New Post: A Librem 5 Video Made on a Librem 5

So your sticking point is that you must connect a USB-C hub to the Librem 5 to make it function as a desktop, and in your mind a desktop computer has to have multiple and separate ports (specifically separate monitor and power ports) to qualify?

I don’t agree with your definition, but I suppose we can agree to disagree. I define a desktop computer not by resources (because those change every year so you would be drawing arbitrary new lines each year that would disqualify computers that qualified previously), nor by number or type of ports, but by whether you can connect it to a monitor and input devices and run desktop applications.

To another person’s point, yes this would qualify the RPi as a desktop computer, but it is marketed as one! The big success of RPi is that it has brought desktop computing features in a low-cost, low-power, and small package so people (in particular kids) can learn software development in an easy, low-cost way. The RPi certainly has more resources than some of my own desktop computers in the past, so again, this points to the problem of using the sliding scale of computing resources to qualify something as a “desktop computer” versus qualifying it based on functionality.

Picking an arbitrary game or high-resource-consumption application you might rely on but others might not, to qualify something as a desktop computer or not is also not the best definition, because, again, you would be disqualifying plenty of existing (and past) desktop computers.

All of this is why I stick more to a functional definition, and why I feel the Librem 5 meets that functional definition. From the beginning we have wanted to make the Librem 5 a desktop computer that fits in your pocket and that goal is why we have made so many of the design decisions we have made from using PureOS instead of a mobile-only OS and focused on convergence from the beginning.


I can. I still have an iMac gathering dust. It’s basicly a monitor with some tiny computer motherboard hidden inside the chassis.


Yes and in addition to that and the other integrated desktop computers out there, on the other end are people who are given a laptop for work, but leave it lid closed, connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse the majority of the time. Their computer certainly qualifies as a laptop, but they are using it as a desktop computer and not as a laptop most of the time.

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Well, my Raspberry Pi Zero ran for a long time, 24/7, an email server an dns server and so… So if I apply your functional definition, that means the RPI Zero is a server not a desktop computer.

Let’s not confuse hardware with their functions/roles. According to site, Librem 5 is “A Security and Privacy Focused Phone”.
The RPI is a single-board computer or system-on-chip type computer.
The computer I’m writing now is a laptop.
All of these hardware can function in different roles. Librem 5 is hardware not function.

In your case your computer functioned as a server. I’ve used many computers you would call “desktop computers” as servers in the past. The Librem Mini can function as both: many people use it as a desktop computer, I use mine as a server.

That’s what makes them general-purpose computers. And that is the point with the Librem 5. It’s not just a phone although that’s the form-factor. It’s a general-purpose computer running a general-purpose OS that can function as a phone but can also function as a desktop computer (with a hub + monitor + input devices) or a laptop (with a laptop dock) or even as a server! While a majority of our customers will probably use their own Librem 5 as a phone, I suspect there are customers who will use their Librem 5 for one or more of these other functions too.


This is more or less how the Nexdock 2 I have would work (we are finishing up support for this hardware now). They are also advertising a clip that lets you mount the phone to the side of the monitor but I’m not sure how well that would work in practice.


Just to highlight something that I think is more important than the digression into definitions, and is the thing that started the digression in this thread: there seems to be a belief by some that we were trying to be deceptive or exaggerating when we described the Librem 5 as a “full-blown quad-core desktop computer, that is also a phone.”

We are not trying to deceive or exaggerate anything. We truly think of the Librem 5 as a desktop computer in your pocket. It’s in a phone form factor and can make and receive phone calls, but it’s a general-purpose computer running the same general-purpose OS as our laptops and Librem Mini. This whole video demonstrates our using the Librem 5 as a desktop computer running desktop video and audio editing applications to make the video itself. All of this has been a fundamental aspect of our design and our goals since the beginning.

