Librem 5 Not Receiving Texts

It would probably require a lot more information from you and provided to Purism Support, covering things like: country, carrier, the nature of the text (is it just SMS? or MMS? or RCS? is it group text?), log files.

I understand that this can be a difficult problem as a user though because you don’t know about the text messages that you don’t receive - except potentially via some other channel or mechanism.

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I also continue to periodically experience issues with this, although the more impactful issue is probably the L5 choking up on incoming MMS than those few times I have to open terminal and delete (receiving) mode messages.

Maybe this is off-topic, but does the AweSIM stuff include a web portal that receives the same texts in parallel and accordingly never fails? I’ve been finding myself opening a web browser and using the nonfree JavaScript web login to see the more reliable view of my texts lately so I don’t have to worry about Chatty issues, since the internet on my L5 is generally always working. It is quite functional, but it causes me to hesitate more when considering switching to AweSIM and off of my current carrier.

I guess I should go read up on that on my own.


I confirm, I have the same issue here in Finland with MOI sim (uses DNA network).
first I got lines like this:
purism@pureos:~$ mmcli -m any --messaging-list-sms
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/5 (receiving)
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/4 (receiving)
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/3 (receiving)
but after I use the hw switch of modem:
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/11 (receiving)
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/10 (receiving)
/org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/9 (receiving)

After deleting those, new messages started to work. I know 2 of 3 were my test messages, but I don’t know the third one… annoying bug if this happens often, but good to have workaround at least.
I won’t get money from my bank without sms or app and I don’t trust “apps”.

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I have one SMS in “receiving”

$ mmcli -m any --messaging-list-sms
    /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/6 (receiving)

but still receive text SMS (just checked it). Is there a way to get the date/time of the suck SMS to look into the log files?


# mmcli -s 6
  General    |      path: /org/freedesktop/ModemManager1/SMS/6
  Content    |    number: +535581xxxx    (this is Migdi in my contacts)
  Properties |  pdu type: deliver
             |     state: receiving
             |   storage: me
             |      smsc: +535499xxxx    (this is unknow)
             | timestamp: 2024-02-13T07:45:37+06:00

This happened when I was in Cuba in February this year and ofc with a cuban SIM card, and not the current German one.

update 2:
The 1st number above is in my contacts. The 2nd one is the one from SMSC (Short Message Service Center), ofc, unknown to me.

update 3:
With the phone number I could identify the sender of the missing SMS, una amiga in La Habana. I asked her for screenshots of the SMSes and could identify them in my L5 in Chatty’s mysql database.

printf 'select time, body from messages order by time\n' | sqlite3 ~/chatty/db/chatty-history.db

screenshot time  | db/chatty-history.db
07:45 a.m.         1707788616|Buenos días Matthias como están ustedes....
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:43:36 AM CET
07:46 a.m.         1707788695|Mi hija está ....
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:44:55 AM CET
07:47 a.m.         1707788726|Y el proyecto cambió los días de ensayo
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:45:26 AM CET

07:47 a.m.         ..........|Va hacer jueves y viernes
                   missing SMS

07:49 a.m.         1707788835|Yo te quiero invitar hoy a ....
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:47:15 AM CET
07:50 a.m.         1707788912|Porque no voy a tener oportunidad ....
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:48:32 AM CET
07:51 a.m.         1707788943|Porque cambiaron los días de ensayo.
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:49:03 AM CET
07:51 a.m.         1707788993|Por favor contéstame para saber
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:49:53 AM CET
07:59 a.m.         1707789326|Yo hoy puedo hacerte un almuerzo aquí ....
                   Tue 13 Feb 2024 02:55:26 AM CET

The time given as ‘07:… a.m.’ are the times from her screen shot in the telegram messenger. The times given in 17077… are the times out of Chatty’s database (UNIX epoch seconds) and below each line is a human readable representation of the epoch seconds, as “Tue 13 Feb …”.


  • the screen shoot time differs a bit, ~2 minutes, to the epoch time;
  • the difference of the cuban time 07:xx to CET differs by 5 hours, while it should be 6 hours
  • there is indeed on message missing in Chatty’s database, i.e. was not received completely.
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I would try tonget away from. They have a good spy ing method on your Librem 5.

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Which “they” are you referring to?

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I do no understand at all about what you’re talking here. We should try to be focused on how to analyze and solve this problem.


I think maybe he is referring to the original post, and saying that Google has a good spying method to get on my Librem 5.

It would definitely be nice if he were more specific.

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I meant to say that “I would try to get away from Google”. No reason to get offended when someone makes a typing error.

When you eventually switch from google to a more privacy-respecting cell service provider, your voice and data service will no longer come to you via a hodgepodge collection of various different carrers and private hotspots that make up Google Fi’s network. That might solve your problem. Giving Google direct access to your Librem 5’s data traffic isn’t the most secure option either.

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Is Google involved in the transfer of SMS from one cellphone to another?

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I always thought that it is a service of your provider.
However, I would not be suprised when Google is the man in the middle when using Android or Google software

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reading about how SMS works, I got to know that the phone number of the SMSC is part of the cellular network configuration, is stored in the SIM and other configuration files. It can be read out on Android and iOS with ATD command and also nmcli knows how to read and print it. Any idea (before digging into the sources) how this is done?

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This is a complicated question.

I can’t exactly answer for the Google / Android world but on iPhone, the iPhone will check first whether the recipient is signed in to the Apple iMessage service. If the recipient is signed in then the SMS will bypass the mobile network as such. If the recipient is not signed in (e.g. doesn’t have an iPhone, has disabled iMessage, is off the network completely, …) then the message is sent as a regular SMS via your mobile provider.

Now as of late 2023 Apple announced impending support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) on iPhone, in partnership with Google, such that that check could become a three stage check:

  • signed in to iMessage? (blue)
  • signed in to RCS? (green)
  • stuff it, I’ll just send via your mobile provider (green).

So you will note the potential to leak metadata at each stage. The fact that you (your phone) would like to contact user on phone number 999… may get leaked to Apple and maybe even to Google even if your message never goes via either behemoth.

So while it may be true (and may remain true) that a regular SMS only ever involves mobile providers, fewer and fewer people may actually be sending regular SMSs. Unless
a) BigTech gives you options to control how your message will be delivered, and
b) you know of and understand and exercise those options.


But as mentioned in the OP, my mobile provider is literally Google reselling other carriers, like how AweSIM resells other carriers, and so as a result I have other, potentially worse problems.

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