Librem5 Phone's "Software" App Store


Hello, I’m new to the community. Before joining I was searching for info on the Librem5 Phone’s “Software” App Store, but wasn’t able to find much information so I joined to ask if there was a forum topic that could possibly be created on the subject?


@Kristiano The operating systems compatible with this phone are various Linux distributions. Try searching using the term “package manager”. This should give you more to go off of. If I am not mistaken PureOS uses a limited version of the Debian package manager.

What are the differences between Debian and PureOS?
Hopefully I don’t need to explain the long standing giant Debian. PureOS will tend to have least possible amount of deltas compared to Debian and it will try to forward upstream (and to Debian) all changes we make that make sense for wider community (Matthias and myself are also Debian Developers and we understand the importance of this). Said that, we have some differences: PureOS hosts only Free software – while Debian is officially only main, it does host and allows an option of having non-free software. PureOS will have more frequent changes and for now it will not have an real stable release in Debian sense (we consider PureOS stable for everyday usage as most of users experience the same with Debian Testing). PureOS already defaults to Wayland as default while Debian will still stay with X for at least one release. For final PureOS 3.0 release, the plan is also to switch from Debian Installer to Calamares and also PureOS will have kernel with grsecurity enabled (and of course our own configuration).
What package formats is PureOS going to use?
PureOS is based on Debian and thus we use the famous deb format for core system packages. Besides that, our plan is to have Flatpak as a convenient and secure complement to deb packages in the future. Flatpak is pretty advanced, is gaining momentum among application makers, and has a lively community.
Where are PureOS sources (to code)?
They are at but the easiest way to get any code is to just do: apt source <packagename>

Good luck!


Thank you for the information, however I was just interested in the Librem5 Phone’s “Software” App Store shown in the screenshot of Purism’s FAQ… there will be alot of questions from people asking everything from how many, what kind, etc etc of “Linux Apps” that will be available in the new Librem5 Software Store. I was interested in more of a Topic of Info, or a Wiki type of info on everything that the Librem5 Software Store will offer anyone interested in buying the Librem5 Phone, such as I am.


Fair point…I plan to load Arch Linux on mine so Pacman FTW!:call_me_hand:


I suspect that Purism means GNOME Software, which I’m having a surprisingly hard time finding much info about, despite the fact that I think pretty much any distro using the GNOME desktop environment has access to it.

This is the official webpage as far as I can tell, though it’s a bit empty:

But if you’re using any Linux distro with GNOME (like Ubuntu GNOME, or Fedora, or the GNOME flavor of Debian), you should be able to open the “Activities” panel and search “Software.” The app called “Software” that shows up is GNOME Software.


Hello, this is a very interesting product and I’m ready a willing to buy it, but, some important apps are needed: a Two factor authenticator to replace google Authenticator, a mOTP authenticator, steam guard and a way to connect to whatsapp.


Whatsapp and Steam are proprietary software and Purism is not offering that, for the authenticator you have some ‘libre’ software like this OTPManager


Think of this as more like a typical desktop Linux machine than a phone. If your software works on your desktop computer (when you have the source code and hence can compile it for a different architecture) or Raspberry Pi (same architecture, so might be able to just stick the binaries on the phone and have it work immediately), then it’ll work on the Librem 5.


I think in the interests of expectation management, it is probably worth saying that the Librem 5 will not necessarily have “apps” in the iPhone/Android sense of the word. (Though, clearly it will have application software; the traditional meaning of the word “apps”.)

Don’t expect a grid of home screen icons for a set of monolithic, self-contained apps, each with their own branding and marketing presence in an app store. In other words, don’t expect the classic “There’s an app for that!” model, where every conceivable task is accomplished by finding a single, pre-existing app with the right pieces already put together inside it to achieve the task.

Instead expect a somewhat more GNU/Linuxy arrangement, with a mixture of large application suites and small utilities, available predominantly through a package manager. (But also installable by other means.)

Initially, expect to find a few ready-made apps for major use cases, along with lots of software pieces that you have the freedom to assemble in different ways to serve an infinite variety of the simpler or less common use-cases.

I think this is going to be a platform that, at least initially, will inevitably require a bit more technical competency from users who have niche requirements (the “long-tail” of apps).

Some of the more popular and generic dishes will be on the menu, but I don’t think solutions for every use case will be served up on a plate; instead, users will be given some utensils and ingredients and be expected to do some of their own cooking.

Unfortunately, not all use-cases can be fed home-cooked food. For example, Whatsapp might not be willing to share the secret sauce recipe you’d need in order to bake a Whatsapp-compatible app. Whatsapp would have to do it themselves, but they might not want to support the platform or release the app as Free Software. The Librem 5 (as I understand it) is targeted at people whose instinctive response to that is to defiantly opt-out of such closed systems, in spite of their social currency, because they perpetuate limitations on our security and privacy.

But, since, unlike most phones, the hardware is going to be open to all comers when it comes to software development, there is no reason why people won’t be able to develop software for it that compromises on Purism’s… err… purism. In particular, I would be surprised if an Android compatibility layer doesn’t pop up at some point in the coming years, with some level of sandboxing. Just don’t necessarily expect it to appear by default in a fresh installation of PureOS!