Librem 5 Mass Production Started Shipping

First off well said.

I think one thing you and the folks at Purism have to have noticed by now, is how your stance on software, has acted as a beacon call to all of the zealot and entitled people who like your ideology because it serves them, and not because it is ethical or morally a high ground.

Your approach is ONE way to be able to trust the software and hardware being used, but it is not the ONLY way. I say this because I believe part of the heartache you all endure are because of these entitled selfish people, and the other by choosing a path that is hard. I do think the FOSS approach is not completely necessary, and that it causes a lot of problems.

BUT, I’m ok with it, because you all are making products that are designed to be repairable. Also because your laptops support things like 64gb RAM. And because they are free to be used how I, the customer, wish to use them. If I want to run Windows on it, you guys wont do a single thing to stop that.

I respect that immensely.

You deserve the support you are getting. Keep your heads up, and thank you!


Wow that escalated quickly. And I feel the same way @Kyle_Rankin does. Since I personally had a debate on transparency with @Kyle_Rankin my 2 cents:

When I talk about transparency this can simply nailed down to the individual information w.r.t. individual product delivery (e.g. non-public). Not more, not less. @Kyle_Rankin described here why this is currently not possible and how they are working on providing this information.

Underneath the word ‘transparency’ some others in this forum believe that SPC means some kind of corporate organization acting transparently on their business records (revenue, production capacity, etc.). That IMHO is pure nonsense.

May I point you to the original intention / topic of this thread and propose to close this one here, since it is not likely that there are additional useful information to be provided, except bashing as seen above.

Concerning discussions of individually received E-Mails or devices, we still got this one here: Received my Librem 5 (Evergreen)

I’ve been thinking about these issues for a while. I don’t see it as a black and white issue. I see many of the same facts as @lperkins2 sees, but I’m willing to give a more charitable interpretation of why it happened. However, I can also understand why someone would decide that they can’t support Purism for the reasons @lperkins2 listed.

I personally have decided to keep backing Purism, because I think its work is very important to support, but I also think that the company won’t improve if these issues aren’t aired. When I think about the long-term future that I want to see, I can’t see us getting to that future without a company like Purism to do the work to make it possible. If Purism fails a company, I don’t foresee another company that would be willing to take Purism’s place and do the necessary work. In fact, if Purism fails, then I think it will send a message to any future companies to avoid what Purism is attempting to do, so I think it even more unlikely that any company will arise to take its place. In my opinion, it is a pipe dream to believe that we can ever make mobile Linux a viable alternative to Android and iOS by relying solely on volunteer labor.

I agree with @lperkins2 on this issue. Purism should be publishing annual SPC reports. Maybe the 2019 Year in Review posts (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) would count as compliance, but if Purism is going to publicly tout the fact that it is an SPC, then it should be publishing annual SPC reports.

Purism is very transparent in its software development and its developers like Sebastian K., Matt DeVillier, Guido Günther, and Dorata C. take the time to answer questions from the community (which I highly appreciate).

Its hardware development has not been as transparent as its software development, but it is better than most hardware companies. I really appreciate the public L5 schematics and the fact that Matt DeVillier, Kyle Rankin and Nicole Faerber do answer community questions about upcoming hardware. Although Purism does better than most companies, Purism asks the community to finance its hardware development by pre-ordering its products, so more transparency is a requirement in my opinion of its business model.

There are only a handful of companies like Nintendo, that consistently publish the amount of hardware that they ship. Apple only published its production numbers when they made the company look good. It only started publishing its Apple Watch quarterly unit sales numbers when they were large enough to impress the public and it decided to stop publishing all of its unit sales numbers in Nov. 2018 when its sales started falling. I don’t know of any other phone manufacturer aside from Apple that published its quarterly production numbers. Sony used to publish its annual Xperia production numbers, but most of the phone makers only have random press releases like this one from Samsung for marketing.

The issue as I see it is that Purism asks the public to take risks with their money by preordering its products, but the company appears to have shaky finances (as shown by the changing of its refund policy in Feb. 2020 and laying off 3 software developers and 2 UX/UI designers in Feb-May 2020 who were working on the Librem 5). In addition, Purism has made statements which are untrue:

  • Weaver said in Oct. 2019 that Purism would ship 50,000 Librem 5’s by Q1 of 2020.
  • Weaver said in March 2020 that “hundreds of developers” are working on apps for the Librem 5 and there will be 500 apps for the Librem 5 in the PureOS Store by “next month” (April).

