Librem5 MMS Question

Good evening. I have not bee on here in a while. Did the Purism Team figure our the issues with MMS not working on the device?

Truth in lending. I went ahead and purchased a Pinephone. It will be at my doorstep on Friday.

I still have my Librem15 v4. I want to see companies like Purism, System76, and the makers of the Pine Products, be successful.

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To follow the problem with MMS in Chatty, see:

The problem is that ModemManager doesn’t support MMS. Guido Günther filed a bug report with ModemManager two weeks ago:

I would love to hear your impressions after you have had some time to play with it. Are you going to fix the USB-C data problem with a soldering iron?


To be honest, I am not aware of the USB C issue. I ordered it back in April. Hopefully…no issues will be found when I boot it up :-)…lol

Well, the Pinephone arrived tonight. I have some of the similar challenges uses are having with the Librem 5 for a fraction of the cost…lol. There are number of buggy items. The wifi connects at 2.5g and not 5g. My cellular connectivity is at 3g. I had it at 4g and did an upgrade. That at least gives me hope I can get that back :-). The phone audio quality for my speaker is not that great. Others can hear me pretty well. I knew the camera did not work when I ordered the device. In the last few days it seems there is hope on the horizon the camera will be remedied. Many of the apps crash as you open them. For instance, there is a Gmail app, that crashes the moment clicked. To view/answer email, I log straight into Gmail for now. None the less, the device will be a fun journey at $150 bucks. I am using my sim card from my high end Samsung phone. Think I will drop the requisite $20 bucks tomorrow to get another number play around on this thing. If anyone wants to see pics, just let me know. Thanks.


Yes, please.

I’m waiting for the PostMarketOS CE, but it’s not yet available in their store. I want to test drive Phosh before I get my L5E, but I suppose it will be a race to see which arrives first.

Are the photos in this post up-to-date?

I would like to know what is the true speed of the CPU, since some say 1.2 GHz and others say 1.15 GHz. Can you make the phone do something that will make the processor run at its top speed and then enter this command in the terminal:
cat /proc/cpuinfo

What does it say under cpu MHz?

On a Pi lscpu gives you the “CPU max MHz” and “CPU min MHz” but the above command only gives “BogoMIPS”. Whether that is representative enough of an ARM-based phone I don’t know.

I ran the command you mentioned and it came back with:

Max: 1152.0000
Min: 480.0000

It is pretty peppy. I have T-Mobile for my cell provider. I can use data at 4G, but to make calls, I need to set it at 3G. I am sure there will be improvements over time. I went and opened a line with T-Mobile so I can actively work on the device. Another gripe is the mail apps crash as soon as I open them. The device will not allow me to setup my email on the device. I am having to go through the web to my email. I can send texts, but MMS is not worked out yet. I think Pine is on to something with this phone. I can say my next statement as I own a Librem15. From what Pine has been able to accomplish, there is no reason for the Librem 5 to cost $700. Even if you were up some of the specs on the Pinephone, it would not equal that much.

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I forgot to mention the fact the pics are current. It is actually a pretty decent looking phone. The phone app is extremely buggy, as is the Bluetooth app.

OK, so there’s the answer, @amosbatto. It’s 1.15GHz.

Then the Librem 5 at 1.5 GHz will hopefully be peppier.

That sounds like a controversial statement but I am pretty sure that none of us really knows what it “should” cost i.e. without having direct involvement from Day 1 in the hardware and software design process on either project.

Logically you would sell more units at the PinePhone price point and, if so, if that forces app developers etc. to realize that there is a world outside of Apple+Google then that can only be good for the Librem 5 too.

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Well, I would not say controversial. If a small startup like Pine can do it for less, there is less reason why Purism cannot. Remember, I own a Librem 15. I have money invested in the company. I had originally paid my $599 for the phone. Then came one delay after another. I hope both companies are successful. It will provide even better products to us Linux consumers.


Thanks for testing it. I noticed that the PinePhone’s DevKit runs at 1.152 GHz as well, so that pretty much confirms it. It would be great if we could get some benchmarking on the PinePhone v1.2 and Dogwood. In theory, Dogwood should have 30% better CPU performance and twice the GPU performance of the PinePhone v1.2, but it would be good to see what is the performance in the real world.

