No computing skills

hi all,
really want to support this freedom project.
At what point do you think an android using fool like me could cope with the librem 5?
I don’t care about camera or screen. Just battery and the ability to sync with a WP that can automatically save so I don’t lose notes etc.
My understanding is the battery will be (hot) swappable?
Don’t care about games but do need to browse for research.
I am a writer, and would love to show how a different way can be found in the digital world, where rights are shared not stolen.
I have never left the android/chromebook environment, and have no tech skills but I’m willing to give it a punt!
thank you!


Hey there friend its nice to see another passionate individual in the digital rights movement! Being someone who over the years transitioned from Windows to Mac to Linux, Linux does have a learning curve but seeing what you are aiming to do, it should be a cake walk. If you ever need any help just reach out to us in this forum.


Hot swappable would mean you could take it out while the phone is running and put a new one in. While you might be able to do this if the phone is plugged in, I think the recommended procedure will still be to have the phone turned off. The battery can be replaced though.

What is a WP?

Otherwise it sounds like the Evergreen (final release) batch would fit your needs very well.


Sorry. Word Processing. I am an author, and use a chromebook because it means everything I write is automatically saved to drive, therefore never loose anything. Notes is synced to drive from my android phone.
All good, except…
I trade off my private digital life for these services. I don’t blame google, but just think there must be another way.
We don’t expect free food, free love, free friendship. We enter into relationships where we give as much as we get, un-hidden and equal.
I just feel it would be nice to do this with the devices we carry around with us all the time. If we self-chip we should take responsibility for our virtual world… know and participate with it rather than sign it away uncaringly.
But as I say, totally untech-y.
Re battery. Wrong term, sorry. Just meant would it be replaceable on the go, without tools? IE carry spare battery.


thanks for the reply!
See my discussion with jt0 for my pathetic skill set.
defo see the need for digital rights, both professionally as an author and on an individual level as an autonomous human!
Think I might have to dip my toe into linux…


This is a bit off topic but is this what you write about or no?
The (GUI) Graphic User Interface of PureOs which is found both on the laptops and smartphone from Purism are very good in my opinion. I would say the challenge for newcomers is when you are trying to install programs that are outside the software catalog. Command line can be daunting but once you have it under your belt you feel like a tech wizard haha. From what you are mentioning above, it doesn’t sound like that would be the case.

1 Like

I write fiction (thrillers)
Yep, GUI’s are all I’m familiar with. Terminal looks odd but just because I don’t understand…
I will put down my money, I think, if only to support the cause! It looks like the lead time to getting the phone is quite long, so that should give me time to get up to speed…


Well, in principle, even with the Librem 5, you could access Google Drive/Docs from the browser in a pinch. But you’re still roped to Google.

Purism has partnered with Nextcloud and has plans to add some sort of file backup (and potentially sync) service to their Librem One suite. No ETA on that, though.

I think a lot of Nextcloud operates with the intention of setting it up/hosting it yourself (as that is the best way to be sure you are in control of your data), but there are also some providers you can sign up with. Nextcloud also has a suite of apps for things like note taking and file synchronization.

So, in the short term, you could find a Nextcloud provider and get accustomed to how Nextcloud works, and then in the long term, I expect Librem One will offer everything you want/need.


Librem 5 comes with the basic apps out of the box, Pure OS store offering apps for downloading, shouldn’t it be like any other smartphones on the market?

I can understand that if one wants to tweak the Librem 5 or install unofficial apps from the store it would require extra Linux skills. Like @f1v3 am I overlooking something here?

If one is used to iPhone, Android or Windows Phone, what is to be expected more from a non tech savvy owner other than just deal with the concept of getting accustomed to alternative named apps and getting used to the UI?


If Todd Weaver’s daughter is supposed to use it as an alternative to the mainstream smartphones, we can expect everyone to use the Librem 5 right?

(no offense Todd)

Edit reason: Name spelling


The goal is to reach the point where everyone, regardless of saviness, will be able to use it. I don’t think it’s going to be there on day 1, but should be pretty close by the time the later batches release in the summer.

You can see here that the early batches will still primarily rely on the terminal for updating and installing applications.

On another note, I certainly imagine Todd Weaver’s children are pretty tech savvy.


Thanks for pointing that out. You’re probably right. Unlike the Weaver family, for the safe bet I’m going to wait for the first reviews to come in hoping the reviewers to ease my cognitive dissonances to then jump on the Evergreen hype train.

