Mobian on Librem 5

I haven’t really seen or heard anything from users on their experience with running Mobian on Librem 5. Is it supported, is Mobian supporting all the Librem 5 functions, like camera, modem, GPS etc. How fast does it boot, run, launch apps compared to PureOS etc.

Maybe share some pictures :slight_smile:

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I have been using Mobian Trixie on my Librem 5 for many months. Everything that worked with PureOS works too. The difference is newer versions of gnome and other software. One thing I noticed broken is Browserpass extension no longer works with Firefox. You have to apply a patch to gnome-settings-daemon power-manager: Show sleep warning conditional to chassis type (!338) · Merge requests · GNOME / gnome-settings-daemon · GitLab or disable Screen Wake up on critical notifications in phosh mobile settings.


I guess I’m an old fart, looking up Trixie the first 20 taglines either tells me how to download it or whether it is safe to download.

What the heck does it do?

It is like scrolling through news and reading “Celebrity {x} dies (or does {y}).” Then I ask myself, who the hell was {x}? Because I never watched or listed to the subject when they were active.

Now the Beatles new song, I understand.


Trixie (aka Debian 13) is the bleeding edge version of Debian. Bookworm (aka Debian 12) was the previous and is now considered stable now.

Stable meaning that it won’t get new features ans updates are bugfix only. (Not adding new features is less likely to break something).

Debian is another linux distro which Mobian is based off of. Like PureOS.

Edit: Yeah I find codenames for software versions confusing as well.


If Trixie is the bleeding edge, then what is Sid?

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Thanks that is awesome I have my backup L5, that is sortof my testing one and to play around with phone. I will give it a try.

When you say “Everything works” does that include all the sensors?

  1. making a phone call the near your face sensor that turns off the display
  2. echo cancellation on calls, you can’t hear an echo other person can’t hear echos
  3. screen rotates on autorotate

Also does the UI pretty much look the same with Phosh?

Also are you supposed to flash:




Not really sure why there are two different image files in mobian.

The source of the bleeding

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ah ok so the 20231029 is trixie and 12 is bookworm based?

20231029 is trixie just flashed it and it worked and resized partitions automatically and properly. The few things I have noticed about the mobian image:

  1. wifi doesn’t come up very fast after boot
  2. the password entry using keyboard entry not pin entry is white themed instead of dark
  3. the files manager works a little like nemo in that it keeps popping up the menue to create new folders when using touch, so its not quite optimized for touch (as in pureos so Purism must have applied some patches)
  4. settings menue toggles sometimes don’t toggle
  5. unfortunately the mobian images aren’t encrypted images so i doubt it is possible to “easily” enable whole disk encryption after the fact (flashing of non-encrypted image)
  6. gnome store is soo much better and robust (I was installing 10 apps at the same time flatpak and deb, no problem, while navigating around searching for more apps and installing more apps), while installing applications works, system updates say download/restart however on restart it didn’t actually install anything and you have to do it through the terminal
  7. online dav addressbook, calendar haven’t been able to add through calendar app or evolution not sure whats different there after restore from backup (which worked) it now connects
  8. gnome-tweaks didn’t exist in mobian repository (should exist based on feedback and download should not be necessary typically) so had to download a .deb arm64 version
  9. maybe it is just my imagination but apps launch a lot faster and so far close reliably (I take it back gnome-software just sortof crashed and didn’t show up in activity, had to killall gnome-software to close application window so maybe the occasional hickup, also console crashed on me on launch and when start typing immediatelly)
  10. it does appear to charge slower than with pureos even though it identifies power delivery for the adapter and cable ~3Amps i think
  11. apart from the suspend notifications showing which is fixed in pureos (to be fixed in gnome 46), the console when started doesns’t focus the cursor on text entry field, so user has to manually by touch select that
  12. the openvpn connection connects faster to mobile data or wifi for some reason, maybe updated networkmanager/modemmanager software
  13. networkmanager openvpn plugins are missing so have to be installed manually, mobian only has wireguard, while pureos installs openvpn by default which is nice on pureos
  14. firefox-esr comes with all the mobile device tweaks, but it is a bit funny to see the tiny font url bar at the bottom, also gnome-browser actually kindof works here (crashes occasionally but manageable) though you still have to tab into text input fields since it is still always stuck on the url and doesn’t automatically focus on input fields with OSK
  15. Actually I don’t think the Librem 5 does ever suspend due to the notifications and you have to manually from power menue select suspend work arounds exist turn off wake screen in mobile settings on notification
  16. pureos allows suspend in 2min, mobian lowest setting is 5min, go to dconf “sleep-inactive-battery-type” and change setting from 300 seconds to 120 seconds and you get 2min

Trixie is the current testing version of debian, it is a buffer between sid/unstable and next stable. Packages that passes some quality checks goes from unstable to testing and when testing has no release critical bugs anymore, we will make a copy of testing and call it stable. Usually unstable and testing are very close.

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  1. gnome-tweaks was available from debian trixie repos (which are added automatically to sources.list I think). I could apt install gnome-tweaks now.

14. I see firefox-mobile-config has regressed when it comes to Browserpass extension. This used to work in bookworm, but no longer works in trixie.
15. For automatic suspend, you have to go to Mobile Settings → Feedback → Screen Wakeup → and then select none for Notifications urgency that lights up the screen.

Or install the patched version of gnome-settings-daemon from my personal repo Index of /~praveen/mobian/pool/main/g/gnome-settings-daemon (this will be coming to gnome 46, and may be the patch could be backported once it is accepted).

Since I started with bookworm image and then upgraded to trixie, I still use pulseaudio and there is no echo (trixie is using pipewire). But trixie image may have the echo problem (it may be fixed too). mobian-base and mobian-phone-base is still from bookworm, I did not want to upgrade and confirm since this works. Let me know if you notice the echo problems (it may only be for 2G and not VoLTE network too).

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Awesome both methods work thank you very much for the patch!

It is pretty odd that gnome-tweaks did not show up, maybe I mistyped. I can see

apt info gnome-tweaks now as 42~beta-4


  1. unfortunately the mobian images aren’t encrypted images so i doubt it is possible to “easily” enable whole disk encryption after the fact (flashing of non-encrypted image)

I used LUKS 2 encryption of the 32GB root partition, but mobian did not like that and pull up the LUKS password entry field. Any tips what mobian needs as in grub or boot configuration file updates to detect LUKS root encrypted partitions? Looking at u-boot everything is edited out so I don’t think it is using that configuration file.

It does have the echo problem, or lack of external noise cancellation, the other user reports hearing more noises like you are driving in a car or echo.

You can try downgrading and holding mobian-base and mobian-phone-base to versions in bookworm to improve sound quality until this is fixed.

I tried to encrypt manually using luks earlier, but I could not get the password entry working with touchscreen.

Could someone post a how-to on a Mobian install on the L5 eMMC? I can flash PureOS to the L5 without issues using the dev scripts, but I think that the scripts need modification to flash a Mobian image, and I have no idea how to modify them. TIA for any help provided.

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I started the L5 with jumpdrive and flashed the image with dd on the internal eMMC


OK thanks. I’ll give that a go.

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