I sort of agree and disagree at the same time. The majority of people who want to buy a Linux phone are going to compare the PinePhone and Librem 5 and decide that it isn’t worth paying the difference in price. Certainly, the specs don’t justify paying 5 times more for the Librem 5.

On the other, you might want to think about these issues as well, that I raised in a debate with a guy on YouTube:

Amos Batto 3 weeks ago
@Fuseteam, There are different development models and different goals for the two phones, and those make for very different costs. See my article on why the Librem 5 costs so much:

It is clear that you like PINE64’s low-cost strategy of:

  1. adapting a platform which PinePhone has been working on since 2015 to use on a phone,
  2. using old hardware which is already well supported in mainline Linux,
  3. partnering with community projects to provide the software

I am very happy that we have two companies producing mobile Linux devices because both companies together will grow the mobile Linux market. I think that PINE64 is playing a very valuable role and I am planning on buying the PineTab, but let me offer some reasons why I decided to buy the Librem 5 over the PinePhone:

  1. UBports, LuneOS, Nemo Mobile and Maemo Leste are huge code bases which are largely siloed and it will require a large amount of work to maintain them in the long-term. These communities took code bases developed by companies, and are trying to maintain them with volunteers. You need a group of very dedicated volunteers to make that sustainable or you need companies that pay developers to work on the projects. PINE64’s donation of $10 per phone isn’t enough to pay developers to do the work, and I’m skeptical that any of these projects is going to be well maintained with just volunteer labor, because each of those communities is very small and there are no companies paying developers to work on the projects.
    I worked 10 years as the community lead in an open source company, so I have some idea of the challenges. With volunteers, you are going to get a lot of devices tested and people developing apps (which is what we see with postmarketOS and UBports), but you don’t get many people doing serious work on the core. The open source projects that work well are the ones where there are people who maintain the code as part of their job, which is the case if you investigate who contributes to many projects such as the Linux kernel, PostgreSQL, Apache and PHP.
    In my opinion, the only viable choices for Purism were either KDE Plasma Mobile or developing GTK/Phosh, because both could rely on an active larger community to help maintain the code in the long term, and both communities have corporate sponsors who pay developers to work on the projects. Purism would have had to do a lot of dev work to make Plasma Mobile work for the Librem 5, and Purism didn’t want to switch its desktop to KDE and it didn’t want to maintain a separate environment for the desktop and the phone, since its goal was convergence between the two. Given the fact that Purism had spent years working with GTK/GNOME and its alignment with the FSF, there were reasons for the company to develop Phosh.
    Since I want to establish Linux as viable mobile OS in the long term, I want to support a company that can pay developers to work on making that a reality. I can see that happening with Purism, but not with PINE64.

  2. I want mobile Linux to be an alternative for normal people, not just a dev environment for tech enthusiasts. The goal of PINE64 is to serve tinkerers, open source communities and Linux geeks, whereas the goal of Purism is to make devices for non-technical users who value privacy and freedom. Of course, it will take many years for Purism to reach its goal, but Purism’s planned PureOS Store shows me that it is trying to create a viable alternative to the Google Play Store and Apple Store that ordinary people can use.

  3. I want a Linux phone that can replace my current smartphone running LineageOS. The hardware in the PinePhone simply isn’t good enough and never will be, because the A64 only supports a maximum of 5 megapixels in the camera, and its Mali-400 MP2 is simply not good enough for the graphics processing that I need. The Librem 5’s GPU is twice as powerful and its CPU is 30% faster in Evergreen and will be 50% faster in Fir than the PinePhone. If I buy a PinePhone, I will still have to carry around my current phone, because the PinePhone’s camera is not good enough to become my primary phone.

  4. The two biggest problems in the tech industry are planned obsolescence and surveillance Capitalism, and the Librem 5 is designed to solve both of those problems. The PinePhone is far better than most phones on both these issues, but I want to reform the tech industry, and Purism sees that as part of its mission.

  5. I care deeply about promoting the ideas of the FSF, so I want to support a company aligned with the goals of the FSF. I want to support 100% free software and open hardware. Yes, I know that the PinePhone will only have 3 proprietary files in /lib/firmware for the Realtek WiFi/BT, so there isn’t much technical difference, but there is a huge difference in terms of the message that the Librem 5 sends to the world when released as the first RYF phone and the second phone with free/open schematics.

