New Post: Librem 5 4500mAh Battery Upgrade

I’ve been impressed as h#ll of the development pace of the Librem 5. They have a GOOD VISION and they are going to continue to grow.

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I’m not a hardware person, so this may be a silly question, but does constantly applying voltage via the killswitches to something shorten its life?

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Good component manufacturers should test whether their components can handle current suddenly being turned on/off and provide reference circuits designs with the right resistors and capacitors to protect them. Looking at who makes the image sensors, WiFi/BT, IMU and proximity/light sensor, it doesn’t look like Purism selected dodgy component manufacturers. It is only with Broadmobi that I have doubts because it isn’t well known.

The bigger issue is whether the kill switches will handle the stress over time. The EL-MSK02 switches are only rated for 10,000 cycles, but looking at their 7 solder legs and two anchor holes in the PCB, it doesn’t look like they will break over time.


Isn’t it sad how we are trained to expect things to break that could easily last longer than a lifetime? Even my ~7yr old Galaxy S3 neo still has (technically) all buttons working. (The plastic part that covered the volume buttons fell off when I dropped the phone for the 371st time [still no spider app], but the actual button is still operational with a pen]). The power and home button have certainly been used about 10,000…20,000 times without any signs of aging.

So, for a phone that was not designed to avoid planned obsolescence, I think that’s quite good. Certainly, can’t tell yet what the build quality of Evergreen will be, but the name does carry a burden in this regard, right? :wink:


Sure does. I guess as software guy myself I prefer using software to do something that physical buttons can do.

I think if it was a push button instead of an actual up and down switch I’d agree with you. However, there is a limit in both direction, and the tendency of a user is to exceed those limits over time. So I’m not saying they will break prematurely, but I think it is clunky to toggle a physical switch for something that can be done in software.

Despite my little quirks, I’m interested at what the power draw for modules like the wifi, Bluetooth, and the cellular radio are when disabled in software.


You can disable the hardware in software just fine.

#Disable Wifi
echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/wifi_en/brightness

#Disable modem
echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/wwan_en/brightness

#Disable CPU cores
sudo bash
echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/online
echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu2/online
echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu3/online

I dunno, man… that could be the Secret Purism Combination To Steal Banking Information…

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You can by a spare battery for 29 $


This is a really nice surprise! I had kind of forgotten that was mentioned as a possibility. I’m so glad it has worked out.


With 14 hrs in idle they could be sold out very quickly, so hurry up …

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Yes, I hope Purism ordered plenty of these, I think most people will want at least one extra. I know I will.


Don’t forget that this is like leaving your laptop on with the screen off and the wifi disabled. 14 hours is great under this light.

Let’s not forget that a suspend or standby mode is still being worked on as well.


And that of course has always been, and remains, an option in Linux (any Linux).

The point of the physical switches is that even if the operating system or other software has been compromised, you know 100% that a device whose physical connection and/or power has been cut is unable to operate.

By way of example, many webcams have an LED that illuminates when the camera is enabled, but a sophisticated adversary may be able to compromise the software so that the camera is enabled but the LED remains off - hence turning your computer into secret video surveillance for the adversary without the hassle of having to break into your house and install optical surveillance devices.

So people resort to other options:

  • physical cover over the webcam when not in use (not ideal for a smartphone but does work - but doesn’t really work for the microphone)
  • disconnect the webcam when not in use (if it’s a separate USB webcam - so doesn’t work for laptops with built-in webcams and doesn’t work for smartphones)

and now

  • the Purism option: hardware internal disconnect when not in use

The battery life of the Librem 5 is partially governed by different things than most other phone batteries. Without a single SoC (system on chip) on the Librem 5, it takes several chips all working together to do the same job on the Librem 5 that could be done by only one chip on most typical phones. In addition, the chips all have to communicate with eachother over traces on the board instead of all being all on the same chip where current losses are minimal. So the current consumption on the L5 can never be as low as it would be on an Apple phone or an Android phone. The current losses occur both when the phone is in use, and when most of it is shutdown. To make up for the unavoidable current losses, Purism just makes a bigger battery to help make-up for the losses. By the time that Purism finished optimizing the current use on the phone, it is possible that the electrical current use profile might be significantly different on the L5, when compared to most other phones. With a bigger battery, it may be possible to get a whole day out of the L5 on one charge. But maybe the ratio of stand-by current use compared to active computing current use or phone calling current use, might be different.

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Dear Purism, Chapeau! That IS good news again. You’re making good progress. Thank you for following your great ideas and visions.

Perhaps it’s a good idea for users, to walk more with a thought of carrying a mobile all-in-computer that can last almost a whole day on battery-power and do phone-calls - jack-of-all-trades - than comparing the L5 with other commonly used phones that on one hand are only usable as that small thing in your hand while on the other hand they are as tightly integrated and optimized for their particular purpose as they are (as StevenR somehow showed). Just a thought.


That might be but this logic doesn’t track with regard to the Librem 5 always*. For example, try suspending the Librem 5 and you’ll have problems. At least for now. This is something that Purism is working on right now. I personally feel like this is the last piece of the puzzle. But we are almost there.

I asked on Librem Chat and was told that using the software disable cuts power to the modules same as the hardware switch. So by using the software disable you are, unless compromised, getting the exact same result as the physical hardware kill switches. Particularly as it pertains to battery life. The kill switch just offer 100% peace of mind for when it is warranted / wanted.

One final plug for software switches: They provide more granularity than the switches. You can disable one thing but not all things tied to a switch with software.

This is important.

1* - with Linux in general this doesn’t track. It is one of my biggest beefs with it. Across hardware Linux is not 100% the same. On one computer there may be problems with the monitor brightness, on another fan control can’t be exposed, on yet another suspend doesn’t work.

Windows for all of its invasive privacy issues, has done a much better job of being consistent across the billion hardware configurations it is compatible with. Linux still has a LONG ways to go with that.

What Apple has shown us with their vertical integration is the kind of synergy you can have if you only support a limited amount of hardware SKUs.

Purism is working along a similar front, but benefits from the open nature of Linux.

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This isn’t really a fair beef, because most hardware is designed with windows in mind. I’m pretty sure System76 and Star Labs machines don’t have these problems because the hardware is actually meant to run Linux (or at least chosen because the work has already been done to allow it to run Linux the way you describe hardware working for windows, which would further support the beef’s unfairness). Incompatibility isn’t any Linux distro’s fault, its Acer’s or HP’s or whomever’s.

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Oh, I think the beef is fair because that isn’t the real question. You’re talking about the blame, not the problem.

Linux hardware support is a concern. And while the blame certainly is on the hardware manufacturers’ docket, it doesn’t mean that Linux hardware support isn’t a concern.

To the end user it is and it is a significant concern in many cases.

The situation is no different with Windows. When Windows doesn’t work well, it is 9 times out of 10 a driver issue. That Windows has the support of the hardware manufacturers is what Linux needs to still do.

Until then, this will always be a Linux problem.

Of course companies like System76 and Purism are working to fix that.

But the way Linux is marketed to a lot of people is that it just works on whatever old hardware you got laying around.

So I think the beef is fair.


After reading your response, I think you’re right.

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unbeef the beef then :joy: