Meaning of middle led on librem 13 version 1 (l13v1) alternating ("flashing") orange and white on a 1 second cycle

dear librem 13 hardware experts,

i have a librem 13 version 1 (l13v1).

recently, the middle led started alternating (“flashing”) between brighter orange/red and dimmer white on a (it seems) 1 second cycle. it has been doing this for about 2 weeks now.

what does this mean?

where can i find documentation on the 3 leds on the librem 13 version 1 just above the insert and delete keys (which are just to the left of the power key)?

thanks for any help you can provide!

best wishes,


p.s. long live libre software and hardware!

This is the power state / charging LED. If this is flashing orange (or white/orange when the laptop is powered on) then there was a problem charging the battery.

Batteries age and eventually break, that’s sadly quite natural. Sometimes batteries can be revived a bit again or at least the charging error overcome.

For that I would suggest to power down the laptop, then power up again but keep it in Coreboot/Seabios or PureBoot or Grub, do not boot the OS. Then unplug the charger. If the battery still has some charge, let it run down until the laptop switches off on its own. Once it switched off connect the charger again but keep the laptop off, only the orange charging LED should be on now. Then wait until the LED either turns off or starts to blink again.

Sometimes the battery charger recovers this way. If it starts to blink orange again and eventually even doing so after comparably short time (like 10 to 15 minutes) then it is very likely the battery is broken - the charge controller detects that the voltage is low and that it does not come up by charging it, which usually means that at least one of the cells has gone bad.


1 Like

fantastic information, as usual! i will try it out.

just curious: why do the running-it-on-battery-until-it-dies routine in the bios (mine is still ami (?) bios) rather than under normal operating system (qubes os) control?

Oh of course you can also run it dry while running an OS, that does not matter much. I just mentioned it to avoid data loss from the to be happening sudden power loss. You really want to run it until the battery shuts off the system in hardware and not the OS deciding that it’s time to shut down because the battery is low - we do not want low, we want 0%. If your comfortable doing this while running your OS, sure, that’s fine too.

The charging after that in powered-off mode is just to avoid power budget interference with the charging, charging should then take place form 0% to 100% in one sitting and with the full charge current (which could get reduced otherwise if e.g. an OS is running).



marvelous fantastic detail! you are a fountain of knowledge!

i will likely try this later this week.

I have a similar problem with 15v3. Powering of normally and removing the power cord is sufficient to reset this.
But after some time it happens again. The battery has degraded but still holds for some time.