Multiple Different Logins on Librem 5

Does the Librem 5 allow multiple different logins the way that Desktop operating systems do?

There are Android apps that allow multiple different logins on rooted phones. So the phone acts differently when I login to it. When you loan your L5 to a family member, they log you out and log themselves in, so the phone runs how they prefer to see and use it. Does the Librem 5 support this feature?

From what I read here, it isn’t configured that way out of the box. Still, it’s LINUX, you can make it do that if you want.

1 Like

on any GNU/Linux distribution the primary administrator CAN define multiple user-accounts that are split into two groups :
1st group HAS administrator rights (can make system changes with sudo)
2nd group does NOT have admin rights (it’s just a regular user or a guest)
then there are also the permissions that can be set on bulk or individually on directories/files themselves
rwx for root rwx for groups and rwx for others (3 permission groups coupled with the ownership changes possible) make it a really robust way to administer things.

Keep in mind, that a phone is not a PC. When I boot my FreeBSD laptop, an alpha console comes up with login: and I login as user guru and can (among other commands) use startx to bring up a X11 plus KDE or Gnome GUI.

A mobile, in turn, like my Ubuntu based one, always boots directly into the GUI using some unpriv user, in my case ‚phablet‘. This is not easy to change, even if it is Linux.

There’s a bit of truth in both perspectives.

It is Linux, it is open source, so, given enough time and effort and expertise, you can make it do whatever you want.

It may not be as easy as just saying “It’s Linux, therefore it supports different logins”.

My guess is that, at Evergreen shipment, this functionality won’t be available.

However I think we can all see the merits of the use case set out by @StevenR so perhaps it will happen later on.

It’s not just so that the user experience is customized to the settings of the individual user. It could also be about the privacy of your contacts, emails, texts, … To pick up on Kyle Rankin’s recent metaphorical post: if your phone is your digital castle then if you are going to loan the keys to the castle to a family member then you are going to want multiple logins.

On the other hand, maybe Purism wants your family member to buy his or her own Librem 5. :wink:

1 Like

Even so, I wouldn’t mind having a “desktop login” for plugging it into a monitor and a “phone login” for when it’s not. You could do things like have a vertical wallpaper for one and horizontal for the other, have the web browser request mobile sites on one and desktop on the other, have different icons on the desktop, etc. I can understand going straight to one or the other on boot, but being able to log out and in as a different account has real value on this phone.

1 Like

A truly convergent phone is indistinguishable from desktop. One user on phone is a leftover from dumb phones, where the concept of a user is absent. Purism would need to specifically go out of their way to disable multiple users on PureOS.

All that is really needed is a way in gnome to switch consoles using only a mouse.

Not right now, but the only missing piece is a touch-friendly display manager and we want to eventually fill that gap in.