New Post: Librem 5 News Summary: April 2021

[Note: This thread is intended to be a discussion thread for the topics in this post. Please keep your replies on topic. Some examples of off-topic replies include:

“When is my order shipping?” (We contact people to arrange shipping and update shipping addresses over email, not in a forum thread.)
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Software Meets Hardware

The month of April saw more advances on the software side, in particular where software integrates with the Librem 5 hardware.

You Ought To Be In Pictures

Last month we announced progress with Librem 5 camera support, but at the time pictures were still being taken using command line commands. Now that the hardware is supported in the kernel, the next area of focus has been in post-processing the raw images from the camera sensors as well as providing support in user-facing GUI applications.

This month we added Librem 5 camera support to the megapixels app so now you can take pictures from a GUI application. Now that the camera is supported in the app, focus can shift (pun intended) to tuning color and white balancing and other post-processing in the live viewfinder (you can see in these example pictures that the live viewfinder image isn’t yet color corrected or white balanced while the picture the Librem 5 took is) as well as further refinements on image post-processing.

The megapixels app taking a picture with the Librem 5 camera.

A picture taken on the Librem 5 using the megapixels app after postprocessing was applied.

Check out the rest of the post here:


Excellent progress! Thank you.

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I wish I would be able to do such great work.

One thing that is minor on this blog post but more important on the ball and chain post: The pictures are not well scaled for mobile screens. At lest not for me on FF android. The pictures are a bit to wide. I assume that I am not the only one.

For this post it is a minor issue because I can see what’s important but for the ball & chain post the table does not fit the screen and relevant information is hidden.

Now more and more users will visit that important post. I guess there will be a newsletter mail going out soon. Maybe it is a good idea to adjust the blog before more users will see it.

If you know what prolog is, I’m pretty sure you can. When you face the task and you know there’s no one else but you available to do it, impostor syndrome disappears pretty quickly. It takes some patience though.


Do we know yet when Megapixels will be available in the repo, or when Maps will have geoclue working?


I know what Prolog is but the name is coincidence. :slight_smile:

I’m going to put Megapixels in the repos once it offers all the functionality we might expect from the usual app without crashing. We’re close, so this could be next week, could be next month.

Geoclue is a bit more complicated, because it needs packaging some packages still, like . I would estimate no earlier than a month.


Since camera and gps are working now: Can we expect to see progress in regard to CE certification in the near future? Or is there still something else that has to work before that can happen? (I think I can remember to read that every component has to work before one can get CE certification.)

Nice to read that bits an pieces are coming together (erm - I mean software-wise :E ) . Guess this is causing even more joy on your side :slight_smile:


Hopefully yes. We have been in process for CE and FCC certification for quite some time now and it’s simply taking longer than expected. We’ll be sure to publish an update when we have one.


Ya bad ass.

Thank you for the frequent updates, Purism.

Looking forward to end of Q2 :slight_smile:

“For some providers, enabling VoLTE support in the modem “just works” while for others we have needed to work with the provider to add the BM818 modem to their list of modems with VoLTE support so that both incoming and outgoing VoLTE calls work. While we aren’t yet ready to enable VoLTE support by default, we hope with some further testing and work with upstream cellular providers we will be able to do this soon.”

Isn’t that a job for BroadMobi, the modem manufacturer, to make sure their modem works with as many cellular providers out there (regarding VoLTE)? I would have expected that… Perhaps, they or other clients (like Purism) made a list of cellular providers where this modem just works now with VoLTE…?


Here is a list of the biggest MNOs in the world. Those operate in multiple countries. I wonder if they accept the modem once for all countries they operate in or if its needed to cooperate with every regional subsidiary.

Below there are links to more lists by continent.

You would think that it would be in BroadMobi’s interest to do that!

On the other hand, for some providers, it would seem that it is not within the control of either BroadMobi or Purism. It can only be achieved with those providers by badgering the provider to do something.

I get the impression that this is relatively new functionality in the BroadMobi modem. So lack of functioning, with some providers, may reflect immaturity / work-in-progress / haven’t got to that provider yet.

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The post says that with some providers it just works and with others the providers have to accept the Broadmobi as VoLTE-capable. That sounds to me like it’s a provider thing, amd it seems some assume every modem is VoLTE capable while others don’t. As sich, the different attitudes manifest as different defaults for unknown devices.

First of all, thanks for the update.

As for navigation, I was wondering if you can also disable GPS and enable Galileo as a preferred source since the chip supports Galileo.

What I find disconcerting is that Librem 5 USA is scheduled to ship as early as Q2 2021, while the regular Librem 5s are scheduled to ship from October 2021 into 2022. This creates an atmosphere that if you have more money you can cheat your way up the order. I’m a little frustrated by that.

I understand that there is now a shortage of hardware for production because Purism has opted for just in time production with only small quantities of Librem 5s. Why this was necessary I don’t understand, but from my point of view you can see now that this was a mistake (Apart from the fact that this probably causes higher costs because the economies of scale are disregarded).

Well, I hope that they learn from this mistake, declare this mode to be finished in October, order all materials and manpower for the Librem 5s at once, thus being more cost efficient and deliver all Librem 5s quickly.

I love what Purism is trying to accomplish with the Librem 5, however, sometimes I am disappointed by the craftsmanship mistakes in the project management and unsurprised that the product is getting more expensive. I tried to keep my criticism as factual and friendly as possible so it wouldn’t be dismissed as “Just another Purism deception, misleading … post”.

This is why they say hindsight is 20-20. When looking backwards, after you know how things have turned out, certain things seem obvious, but that’s also because when you are in the future, you can also dismiss all of the outcomes that didn’t happen, even though the people in the past didn’t have that luxury and had to factor all possible outcomes and risks into the equation.

I don’t want to dive too far into this because it’s veering off-topic, however something that’s easy to forget now that we are in the future, but something that factored into our approach for Librem 5 mass production, is that despite all of our testing throughout the batches, we couldn’t know whether a new hardware or design flaw would be discovered in the mass production units until after we made them. This isn’t far-fetched, as we did run into such problems with Aspen and Birch, for instance. Building all the phones at once would have required accepting the risk that all could be flawed. Building them via JIT principles meant if we did find a hardware flaw in early mass production it would only affect a limited number of phones instead of all of them.

If we had gone that route after making that risk assessment and had run into a hardware flaw like that, then folks looking back on it now would consider it an “obvious mistake” that we should have known better than to make.


Fair enough. Does this mean the JIT will stay for October? I assume risks are now mitigated?


I expect JIT to stay indefinitely. There are generally more, meaningful, pros than cons and as worldwide production ramps back up the issues we’re encountering (as customers) related to JIT now will go back to being rare exceptions.

I do expect this process will be measured in months/years but manufacturing time scales in general are large enough where it makes sense to ride out this wave than the alternatives. It sucks, for all parties involved, but I do think this is the most reasonable way to deal with the supply chain challenges of today.

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They have plenty of time to test the hardware now…