Late and bad Librem 5

After 3 years since I placed my order, Librem5 arrived. I can verify that it is a phone that fulfills its mission regarding privacy. It is not useful for day-to-day use like you would with a normal phone. It gets very hot, its battery does not reach a charge day with normal use and it is full of errors. When the order is made, these problems should be reported. Someone is making a lot of money with this topic.

What did you expect? You invest in a new product that is still in development and think everything works like an android that is developed over 15 years with Google as huge company? Instead of just saying “it’s bad” you also could say what kind of errors you get and if we can help you. Most things can be fixed easily, other things will be updated in future by Purism or the community.

And a hint about heating: enable suspend. It will cool down your device as long as you don’t need it and so it needs longer time until it gets hot while using (just don’t use it with alarm right now - it doesn’t weak up the phone yet, but will be fixed some day).


I mean that is what was marketed at the time… I don’t understand this kind of blaming the person for trusting the marketing approach to responses. Perhaps @todd-weaver should have been a bit more honest with the marketing.

This may be your experience for your use case, however for mine it does work as my daily driver. I do keep an android phone with no sim on me for convenience and a couple of tasks I haven’t taken the time to port but that’s out of laziness on my part not inability of the device.

As mentioned by Ick, details and context would help greatly in providing assistance resolving the specific issues you’re encountering. Have you fully updated the phone? It may not have been fully patched before you got it for any number of reasons (as is true of any iPhone or Android device as well), step one should be to make sure it’s up to date. Beyond that, more details more better.


It will always be warmer than you’re used to, because internal heat is purposely routed to the exterior frame in order to keep the internals cooler. If it gets a LOT warmer than its normal warmth, then contact to find out what might be wrong.

See: Librem 5 Battery Life has been Doubled
They’re sending out this fix within a few days, I think.

As @OpojOJirYAlG said, make sure you have applied all waiting updates, by either tapping them to download and install from the PureOS software (store) app, or in the Terminal app, using sudo apt update, followed by sudo apt upgrade if any upgrades are available. Do this often, as many improvements are constantly arriving.

There’s a lot of good information and tips here in the forums, so just search if you have any specific questions.


The article talks about changes already deployed over last months.


My bad… Since the “experimental” caution is still displayed on the Suspend setting, I thought something new was happening soon, which would remove that.


That warning won’t go away anytime soon - not until everything (alarms, LED notifications, IM…) just works transparently with suspend enabled.


I don’t blame this person, but someone also shouldn’t tell him that all information where available. It is also a hint to protect himself for next time he wants to invest money into a project like this. Neither does it help the project if he is blaming it for not being as he expected nor does it help himself to buy things he overrate, because he didn’t look for further information.

This is the only non-Android/ non-Apple phone on the market that has the potential to become a daily driver. It’s not ready quite yet in most cases, but is quickly improving.

Oh i like my Librem 5 its more as i awaited and it works really fine here. Its like a usual Linux System with some extra Apps a nice Interface. This System has so much potential like the first affordable Computer in the 1980th! Now we have the issue that most Systems are really cheap and we have not affordable Software, or freedom for the Masses to use. So you have, like in the 1980th, learn and write and use your own secure software.

On the other Systems you just got some big Players, try to steal your Daily Life to train there Artificial Intelligences and sell your Future to somebody else.

This phone you hold in your hands is the future, but right now it do not feels like as sexy as the other one. But its a priceless gift.


Librem 5 is a Gnu phone and is what it is, if you want a fancy Linux phone there are a lot already in the market like Android/Linux.

I just want a phone that works minimally well. You can not sell a product without notifying that it is in alpha

I am not sure what the products backing page mentioned a few years ago; today it shows that basic things like E-Mail, camera, messaging, … are working and other things will come in the future.

Yes, it was a long way down the road.

The L5 works way better than that. I have been using it as my one and only phone since early February, and it does everything I want it to do: email, sms, communicate through telegram, browsing, phone calls, reading rss messages, playing music (through bluetooth), navigation, banking, recognizing music, watching video’s (though.not drm content), making shopping lists, view weather predictions, etcetera.
It does these things speedily, without getting overly hot, or without crashing.

It does everything my old Windows phone did, and more.The only thing for which I still use my Windows phone is waking me up in the morning with a song of my choosing.

The L5 is not perfect - far from it; read the post on this site outlining the roadmap for 2023 for a to-do list - but I dare say it is the best and most sympathetic phone I have ever owned - and I have owned many over the past 25 years or so.


Of course you can. In in this specific case nothing else would make any sense. Else we wouldn’t have any Linux phone ever, because no big tech company wants to invest in such devices and little tech companies like Purism have not enough money to fully develop it before selling it.

If you’re not happy, sell your phone to some other customers. They will be happy to get it for a good price. If you want to give it a try, tell us your problems and we try to help you. A lot of problems can be solved by updating software. Other problems can be solved through little fixes and heavy Problems get be solved through Purism support. But I guess not many people will agree with you (here on forum), that the device is bad.


