Librem 5 App Store

As my Librem 5 shipping date approaches, I have some questions about the supported applications. There are generally two or three methods to install software in Linux. 1.) From Sources (using a terminal), 2.) From pre-compiled packages (using a terminal), and 3.) graphically.

Although I can use methods 1 and 2 above when necessary, I really rather prefer method 3. Methods 1 and 2 generally require some amount of research and a lot of custom command lines and often some additional hacking. I can do that if necessary. I don’t need to prove anything to myself by doing it the hard way if there is also an easy way. Methods 1 and 2 are generally unpleasant unless they’re the only way. When installing new Linux apps, It’s always just easier to visit an app store and click on the appropriate icons to quickly and brainlessly install several apps quickly. I don’t care to see the sources, or unpack anything manually if there is a graphical point and click method to do the install. Is Purism’s app store full of good apps that can be installed to the Librem 5 using this method 3 (above)? Where would I find the complete app store app list for the Librem 5?

You can use method 3, and in some cases its fine.

If not it will be better to use method 2, cause of more detailed Information and in rare cases its more important to use method 1. Cause u like to use software in development or bleeding edge patches and updates.

However i think its a big benefit to understand software development. So i just compile software by myself after i understood that extra step and additional dependency’s and software issues.

If you like to have a working Phone, just use Step 3… like in 99% other distributed Systems like Google and Apple Phones.

Yes, there are lots of apps, and the app store on my Librem 5 has had no problems installing and updating them. I’ve also added the flathub repo into the app store, and I’ve installed and uninstalled several flatpaks with no problems.

The problem with the app store currently is that it can be slow to load, and the categories sections don’t load anything yet can take over 30 seconds to load. So you need to search to find anything.

I would also like to know this.


I think the whole topic is not that simple because you have Appimages, Snaps, Flatpaks, and .deb files that are installed using apt (or aptitude).
It turns out that depending on your choice the app will have a more or less frequent version. And it will be more or less performant.
It appears to me that the Flatpaks have more recent versions than the .debs in the PureOS repo.
And don’t forget, that soon there will be the easy to install Waydroid which will bring the Lineage OS distribution of Android in a virtual machine on Librem 5 and you can also install Android apps using F-Droid and Aurora Store.

If I am not mistaken, this is the list:
Software categories - PureOS Software
Keep in mind, that not all software in the PureOS repo is optimized for the small screen.

I would also recommend this list:
Apps | LinuxPhoneApps

You could check:
Flatpak vs Snaps vs Appimage vs Packages - Linux packaging formats compared - YouTube
HUGE Speed Differences! Flatpak vs. Snap vs. AppImage - YouTube

I personally use Flatpak and apt using the command line and I am looking forward to the Waydroid release. And I try to be minimalistic in the choice of software and not overbloat the system with tons of apps that I don’t really need.

I appreciate everyone’s responses here. The thing that I am most interested in for now, is a Purism App Store. The reason is that I assume that a Purism App store is likely to have only vetted apps that will run properly on the Librem 5, and should install and Uninstall graphically and format well on the Librem 5 screen. Beyond that, you do what you have to do to get other Linux apps running however you can if you want certain apps and they are not in the Purism app store.

I would hate to spend two days hacking to get my favorite app to work and maybe in an impaired GUI, only to discover afterward that there is a graphical install with a fully functioning L5 GUI if I only would have known about it. I am guessing that some programs will only run from either a terribly incompatible GUI, or necessarily from a terminal only.

I am not so interested in getting any Android programs to run on my Librem 5. I currently have a Pixil 6 running GrapheneOS, which is pretty bullet proof when keeping Google and other spying out. Even though I have very adequate defenses running there, it still feels creepy running most mainstream Android apps there. It’s like inviting a thief in to your home and relying on your bullet-proof security system to keep him from coming back and breaking in later. Just installing Google Play and framework services - required to run most Android programs - (even in to a secure sandbox), is like giving a known thief a tour of your home. I want the legal right to sue Google or anyone else who breaks in on, and snoops on my Librem 5. The whole culture and legal rights structure on any phone will never be healthy when running mainstream Android apps, even on your Librem 5. You need to tear up that contract with the (Google) devil and say “stay the f… out of my home”. Without your agreement to Google’s terms of service, they won’t dare to crack-in to your phone and spy on you. Actually, I hope that they do crack in to my Librem 5. The resulting legal settlement would make me wealthy.

Now, I think I get your idea.
Unfortunately I think that your assumption is at least at the moment not correct.
I assume on the contrary, that in the Purism App store there are not only apps optimized for Librem 5, but also apps that are not working well on the small screen. If I am wrong, please somebody correct me.

More accurately, the Purism App store contains thousands of packages, some of which will run properly on the Librem 5 screen and the remainder of which won’t - and Purism has marked (categorised) those apps that it believes run properly (which may not be all of the apps that actually do run properly).

It is also not an “all or nothing” thing. Sometimes parts of the application run properly on the Librem 5 screen and other parts don’t - and so whether it is important depends on what parts you need.

It also depends on whether you are using convergence i.e. using the Librem 5 with a dock or with a lapdock - so then there will be fewer screen size compatibility issues when running in docked mode but that doesn’t mean that the application is actually adaptive.

Of course some applications simply don’t work at all e.g. due to missing dependencies or incompatible dependencies. That’s where you may open up a can of worms and/or be forced to build from source.

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Thanks for this good information. When you use Ubuntu on a PC (for example) there is an app store built-in to their graphical software installation tool. Everything that tool shows in its library by default, will install and run well when using that tool to do the install. It would be nice if Purism had a similar tool. But at least they mark the known good apps.

One added issue is that if you install and hack (if necessary) to get new apps of unknown functionality working, you tend to leave behind a lot of stuff that takes up resources. This issue isn’t as bad in Linux as is the case for Windows. But it is still an issue in Linux as well. If you have to install a new repository to get to only one app, the repo still exists after you’ve uninstalled that program. So you install a new program, test it out, don’t like it or it doesn’t function well, uninstall it, and repeat the process with different programs before you find exactly what you want. Eventually you have to wipe and restore the phone to free up wasted resources and maybe to fix things that you broke while hacking on something. This is another reason to look for vetted apps that install easy the first time. Some people like doing the process to find, hack, install and configure new apps and occasionally wipe and start over. But I’ve done this a lot in the past and am lazy now. I only want to hack the really difficult tasks that are high-reward. So doing proven things that yield the desired result the first time every time, is the more desirable method to install apps.

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