Librem 13v4 ( need help)

So i just bought the librem 13v4 but i find it complicated. Its hard to install programs , seems like everything has to be done manually through the terminal. This is my first linux machine , ive always had a windows computer and made a transition to purism pureOS. Im so new to this machine but computer savy. Just need pointers to head in the right direction. Do i need a Anti-virus for my machine and if i do how do i install? I want NordVPN also, i have tried using there instructions on there site ,the commands to enter into the terminal but it doesnt work. I tried also installing TOR browser and no dice either. So would it be much easier for me to just run windows in a virtual machine with a bootable ISO image to do anything i want without the headache and can i run TAILS OS off the virtual machine to access the deep web?

I would say the first thing you should do upon getting your computer is open the terminal and run

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update the repository information and download and install updates. This on it’s own may make any issues you’re having go away.

In general, I have not found it necessary to use any sort of anti-virus on Linux since I started using it around 7 years ago.

Without seeing a more detailed error log, I can’t say why NordVPN might have failed to install.

You can see this link for a guide on installing TOR:

Unlike on Windows and macOS, you have the option of multiple styles of desktop environments on Linux. PureOS comes with one called GNOME as the default, so when searching for how to do something, it may be useful to include “gnome” in your query. I quite like GNOME, but some people don’t, and if you want a more “Windows-style” environment, I recommend you checkout KDE/Plasma. You should be able to download and install it with

sudo apt install plasma-desktop

Then to use it, just logout, and when logging back in, click the gear icon near the username/password field and choose Plasma instead of GNOME.
Note: this will basically install a second suite of apps like calculator, email, calendar, etc, in addition to offering a different desktop experience.

Running a Windows VM is certainly an option to have in a pinch when you really just want to get something done in the way you are familiar with doing it.

I don’t know enough about Tails/deep web to offer a meaningful answer there, though my impression was that Tails was meant to be run as a non-permanent system from a USB drive more so than as a VM, but it might not make a difference.


Taylor that response seems spot on from what I’ve gathered so far. As a primarily windows user for many years and only recently switching to Linus (not pureos on librem, yet) I’m partial to Mate, even though it’s not exactly like windows I find it to be familiar and at the same time more refreshing.

I don’t know what the command(s) would be to get mate on pureos but it should be about as simple as KDE/Plasma I would expect.

I do have a different opinion on AntiVirus, the challenge with AV on Linux is getting a closed source piece of software to monitor your open source software… It’s backwards.

I do think AV has value if you’re planning to add closed source software and software that isn’t coming from trusted repo’s.

AV may also have value in protecting against a compromised repo, but I’m fairly sure this hypothetical is a bit far out there.

If someone can point us Linux newbies to a solid open source AV and/or a solid application whitelisting approach I think that would have some real value in protecting us from ourselves as we learn more.


We use a strong encryption key to sign our repos through the use of SecureApt;

If you do a sudo apt-key list you should see the PureOS keyring used to sign the contents of our repo.

In addition to this secure means of distributing software, we are working on a complete Reproducible build of our ISOs. Currently we can reproducibly (that is re-create byte for byte identical) build packages and our coreboot software, but soon we’ll be able to do that with our entire ISO. This will ensure that between the first build of the software and any subsequent re-builds, the software’s integrity is ensured via hashsum.

This greatly mitigates the need to use an AV scanner when you’re exclusively using trusted repos.


Thank you Mr. Taylor for all the information provided. I will try it when i get home after work. Sounds perfect. Cant wait to try. Thank god theres a community forum for this. Once again thank you , if i come into problems ill holler at you again.

1 Like

@OpojOJirYAlG Opoj
Thank you man for the input. Im also going to try that KDE/plasma desktop. Good stuff👌

1 Like

hi there! :slight_smile:

u can have other accesses to the repos than the terminal based ‘apk’, like synaptic, ubuntu have a software center that i think is a slow beast and i dont like it ubuntu mate have a fine selection in its software boutique and dunno what else…

for protection, there are much goodies but actually theres no much harm that can come to u easily, u must run something malicious 1st, but opensource world kis kinda much a safe bay for picking up anything… however dont forget about ur browser that can be considered as one of the most enhanced sandboxes, where u run a s…tload of codes and every yr after blackhat conference a bunch of updates comes to the browsers cuz they are not flawless, and it can do really nasty stuffs actually, but its really a rare case… u can have much network, app and fs lvl protection layers like u can use for a firewall iptables once u learn it, or ubuntu have a very simple and useful firewall called ufw, probably debian also have it, there are stuffs like selinux, apparmour, firejail and a lot more to enhance protection on ur system, against malwares u can use chkrootkit and rkhunter (mayb there was a 3rd one that ive found to be legit). however actually u will get a virus on the 1st place just by downloading ur freshly won iphone with cute kittens from ur never seen indian relative who cant find the perfect place for his money so therefor he had sent u a spam… X’D the most important stuff is to dont run untrusted stuffs and install every trash u will never need (not cuz they are infected but cuz they can be vulnerable…) and encrypt ur disk against local attacks… btw even virtualbox had its vulnerabilities in the past from time to time, and there are nasty stuffs like rowhammer spectre meltdown whatever if someone wanna infect u so badly, but those for real experts… btw about repos, linux mint had a vulnerable website, so it had been compromised and the packages became infected, but thats past, just its a good to know, that kinda much nothing is holy in the cyber space in the sense of security!

