Librem 5 RAM upgrade?

Say for some odd reason, if I feel the need to have more RAM, how difficult / impossible would it be to upgrade it?

If not possible then assuming there is a swap partition, could having more swap space serve the purpose?


Not sure if impossible, but at the very least very hard since the RAM is soldered to the PCB. And considering how small soldering joints are usually used on phones you need a lot of experience and very expensive equipment.

That can be accomplished in a few minutes, SWAP is very slow though so keep that in mind.

Yes slow. Storage access is slower by orders of magnitude compared to memory access, depending on the storage technique. SSD is faster than HDD so that there are thoughts that it could used as persistent memory in future systems.

More than beeing slower the system might get into a state where it is just busy by swapping memory pages in and out between memory and storage that it can’t handle the actual tasks. This is called thrashing in which the system is very unresponsive. Under circumstances the OS might even kill processes to free memory and heal the situation.

Swap space is okay but it does not substitute real memory.

Edit: misspelling corrected. Thx to @tracy

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Use ZRAM on the eMMC, do about 2GB of it, I think it’d be fine

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Use z-tools is I think the package to edit ZRAM, but I am not sure

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Can you please share more details on ZRAM and z-tools?

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It would be beyond awesome, if Purism was able to design a future version of the Librem 5 similar to how Fairphone does theirs.

Could you imagine being able to upgrade your Librem 5 just like you do your laptop or desktop?

Talk about true convergence on all fronts. I’d be loyal for life should that ever happen. Hahahaha!


Same here, currently fiddling with my Pinephone to enable GNOME

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Let me find the documentation

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Or for an easier route (or more flashy instructions):


@purism… If there would be an option I would also pay for getting more ram from the start…
It should not be to much work… Simply change roll in the pick and place machine :wink:


I’d love to see Phosh become this:

The i.MX 8M Quad doesn’t support more than 4GB RAM, but I think that an extra 1GB of RAM and more Flash memory will make a big difference for people using the Librem 5 as a desktop PC.

The issue is that it is hard to offer multiple variants when doing small scale manufacturing. You have to test the different parts, and keep them on hand for warranty servicing and you don’t get as good of bulk pricing when buying smaller quantities of each part.

The i.MX 8M Plus in Fir will support 8GB RAM. Too bad it doesn’t have as good of a GPU and VPU for convergence as the i.MX 8M Quad.


My expectation/hope/prediction would be that Fir might actually get 4-8 GB of RAM, and Purism could continue to sell Evergreen at a discount. This would solve several problems, like offering different configurations and also having a more affordable option. Even if Fir is not superior in every aspect, people would have a choice.


You have a point

How definite is it that Fir will use that CPU? Can you link to info from Purism that confirms that?

In an ideal world, there is a successor to the i.MX 8M Quad that is a process shrink (better performance? lower power consumption? better thermals?) but which supports e.g. 8GB but which is otherwise directly comparable to the i.MX 8M Quad. I can dream, right? :wink:

Yes. I would take it if 4GB were on offer (even if maybe only 3.5GB were usable). But we won’t know for sure until we have the phone.

I would also take more eMMC if it were on offer.


Purism has literally said nothing since Sept. 2019 about Fir, except to reaffirm that it will be produced.

What Purism said in Sept. 2019 was that Fir would have a “14nm Next Generation CPU” and the phone would be released in Q4 2020. Since then, NXP has only announced one chip that is a next generation CPU on the i.MX8 platform, which fits within the timeline of Fir and the power requirements of a phone, and that is the i.MX 8M Plus, so I don’t see how it can be any other chip.


Fair enough. I would just be hoping for a Librem 5 v2 that is not a compromise on the specifications of the v1. As @Caliga says above, if they offer both, noone is forced to choose v2 instead of v1 - but then there wouldn’t be an announced growth (evolution) path for the v1. Anyway, perhaps premature given that I don’t even have my v1 yet …

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Actually the word is “thrashing”. (You may have thought that but your fingers missed the “h” ?)


I was wondering if 3GB was just notably less expensive than 4GB when they were engineering the L5. Otherwise, I’m not sure why they’d choose to go with less than the maximum amount when pushing convergence.

Frankly, even 4GB is a major bottleneck when trying to use a computer. Even my 13+ year old laptop has 8GB RAM. Using LXQt and mostly console programs it’s just enough.

I’m pretty sure on start up, this phone is using 500-1000MB of RAM before any applications have even been opened.

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