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

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.

1 Like

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:

Thanks, I’d forgotten those. May have been a repressed memory. I think back then they were also considered a bit off and “less than” a real desktop due to their limitations (which were mostly by design to create closed ecosystem vs. here it’s necessity limiting HW). But it’s less relevant now.

Even laptops are laptops, even though you can make them desktops. Same goes to tablets.

Your definition may be one of an early early adopter perhaps. Or your definition otherwise reflects a situation that could be. But even though “desktop” is a fluid definition, redefined over and over again through time, the definition you are selling does not fit the current general understanding. There is a too great gap between that thought and expectation to many (not all).

You can make a two seat, three wheeled, moped engined car, that has almost no room for luggage, but don’t get offended when you get laughed at and sell nothing after claiming it to be a family sedan. It’s a great car though. That analogy is not the best but it’ll have to do (as in: the definition of a car has and will change - there were small three wheeled “family cars” in the 60’s and they may come again).

As with some other things and definitions, getting to be known and understood to be “desktop” is something that you don’t get to claim yourself - it’s something that is seen afterwards. I don’t deny (and in fact like) that it can do desktop and can be used as desktop and so on. I also think that L5 is more valuable than it being a desktop - it was designed as something better (and different).
[edit: I think I might be offended that L5 is tried to be limited into this desktop concept :face_with_raised_eyebrow:]

Several have clarified my thoughts better than me, so to emphasize:



Folks with an axe to grind will always have something to work on.

Purism is at this awkward crossroad right now, where they are doing something unique and revolutionary (in some ways) in the industry. They should be able to talk about it, but everytime they try to wax eloquent on it, as is the custom in the tech industry, they have a bunch of point dexters being the thought police. Because you are arguing about semantics, that’s precisely what you are doing.

I think Purism has made there case for the use of the words in the video just fine. You world view on how words should be used is different. Such is life.


What is a “normal PC”? Maybe you understand it as a high-end desktop computer with two videocards, but this is not what “normal PC” means. “Full-blown computer” means a computer that can do typical desktop tasks, i.e., browsing, music, graphic/music editing. It does not imply a high-end performance as you suggest. 3 GB of RAM is not much, but it’s enough for all typical tasks an ordinary user does.

The words of Purism are totally reasonable and proven by the video. If you want to be more specific, list the necessary tasks which Librem 5 cannot do.

1 Like

Would need a phone to answer that?

Let’s just agree that “full-blown computer” is not a well-defined term. It is open to interpretation.


Sorry, I disagree. Ordinary computer tasks are not open to interpretation, they are pretty well defined. For example heavy 3D gaming and video editing are not included in those, but browsing, listening to music, editing documents are.

You do not need a phone to see that those work, just watch the video we are discussing. Or at least suggest a (typical) task which Librem 5 may not be capable of.

Let’s see… I have a Librem Mini, a MacBook Pro, a Raspberry Pi 3B. All work fine as desktops.

The Mini is specifically designed that way. It is my main computer now.

The Macbook Pro is very powerful. It can work as a laptop, but is usually driving a monitor.

The 3B is for the kids. Works fine for them too. 1 GB of RAM. They can browse the web, write reports, even do some programming on it (Python for the older ones, Scratch for the younger).

Most interestly was my old Dell Inspiron running Debian, which died early this year (or late last year). 2 GB of RAM. Less than the Librem 5. Ran great! We used it with the kids’ schooling. Also usually hooked up to monitor, keyboard and mouse (used as a desktop).

PureOS is pretty light. If the Inspiron worked as a desktop with 2 GB of RAM, I don’t see why the Librem 5 couldn’t do it with 3 GB.

The Librem 5 can drive a monitor and run full Linux desktop applications. That awesome! And I believe that is what the video was trying to get at. Now, if I go to do video editing, I’m probably going to jump over to the Mini (or the Mac). But it sounds like the Librem 5 can work as a desktop for what the majority of users use computers for.

As an aside, the iMac form factor is still in use and still very relevant. The iMac Pro can have up to 256 GB of RAM, and is incredibly powerful. That machine isn’t just in the past. iMacs (and the Pro) still sell very well.


Yes, the Librem 5 should be able to run most Linux software (except for stuff that needs OpenGL 3, OpenGL ES 3 or Vulkan). However, my fifth generation i5 laptop gets a glmark2-es2-wayland score of 1967 and the Librem 5 gets 203. People who want to use the Librem 5 as a desktop PC should have realistic expectations of how well it will perform. This isn’t like buying a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra using DeX.

For many people, a Raspberry Pi 3/4 with 3GB RAM is all they need for their PC, but for others it isn’t enough. Purism should be able to sell the phone as a convergence device to many people who don’t need the power of an Intel Core or Snapdragon 800-series processor.

Market the Librem 5 as a low-powered PC replacement, and Purism will get good reviews and happy customers. Market it as a normal PC replacement and every reviewer is going to knock the device.

By the way, let’s all acknowledge that Guido Gunther’s recent work on convergence is pretty amazing, and convergence really is a killer feature for the phone, even at Raspberry Pi 3 - 4 levels of performance. Just to get decent convergence on an Android phone, you have to pay over $800 and then you get poor Android software which isn’t designed for a full desktop interface, so Purism should have no trouble marketing the Librem 5’s convergence.


I am not sure I understand your point. Yes, Librem 5 is significantly less performant than your laptop with i5. But how will it influence the user experience? Which tasks will be slower? You did not provide any specifics. Which exactly expectations might the users have that will not be fulfilled?

The video showed the Librem 5 running CAD software. It is pretty cool that the Librem 5 can run some CAD program, but nobody doing serious CAD work is going to want to use the Librem 5 for that purpose. Likewise, nobody doing video encoding is going to want to use the Librem 5 for that purpose, except if they are prepared to wait a very long time. It is cool that the Librem 5 can play Quake III Arena, but we are probably talking about 480p@60 or 720p@20, so people who expect to play 3D games at 1080p@60 will be disappointed.

My i5 laptop is slow when I scroll through my spreadsheet of cell phone innovations. I wouldn’t want to open that spreadsheet on a Librem 5. I usually have 30-50 tabs open when I’m using Firefox, but that isn’t going to work well on the Librem 5, because it doesn’t have the RAM to handle that. I also regularly have to run virtual machines on my laptop for my work (mostly CentOS or Windows running inside a Debian host), and that clearly isn’t going to work with 3GB of RAM.