I am more forgiving of some of the other things, like posting on Oct. 16, 2019 that “Librem 5‘s from the Aspen batch have started shipping to early backers” and the phone was “in the wild”, but having to toot on Oct. 22 that it hadn’t been able to ship Aspen to anyone outside the company due to problems in the hardware. Purism got much better after that about informing the public when it found problems as it did with Dogwood and never claiming that it was shipping until it had actually shipped as it did with Evergreen.

I was bothered by the way that Purism kept marketed the Librem 5 by saying that the phone would be shipping in Jan. 2019 and then Q3 2019, when the company knew that the phone would not be ready to ship by those dates and any shipping would only be small development batches. However, I am very conscious that Purism needed to pay for development of the phone, which required generating a large number of pre-orders.

As I see it, all the available mobile Linux desktop environments (Lomiri, Plasma Mobile, Sailfish OS, Tizen, LuneOS, etc.) had critical flaws and all the available chips made them unsuitable for making decent RYF devices, so Purism had to finance a moonshot project to create a new DE (Phosh) and support a new chipset (i.MX 8M), which meant paying for a lot of dev work and required massive delays.

If Purism had said in August 2017 “this is going to require 2-3 years of work and probably 4-5 years before it is a viable replacement for Android,” I doubt that many people would have pre-ordered. Purism probably would have failed to secure enough funding and its only option would have been to make a Linux phone with the antiquated i.MX 6 that ran on Lomiri, oFono, Maliit, and a bunch of software which is poorly maintained and has no corporate support.

As I see it, financing a moonshot project like the Librem 5 was the only way to make a decent Linux smartphone which can be used as a replacement for an Android/iOS phone, and Purism was the only company willing to undertake the risks that involves, so I think that the company is worth backing even with its warts. I have watched MonteVista (with Panasonic and NEC), Motorola, FIC/OpenMoko, Golden Delicious, Nokia, Intel, Samsung, Mozilla, Canonical, and arguably Jolla all fail at mobile Linux, so I have to give Purism a huge amount of credit for undertaking 3.3 years of development and getting the Librem 5 to market.


Truer words have seldom been uttered around these parts.

But this is true for much of what FOSS ideology wants.

However, Amos, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that if Purism was truly honest that the phone would have never reached funding goals, and then complain when Todd embellishes to help secure further funding, etc.

If Purism was 100% honest, they would fail. You either want Purism to exist and succeed, or you want them to fail. I don’t like that most customers have been brainwashed and convincing them to want something that really respects them takes so much, but that is the case.


This thread and several others on this site remind me of Polish Hell: In hell every nation has its own cauldron of boiling oil and devils with tridents prowl about the cauldrons. When someone tries to escape from a cauldron a devil prods the individual with a trident to push him back in. But there are no devils around the Polish cauldron; instead anytime a Pole tries to escape his co-nationalists pull him back in.

Reading some of the threads makes me feel like I am in FOSS Hell.


Keep being amazing Kyle. These sweaty basement dwellers who are acting cynical clearly don’t believe in the bigger picture or don’t believe in purisms values. Like you said, when you deliver, they will shut their mouths. Excuse the vulgarity, but these people are nuts.

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Gee, the easiest solution is for @Kyle_Rankin to walk around work all day with a video camera hat (with audio) to a live feed on the Purism website so we know what the heck is going on! Seems perfectly reasonable to me :rofl:

But then, the question of why he is drinking 17 cups of coffee a day would come up, and is it made in America coffee, why that brand of mug, and that whole sugar & cream vs none debate would come up, and it goes downhill from there… :laughing:

All kidding aside though, don’t let them get you riled up Kyle, it’s Purism’s company, and they decide how and what and when they reveal anything, like any other company. And as a start up, building something new from the ground up that pretty much no one else in the universe is doing, well, give them some slack…or a LOT of slack, or start your own and show the world how you can do it better.

