Librem 5 Capabilities That No Other Phone Has

Could you explain what that means? It looks like something Captain Haddock would say. :smiley:


man bash of course gives the full explanation but …

${id} will substitute the value of id
${id/pattern/replace} will substitute the value of ‘id’ after matching against ‘pattern’ and replacing the matched portion of ‘id’ with ‘replace’. However if ‘replace’ is the empty string then you can omit ‘/replace’ and the effect is to delete the matched portion, and that is what we are doing here.

Now unfortunately the delimiter for this variant of ${id} substitution is / and that happens to occur throughout the value of id, so we need to backslash escape the uses of / within the pattern in order to make them literally matched characters rather than delimiters.

So pattern is really ?*/SMS/

so we are matching any one character followed by zero or more characters followed by slash followed by SMS followed by slash

and deleting everything we matched. So we are left with just the number at the end.

A more correct version would be ${id/\/*\/*\/*\/*\/} so the pattern is really /*/*/*/*/ and again that leaves just the number at the end.


You might want to look into mosh, as that survives changing networks and suspends of both laptop and phone:


This may not be what you mean, but on an Android phone you can schedule a text message by holding down the send icon until you get the schedule to send menu. A fairly new feature I think.

The sore point for me is that I like to send texts from my computer and the web based Google messenger does not support this. I’ve had to resort to sending text messages as emails because that is something easily done in Gmail and Thunderbird.

And what if the locked room has a free buffet, 26 movie streaming channels and a massage chair, while the open room basically has a metal chair and a table?

Sure, Apple and Android devices are locked devices that don’t let you easily change how they do stuff, but the things they do they do incredibly well, and there are a lot of useful things they do.

What use is a phone that does not spy on the information I put into its apps, if there are no apps to use in the first place? And let’s be honest, the Librem 5 will never be able to do 90% of what an Apple or Android device can do. Proprietary 2FA code generation for virtually every single different bank out there, apps for local public transportation in every city of the world, integrated apps for airline travel, e-mail, navigation, games, anything involving NFC … None of these will ever exist on the Librem 5, and you don’t get the same experience from an HTML page either (if there is even an HTML version of the service you’re looking to use).

So far in this thread I have seen nothing an average user might find useful. So keep 'em coming.

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You sound very confident. It’s our mission to prove you wrong. I’ll give it to you that it will be tough, but there’s some momentum in places like this:


That was fast :slight_smile:

But yes, right now that is the impression I have. And I’d be happy if you prove me wrong, but you cannot deny that it will be impossible to bring many applications to the Librem 5 because of the proprietary data involved and the small user base of it not motivating companies to port their application to this phone.

The potential exists that an Android app could be run inside a captive environment within the Librem 5. So the user gets to choose which particular “streaming channels” are worth compromising privacy in order to have and at the same time have somewhat better control over the level of privacy compromise.

The reality is that on my existing mainstream phone about 99.999% of the available apps are useless to me and I don’t use them. For the things that I do use, there are so many duplicates where the alternatives are largely equivalent to each other. So the quoted figure of “”“90%”"" involves a certain amount of inflation.

Well yeah, without the hardware, the Librem 5 is not doing NFC, unless someone produces a USB-C dongle for it.

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In case of NFC, I think the Chinese got it just right, when they choose to use QR codes instead.

@Sebastian: bet you half a dollar that NFC will disappear from phones in the next 20 years :slight_smile:. Even in such crazy places like Sweden or Norway.

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You’re right, there is a lot of crap on app stores. But I thought about what apps I would find useful to have on a smartphone (not owning one right now), and I maintain that 8-9 out of 10 of those won’t work on a Librem 5, and won’t have a comparable HTML app either. So, compared to the Nokia E71 I am using right now it will certainly be a improvement (as soon as the battery survives more than half a day), but compared to a modern smartphone in the $1000 price range it certainly is not competitive.

I take that bet. See you in 20 years :wink:

Stupid forum won’t let bookmarks of more than 10 years into the future. Let’s hope I’ll remember anyway.


I object to that characterization – my metal chair has a very comfortable nylon cushion, as well! And there are many more comforts on the way, some coming by express mail, and some coming by mule. And if I bother to (or can afford to) take time to read the book on the table and talk to my neighborhood friends, I can use the piles of tools in the corner to make pretty much anything I want! It’s a paradise compared to your locked room, but it is a process, and does require a bit of idealism to visualize.

In the meantime, of course, though I have received my open room, I am still living in my comfortable room with the door locked on the outside. Of course, I have obtained a set of lock picks, and have jimmied the lock on the window.

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Could be solved mostly by
And it seems to work already pretty well:

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I know it’s well-meant advice - but why would I use a device like the Librem 5 and then go and install Google-infested software/apps on it anyway? I would be better off putting e/OS/ or LineageOS or something similar on a recent Android phone then which are much better hardware-wise.

Sure, you still have the advantage of being able to put your own applications on the Librem 5 in parallel. But if that alone is worth the $1200 price tag…

My point is, app developers will never provide their app for a third phone ecosystem if that phone doesn’t represent a market share comparable to the other two. And I don’t see that happening for the Librem 5.

You might do that if you basically had no choice but to run the infested app. Two examples that typically come up:

  • internet banking and other financial transactions
  • government apps and transactions with the government

In today’s world it is very difficult to avoid online financial transactions, and of course the government can legislate requirements around transactions with the government. (For example, if the government legislates that henceforth all welfare recipients must fill in form XY42 once a month via the government app then your choice is to comply or to get off welfare. Yes, I understand that if you are on welfare then the Purism 5 probably isn’t your price point. It is just an illustration of how it becomes mandatory.)

As I wrote above, even if you have to run an infested app, by running it inside a trusted container you may get to control it better than you could if you run it directly on an Android phone.

You could view the above two examples as interim solutions until someone reverse engineers the official app well enough to run it safely i.e. natively on the Librem 5.


I suppose you have a fair point. Although so far I have not encountered a service that cannot also be done offline without a phone.

I’m not sure about the reverse-engineering though, for many apps that will simply not be possible due to lack of access to data or servers.

Well, yes, you could end up running a safe app on the Librem 5 that totally trashes your privacy because the server at the other end is infested i.e. you use the real server but with a safe client. (That’s probably still an improvement.)

As you are presumably implying, to get rid of the entire infestation may require replacing the server too and that may be impossible or at least unrealistic.

An example here might be the Shazam app (now assimilated into the Apple borg).

I was rather imagining something as simple as a local public transportation provider or your favorite airline’s app. Those have information about their network that you’re never going to get open access to. And I’m afraid there are a lot of examples like that, covering a wide range of applications that make a smartphone useful, unfortunately.

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That’s why people are fighting for Open Data. And I am sure, it is just a question of time.