Is it possible to use Android apps on the Librem 5?


That being said im probably still going to buy one regardless

Heh, “probably”. Yes, remember that Purism. He hasn’t bought one, but he might if you design it to depend on Linux apps that don’t exist and would need to be ported to embedded hardware that almost no one develops for… Better abandon all that support for the 1 billion Android apps that work great and do everything everyone needs…just to be safe. We wouldn’t want a phone that is usable on day 1.


I have already bought one, otherwise I probably would buy yours, sorry.

Good luck with the transaction! :wink:


I hope you won’t get BlackBerried :slight_smile:
They had a good vision as well, just not sustainable.
And users voted with their feet and wallets.

Anyone who thinks it will be some revolution, Jeff Bezos failed with
an Amazon phone, just FYI. Let’s have this talk in 2021?
Marked on my calendar.


first of all . Yes Probably . Im going to need to see working devices with some user feedback before I shell out 700 bucks . And second I never said anything about it hinging on linux apps that dont exist . By the way clementine music player exists and ive been running it on every linux machine I ever had . and the whole point I would be buying this phone is to delete my google account period . youtube , google play all that .

And purism said that apps already in the software portal for debian machines should world . So if thats the case you should have virtual alternative to any real world software sans gimmicks like seismometers and games specifically ported to android . I dont need or want any of that .

the main feature im looking for is a a hierarchical folder view capable music player . Which most linux catalog music players can do .

and a decent web browser with atleast html5 if not flash . Other than that I dont need all that android mess and having google spyware installed on a device that the whole idea is to be a linux phone is contrary to why Im even interested in this device .

Im PROBABLY going to buy this phone unless once released users find it too buggy to operate or call and sms capability isnt there,

Im not a rich person that can throw 700 bucks at hopes and dreams . Although I will say purism so far has exampled a fairly well running prototype its exhibitioned in videos . I really hope this project succeeds .

World needs functional linux alternatives to the spyware everyone else is selling .


Yeah I hope they manage to get android apps to run in a sandbox, I dont think for example many Swedes will be willing to use this unless they can use BankID with it, myself included. Its an online identification app, used extensively in our society and its quite hard to function without it.

Im guessing that more countries have something like this as well.


Fact is that its already possible to run Anbox ( and thus Android apps ) on the current emulator image.

Anbox isn’t perfect though and it also has some screen issues on the emulator ( the bottom handle overlaps the window )

I guess in the end it will just come down to the hardware, but since Anbox is already running on some ubports supported devices I would be surprised if it wouldn’t work on the Librem 5.

To give it a try you can install it yourself on the emulator:

$ sudo apt install snapd
$ sudo snap install --devmode --beta anbox


$ sudo modprobe ashmem_linux
$ sudo modprobe binder_linux

start “Anbox Application Manager”

To install apps you will need to use ADB ( )

$ sudo apt install android-tools-adb

Download an apk of your desired app using the browser ( e.g. from or any other obscure package source )

$ adb install whatever.apk

After installing you can run the application through the “Anbox Application Manager” or copy the .desktop file from ~/snap/anbox/common/app-data/applications/anbox to ~/.local/share/applications to access it directly from the menu


I do not think that the price is for “2012 specs”. The price is for unique privacy and quite reasonable considering that it is the only phone in that category (with privacy as the most important goal). There have been/are other Linux phones but not without proprietary parts. Focus has been on privacy and open software from the begin and hardware is - quite right - on second place. As with all Linux installations it is only necessary to have hardware which does not limit the installation of Linux software. I am running Linux on 20 years old computers which are very useful (especially since I upgraded with SSD).

Personally the hardware specs are less important for me and the look completely insignificant. Fortunately there are many good looking phones with terrible hardware specs and bells and whistles so everyone can have what he likes. Right now this is such a new direction that you cannot have both worlds but - who knows - it can be possible in the future … An open Linux phone with good privacy could even be cheaper than the snooping devices. Anyway I am glad to be one of the first to help the project to proceed.


How much are you selling it for? I do agree with you, it’s a useless phone without all the android apps. I’ll give you a hundred bucks for it. Deal?


:canada:That was some Avro Arrow level shit and you know it, yank!:canada:
(sorry :slightly_smiling_face:)


I assume you will be able to use BankID in Browser, just like on any Linux machine.


This will be excellent should the kinks be worked out and some tighter integration possible without terminal-fu going on.

Lets hope this gets some steam because I think the ability to run android apps sandboxed and isolated will be an easy way to sell the phone to people who are not seriously tech inclined.


I think what we really need is a sort of ‘reverse kivy buildozer’. Until then (probably day 2…please,please nice forum peoples who program/develop and actually know what they’re doing :slightly_smiling_face:) I expect dex2jar(apache 2.0) should be of use to people who know java. I don’t know java (I don’t know python either but I can kinda understand what’s going on in 2.7 and on occasion ‘make go’) so I’m looking for some sort of reverse pygame or something now.


Making it all ( installation etc ) a bit more user friendly will not be difficult and users might just use F-Droid to install apps.

Basically it all comes down to how well anbox performs on the actual hardware as running it on my Meizu MX4 ( ubuntu touch ) its basically unusable slow and I don’t own a devkit so cant comment on that.


If you have a Raspberry Pi 3B, you could try it out on there. It’s a very close match in terms of CPU, but with less RAM and a slower graphics chip.


But BankID will not work on Linux. If I try to install it I just get the list of platforms (Windows and IOS) which does not include Linux.


The idea of developing and installing Anbox by default on Librem 5 to support Android app installation = will make purchase orders very high.

At first, no one will abandon Android apps until they see an alternative to them on Linux and spread among all people like WhatsApp.

Here comes the important role of Anbox, as well as the role of protection from penetration because it is a sandbox prevents the penetrator access to the files of the device and operating system !

Think about it a lot , it’s important.

☞ The most beautiful explanation of the program Anbox :


The emulator image is x86_64 and not ARM64 architecture I think.


Instead of downloading any apk, just download the fdroid apk (from f-droid_org) to access FOSS apps, and the play store apps via Yalp or Aurora

However, if one can install snapd, then one can also install snap apps via, is that correct?


It is but Anbox already runs on ARM ( e.g. ubuntu touch devices )


It looks like a POC.
I haven’t seen anyone use it on a daily basis.