Librem 5 Fir Batch

I just tested connecting Librem 5 to an external monitor using a USB-C to USB-C cable. I used the original L5 cable from the L5 charger.
(It is a monitor that accepts either USB-C or HDMI as input sources).
It worked great without restrictions.
But as I mentioned earlier, this would discharge the Librem 5 faster. So I am definitely a proponent of a second USB-C port for Fir.
Normal smartphones have only one USB port, but people don’t use dongles and monitors with them. While L5 is a device which will profit more from an additional USB.

I not tested much the L5 built-in DP i not sure how much battery hungry.
So 2 usb-c port will looks rare on phone, 1 usb-c plus a mini hdmi will look better, but alternatively we can use a DC 2MM charger socket plus usb-c
dc 2mm old alternate charging method:

It does not matter how much additional power the DP uses. Even if it is zero. The goal should always be that one can leave home with a fully charged Librem 5 considering the low battery life.
So being able to power the L5 from the grid while using convergence mode so that the battery does not discharge is a must have.
USB-C for charging will be a EU legislation so charging with 2mm socket makes little sense.

Regarding what looks rare on a phone and what not. The 3,5mm socket is also rare nowadays. We are all in here for a rare phone anyways.

The HDMI in Nokia was behind a cover, so one could cover the extra USBs and HDMI if the optic is such an issue. :wink:

P.S. the Nokia used mini HDMI, the micro HDMI is smaller.


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I think HDMI may be ruled out for the time being on account of its requiring a blob.

Personally, yes, HDMI would be preferred to video output via USB-C because I have so many more devices that directly support HDMI but

  • I wouldn’t expect Purism to compromise their principles for the purpose of getting HDMI, and
  • it may be an unjustified and unreasonably disruptive redesign once you weigh the benefit against the cost.

If you want to do convergence today without a dock then an option is

  • Bluetooth for mouse and keyboard, and
  • USB-C DisplayPort to HDMI (or to DisplayPort, whatever your monitor needs) in basically a cable format.

Then you are just left trying to find some way to charge - which you already mentioned in your post.

Well I’m going to throw into the mix … a global module i.e. a module that does all the LTE bands.

That is less hassle for Purism, less hassle and confusion for the customer, allows the customer to go overseas, easier for the customer to sell the phone if that is something that the customer wants to do, …

Librem 14 and Librem Mini do have HDMI ports. So I would not rule them out for Librem 5.

Maybe not but here’s some reading matter: The i.MX8 cannot be deblobbed? (NXP-signed HDMI firmware) linked from

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Thank you for the reference. Interesting topic.
In such matters I would prefer the approach that the user has to have the choice. So just like with WiFi drivers in Debian -> not coming out of the box, but the user can choose to install them. Same for HDMI and Librem 5. Some user could prefer to not install the blobs and restrain from using the micro HDMI. Others could choose to install the blobs.

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But then you’ll have a lot of non-tech customers saying “I have to do what to get the HDMI to work? Never mind, I’ll just buy an iPhone.”

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It’s not that easy though because there will be customers who choose not to use a blob for HDMI, so DisplayPort still has to work (via USB-C or otherwise), so you have to find space for both connectors.

Maybe if Fir were a physically larger screen diagonal, so you get a little bit more edge real estate, and space to run wiring there …

If it were my choice, I would rather a second USB port (not on the bottom) than any type of HDMI port - even though if the need for a blob went away, I can totally see the benefit of using HDMI for video output in my environment.

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I would rank it:
First choice: 2 USB-C and 1 micro HDMI
Second choice: 2 USB-C
Third choice: 1 USB-C and 1 micro HDMI
Fourth choice: no improvement :frowning:

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Has anyone had anything from Librem about the fir batch? It seems to have been radio silence about it. The couple of times I emailed them about it, it was a don’t talk to us about it. I understand the electronics supply issues put a pin in all the plans, but they must have some thought on what they want to do next and what they want to happen before they start thinking about looking into it?


Is there any idea about how Fir should look like? I just read that the Soc will change as the current one was not made for mobile devices. Does someone know anything about the new Soc? And when will it be available? Purism will not change a lot. But if there are no open source drivers for this new Soc, then consider it to be later than sooner.

L5 Fir definitely must have an upgraded hardware otherwise I dont see any use for Fir.

Any phone SoC will definitely have blobs. The only way around that is to do what Purism actually did. Perhaps Fir could use a bigger CPU. But the Librem 5 will always be bigger and draw more current than mainstream phones, because there is no SoC available anywhere except those that use blobs.