If you were to sit many people in front of the keyboard, mouse and monitor, and present them with phosh in desktop mode running on the Librem 5, they would be hard-pressed to immediately distinguish it from phosh running on PureOS on the Librem Mini or a Librem laptop. That is the entire point of real convergence. The Librem 5 is not running some “mobile port” of these applications, or a mobile OS, it’s running the same PureOS software on the same PureOS operating system (plus a few extra mobile-specific packages like Calls and newer kernels), just recompiled for arm64.

Perhaps some people apply a much stricter definition than we do for what qualifies a general-purpose computer to function as a desktop computer, and perhaps those people wouldn’t include a Raspberry Pi or anything else but something in an actual full-height desktop case. That’s fine. People (especially geeks) love to debate definitions. But I want to make it clear here, because this goes directly to the foundations behind the Librem 5 design, that we at Purism are not trying to deceive with how we present the Librem 5. We truly think of it and treat it as a general-purpose computer running a desktop OS in a phone form factor. It can function as a phone for sure (that’s one of the hardest parts for a general-purpose computer), but it can also function as a desktop, laptop and server. If all we wanted to do was create yet another phone running not-Android, it would have been a lot easier :slight_smile:


if we’re striving toward generalizing then i believe that ALL compute-capable-device-nodes that feature a dedicated or integrated NIC can and should be called IOTs not just ARM devices … x86 and x86-64 and all the other architectures fall into that category and nowadays the vast majority of people get an IOT so they can have some form of ACCESS to the public word wide network (internet) … that’s also where by accident or by design they get spied and catalogued by different individuals/organizations with questionable goals …

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I would be surprised if the iMX8M is faster than a low-end new laptop CPUs due to significantly better IPC on intel processors and it’s pretty hard nowadays to find a laptop with less than 4GB of RAM (which the Librem 5 has).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge supporter of the Librem 5 and have been a backer since it’s announcement but be careful about what you state what it’s comparable to to don’t get customers who might then expect more than the product delivers.


it’s also a know fact that Linux is FASTER in certain workloads than other OSs however that is true if you run Linux on the other hw in question …

The beauty of the strong marketing and full locking, is that they made you think your phone is not a computer: regular customers get fooled, technicians get fu***d.


Maybe you are not trying but… somehow you succeed.

Like in the video you want to " demonstrates our using the Librem 5 as a desktop computer running desktop video and audio editing applications[…]".

Someone naive, watching that video and reading that blog post would get the impression that video and audio editing is fun on Librem 5. Look how smooth everything looks, right? There is no word about the struggles, about the low performance of the hardware for such tasks, everything looks fine, right? But look closer: re-applying a Noise Reduction filter in Audacity to a mono 5.5 minute audio track is estimated to run for 19 seconds, not the split-second impression given in the video. Nowhere you can see continuous work flow of editing to have a real impression on how the applications perform. When there is a few seconds of continuous video you mostly see the mouse playing in the menus where of course is smooth.

And then we have the final phrase deceiving that Librem 5 is (comparable with) full-blown quad-core desktop computer.


soldiers and real news reporters and investigators can even end up DEAD …

I’m glad you injected your addition in parentheses because we did not say “comparable with” we said it was a full-blown quad-core desktop computer. Which it is. Saying “comparable with” (which implies performance) especially if we pointed to some high-end desktop computer, would certainly be deceptive. Yet that’s not what we did. We are saying it’s a quad core desktop computer. The video (and other videos we’ve posted) show it functioning as a desktop computer.

Due to the leanness of Linux overall, and the benefit of having a decent GPU for the form-factor, we are able to get some pretty nice performance out of the hardware, enough that as I’ve said, I expect to use it to replace my own personal laptop. Others may have heavier workloads and maybe it won’t work for them. Like so many things with specs and hardware, it will depend. The point of the above video is to demonstrate that you can use desktop tools on the Librem 5 in desktop mode. There’s no porting required, it just works like you would expect. It behaves like a desktop computer running a desktop OS, not like a phone connected to a monitor running a phone OS.


