Librem 5 PGP Email Support


This page used to exist on the Purism website:

It no longer does. Here is the Google webcache version:

There is a list of “Must have” and a list of “Nice to have” applications. The “Must have” applications are “Applications that must be part of the Librem 5 launch.”

In the “Must have” list, one of the items is:

Mail (Geary): The Mail app can read and send PGP encrypted emails in the most transparent way possible.

Geary does not appear to have PGP support yet, and by the looks of it, wont have any time soon, so I don’t think it will have at launch, unless somebody actually goes and adds that functionality.

So my question is: Has email with PGP support dropped off the “Must have” list, because to me it looks that way…


This appears to be the bug tracking PGP support in Geary: - Doesn’t look very promising to me if we’re still in for a Q3 launch


If not Geary, I assume there will at least be a Librem Mail app, which you can use with all mail addresses. We’ll see.


We tidied up the Core Apps overview page as part of an overhaul of pages about the user interface design. The broken link is unintentional - I’ll get it to redirect to another page in the documentation. A lot of the stuff on that page was aspirational, I think. There’s been a focus on things that are needed for the phone, rather than those that are nice to have.

Mail is still a core app. I believe that encryption support is an open question, if not an open issue in the issue tracker. I’m sure there will be more communication about this feature closer to launch via the usual channels. It’s certainly something that users are expecting.


The redirect works, thanks. But this page does not speak about “Core Apps”, it says: “…types of application are expected to be available…” which is a bit vague and does not say which apps are meant exactly.



It will be really disappointing if the phone comes with the hardware to do PGP properly (the built in smartcard reader), but not the software to be able to use it with email. I hope there is at least some progress towards this goal before the phone is delivered, even if the work is not completed.

Re “There’s been a focus on things that are needed for the phone, rather than those that are nice to have.” - My whole point was that email with PGP was explicitly in the “Must have” list, and not the “Nice to have” list originally. It sounds like it has been demoted to me.


Maybe the wording is a bit misleading. There is a difference between

  • Minimum viable product (it can do calls, chat, browse the web and receive updates)
  • Must have (mail, GPG)
  • Nice to have (candy crush)

Purism is certainly aware that GPG is essential (see, but it might not be a sufficient reason to further postpone the release.
I’d rather have them not over-promise and then give us more than expected than the other way round.


The original campaign page promised encrypted messaging, but didn’t say anything about PGP. That appeared in the developer documentation in April 2018. I’m sure it was also mentioned elsewhere. Having support for encrypted e-mail is an obvious feature for a phone like this one.

As an aside, I removed the Apps overview page partly because it didn’t belong in the Design section, partly because it’s not relevant for the developer documentation (it should be in end user documentation), partly because the information about services was outdated, and partly because I was told that the icons were outdated. Other more philosophical pieces of information were moved into the Introduction.

Is this still the current mockups/guidelines for PureOS/Librem5?

As you say, not part of “minimum viable product” but when Purism does turn their attention to SMTP some pieces of functionality would seem to be:

  • works at all i.e. mail client that sends unencrypted SMTP
  • supports TLS for transfer of email to SMTP server
  • supports GPG for end-to-end message
  • supports S/MIME for end-to-end message

For me, SMTP is important as I prefer SMTP to sending ridiculously insecure SMS/MMS messages.