  6. Purism is working to get new hardware supported by the Linux kernel, so we have more hardware options in the future. If you check Purism’s commits to the kernel, you will see that it is adding new hardware to the kernel, not just using old hardware that already has good Linux support, which is what PINE64 is doing. Purism’s work on the i.MX 8M drivers is important, because that same work will benefit other projects such as the MNT Reform, which will be the first open hardware laptop. Purism’s work with Redpine Signals is vitally important because it will allow the Linux community to have decent 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth without binary blobs in the Linux file system, which has been a huge problem for the Linux community, since the only current solution has been crappy Atheros Ath9 WiFi that doesn’t work well and requires proprietary firmware for the Bluetooth.
    Purism works with suppliers like NXP and Redpine Signals which have a history of contributing code to the community, whereas PINE64 selected Allwinner which currently violates the GPL and won’t answer any questions from the community and Realtek, which used to violate the GPL. Purism rewards good suppliers with business, whereas PINE64 rewards bad suppliers with business.
    The goal of Purism is to “drive change up the supply chain,” and it says that it will have more power to make change in the hardware industry as its volume grows. I don’t know if Purism will really make much of a difference in this respect, but I think that it is a good strategy, and I want to support its efforts.

  7. The Librem 5 is a more innovative phone. I count 6 innovations in the Librem 5, where as I count 2 innovations in the PinePhone, that have never been done before in the mobile phone industry. See: PinePhone vs Librem 5
    [Edit: I have revised this. I now count 4 innovations in the PinePhone.]

When I think about my long term goals for the tech industry, I see strategic reasons to support Purism over PINE64. None of this is to say that others may come to other conclusions and have other priorities, but just understand why people like me have chosen to support the development of the Librem 5 over the PinePhone.


@Photon I’ve been waiting for the PostmarketOS edition too. I need a replacement phone now, my 3-year-old Blackberry’s earpiece has begun to work only intermittently and I haven’t gotten a security update in 2 years (Google made sure I got the contact tracing update though). I find it interesting that Pine64 seems to get way less flak for delays than Purism does, both with shipping and with saying the PostmarketOS version would be available in “early July” and no further updates in almost a month.

Well yeah, when your software development cost is $0 it’s pretty easy to have cheap devices. But that strategy doesn’t always work; I got a PineTime dev kit last Christmas thinking it would be something I could make into a functional device fairly easily, but between work and other commitments I’ve had to take a break from development for the past several months. When I recently came back to the forums to see how development was progressing, I was disappointed to see that it looks pretty stagnant. A fully functional PineTime is going to take a while to materialize.

You wrote a very well written paper. To be honest, if Purism had not taken so long and was more open, I would have waited. That being said, I will probably still buy one, once a few more bugs are worked out. I have a high end smartphone. As you say, the Pinephone is more for a tinkering IT enthusiast. I will not discount that opinion. I am currently typing this posting on my Librem 15. I am also happy to see companies produce Linux products to include cell phones. It can do nothing, but help Linux to become more mainstream. I have two of my kids on Linux laptops. You made some super poitns, but I still think the Librem 5 is overpriced. You and I have actually spoken a few times in the past about the Librem 5 & 15. I will keep my eyes out on the Librem 5 this year and into the next to see what evolutions are made. It is hard to put down 600-800 dollars on an unfinished phone. Putting down $150 for a device that will become more stable and hopefully more user friendly over time is a much easier situation to negotiate.

You know I could very well be wrong, but I do not think the delays for Pine products have been as excruciatingly drawn out as the Librem 5 has been. To be honest, I paid my $150 for my Pinephone in April and received it yesterday. That is an easier time frame than to wait a possible 8-12 months for a Librem 5. It is only my opinion, but if Purism was to have say…a 4 month wait and not the latter, customers would be more apt to wait. I have no known numbers, but I do know of a few people, such as myself, who cancelled their Librem 5 orders due to no real time frame of delivery.
I saw a YouTube video of someone with one of those devices. They look very interesting. I think myself a fairly functional Linux operator, but developer I am not. I installed the latest UBPorts update today. I am now up to version 76. I hope it continues. Right now I can use my text and phones, but not at the same time as it were. One works on 4g and one on 3g. Hope they work that one out…lol.

