Librem 5 services

Iam so ready to buy a Librem. 5. But It has been difficult for me to understand most of what gets posted on your site. I would think many people are just users like myself. I was into computers since the Trash 80s , have college degrees and run a business.
What i am not is a programmer or tech wizard. Although I always troubleshoot for myself and others, I just don’t speak your techno speak and have to admit I am jealous of those that do. (Ex. Power throttling, semi bricked, isenkram, ath9k, etc, etc.)
So it’s easy for me, just a tech user to get lost in the techno linguistic weeds when trying to find basic answers.

  1. Does Purism actually provide all the services I need. ISP, cellular service, software?
  2. If I want to protect the pure privacy of my phone, then I probably should not use my business software on it. (Like the real estate lock box app, which I know is probably loaded with tracking locators )
    I can use an old prepaid phone that sits in the drawer for that stuff, but that does take away a little from its purpose. The private calls, email, and ability not to be tracked are more important.
    Maybe a forum for beginners would help?
    A KISS forum for beginners. A glossary of terms. But there are so many terms, that could get to be huge… Well I hope you understand.
    I really don’t have time in my life to learn to be a programmer, I just want to be a user. And use your products. I am studying linus and will learn how to use the phone, it just gets tiresome going through the techno weeds.
    You are a terrific company that is so needed. Thank you for being brave enough to swim against today’s parasitical currents for consumers.

Purism doesn’t provide internet service or cellular network service, but you should be able to use your current providers.

Purism can’t test all the cellular networks and you have to provide the SIM card from your cellular network provider. That being said, tests of the development phone models (Birch and Chestnut), found that most of the cellular networks are compatible with the Librem 5 (using the BroadMobi BM818 modem). Once the Librem 5 (Evergreen) starts shipping, people on the forums will give more feedback on what cellular providers work with the Librem 5. See:

You should be able to use your standard internet through the WiFi on the Librem 5.

Purism plans to offer the PureOS Store which will only contain mobile apps which will work in Phosh (the Librem 5’s mobile interface). However, the mobile app selection will be very limited when the Librem 5 is first released and it will take Purism and the community time to add more apps. If you have particular types of apps that you will need on your phone, you should ask about those.

You can also install most of the software in the Librem 5 that is found in the Debian Linux distribution, which contains 57,703 packages, but most of that software is designed for a Linux desktop, so it won’t be easy to use in a mobile interface. It will take time to adapt the GTK desktop apps so they can be used in a mobile phone interface.

If you want to check out what apps are currently available, then download the Librem 5 image and run it in the Qemu virtual machine on your PC.

The Phosh mobile interface on the Librem 5 is very easy to use in my opinion. If you can use an Android or iOS phone, then you should have no trouble using Phosh. However, you need to expect limited app selection and there will be many software issues that still need to be resolved. For example, Purism is working on a new camera app, but until it is implemented, expect the camera interface to be very basic.


Thank you so much for a perfect reply! I am bookmarking it. Its also got me thinking about that laptop. You answered everything and added so much more.

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Oh, one other thing. Here are the list of apps in development for the Librem 5:

I expect this number to grow once the Librem 5 starts shipping. I’ve got an app in mind, but I probably won’t start working on it until I have a Librem 5 in my hand, and I suspect there are many procrastinators like me.


I’m assuming this is an app on your current phone? In which case it’s an Android or IOS app, and won’t run on the Librem. Generally speaking: whatever apps you have on your phone today won’t run on your Librem. You may have equivalents for general purpose stuff, e.g. you’ll have a browser and an email client, but no Google Sky Map, and perhaps more importantly, no banking app.

For a couple of apps you could work around this issue using their mobile websites instead. But not everything has a mobile website, so some stuff will not work. Be sure that this is something acceptable before you make the switch, and also check @amosbatto’s link to the list of apps in development to get an idea of whether there’s at least an equivalent to something you depend on.