I have to say that as much as I want to say otherwise (say, to convince people it’s a great device and they should buy one, which would be good for all because it would fund development), I am very disappointed by it. It has way more problems than the Linux laptops I have, especially regarding connectivity, for some reason. The broadband connection randomly drops all the time, often requiring to reboot. The wi-fi randomly drops. My previous wi-fi module died and I had to send it back for replacement, and the one I got back doesn’t work. When wi-fi was working, the wi-fi hotspot one day just stopped working and I had to write firewall hacks to make it work again. I tried once enabling BLE peripheral functionality on the phone (to call it from my watch) and get obscure error messages, which forum people suggest patching and recompiling the bluetooth stack to fix. Oh and bonus, the camera only works within the first hour or so of uptime, after that it requires a reboot. I’ve never had to reboot a Linux device so much before.

There are things which don’t work well but I understand why (windows not fitting on the screen: OK, because they were designed with a large screen in mind; applications not working well with touch: OK, because they were designed with a mouse in mind. Battery life is terrible: OK, because it’s running applications designed for a computer having plenty of power supply). But I don’t understand why I still have to hack and debug stuff to make wi-fi and webcams work like it’s the year 2000.

Sorry about the rant.

But you have now the up to date wifi card? If not try to buy an upgrade and migrate your software.
I have no issues about wifi, but using up to date Openwrt Routers and on road just the Provider given Mobil Data. I think this is individual to your hardware, your physical range from your accesspoint, or to your Mobil Tower. So i just hope you will find a solution or just use some different Android or Apple Hardware, which will fit your situation.

For me this is no contest because i can not use that other (bad) offers of closed software.

Bluetooth did not work here, but i do not like to use it, had just one headphones and maybe they are just bundle to one Device and i have to repair it with another. Which was not worth the effort since the cable earphones work better.

Have you set the Screen Scale to less then 200%? and use Landscape?
I hate that it did not fit as well. But i “could” set up a sshd, which just forward screen information to a third computer to set it up from there. However its not fine solution for a Phone-Only-Setup. But its a work in Progress and its ok for someone with docking station or pair the phone with a (TV) - no i did not try this! g

Hope this will be fixed soon.

As you Mention Year 2000. WTF why i can not run Linux on a usual Android phone and run everyday’s software? Or on a Iphone without Apple?

Its a Mess that every single App needs Google Debug Code or Metas one. Every path into the future and ab(/pp)straction from Hardware will include some steps back.

As with this phone too we have to find solutions for this… but we will. Just give the community some time.

But this (config issue) is fixed now?

(You are probably better off that the WiFi module died and you got a free upgrade from Redpine to SparkLAN - if indeed that was the case.)

I think you will have more luck with BLE if you now have the SparkLAN card.

FWIW, I have the old Redpine card and I am routinely using ssh to connect in from my desktop to the Librem 5 (via WiFi at the Librem 5 end) and don’t have any issue with random drops (I would notice!). The only observation that I would make is that the sensitivity of the Redpine card is not as good as my existing iPhone i.e. with both phones in the same location, associated with the same AP, somewhat distant from that AP, the iPhone is communicating OK while the Librem 5 has weak or no signal - but that is not random, that is consistent. :wink:

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My message was a rant, old-man-yelling-at-the-clouds style, so I was not looking for solutions but expressing my feelings after having without my phone for a month and then receiving a device where wifi was not working. (It’s good now)

Almost all issues I mentioned are fixed or worked around. About wifi dropping I meant occasionally the entire wifi adapter/functionality would disappear and not come back without a reboot. The new one I received has been working fine so far (touching wood). I did a quick test of BLE and it appears to work too.
My point wasn’t to question whether solutions would be found (they will), but that I’ve had a LOT of problems, like the Linux experience I had maybe twenty years ago on laptops (when, clouds or no clouds, I was young and patient and would not yell at the sky or in forums, even when facing the prospect of recompiling the kernel to get wifi to work), unlike what I have come to expect of Linux on laptops today.
I know that Purism and non-Purism devs are making are working super hard on huge and important tasks and thank them for that.
@Christal UI scaling and occasionally force-shrinking apps in Compositor options usually allows me to make programs work, but I was specifically saying this is the kind of issue which is totally expected and understandable when running apps designed for large screens on the comparatively tiny Librem5 screen.


And you are right tendays this is as mess with that apps which did not fit on the screen and the high resolution, not optimized character-call will leave old folks with more eye malfunction behind, and we will all go this way!

So have to move forward and address this kind of issues in some way. You are right by yelling at the computer or the community to nudge some positive changes. However since Linux phones and free software are in this case some kind of a shrinking violet. We need to support.

I am not friend of clouds, cause the take complexity away from the humans which have to meet and solve that cloudservice local and in privacy… or in a trusted community.

Today we face Software, that see our mind and catching data is more important then solve humans issues… like not train children to read, just told them what is the best to do… and follow some colored rabbit, every time.