Just the fact that it is even possible to create such a video with powerful tools like kdenlive shows, that this hardware is a real computer. I can understand if it sounds too much like bad marketing, but in this case it is just true. And if you look at the modern Zen3 Ryzen, you aren’t even able to buy 4 cores anymore. That fact alone shows that nobody tried to show it is something like a high end computer, if they speak about 4-cores.

But okay, I understand why people want to call it a phone instead of computer. It’s the main usage and laptop replacement or similar things are just additional things this device can handle. But I think this fact makes the other definition not wronger. It is just another point of view and one reason I love Linux phones so much more then any other locked phone.

In future we will have phones, that can render 4k videos in just a few seconds with 32GB or even more RAM, better CPU and GPU then desktop PCs nowadays and there are even fewer use cases to buy a real desktop or laptop. Are my points understandable? This is just the beginning.


This whole argument is completely silly and I’d like it to stop.
“desktop” adj: Designed for use on a desk or table.
For a computer, that would mean allowing for a certain method of use: sitting on a desk, with a display that’s too big to carry regularly, using a non-integral keyboard and mouse. The Pentium III box I use for one specific thing at work is still a desktop, and NUCs are desktops with laptop CPUs, so it’s not about power. Desktops have so many form factors, including this thing with it’s 6" screen, that it can’t be a specific set of shapes and sizes. Most laptops and a few tablets are desktops, but are not marketed as such because you buy them for additional methods of interacting with them that you don’t get with a large box.
Where the issue is, is whether something is not a desktop if you require an object other than the peripherals to connect the peripherals to the device. Based on how article-writing people with very important opinions seem to think that you turn a phone with DeX into a desktop instead of asserting that a phone with it already is one, I would, for the sake of clarity, say…no. Once you’ve got the hub attached, then sure, a Librem 5 is a desktop, but not before then. On the other hand, monitors with displayport in over usb-c exist now, which arguably removes that requirement, since now it’s designed to work on a desk or table, just not necessarily your desk or table.
So the statement that the Librem 5 is a desktop is somewhat inaccurate depending on what monitor you’ve got, but it does ship with software designed to be used that way. And it still isn’t dangerous and deceptive advertising and there’s no need to get all worked up about it.

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This discussion can go in any number of directions.

The Librem 5, when I have it, will be able to do some things that my current desktop computer cannot (e.g. touch screen) and actually has more cores than my current desktop computer (4 v. 2) - but for sure it won’t be able to do some things as fast (e.g. compute intensive stuff - I posted some benchmarks based on the Pi a while back Raspberry pi software information)

The main thing is that one day it will be … in my pocket - and I’m confident that my current desktop computer can’t do that. :slight_smile:

I didn’t read all the replies in this topic but it is also fair to point out that, where the Librem 5 is not itself up to the job, it can be an access device for a computer that is up to the job. Remote in to your high end computer to kick off your Computational Fluid Dynamics job or your Quantum Modelling, and display and interact with the results on your Librem 5 when the results are available, anywhere anytime.


The Librem 5 has performance between a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and 4B. See the benchmarks. The one area where the Librem 5 will shine is that it can run a 4K@60 display and the i.MX 8M Quad has a VPU capable of reproducing 4K video, so Purism isn’t exaggerating in terms of the video out capabilities.

For running office software, web browsing, watching video and low-resolution gaming, I don’t doubt that the Librem 5 can function as a low-powered desktop PC, but I think Purism loses credibility when its propaganda creates the expectation that the phone will have the performance of a normal PC, because it simply doesn’t have that kind of CPU and GPU performance, nor does it have enough RAM to be marketed that way.

I hate to say this, but Purism already has a credibility problem with its marketing (go read the critics on r/Purism). In my opinion, Purism will win more customers by setting realistic expectations and not giving the critics more ammunition to publicly criticize the company.


They aren’t creating expectations, you’re making assumptions.

This whole argument that “full blown desktop” is inaccurate is silly because it is entirely based on semantics. If you split any hair finely enough, everyone is wrong about everything.

I’m surprised no one has yet said “It isn’t a desktop computer because it goes in your pocket!”


Unless you want to solve the N-Queens problem. :rofl: