Lots Of Questions & Suggestions

Hello everyone!

First of all - great job on the new forums. If there’s one thing I’d like to suggest though - try making a full-screen topic creator. I for one don’t care for typing things in this pull-out tab from the bottom of the screen…

Definitely like that you’ve adopted Reddit-like markup though.


  • Are you still going forward with Libreboot? I understand there’s been quite a bit of drama at Libreboot in recent months and I don’t see much of any talk from Purism about it anymore, so that makes me wonder if Purism is dropping it now or something. I know you guys have gotten Coreboot down now it seems, so I would think that discussion about Libreboot would start popping-up at this point.

  • Will you be upgrading the processors again soon? Intel has been making quite a few announcements about their processors as of late, so I wonder what Purism is thinking in regards to CPUs. I myself would think that the next roll-out of Librems should have Kabylake in them, and then you’ll be using that until Coffeelake comes out sometime early next year I imagine. However I also read things about a “Kabylake Refresh” coming up and so forth, so the CPU topic has become pretty saturated with choices it seems. But yeah, Intel has dropped a lot of information lately and just wondering what Purism is thinking about it.

  • Is PureBrowser basically just a branch of Firefox? It sure looks like one. Can you add Firefox addons and the likes to it? I actually have a custom version of Firefox I’ve been working on and I’m sure that a Linux version could be made.

  • After getting Libreboot down, I imagine the rest of the roadmap will be relatively quick, no? It seems to me that the current step you’re on with Coreboot/Libreboot and freeing the ME and everything is the hardest and slowest part. Once you’re beyond that marker, freeing the drive firmware and schematics and getting FSF RYF Certification should go far faster than the rest of roadmap yes? Of course I don’t know, it just seems like this is the biggest incline you’re on right now.

  • How easy is PureOS to pick-up for someone that’s used to Windows? I imagine PureOS was made for Linux newbies but I’m still a bit nervous about it, especially when they’re high-dollar. I know for a fact I’ll still need a Windows computer to be my gaming powerhouse though, but my Purism laptop would be for work and secure communication.

  • Hope you still have Purism routers and phones in your plans!


  • I hear the hinge cover on Librem 15 is plastic. Is it possible to make it metal like the rest of the chassis? I mean, why make it all metal except that one thing? Figure you should go all the way. I say this especially because I’ve had trouble with my hinges busting out before…egh. It’s the most likely part of the chassis to fail, honestly.

  • DuckDuckGo uses Amazon CDN and doesn’t really compete with Google too well in terms of results. StartPage gives you Google results from behind a proxy that expunges as much information as possible and doesn’t have the CDN problem. Further, your image searches are sandboxed behind a proxy, and if you’re cool with not having javascript functionality you can even use StartPage’s proxy service when accessing search results using the “proxy” link beneath them. So yeah, I strongly suggest replacing DuckDuckGo with StartPage.

  • I’m sure your videos app is fine and dandy, but I’ve always been impartial to MPC-HC for being incredibly simple but also giving you immense control under the hood if you’re a tech-savvy type. Unfortunately it doesn’t exist for Linux, but there’s another player that I think is good and interesting - GnomeMPV. You might already know what MPV is, and GnomeMPV improves upon that giving it more options and stuff (one complaint about MPV is that it’s TOO simple… there’s not a lot of buttons and dials to play with. This can address that a little). You might want to try it and see if it’s a better video player. My biggest reason for wanting this though is that it will likely support SVP (you may know what it is - but if you don’t, it increases the framerate of videos through “motion-estimated frame interlopation”, basically creating new frames to fill the framerate) because SVP supports MPV, so I imagine it could also support GnomeMPV too. Though I will likely still be using my Windows machine for watching videos as MPC-HC will still probably be better and most importantly, my preferred video-renderer MadVR doesn’t exist for Linux. Still, worth looking into I figure, it may be better than your current videos application.

Just thought I’d toss all of that out there. I ask all of this because I feel I may be skipping the Librem 15 v2 due mainly to financial reasons and going for the v3 when it comes around. I’m hoping you’ll have Kabylake, a metal hingecover, and maybe even Libreboot by then, but I figure that’s a stretch. I could wait until v4 which I figure would come out next year or something if it seems like you’ll have the “Purism Purist Standard” met by then.


