Newbie question: What package do I use for Purism hardware (*amd, *arm, *bionic, *xenial)?

So many choices… I have no idea what each is…

What is the most appropriate package to run on a new Librem 13 running PureOS?

I am a bit surprised to see that many different options. The bionic and xenial are targeting specific versions of Ubuntu.

On a Librem laptop, you will want amd64, as that is the architecture used by current Intel CPUs (and AMD CPUs, but the Librems don’t ahve those).

You can also use the AppImage version - AppImage is an alternative to Flatpak and which acts kinda like the typical Windows .exe experience

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(For anyone else using this package, the one that worked was the amd64.deb bionic version.)

Or, to put that in another way:

  • Arm, amd64, i586, i386, powerPC, etc. are processor architectures. As each chip hardware is a bit different, they need differently compiled code to work.
  • Bionic (bionic beawer), xenial (xenial xerus) etc. are names given to Ubuntu linux distrubutions different main versions (they have an animal theme) but the also have two different types of release versions (more updated but short support and LTS, long support and more stable) along with testing and development versions. Other distributions have naming conventions as well.

There is also a clue in the end there: .deb is a debian package, which is what a lot of distros have build on and use (Ubuntu and it’s many flavors [Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc. that are almost the same but have modified some aspect of the distro], Mint, PureOs…). Others are rpm etc. The flatpacks, appimages and snaps are trying to build a system which would simplify this but the cost is efficiency as they add another layer in between - which may or may not be an issue.