Librem 5 After first week of use, and a couple of questions

Today, Saturday, July 15, 2023 (Australian time as I type, marks one week since I turned on my sparkling brand new Librem 5.

Apart from the midweek OS Update glitch, I have to say, I love the Librem 5. I have so far, and will continue to use it as my daily driver phone. There are only three Android apps that I can’t use the L5 for that I need for work purposes, so I will continue to use my old (Galaxy S7) phone for those apps until that phone dies.

The calling and sms functions on the L5 are, I would say, the best I’ve had on smartphones, dating back to about 2008 when I had a Blackberry. The calls I’ve made so far, as super clear.

I’m definitely looking forward to using as L5 as it becomes even better.

So, that was my very quick review.

On to a couple of questions I’m hoping fellow forum members can help me find answers to as I’ve searched on the forum and can’t find threads with these questions -

  1. Is it possible to, and if so, how do I, save photos/videos I take with the onboard camera directly to my installed SD card by default rather than to the Pictures folder on the phone?

  2. Without docking, or attaching an external keyboard to my L5, how do I move files between folders or drives, or to the trash?

( e.g When I try to move a photo from Pictures to my SD card, or to delete unwanted images by long holding the image to do so with the drop down menu, as soon and I lift my thumb from the screen the drop menu disappears.) Is there a way to keep the drop down menu with those options open?

Those are my first few questions, and no doubt I will probably think of more as I further explore the L5

  1. Tap and hold an unoccupied area for half a second, then drag the selection across the files and/or folders you want.
    • If you want to select everything, either press the hamburger menu, then “Select All”, or use the Terminal keyboard layout and press Ctrl, then A.
  2. Either press the hamburger menu and press the cut icon (scissors), or use the Terminal keyboard layout and press Ctrl, then X.
    • If you want to delete instead, use the Terminal keyboard layout, press the Shell icon, then press the Del key.
  3. Navigate to the directory you want to move the files/folders to and either press the hamburger menu, then the paste icon (clipboard), or use the Terminal keyboard layout and press Ctrl, then V.


Just becarefull to consider that the L5 is truly ready for daily use.

Are you sure?

Good decision.

It will in PureOS Crimson.

Not yet supported out of the box.

Seems you need a fancy filemanager, no worries: Portfolio

This is Librem 5 Forum and you are wellcome to ask whenever.

Thanks @carlosgonz, I’m not yet sure how to quote all of your replies, so, . . .

Thanks, I will enjoy.

For my uses, apart from the three apps I need for work, the L5 is my daily driver, but I understand what you are saying :slight_smile:

I can imagine each new OS release will bring improvements.

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Thanks @FranklyFlawless,

I’ve tried your suggestion above, but for some reason the only way to get the drop down menu with ‘Copy’ ‘Move to’, Permanently Delete’ etc is to tap on the file, and then long hold it, but again, when I move my thumb or finger, that menu disappears.

If I tap and hold an unoccupied area a different menu pops up.

However, your suggestions 2 (with the scissors) and 3 (clipboard) work, thanks (I didn’t use the terminal option for these suggestions, but I have them for future reference.

Although, to delete unwanted photos I switched to the terminal keyboard, and found the del button and deleted that way.

Thanks again.

Do not use the menu. Treat all of your operations as “left-click”. If done correctly, after holding the unoccupied area for half a second, you will be able to drag a selection box around.

Thanks @FranklyFlawless, now I know what I’m doing I will always do it the way you’ve suggested.

Thanks again for the help.

Another question (I mentioned yesterday there would be more :slight_smile: ) -

How do I uninstall ‘apps’ I’ve added via the PureOS store on the L5, Specifically “LibreOffice Writer”?

I installed it earlier today, and then opened it and I see it doesn’t fit the mobile screen as yet. So, I went to uninstall it, but I get a message saying

“Unable to remove “LibreOffice Writer”:
no packages to remove”

The other day I also tried to uninstall the Parental Control App, but received the same message, just with the different app name listed.

So, how do I uninstall apps?

You would just remove this as per any linux distro via CLI I’d say.

I’m rusty, but via the terminal list your apps, note the ones you want to remove then remove them.

I can’t remember the exact commands but its easy.

Thanks @Brad, I just tried in a terminal to remove LibreOffice using

sudo apt-get remove LibreOffice

and the resulting output was

“E: Unable to locate package LibreOffice”

Use the command “dpkg --get-selections” to list all of the installed deb packages. e.g.

dpkg --get-selections | grep -i libreoffice

What you will find is that, as a package, the name is not capitalized. You can remove all/most of the libreoffice packages by removing a common dependency like libreoffice-core … or you can remove a specific component like:

sudo apt-get remove libreoffice-writer

For flatpaks, refer to “flatpak --help” to find out how to list and remove flatpaks. Similarly for snaps.

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Hi, for libreoffice you need to install libreoffice-gtk3 (sudo apt update & sudo apt install libreoffice-gtk3) to have a nice integration with phosh. Then I think you could change the menu theme to have something more compact.
Pair with a bluetooth mouse it could help to quickly have a look to a document in landscape mode.

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Thanks @Altor I will check it out later today.

Thanks @Privacy2. I will keep this for future reference.

I’m still getting used to the commands on Debian based distros like PureOS

Out-of-the-box GUI functionality? No.

To achieve this today would require customising the postprocess script. As these things go, that would be a simple change but it does depend on your level of expertise with shell commands and shell scripts.

Bear in mind that the uSD card might not be there (since the uSD card is removable whenever the phone is shut down), so any shell script that you implement should handle that scenario.

To put your picture directly on the sd card, you could try to keep your picture directory under your home, then mount your sd card on your picture directory via /etc/fstab. If you have an sd card, the picture will go on it, if not on your emmc directory.
As soon as you have an sd card, the picture directory on the emmc will be hide. To see it, you have just to unmount your sd card.
If it’s not clear, it was a known way to « hide » some file and you could find tuto on the web.
Just to be clear, I didn’t test it but it should work.

That is one approach. I don’t recommend it, for two reasons:

  • As you say, any files placed in Pictures while the uSD card is not mounted, will be hidden once the card is mounted. (In turn that would prevent doing any kind of “catch up” archiving when the uSD card becomes available.)
  • Right now, files other than photos from the camera may go in that directory - so your proposed change would affect all such files, not just photos from the camera. (That could be fixed if the camera app could be persuaded to use a dedicated subdirectory of Pictures.)