PS: If you guys need any help that someone like me could possibly provide then just let me know, it seems like a cool project you’ve got going here and I’m not really doing anything else right now. If you want some idea of what I can I do I guess you can just see my personal site, but it’s pretty juvenile I guess (and I know I’m a bit of a weirdo too). I’m not versed in Linux or anything deep-coding related, but I understand plenty of more top-level or frontend stuff. I know this is probably pretty useless to you though, so fair enough if that’s the case.

There is nothing preventing us from having our particular coreboot port be as free as Libreboot. It’s “just a name”, not a technical limitation.

Personal opinion: from a branding perspective, I prefer the name coreboot and would tend to just stick to it while progressively freeing as much as possible to match the “libreboot ideal”. Coreboot has more project history, expertise and brand recognition, in my humble opinion. And, as you point out, I’d like to avoid further drama.

Not immediately, “as soon as we can” but it’ll depend on the supply chain and coreboot work. It was easier for us to start with Skylake for now. Also, generally speaking it is much safer to wait one “generation” behind, because it takes a while for the “newest chipset released” to be well supported by the Linux kernel (a year ago, Skylake was pretty bad in terms of power management, for example).

PureBrowser is based on Firefox, with additional add-ons preinstalled, de-branded/re-branded to satisfy the FSF’s requirements, and also with some additional changes such as preventing accidental installation of non-free add-ons (again, a FSF/GNU requirement).

I so wish you are right. I’m not sure however. Usually, the deeper you go the harder it gets, but you are right that the Intel ME was one unusally tough nut to deal with…

It’s pretty much as easy as it can be. Especially preinstalled, I wouldn’t be worried about friends & family using it (presuming they don’t have really crazy needs involving specialized software).

If you are worried about it, download it now and give it a try in virtual machine (such as VirtualBox) or simply by running it off a liveUSB key (no changes to your actual system unless you explicitly install it), then! That way you have no risk (and it’s free!), and you can report any issues you encounter into the PureOS bug tracker.

No plans about routers so far, tablets/phones are the next items on the wishlist, we’ll see what we can do about that in the coming months, we’re just really focused on laptops for now (otherwise people here will shout at us!)

The antennas are located in the hinge cover, making it all metal would be detrimental to signal quality. Also, currently the killswitches are on the hinge cover, too. The cover itself is not the part that is under stress so I don’t see how it would “fail” compared to the rest of the chassis…

I suppose that should be a bug report into the PureOS bug tracker, or for @zlatan-todoric to comment on!

As for the default video player application: I personally think Totem (is it the default one? Not sure, haven’t checked recently) is a great simple app. It plays anything I throw at it, works with Wayland, has sane sound volume controls, and has a minimalistic UI that stays out of the way. If someone wants something more advanced they could just install VLC or mplayer or one of the gazillion fancy video players out there :wink:

i do not agree with the coreboot/libreboot part, just because if everyone read coreboot he understood there is a blobs, while reading libreboot he know the bios is pure
and if someone dont know what difference between coreboot and libreboot or just know nothing about coreboot, he can go on wikipedia and read about blobs
so i think you should reconsider the name, or the risk is someone read coreboot and go over without buying because of it

I prefer the branding and professionalism of Coreboot.


Thanks for that response, Jeff. Gives me a bit of insight into what’s going on.

Sounds like you guys are working on your own version of Libreboot, more or less? Get rid of the binary blobs in Coreboot and you’ve essentially done what Libreboot did, and then you can rebrand it as “Pureboot” or something as Eagle and bp2 has described. I just didn’t know if you had the time and resources to do such a thing, but if you do then go for it - just create your own version of a blob-less Coreboot tailor-made for Librems and rebrand it I say.

I think the Intel ME and BIOS are the hardest probably. When the roadmap says “Drive Firmware” I’m guessing it means hard disk firmware and I wouldn’t think that’d be nearly as difficult to deal with as messing with the fundamentals of the processor. What does “Schematics Freed” even mean exactly?

What exactly does “preventing accidental installation of non-free add-ons” mean? How does it determine this? Is there a whitelist of addons and you can’t add anything else?

As for the router, when I get a Purism laptop I’ll probably just buy myself a router and put an open firmware on it, that’s probably the best that can be done anyway.

Sounds like pretty much everything else is pretty decided. I can understand the hinge cover in that case, just pray the fact that the rest of it is metal holds it together just fine.