deepweb is a part of the ordinary web thats not indexed by search engines, like even an ftp that asks for a password or facebook are on the deepweb, darkweb is the part accessible only via the onion network. i dont have experiences with it, but in the one hand i had a friend who ordered drugs from there without being a geek, while on the other hand as i like 2 learn about security, ive learnt much hardcore prerequisites about it to be “really” safe there, so learn about it, there are so much related tutorials around… most importantly use tails os from a live usb without mounting anything, dont do anything in the meantime that is not related to ur current business, like check out ur gmail and facebook, and learn about fingerprinting, but there are much more stuffs to know if u wanna b safe there…

about desktops, i also really like the mate desktop, its neat while also lightweight, however debian dont have preinstalled the theme that i like from ubuntu mate, so make ur research…

and finally a nice hint: learn bash, its really an ugly language related to others, but u can make everything automatized around ur system with it that is related to terminal (and will make u an expert), cuz ur terminal uses that by default to interpret the commands u enter, and bash is like the glue between the apps around ur system… u can easily make simple scripts from the commands that u use, and u can run them manually or automatically like periodically, on system startup or on starting ur terminal. thats the fastest way to become a poweruser and to discover the power behind the hardness that comes with ur freedom! :slight_smile: almost forget: try in terminal: “man man” its the manual for the manual reader X’D press there q for exit after reading and u get back ur prompt.

have fun, hack much, and dont forget 2 always learn and wear ur tinfoil hat! :smiley:

1 Like

@kiko hello ! you said you have little experience with gnu/linux.
purism’s pureOS is a gnu/linux distribution based on debian testing (debian 10?). all distributions based on debian use the apt (aptitude) package manager, the bash shell and more or less Gnome 3 desktop-environment by default so you have a very high chance of finding good and relevant information on the www and the forums.

if you feel up for it you could try this.

it has good internal pace and it’s just beginner-medium difficulty training. not expensive at all. last updated 2019/3. captured on ubuntu 17.10 so not too old training material.

If I may offer my help, I’m in a similar situation as yours. I just bought a librem 15v4 and wanted to download mullvad vpn. Tried with the deb package and no success. Posted a question here under “mullvad not installing”. Take a look at it, I followed Taylor’s instructions and the package installed with no problems. It may be something similar with nord , just replace the deb package file name. Anyway hope this helps, good luck!

I am also in need of help with my new-ish Librem laptop. I have taken a superuser course in college a couple years ago; I can do file permissions and navigate around, that’s all good. However, I am having loads of trouble fixing an issue in PureOS. I feel is it because I lack experience in the, perhaps “mundane” tasks of updating (as you posted above) and other routine/basic things. A crash course and building a LAMP server is all great, but I do feel a gap in my knowledge. In fact, its a big part of why I got a Librem–I thought using Linux regularly would be the way to start. Just jump in!

So this issue I’m having is actually related to an update. I used the above two commands, and now I can’t log in until I go through an entire bootup error cycle, to the point where it allows me to roll back into a previous state (backup.) I then choose the version that was on the Librem when I received it, and it boots up just fine.

Perhaps helping me through this will help others with this issue. I know we are all continually working towards a freer and yet more secure world and hope to add to this endeavor as I learn more.
Thank you.


I’m still on the v1 Librem which came with PureOS. I couldn’t install various things so I switched to Ubuntu - which is a much easier introduction to Linux. And you can run it from a USB drive, perferrably a fast USB3.

1 Like

I think some other people have reported similar problems, which I think is a bug that is being worked on. I’m not 100% sure if this is the right issue, but based on this link:

You could try

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo update-initramfs -u

Thank you for helping. This did not work for me; I still have to go to the original version after doing hard reboot, and when I get to the terminal to enter the initramfs command, it just says that command doesn’t exist!

I also tried the instructions on this page:
to no avail.

I’m super bummed about this scenario with my librem laptop. I was hoping this would be something I could use at school, but I can’t get past this booting issue, which appears to be tied to this debian release bug:

How can I fix this? I am just banging my head against the wall at this point. So to speak.

Please help!

Albeit that 9 months have elapsed, I suggest you directly contact Purism support via

1 Like

@circuit-maker yes, please contact us via email to: with; your order number,

a summary of what is happening and when did the issue first occurred.