Long Term use of PureOS

Ah, I should probably clarify. I didn’t mean to imply each of those things is unique to PureOS.

The combination of the 3 is uncommon in my experience however.

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Actually part of the fun of installing Linux distros was that it put life back into old computers. I think there are still some that are dedicated to i386 architecture, no?

But Linux O/S adherents are like a church members. Iconoclasm will strike at the first sign of of heresy!

So, will there be a church split to follow some prophets into a 32 bit PureOS fork?

Off the top of my head I wouldn’t be able to specify a Linux distro that works on 32 bit but doesn’t even have a release for 64 bit (and realistically it would be a distro that is still actively releasing, because otherwise you could choose a distro that became dormant before 64 bit was a thing). However there are definitely distros that still specify that the minimum hardware requirements include some fairly ancient Intel 32 bit CPUs.

LOL. Yes, always a possibility. There’s nothing stopping that. However I think the assumption of the OP is that he doesn’t have the expertise and/or time to do that. He wants something that just works out-of-the-box for legacy 32 bit applications.

I tried to install PureOS in to an older laptop. The live mode worked fine. I gave up on it though when I couldn’t get the display drivers working after doing an install. I could have installed the required display drivers from a command line, but couldn’t find them. Purism should offer an “unsecured install” option with all proprietary drivers and blobs needed to get everything working. It wouldn’t be hard considering that the live boot seemed to include everything. If I got used to using PureOS and liked it enough when using it over time, I might have worked harder to do a “fully secure” installation by hunting down the necessary drivers or by buying a laptop from Purism, if necessary. A live boot from a USB drive doesn’t give a good enough feel for what the OS will be like. You’re always a guest and never an owner in a live USB boot login.

It’ll be different on my Librem 5. I don’t intend to do anything outside of using the features supported by Purism on my first Librem 5. If I decide to replace the OS or to recompile the kernel or do anything else semi-radical or risky, I’ll buy a second L5 for just that purpose. I used the word “if” but maybe I should say “when”. I won’t be satisfied until I can do anything on my L5 that I can do on a desktop PC. That includes replacing the OS to get back to having a working unit again if I mess anything up badly enough to require a fresh install. But I wouldn’t want to risk my daily driver. And I say “daily driver” when maybe I should say “low-risk experiments phone”. I probably won’t completely abandon my Android phone until I have established an acceptably comfortable lifestyle using my Librem 5 only. But that will probably require taking some risk to get everything working exactly how I want it to work, meaning that I will almost for sure need a second L5 to do some high-risk experiments on. But I need to get that first L5 first. If it passes a basic muster, I might order my second L5 the same day I receive my first one. If Purism does their work correctly, they won’t need an affiliate program. PureOS will sell itself and will generate more future orders than an affiliate program ever could.


maintain their RYF plans … :upside_down_face: :joy:

It isn’t entirely clear whether the person who started this topic intended the question in the context of Purism hardware or in the context of any random hardware. I took it as the former.

I believe they can’t do that without putting certification at risk. Regardless, it would go against one of their basic ideas.

There’s nothing stopping someone else doing that.

I’m with you on that paragraph. I really want to use my Librem 5 as my daily driver - and that means not being too adventurous with tinkering with it, particularly not until I know how to backup and restore the entire system from scratch. (Backup and restore is in some ways better than re-install.)

Yes, I am focusing on using PureOS with Purism hardware because I spent a significantly larger amount of money (probably 100% more) for this setup compared to the alternatives. I have been purchasing from Linux friendly vendors for over a decade and I am a Linux sysadmin as one of my day jobs. Here is a good example of one of the issues I encountered:

The Librem Key is based on Nitro Key. One of the features of the nitro key is password management. I have seen questions on this forum and forums on other sites asking if password management works on the Librem Key. (e.g. Librem Key, practical usage scenarios). There has been no update to this in the FAQ or docs and not enough users tackling the issue to make the forum a good resource for the issue.

While the company staff is helpful things like this keep falling through the cracks. I’m hoping this thread will help me gather outstanding issues so I can post support tickets for Purism to address them. I’m not here to complain but to give constructive criticism. I could be doing other stuff that’s really important to me but I spend almost an hour researching and organizing when making these posts.

