[MyL5] First Impressions of Evergreen (Tim's story)

@Products4People Thank you for the time taken to write that post and sharing your impressions. Wish you and all us others good luck and pleasure with our (future) Librem 5 handheld-computer.

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I think people tend to forget how rough around ALL edges were Android and iOS when they first came out. I think we, as customers first, and mostly Linux geeks second, are sometimes to harsh on people that are trying to do something new within our fav ecosystem. It might not be perfect now, but it will be soon thanks to the likes of Purism, Pine64 and the great community we all are part of.


My Android is still rough around the edges! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


That’s a somewhat simplistic description. We do have working cpuidle in the kernel, so the cores that aren’t used shouldn’t consume much energy. However, CPU cores are far from the only things present in the whole SoC - there are many components driven by many clocks and regulators with complicated structure and dependencies. Some things can be clocked down, others can be fully disabled, for some you can even cut the power straight from the PMIC. Parts of that are already working, other parts aren’t done yet.

In my experience turning the cores off with /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/online didn’t really influence power usage compared to having them still on but idle, but otoh I haven’t really made a scientific experiment and the difference may have been there but drowned in measurement noise. Anyway, you’re the root, feel free to use it if you find out it makes a difference for your use case :wink:


Reminds me of the time I first saw a “screen saver”, in the mid 1980’s, the engineer who was not using the computer at the moment said: “A busy computer is a HAPPY computer!”


You’re very welcome and your post made me realize I have been calling my Librem 5 a “Linux phone” to my social circle for the past three years. I see Purism going the “handheld computer” or “computer in your pocket” route, which is certainly true as well. I guess I’ve been hoping people would have heard of Linux but for those who never have, those other definitions may inspire their interest.

Thanks for your comment and I think that’s very true. It’s pretty sad because who would be upset at someone else who buys a new kind of phone. It’s not anything against anyone else what phone you choose to buy, for crying out loud.

Where it’s likely to make a difference is when the phone is not idle. The VRMs for the CPU have an efficiency curve, and likely the CPU cores themselves do. Hard to say if running 1 core at full speed 4x as long will use more or less energy than 4 cores 1x as long. As you say, best thing to do, if it matters, is try it and see with a particular workload.

Well, they also still mainly call it a phone. A Security & Privacy Focused Phone.
Actually, recently I thought it’s “wrong” to call Purism a Linux company or the Librem 5 a Linux phone.
Why? Well, who calls Tesla a Lithium company?

Linux is the means, but not a value in itself. One can realize that when somebody points out “But Android is also Linux!”. Then you go “But I mean… GNU/Linux… You know, pure!”
But that’s not the point.
Purism could have chosen (or could switch to) any libre OS. Of course, Linux is the natural choice.
The word Linux appears one time on the product page, and only after you scroll quite a few pages… And it makes sense. Purism doesn’t want to cater to Linux fans, but to those who desire freedom, security and privacy.
Our friends and relatives probably really don’t care much about penguins and gnus, but more and more are looking for those things, and we need to focus on them.

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It just came to my mind that it’s not entirely true - there has been some work on suspend done in the past. It needs a different ATF branch than the one we’re using right now - I know that it worked for me in the past with an older kernel (haven’t tried with recent ones). However, as it is right now it breaks the DRAM frequency scaling, which makes the device use quite a lot of power when not suspended, so that’s a rather poor tradeoff and is the reason why it’s not used at the moment. It also needs some adjustments of the device tree to make sure the modem stays on during suspend (this one shouldn’t be hard though).

You should be able to use s2idle already if you want to make sure your cores stay idle, although it seems like there’s something buggy in the USB path as suspending the USB core currently makes it consume slightly more power than when it’s on :smiley: Therefore we currently don’t suspend it at runtime at all, but it gets suspended at s2idle which makes it consume a bit more power than when not suspended. Fixing that is part of runtime power management work.

So, the first step to make s2ram a reality is to produce one common (and preferably upstreamed) ATF branch that works with both DRAM scaling and suspend. We want that to eventually happen for other reasons as well, so we’ll likely get there at some point (this is also something that NXP itself expressed interest in working on at some point, so it may even happen without our involvement giving us more time to work on phone specific stuff :)).

I disagree. It’s not just a unspecified “optimization work”, there are clear and tangible things still to be done in runtime PM - like the USB core not being suspended that I mentioned above, or DP core never suspending after the first use etc. This directly influences suspend as well, since the kernel is using the same code to shut the devices off. Since in suspend everything gets turned down at the same time, there are more opportunities to make some hacks and broad assumptions that won’t hold when suspending peripherals selectively (Librem 5’s power paths are pretty complex for a mobile phone). Therefore I believe that making sure the runtime PM is in good state before putting the focus on suspend is a better approach, since good runtime PM state makes the work on suspend much easier; while going the other way around (focusing on suspend first) may make further runtime PM work harder.

I do understand that from the user perspective it may be better to have at least some form of suspend available earlier - but that’s short-term thinking. We want to maintain software for this device for years as close to mainline as possible, so we’ll naturally gravitate towards long-term thinking and give things like ease of maintenance much greater weight than some other phone manufacturers on the market.


That makes sense. I just hope that suspend can come as it really will help workflow. Still don’t take any of my comments as an actual criticism but rather as my wishes.

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Wha? How did you get in on that you lucky dog? I was watching closely, and still missed the very small window of opportunity to buy one. Is it working? They keep talking about not having an optimized OS, and since you say you’re not a Linux guy, I’m interested in your opinion about it’s usability.

There are a lot of reviews here: http://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=11333.

Please don’t go off-topic.


My impression so far is that time-between-charges is the single biggest issue preventing this phone from being a daily driver (hence my experimentation with a spare battery and an external charger).

Hence also from a sales pipeline perspective. That too is short-term thinking, and can be ignored if you’ve got the cash or cashflow.

Hi folks. My continuation of my Evergreen story is to pop on here to say the story is ending. After careful consideration this miserable summer, I’ve listed my Evergreen on eBay. I’ve done my best to describe this unique phone as accurately as possible so a buyer knows what they’re getting. I have no idea if 700 is going to get a bite, but I want to see what happens. I wish you all the best with Byzantium on your phones when it comes out. I need to move on for various reasons.


The ebay page says “This listing has ended.”

Is it sold already?

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Kudos for one of the most reasonably priced sales of the Librem5 on eBay, glad it sold as quickly as it should!

Hope you find something else you like that works for you :slight_smile:

Thanks, nimji. I am proud to have backed the project and played with one of the most interesting phones ever attempted–but honestly it was spending 99% of its time on a shelf in the living room, doing no good to anyone. The world needs consumer hardware with kill switches and free and open source operating systems to fight the Apple and Google models that are only getting worse with time, so someone can use this right away. I will keep an eye on what happens with Fir and gladly order one if that day comes, but right now I’m decluttering my life and keeping only what works the best for my purposes.


Thanks P4P

I hope L5 will be the groundstone for being the first premium freedom phone and, companies get the bravery hopefully to take some things from it to build a successful revolutionary sequel!