to their portfolio, even if just a first iteration.

To further complete it, i’d like them to add some network-equipment, like (WiFi) routers. They could just rebrand some of the ThinkPenguin stuff.
(Sidenote to Purism: if people are rarely ordering your 24" and 32" inch monitors, maybe it’s because their specs lack some attention to detail… that could be a quick fix to generate more revenue…)

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Yeah, I had to go back and edit my lengthy comment above to include the pricing difference between the Librem 11 and the most similar iPad. The Librem 11 is about half the price of the iPad!

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Aren’t ThinkPenguin devices blobless?

Here is more information I forgot to post from the “general” Matrix room (this should answer some of the questions asked here).

First, the summary:

  • It will ship with Crimson.
  • The compositor/UI will be Wayland with Phosh.
  • Jonathon is optimistic the battery runtime performance can be improved 2x, though don’t take this as a promise. More may be possible but disabling ME tends to limit power saving.
  • It supports ACPI S3.
  • PureBoot provides firmware to the OS via the PureBoot “Blob Jail” feature.
    • Here is a refresher on what the blob jail is (source):

      The firmware jail is a region in NOR flash that is read only from the kernel. We flash the jail during phone production and it gets loaded into /lib/firmware/ by the initramfs. This way, the firmware shows up in the rootfs, while allowing PureOS to stay pure.

  • CPU throttling is set to start at 60 C at the die but this is customizable from the firmware. Reportedly, the device gets warm but not uncomfortably hot.
  • Known issues include:
    • Fingerprint reader is not supported by fprint yet.
    • Using TV HDMI audio when plugged from boot
    • Intermittent issues with Bluetooth audio
    • Dragging tabs with touch in Firefox doesn’t work
    • Keyboard cover doesn’t work in SeaBIOS (but these devices ship PureBoot anyway which works)

Note: There are jumps between some of the quotes because those messages aren’t significant to this thread so I’ve also attached screenshots at the bottom.

The Librem 11 will also be the first Librem device to ship with Crimson by default

beside the battery life,what is not working well yet?

That is a question for Jonathon Hall but I believe that with the newer kernel from Crimson, everything is working pretty smoothly. I think the fingerprint reader is not fully supported yet.

Yes that’s right, I’ve tested a ton of things like USB-C (2.x/3.x/DP alt mode/PD), SD card, cameras, touch, pen, keyboard, audio in/out, accelerometer, etc. We’ve just added support in Phosh to automatically show the virtual keyboard when the physical keyboard is detached and vice versa.

Some of the things I have noted that have issues are: using TV HDMI audio when plugged from boot (works if plugged later, works on my PC monitors but has issues with some actual TVs), intermittent issues with Bluetooth audio (may depend on the audio device), fingerprint reader isn’t supported by fprint, dragging tabs with touch in Firefox doesn’t work, keyboard cover doesn’t work in SeaBIOS (but these devices ship PureBoot anyway which works).

What sort of battery performance can be expected once optimisations are done? Threefold? Fourfold?

That’s pretty hard to guess :grin: Disabling ME also tends to limit power saving. My wild guess, please don’t quote me, I am pretty optimistic we can get to roughly 2x the current run time. More may be possible, hard to say.
I will throw out there that it works great with a USB-C battery pack on flights with 12V PD

Under X and touch Firefox needs MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1 but you will have done that already.

This is Wayland with Phosh

Does the tablet support ACPI S3? Not many devices nowadays do, that’s why I am asking. S0 runs down the battery fast on (non-) standby.

Yes it does support S3. Currently we’re getting about 24 hours runtime there, I think that can be improved also.

I noticed it has Intel WiFi, is the firmware handled similarly to the SparkLAN Librem5 WiFi cards, with some firmware jail?

Yes, PureBoot provides firmware to the OS via the PureBoot “Blob Jail” feature

how’s the heat generation? does the tablet become hotter than it should?

I have it set to 60 C right now, which is a very good balance IMO, it has enough thermal headroom for good interactive performance without getting uncomfortable if you really crank it. If you crank it, it’ll get warm but not crazy hot.

(Firmware can set the thermal control circuit activation temperature, default is 100 C but we can basically choose when the CPU starts to throttle to control heat, it’s pretty good at holding that temperature)
That’s 60 C at the CPU die by the way, so the surface isn’t that warm


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This indicates they are using non-Free firmware. In my opinion a “blob jail” doesn’t RYF. I wonder why the FSF hasn’t chimed in on this. There appear to be (at least) three ways of getting the system to use proprietary firmware blobs:

  1. Traditional: The OS, as directed by the driver (usually FOSS), reads the blob from the filesystem (at boot) and loads+activates that driver into the device (e.g. wifi chipset).
  2. Librem 5 with the redpine wifi. Same as (1) but the driver reads the blob from flashable memory on the redpine device instead of the filesystem.
  3. “Blob Jail”. Same as (1), but the blob is passed by the boot firmware to the OS at boot.