Other issues not mentioned above and off the top of my head that make long term use of PureOS challenging:

  • librem key is locked by one process and not available to others
  • Gnome login and screensaver can’t get librem key half the time
  • Graphical SUDO prompt does not use librem key
  • Heads still listed as beta and not supported in Librem docs (https://docs.puri.sm/PureBoot/Heads/Report_an_Issue.html)
  • No link to report bugs for heads in docs. Had to post to forums to find site and have to dig it up if I need to do it again
  • lack of Qubes + Librem Key + LUKS docs

If I use a different distro I lose the login screen intregration with librem key but I gain the use of all of those other apps that PureOS is protecting me from like 32bit and KDE and Plugins to Visual Studio Code. It is time to re-install again but I have to find a few hours to do that and dig through random pages and forum posts to decide if I want to try Qubes this time around. Seems from forum posts that Qubes + LUKS + Librem Key may be troublesome and there is no documentation on it.


i bought my Librem-Key mainly to support that in addition to it being ‘made-in-the-USA’

Quick addition to problems with librem:

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By no documentation, you man there are no “MAN” pages?

Using PureOS for 18 months in a business setting. A further 6 months in advance to see if it works for my small org (up to 12 active users at any time). No plans whatsoever to move off. We looked at many different potential workstations: Fedora/RHEL, Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Mint/PopOS, Debian/PureOS, OpenSuse. Settled on PureOS because of the various things we can integrate with it that we need for extra device level security we get with Heads, etc (we are on the move a lot in places where tampering is a real issue).

Get everything we could ask for with PureOS. At home I still run various distros (Arch, Fedora, OpenSuse) to keep checking. With snaps, flatpak and Appimage what we need as a workstation OS is a stable base. There’s nothing we can’t do with PureOS based on our needs. It has never failed us and not a single update has caused us any headache. And there isn’t anything we want to use we can’t (general office and communications stuff, we’re not developers).

The only one thing that might eventually cause us to leave is the lack of paid support. We tried to get a quote from Purism on that when it was advertised on the website (not sure it is now) but couldn’t get a one beyond installation (probably too small). Ultimately as a small business, support is very useful to have just in case (we’d never have used it to-date) so if we might move we’d move to the only comparably good business workstation out there: SLED. But even Suse can’t give something that works so easily and well as PureOS with so little idiosyncrasies (e.g. can’t get IKEv2 IPsec VPN working with network manager). So PureOS it is.


might be related > https://lbry.tv/@BrodieRobertson:5/desktop-linux-will-never-matter-to-the:8

I’m on PureOS for almost three years now (L13 early 2018, L15 in 2020; also a Mini in 2020 that still waits for me to turn it on for the first time… Theses holidays would actually be a good time to do that :thinking:)

I’m a 100% KDE guy on the desktop (my L5 might turn me into a part-time Gnome user for the first time). Only had minor issues with KDE.

Using PureOS at home on my L13 for almost 2 years with no OS problems. I am not a developer, though. Mostly use it for as a secure netbook, really. Most of the things I do on it could be done pretty easily in another distro, but I like that it’s all default and runs smoothly in PureOS. The only other distro I have any experience with is Ubuntu, and it compares equally from a usability standpoint (and definitely better from a Libre standpoint).

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Seems that we have maybe half and half of the posters using/not PureOS. Can’t find a way to edit the OP but I’d like to know how many of those using PureOS are using LUKS to encrypt drives. I got it to work once. There is a bug in the installer that is stopping me from re-installing. https://tracker.pureos.net/T752

I’m using LUKS to encrypt drives. It’s been a while since I re-installed PureOS, sometime spring last year, but I had no issues with LUKS whatsoever. Image here shows what I selected during the installer:

Are there alternatives aside from leaving the disk unencrypted, which I don’t consider an alternative or an option?

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@pfm I agree. No encryption is a no go. In my case I have multiple partitions and cannot let the installer wipe the entire disk. I have posted on the bug https://tracker.pureos.net/T752 which is a few years old and marked high priority.

Understandable that you can’t erase the whole disk… this is strange, especially since you can’t really encrypt the partition afterwards. Sorry, I’m of no help here, hopefully somebody else has a solution.

yes LVM has problems when encryption is selected … tried with both PureOS-10-Byzantium GNOME LIVE and OEM and they presented the same error some time into the install process

will test again when the latest ISO drops sometime later this year … i would have an updated one quarterly if possible just to measure how much the installer improves and where the problems lie …

as might be expected Purism hardware will have a better chance at LESS problem encounters …