My 8-year-old Galaxy has a screen that looks like a shattered windshield. Funny, that’s exactly what the doctor said about my cataracts! I’m getting a new Linux phone to fix the former and lens implants to fix the latter. Life is gonna be good. :boom:

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I agree that most people are not willing to pay $600-$800 for a phone that will still have serious software issues to resolve when released.

I never paid more than $210 for a phone before the Librem 5, but I also never cared whether a phone succeeded or not before I preordered the Librem 5. I have a Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, and it has 10 times the CPU performance of both the Librem 5 and PinePhone, but I couldn’t care less about it. I haven’t the slightest desire to crack it open and see what is inside.

If Xiaomi went bankrupt tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a single tear for the company (although I would feel bad for the employees who lost their jobs), because it isn’t trying to change anything that I deem important. If either Purism or PINE64 go under, however, I will scream in frustration.


Ok, putting of my “purism” mantle to give a personal opinion on this. And please consider what I am about to say next as my personal opinion, as in “my opinions are my own and do not reflect on any organization that I am a member of”.

So please do not interpret this as an official reply from purism, it is my personal opinion.

The Librem 5 phone costs $700 because you are not just financing a the production of hardware, for other external community projects to build software on top of that.

You are financing a full team of developers paid full time to develop a full stack hardware and software components. From the hardware to kernel work that is upstreamed to operating system, to applications, that are used on that stack, that is as much as possible upstreamed and made available for other projects to work from.

Some examples of that:

  • Creating a library (libhandy), that allows to make pre existing linux GTK applications into adaptive applications that can be used on a phone and tablet.
    This library has been extremely influential in the development of GTK applications in the last few years and in applications made with the Linux phone in mind, made by several groups and developers.

  • Upstreaming work for modemmanager to support audio calls and in the future mms

  • Creating a mobile shell (phosh) based in GNOME session, that is adaptive and can be used in Linux phones, tablets and even desktops.

By the way this shell phosh, which is free, is the default shell in several community edition Operating Systems that have or will ship with the pinephone (PostmarketOS, Mobian, Manjaro).

Large part of the development of that shell was made by purism developers paid with those $700 that a Librem 5 costs.
Yes, postmarketOS developers and from other projects are making contributes to phosh which is wonderfull.

  • Creating or modifying applications to serve as the base apps of a phone; calls app, chat app, making the default browser (epiphany) adaptive for a phone screen. These are some examples.
    This work was also made with purism developers paid by those $700 that the Librem 5 phone costs.

And again this work we did trickled down to some of the community projects that are working on images for the pinephone.

So by buying a Librem 5 for $700, you are not just helping the development of a full stack, hardware, operating systems and apps, and also allowing a group of developers the conditions to work on it full time.
You are also helping some of the community editions and operating systems for the Pinephone

The pinephone model is to develop the hardware and then work with the community projects for those projects to do the software work. This lowers their production costs. And some of those community projects have benefited of the work made by Purism developers paid by the costs of the Librem 5 phone.

This last part does not annoy me at all. Hey it’s all free software, please use it, fork it, upstream changes, make use of it. Have fun breaking it and filling bug reports.

That is part of our mission, Free software.

But this analysis of, project A managed to do it with less because their model is cheaper than project B, seems to me a bit simplistic.

There are other factors at play.


Off-topic but needs to be said:
Amos, your posts here, on r/purism, and apparently also on Youtube are always so well-worded, well-researched, and sourced. You are clearly very knowledgeable about both the hardware and software on these phones, and I really appreciate whenever I see your username somewhere because I know the post will be informative. Seriously, thank you.

On topic:
It’s unfortunate that the upstream issue for MMS on ModemManager has seen so little attention. Would voting for it change anything? Or are the votes not used for bug prioritization?


Thanks for saying that. COVID-19 has given me lots of time to waste on obsessing about the Librem 5! :slight_smile:

There is a Thumb Up button in the GNOME ModemManager bug report that you can click. You can also leave a message there saying you think this is important to fix.