Still, I think we should get a Purism hat with each computer/phone order. Just saying :wink:

Not necessarily, will suffice to make honest reports without wishful thinking at least once a week - as was suggested many times before. Not to make [false] predictions/promises but just to state facts. Even if the fact is like “this week we were not able to make any progress in the hardware due to unmet [external] dependencies, and our software progress one can track on our gitlab should there be a desire for that”


I am not really interested in discussing what Purism has done and should have done. They have started shipping Evergreen and my main interest is on the development of the software (and some hardware which is more difficult). I have updated my Linux systems since the mid-90’s and am now running Debian 10 (and bullseye) on about 15 computers - Raspberry Pi’s and NUC’s included. The system has developed very much during this time and I have no doubt that Librem5 and Pure OS will develop very much also during the next years. That is what really interests me.


I wanna feel the heat with somebody! :notes:

Sorry, couldn’t resist. :wink:


I nominate this for post of the year, or something.
@Kyle_Rankin do not let the bastids drag you down.

Thanks for all your work - your efforts are appreciated and felt in ways that you may never know about.
Dont take social media posts or forum responses to be any kind of reflection of reality .
I havent purchased your phone yet but I still feel compelled to speak here.

I am overjoyed at my librem 15 - its … lets just say I bought it for the most cynical reasons.
But it brings me joy daily in a way that I have not felt since I first started using the enlightenment window manager and could theme my entire - well anything.
( and yes I can use Enlightenment in PureOS on the librem and I use it at “4K” even on an external monitor - )

But the real benefit of the librem 15 ( and the mini that I keep almost buying next ) is this:
For the first time I know that my laptop is as secure and private as I can make it.
That is - my security and privacy are up to me and not up to anyone else.
Which is the most liberating thing that I have experienced since … purple window pane .

I have allegedly had plenty of linux boxes over the years but never had real peace of mind about them until now.
I get that I am not unhackable or untraceable. But I can reap what I sow in terms of my own “opsec” as the kids say.
And that is all I really ask. And maybe it was too much to ask until Librem was forged.
Thank you .


You’ll have to run that past @amosbatto, as he is handing out the awards. :joy:


Seems like this delay in shipping out more Librem 5’s is only about a lack of funding. So you call your local temp agency and tell them you need to bring-on five new temporary employees each week for the next two months. You only bring on five new employees per week so that each week, the newly trained Temps can train the next week’s new Temps. You don’t hire exponentially because you want training and skill levels to develop quickly. At the end of the two-month period, you have fourty new people assembling new Librem 5’s full time. You buy or contract to buy enough components right away (in advance) to cover all outstanding Librem 5 pre-orders. In May when all back-orders have been shipped, you let go of all of the fourty temporary laborers as per the temporary status they were hired under. If the backlog isn’t gone in May, you just keep all of those fourty extra Temps working fulltime until the backorders are all fulfilled. Is Purism doing this? If not, why not? By now, the development of the phone should be good enough, considering that Purism is shipping phones en’masse now. Production is about ramping-up, not so much about continuous development or gradual product improvements to existing products. Those can all be pushed out later. It’s about more revenue faster to bring in accompanying profit margins to improve the company’s profitability going forward. Either the business model allows the company to earn profits or not. The profit on every phone should help, not harm the company unless the company is facing a shortage of cash. Temporary labor can be skilled and is less expensive than paying career employees. Plan on selling more phones in real time going forward as a way to be more profitable.

It’s not only about assembling the phone but offering decent after sales support. The software is still at an early stage. Until all quirks and bugs have been resolved I imagine the support needed is quite high.
If they send out too many phones at once customer support wouldn’t be able to handle the incoming support tickets in a timely manner.


And, from experience, it’s not feasible to just throw more bodies at the customer support/technical support problem. The training lag time here is much more than the training lag time for assembly. Also the customer experience degrades in this approach as compared to the approach purism is going down currently.

As much as I would like for purism to have infinite resources to get me my librem 5 as quickly as possible, I don’t agree that money is the only (or even primary) limiting factor here.

Could more money thrown at this expedite things some amount, sure; would that result in increased profitability as you imply, unlikely. From my experience any increase in sales during some part of that ramping up process would be offset by a decrease from the negative reviews associated with the experience that always comes from that kind of ramp up. Also that business behaviour does have a lasting negative impression. And my experience does show that the current approach will have a less long lasting negative impression as people tend to forget delays more readily than a bad support experience.