Mobian experience

I am creating this new topic to discuss the use of Mobian on the Librem 5.

I have been running it for a couple of weeks now and here are some of my observations so far:

  • New ringtone and message alert tone
  • Cellular modem somewhat slower to wake up from suspend than on Byzantium, but still manages to get calls through. Waking from suspend, wifi activates faster than cellular.
  • Cell modem crashing more often than in Byzantium
  • Follow links switches to the web browser, which was never the case for me in Byzantium
  • Frequent updates, more or less every day
  • I have the same user and keyring password. Mobian does not ask for the keyring password when logging in.

Start-up screen says Debian 12 (bookworm), but repos are Trixie

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb trixie main

Mobian versions (Byzantium)

phosh version 0.36.0 (0.32.0)
phoc 0.36.0 (0.29.0)
chatty 0.8.1 (0.7.3)
gnome-calls 45.0 (45~alpha.0)
phosh-mobile-settings 0.36.0 (0.29.0)
phosh-mobile-tweaks 0.36.0 (0.32.0)
geary 44.1 (40.0)
gnome-calendar 46~beta-1 (41.0)
gnome-contacts 46~beta-1 (43~beta-1)
gnome-keyring 42.1 (3.36)

Runs here since 2 days. Have only as a grave critic the slow and sometimes modem-crashing waking up on incoming calls while phone is in suspend state.

For keyring I have done the same as You. Makes life easier.
After base install no ringing sound. Have to install additionally oxygen-sounds via apt.
Millipixels cam also do work as expected.

Will be a VERY good system if the problems with the modem could be solved


Anything terribly cool about using these updated apps?

Thank you for your report.

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The new geary version for me starts waaay faster and could be used connecting to my IMAP server with a huge amount of mails spread in an also notceable amount number of subfolders.
With the Geary of Byzantinium You could not work with lots of mail. With the 44.1 its running usable


Maybe not terribly cool, but many apps feel a bit snappier and looks slightly better. One big difference is the bottom bar, which is only a thin line in Mobian vs. an “^” + a kb icon in Byzantium, gives a little more useful screen space.

Another interesting observation right now is that Byzantium is running at a higher load average, 2.95 vs only 1.16 for Mobian. In the former, all four cores seem to work harder with only “Usage” open. Measured by htop, Byzantium’s cores range betw. 5-80% most of the time, while Mobian only betw. 1-10%, which is also visible looking at the processor graphs in the “Usage” app.


Thanks for starting this thread @tomoqv . I have been frustrated with Purisms handling of this situation, so I’ve been debating whether to try Crimson or go with Mobian. I think I will try the Mobian route.

Can I ask, what instructions or steps did you use to install? I notice that Jumpdrive is an option and bmaptools is an alternative? I guess it depends upon whether want to install to SD first and then to the eMMC? I’m leaning towards using bmaptools and directly to the eMMC.

Also, did you have to do any follow up cleaning up of items after the install, or it was operational from the get go?


I started by trying the Mobian installer version and booting from the SD card, but it never gave me the option to install on the phone. After that, I went the Jumpdrive route and flashed the normal Mobian OS directly to the eMMC, which worked without problems. I didn’t have to do anything else in terms of cleaning etc., just installing the apps I needed.


Done this also this way. Jumpdrive and DDed it.

Used a recent weekly build.

@tomoqv: Do You also have flashed an weekly build or is there something like “stable” which is recommended for flashing it?

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Same here:

The lack of information and any kind of a foreseeable time for Crimson ==> I flashed Mobian as an test.

Maybe Mobian is not WAY better than Crimson, but it has an perspective. It is active developed and they make regular builds. Things I can not see ATM for the L5 by Purism


I just flashed the latest build and then I keep updating the system with the almost daily updates.


Which resolution does Megapixels use for the rear camera under Mobian? As I plan to use Jumpdrive to transfer files, I might give Mobian a try on this device, Mobian Trixie already works very well on my Pinephone :slight_smile: (with a few tricks, I had to change something to avoid modem crashes).

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Is there any chance Mobian ships a GTK4 build (Usage 45 or 46)? If so, that’s the likely reason for the vastly different results, as GTK4 supports GPU acceleration and thus can offload the fancy graphs to the GPU. Using htop should be a way better way to compare the two distributions, as GTK3/libhandy based “Usage” was notorios for its high CPU usage on devices like the Librem 5 or PinePhone.


Here is my experience with mobian trixie installer image with full disk encryption:

  1. most gnome apps v46 and gnome settings scale well
  2. snappier
  3. modem recovers itself more reliably
  4. bluetooth appears to work and connect better with various devices like pinetime
  5. had an issue with webdav setup and required Evolution older deb version to sync contacts for contacts and chats app
  6. geary seems to work better and doesnt end up in state where it fails to connect to smpt server
  7. experience occasional graphics glitches in various apps where colours are distorted Freetube channels show dark black and blue, or artifacts suddenly show in app window (striping pixeling and isnt rendered correctly)
  8. experience occasional hangs where the whole shell slows down, freezes, OSK input is slow, ui becomes unresponsive
  9. mobian servers are belly up and cant run apt update on mobian repo
  10. luks osk password entry buttons in lower section like the shift or enter button seem to be unresponsive at first and you have to keep your finger on the button for a while before it toggles
  11. only had to enter the apn for mobile provider chat app automatically configured associated server settings for mms
  12. the Nautilus Gnome Files app doesn’t have the purism patches and isn’t touch friendly, all touch inputs result in popup asking to create New Folder, Open With … .etc, that used to be the same in Calendar app where it asked to create new event on touch input when scrolling for example, Calendar app v46 fixes that

I was on Mobian Trixie, but after automatic suspend regressed (won’t suspend after a few suspend-resume cycles), I flashed mobian Bookworm and this is working great so far. If you notice any issues with automatic suspend, you may want to consider Bookworm.


As mobian is down…how to get a Bookworm image? What DE do You use?


I had an image I downloaded earlier (before I upgraded to Mobian Trixie). I hope the images will be back online soon.

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Mobian is down since a couple of days :frowning:

With the trixie build for me the modem at the beginning works ok but goes more worse on every suspend/wakeup.

After some days of use the calls were no more usable, the modem hangs and restart does not help. I have to reflash the phone with PureOS to overcome that. Therefore I would be glad to test an non-trixie-based version. Does anybody have one which could be uploaded FE to my nextcloud server?

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Slightly OT, but may matter to some: Mobian is back up!