I’ll try testing PureOS, but the issue on this computer is that it’s outdated (2011) and has an old NVIDIA card (from back when NVIDIA and Linux really didn’t cooperate with each other). It has a Sandybridge processor and a 560m and some obscure hardware (bough it from OriginPC, and they’re not mainstream), so unsure if it’ll even boot but I’ll try.


Edit: Oh, and I forgot to mention, maybe including at least some kind of AV in PureOS would be nice - ClamAV is open-source and supports Linux apparently.

A piece of software is not completely free if it suggests non free software. Mozilla’s addons center is full of proprietary (non-free) plugins. Our PureBrowser is using this link for its plugins center: https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/GNU_IceCat You can tune this link in vendor.js file (look here for examples: https://git.parabola.nu/abslibre.git/tree/libre/iceweasel/vendor.js).

There’s clamav in PureOS AFAIK, you just need to install it.

Ah I see. I thought Jeff was saying that you actually can’t install addons you want. While I wouldn’t install non open-source addons, it made me wonder how it determines that and I thought it also kinda went against the idea of giving the user total power to do what they want over their own system.

This makes more sense. So you’re just making it so that users aren’t exposed to non-open add-ons unless they explicitly go looking for it, yes?

All of that being said, I’d feel pressed not to just use what I’m used to and get Ungoogled Chromium and modifying it the way I do to further secure it. I’ll try giving it a spin anyway, but I’ve never been as much a fan of Firefox’s aesthetic admittedly, and ScriptSafe is such a powerful tool (blocks fingerprinting readouts) that Firefox doesn’t have.

Alrighty, I just didn’t see it in the PureOS page.

Why would it exist on the system but not be installed though? Maybe that’s just a Linux norm though.

@Alex, the beauty of PureOS (and any GNU/Linux distributions) is that you can easily and freely install those applications that are not installed by default. It is very easy.

There is a friendly app called Gnome Software for that matter. Unfortunately, some applications from the PureOS repository are still missing in Gnome Software but they can also be installed through the terminal :
sudo apt install gnome-mpv

About DuckDuckGo vs StartPage, I do agree with you and we should discuss it with @zlatan-todoric. We may move to StartPage if he agrees as well. The FSF shouldn’t be against that move?

Fair enough, thanks.[quote=“francois-techene, post:9, topic:977”]
@Alex, the beauty of PureOS (and any GNU/Linux distributions) is that you can easily and freely install those applications that are not installed by default. It is very easy.

There is a friendly app called Gnome Software for that matter. Unfortunately, some applications from the PureOS repository are still missing in Gnome Software but they can also be installed through the terminal :
sudo apt install gnome-mpv

Fair enough, thanks for that. Mostly the MPV stuff was just a default suggestion.

Awesome! Yeah I just figured that between the two, StartPage has become the better search engine for multiple reasons. Discovered it through Reddit where they were discussing how DDG uses Amazon servers and that SP’s results are better anyway because of how it works (Google results) - and the sandboxing/proxy features are nice bells and whistles that DDG doesn’t have.

On the topic of trying PureOS, unfortunately I don’t think my current system is compatible with any Linux distro. Attempting to boot from USB just gives a black screen and attempting to boot in VirtualBox just leads to what looks like mangled ASCII or Unicode being spammed-out in a command prompt.

All things considered, when do you think would be the optimal time to buy? Would all additional improvements from here be available as an easily installed update anyway?

If I may make one last aesthetic pick at the librem - do you think you could make the switches more like this again for the Librem15? From some pictures of the new update it looks to me like they’re more of a pointy and tinier switch now - I think I like this slider-looking switch a bit more if you get what I mean. Still just an insignificant nit-pick though I suppose, I just thought it’s more aesthetically pleasing and looks easier to use and sturdier. Overall - I think your first switch design was better, imho.

Thanks for all the responses guys!

as i know all firefox extension inside mozilla store are all open source, and mozilla will recomplie them before put inside the store, isn’t it?

Wouldn’t know that one, but I do know Mozilla really cracked-down on addons after version 40 or so, and especially after version 44 where you basically can’t install unsigned addons at all.

It used to have a section where you could force that protection off in a part of the browser similar to Chrome’s “chrome://flags” section, but then you couldn’t do that either after 44.

Open source does not mean »free« software. For example, look at the license of a plugin here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ghostery/license/7.2.2

i’v learned something new now i got the point
thank you