The only way to get a fully opensource phone SoC would be for the opensource community to design an SoC and then have a foundry FAB it for them, probably with funding from a campaign like the one used to launch the Librem 5, only with a much higher financial target. But the development work to design a phone SoC would also be huge. A big semiconductor company would find it difficult to pull that off, much less a group of volunteer programmers and analog designers. And there would be no way to compensate such a company if the project is open source. So the task goes back to a group of highly skilled volunteers. Assuming that such an army of highly skilled volunteers steps-up, and works for free, then just having the lithography masks made would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Given nearly unlimited resources, just getting a new phone SoC to work at all would be a miracle. The production quantities would have to be very large to make the SoC be affordable. Once you have a new phone SoC in-hand, you still have nothing. Then a company like Purism still needs to build a phone based on the new SoC. Only then can revenues from the end user start. Without a profit motive and a viable business plan, the overall task is impossible. Unless Bill gates or Elon Musk wants it to happen and is willing to lose a lot of money to make it happen, it’s not going to happen.

Personally, I highly doubt we’ll see a Fir batch any time soon (if ever). It’s fair to say Purism bit a lot more than it could chew with the Librem 5 and has underdelivered in virtually every aspect - at least compared to their original promise. I don’t dispute that they put real effort in both hardware and (especially) software development but for a project whose crowdfunding started in 2017 (I signed up in October of that year), we’re now in the final months of 2022 and the common tone in the comments of this forum is a phone that can’t be used as a daily driver.

I really think they woefully underestimated the challenges and cost of developing and delivering a Linux phone and that the past 5 years have cost them dearly both in money and customer good will. Pine64 is doing much better in this task, albeit with more compromises and taking advantage of Purism’s software development.

For the record, I did not request a refund for my phone but asked them for a convertible note instead during one of their funding rounds, making myself an “investor” in the company. I can’t help feeling they’re in a catch-22 situation; without a phone they’re just a Linux laptop/pc manufacturers, of which there are many. Evergreen is unlikely to generate new interest and a major sales surge, even if all the issues are ironed out and a 2nd phone is impossible without serious funding. I wish them well but can’t say I’m optimistic.


Have you seen this topic?
Librem 5 — Promise Delivery Chart - Librem / Phones (Librem 5) - Purism community


Yes I have and I view this list and the delivery assessment as highly subjective. The camera e.g. is marked as “overdelivered”, how are those video calls working for you? In any case, I’m not here to argue with anyone. If you think Purism has delivered on the phone, great for you, I’m sure you have a Librem 5 and are happy with it.

For me and certain others I’m sure (maybe I’m in the minority) selling hardware prototyping iterations (the Aspen, Birch, Chestnut and Dogwood “batches”) is not good business practice and ultimately, the phone is not at a maturity stage where the average Joe (me) can use it as a daily driver. As simple as that.


This is reasonable argument. But it kind of contradicts with your previous post.
Isn’t this exactly what PinePhone does and you claim that

Pine64 are managing the customer expectations much better by just telling everybody that they are selling gadgets for developers and not consumer ready products and they are successful in manufacturing in numbers that satisfy the demand.

If you think about it, a failure on the free market means:
You have a product. And people don’t want to buy it at the price that makes sense for you.
In case of Librem 5, people actually bought even at a price (way) higher than PinePhone (Pro) way more units than Purism are able to manufacture. This is also a problem, but a different kind of problem.

This problem could also lead to failure of the project. I hope that everything will be fine. We will see in the future.


I think you wrote a very balanced view above. I will disagree slightly with the contradiction you assign to me; as you said, Pine64 has done a lot better in managing expectations and product delivery while I believe Purism overpromised and ultimately underdelivered. From that point, yes, Pine64 has done a better job.

Also, success on the free market is not simply people wanting to buy your product, it’s enough people
wanting to buy your product so you can fund your R&D costs, salaries, overheads, service your debts and make a profit. My impression (I have no way of proving it since Purism is privately owned and under no obligation to publish its financials) based on the successive funding appeals issued by Purism is that it’s not yet a profitable company. I hope and have a vested interest in it, that it eventually becomes profitable and delivers a Linux phone with a Ux that makes it usable for the average Joe (me).


It is more likely, in my view, that following is about to easily ensure that Fir edition runs stable fast Pure System: “TSMC’s 16/12nm provides the best performance among the industry’s 16/14nm offerings. Compared to TSMC’s 20nm SoC process, 16/12nm is 50% faster and consumes 60% less power at the same speed. It provides superior performance and power consumption advantage for next generation high-end mobile computing, network communication, consumer and automotive electronic applications.

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