Librem 5 Not Receiving Texts

Hi all. I received my Librem 5 around April/May of this year and have been having a great time with it. But recently I was slowly becoming aware of a reality that although I was receiving texts a few months ago, more recently I am not receiving texts. I am in NA/US and from what I can tell, I can still send texts. Also, the mobile internet connectivity works great when the modem hardware switch is on. My mobile provider at the moment is Google Fi, although I do understand how stupidly contrary that is to the Librem 5’s nature and how at some point I should switch providers when I have the time to look into that.

Maybe this is a question that has been asked before, but where should I look for debugging tips on how Chatty handles receiving mobile texts? I have some software experience and wouldn’t mind grepping some logs or playing with a terminal app to look for or resolve text reception errors, but I haven’t gone and tried to do any of those things with Chatty yet and was just letting it run in the state it was in when I received the device until now.

This being said, I haven’t been doing a lot of research on this yet and it’s possible I’m asking this prematurely and there is a very obvious solution listed somewhere else here on the forums. Feel free to point me in that direction if so.

Edit: With the Google Fi service I can also view my texts via an internet browser because they are all intercepted by some Google server or whatever, so I have that as a second stream to confirm that some texts exist that don’t show on Chatty. But I am specifically trying to use the modem hardware’s SMS systems and the default Chat app as the means by which to receive the texts.

Edit 2: Possibly related, the mmcli shows a lot of messages stuck in the “receiving” state:

root@pureos:~# mmcli -m any --messaging-list-sms
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/16 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/15 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/14 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/13 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/12 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/11 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/10 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/9 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/8 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/7 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/6 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/5 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/4 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/3 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/2 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/1 (receiving)
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/0 (receiving)

Other similar threads suggested the use of mmcli to “delete” SMS messages from the Modem Manager. I went ahead and tried this advice because I have that “backup” version of the SMS messages coming through the Google server, but I hesitated because hypothetically for example if I didn’t have a backup of the SMS messages like that I don’t understand how I would have saved these “receiving” messages – my intention is not to delete them, but to receive them.

Anyway, I can confirm that after executing the following command as root (based on what some other threads suggested) I began to receive texts again, although past texts were not recovered:

mmcli -m any --messaging-list-sms | awk '{print $1}' | xargs -I {} mmcli -m any --messaging-delete-sms={}

Maybe 30 minutes after doing the above command, the old texts from the past that were in the Google server but not the modem/Librem5 – that I had missed and assumed to have deleted – came in and appeared in Chatty.

Edit 2 (following day): I ran this command again when having issues receiving texts and I know for certain I lost some messages and never received them. Does anybody know what I can do to improve the reliability?


Have you used the SIM Card with Android or, before?

Yes, the SIM card was used on Android for years.

I would simply swap to a different cellular provider temporarily to see if Google Fi is the issue. In any case, your transition is overdue.

I’m on T-Mobile and the firmware of my BM818 is up to date. It is apparently not uncommon for SMSs sent to me to become “stuck”, without me being aware of these SMSs.

Now, I daily run: mmcli -m any --messaging-list-sms
and I delete any messages that show up in this list.

After this, I reboot the L5 and after a few minutes, the missing SMSs are received by the L5. At least, this works for me.

I don’t know why some SMSs become stuck and other not stuck, but it frequently happens to me.

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I’ll sometimes notice the phone wakes from suspend but there are no notifications of anything. If I use the modem HKS to turn it off and back on it will receive the message(s) that stuck

I think what is supposed to happen is that chatty should fetch the new SMS messages from ModemManager. I suspect there is a bug that causes chatty to fail doing that when it encounters something it cannot handle, such as a funky character that does not belong to the expected character set, or similar.

If it happens often for you, the good thing with that is that it gives a good opportunity to find and fix the bug.

One way to debug would be as follows: wait until you have the situation with some SMS being stuck. Then, in terminal, kill chatty twice:

killall chatty
killall chatty

(Need to do that twice because it restarts automatically once, then it gives up if killed quickly again. To verify, you can do “killall chatty” a third time) afterwards and then it should say that there is no such process, so then you know that there is no chatty running.

Then, when chatty is dead, start it manually with the --debug flag, like this:

chatty --debug &> debug-log.txt

Then inspect the resulting debug-log.txt file and look for error messages involving the attempts to fetch SMS messages.

Can you try that?

I will try what you suggest. Thank you.

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I have also run into this issue recently. It’s reported on mobian’s troubleshooting page and pine64 users are reporting it, supposedly an mms gets ‘stuck’ in the modem and prevents it from receiving incoming sms. According to the purism git, this issue was from chatty was not processing the mms, and this prevented all incoming sms after, marked as solved 1 year ago, so there could have been a regression in a recent update to chatty. I have since removed all incoming sms from modemmanager’s queue and now have to just wait and see if it occurs again.

How did it go?

If you could report back what you find in logs, that could help finding and fixing the bug(s).