IMO none of these should qualify for RYF since the OS is complicit with the filesystem/boot firmware/device in loading/activiting the proprietary firmware. These “workarounds,” to me, don’t offer freedom from proprietary blobs — it’s just games to try to be included as an exception to the “no proprietary software” RYF rules. And, IMO, the FSF is doing nobody any favors by not clarifying their exception. Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification requirements | RYF

However, there is one exception for secondary embedded processors. The exception applies to software delivered inside auxiliary and low-level processors and FPGAs, within which software installation is not intended after the user obtains the product. This can include, for instance, microcode inside a processor, firmware built into an I/O device, or the gate pattern of an FPGA. The software in such secondary processors does not count as product software.

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Nicole Faerber has addressed this topic a few times and she does not personally agree with the FSF’s
stance, at least at the time of writing.

Edit: Here are some more posts Nicole has made with regards to RYF:

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I agree with Nicole too, but from a much more recent post.

I do not place much value in the FSF and its RYF certification: while the ideals behind them are admirable, they are not doing anything towards liberating firmware or hardware; their future heavily relies on refurbished/used products. In contrast, Purism has made efforts to neutralize/disable Intel ME and worked on PureBoot across their Librem laptops/tablet; firmware development and reverse-engineering are the main reasons why I chose to financially support Purism moreso than any other organization.

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IIUC there’s no GPS on that tablet? Isn’t that odd?

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Purism do not put any efforts to neutralize/disable Intel ME to be honest, Purism just used Russian technologies for that.

What reverse-engineering? can you tell me one?

I really nervous with Purism, why? seems that Purism is falling in the Evil-Opensource, why? opensource it use at user commercially, why? Money, why? Evil :wink:

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See post 16 above.

Interesting to note that they just announced a significant price drop for Evergreen. (I don’t know what that might do for expectations regarding the price of Fir.)

As much as I appreciate your taking the time to copy that info into the forum … I really think Purism should be providing this information on the product page and/or the shop page and/or the FAQ.

One reason why I asked what the capacity of the built-in battery is.

That’s a question that I asked also.

Due to the absence of a cellular modem in the Librem 11, I can imagine using the Librem 11 in conjunction with the Librem 5 (via hotspot). So now I just need a “(local) network GPS” service. At an admittedly quick look, that doesn’t seem to be an option in geoclue. This is probably a niche idea.

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No, they do put in effort, as explained in this post and the Librem 11’s disabled Intel ME status.

The post above hints at various articles, but if you want to feel overwhelmed like I did many years ago, here is a technical post from Youness Alaoui/kakaroto, who no longer works at Purism. Note that the article I am linking is from the Wayback Machine, because soon after it was posted, Intel politely contacted Purism to remove it.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180403000121/https://puri.sm/posts/intel-fsp-reverse-engineering-finding-the-real-entry-point/

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If you read the article you linked, the “neutralization of the IME” was attributed to the me_cleaner project and that it was disabled via the HAP bit (which is not a big deal and, these days, is the least you can do). I hope you’re aware that, despite early announcements, Purism was actually not able to neutralize the IME in the Librem 14 (it’s only disabled via that HAP bit). You should also be aware that ever since Matt DeVillier quit, Purism does not have a firmware expert. Also, in regard to coreboot on the Jasper Lake chipset (in the Librem 11), you should thank Intel as the primary contributor not anyone from Purism AFAIK.

To be clear, almost all employees who work for Purism don’t work at Purism. They are almost all employed as independent contractors (Form 990) who work remotely.

I also want to note that a lot of the issues with the Librem 14 have been due to the fact that EC firmware is tricky. Should they be applauded for developing their own EC firmware (from a base begun by System76)? Maybe. But one could argue that they are using customers as beta testers ([librem 14] how to update EC firmware to ec-2021-06-04_ef9fd3c - #3 by NineX )… and now that Matt is gone they are struggling to support that choice. Update on Librem-EC 1.12 – Purism .

P.S. Did anyone else note that Purism has deprecated their “Core Team” page??? The Core Team – Purism

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Yes, although I argue it is still a big deal considering the lack of other modern examples outside of Purism; I do agree it is the least Purism can do.

I was aware when I purchased mine a few years ago: my justification then was that it uses a relatively modern CPU; better quality control of the hinges (compared to reviews of the Librem 13v4/15v4); revised hardware kill switches design; and liberated EC firmware (as you mentioned) in spite of some regression with the boot firmware status.

That depends on your definition of a firmware expert: I am grateful for @jonathon.hall continuing work on Coreboot, PureBoot, and the EC firmware.

Do you have a citation for that? I would love to read about what Intel has done for Coreboot on Jasper Lake.

I will reflect that change into my dialogue next time - thank you for pointing it out.

@NineX chose to attempt to flash the EC firmware on their own when there was no official procedure set; Purism did not ask them to become a beta tester.

That being said, I have no issues with those outside of Purism who have interest in contributing to test out firmware, such as the recent PureBoot “Restricted Boot” hotfix.

Yes, I made a very recent post about it, among other deprecated pages.

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