By that time the Evergreen slots will be taken, a Fir + it will be.

Thanks for that.
I will look into Nextcloud.
At the mo I use proton and signal for email and messaging, but will look into librem one as well. I imagine they will be optimised so to be a doddle to run on librem 5.
Thanks for your explanations. I’m afraid I’m more Mr Bean than Mr Robot!

1 Like

hello @f1v3 and welcome to the Purism forums !

you can replace the battery only with tools (you need a cross screwdriver to detach the back and take the battery out after you carefully “detach” it from the power-line.

the phone must be in a poweroff mode while you atempt this. you also need to be stationary in order to not lose the screws when you take them out.

hot-swapable means you just pop-out the battery after you SLIDE the back-cover out. it doesn’t require ANY tools just your hands and a second charged battery of the same type.

if you aren’t too bothered by the not-hot-swapable nature of the L5 battery you can also use what i call a middle-ground solution.

bare with me please. i will atempt to explain.

first > Librem 5 battery spec : built in or replaceable?

second > Feature request: hardware switch for system power

third > Question about long term battery life

so my solution might not work since i don’t have my L5 yet (duh!) but in theory it should work if you get a micro-usb to usb-c adapter or if you have one already. if it’s too much then you just get a power bank.

for portable power reserves (in my car) i use a “big” solar chargeable acid-lead all-in-one jack-of-all-trades battery. (12v @ 7Ah i think it is) can power 4 led 4w(12v@300lumes) LED e27bulbs for 6hrs(more or less depending on the charge level). also has radio/usb-ports etc. chinese but hey !

i hope it’s not been too much all at the same time for you and i hope you’ll make the right choice for your needs …

PS: i’m a Blackberry Q10 user currently (yes it has a hot-swapable battery and i have an extra 2 left just in case + the portable-mini charger i linked to above (just in case for ultra portability).

… but it’s not open-hardware/free-software friendly !


Hi, and thanks for the info.
This is a very friendly community!


None of the several Android phones that I am using on my working days are of my ownership neither is so that I am paying its carrier monthly fee. I am just the one of two to use them there, only one phone in my hands daily, or sometimes one in the morning and the other one in the afternoon (but I use five of them altogether). Those that want to reach me right away they know exactly which one I am carrying with. @Edwin, sorry for the intro, but now let me see: Did I ever installed Google Pay? Nobody is doing that for me either because those that are paying my phone bills doesn’t care about “my phones” as long as I am reachable. No I newer installed Google Pay yet it is already update-able over its Google Superstore. The whole infrastructure that Google invested into is already there for me … because I need it … right, as they know better than myself what I need. So it looks like I am illiterate as well, isn’t it? In short, @f1v3, what you choose to install on Librem 5 will be there when needed … but not to forget something important that comes with Linux OS: option to remove things (apps) that you don’t need is always there and in simple steps as giving just three words (commands) over the terminal shell: apt remove applicationname or apt purge applicationwithoutplease (Debian based when in charge as su/root owner) but some graphical equivalent may be used as well. With Librem 5 I would call myself: user/gentleman (and admin/officer when I wish/need/respect myself to be one) of my own. Therefore: Thanks Purism for all the work you’ve done so far!


just FYI i am currently in line for a couple L5s so please disregard that reply i wrote in one of the links above about me not beeing interested. that was just me beeing undecided. proof that you CAN back-off if you want to …

Being well aware of all the positives Purism is bringing to the table here with regards to right of ownership, no bloatware et cetera. I was merely addressing the fact that one should not be ‘scared off’ by Linux or programming aspects when Librem 5 is an option and you’re supporting this great concept. As @taylor-williamc pointed out, the future iterations are likely to work for everyone, that is a truly remarkable achievement and sincerely hoping this will be a game changer to break the duopoly on the current market


Hi and welcome :slight_smile:
Fellow non-techie here and I can assure you you’ll be fine.

That’s the most important part and it looks like you’ve got that down pat :slight_smile: PureOS is based on Debian so you should be able to pull from their repositories in desktop mode (at least that’s my understanding of it right now (?)) and I think you’ll be pleased with not only Free as in Freedom editors (like libreoffice) but also tools lspecifically for writers like manuskript. Others here have already mentioned about the battery and also the terminal. I haven’t really anything to add to that except for getting around the terminal is a lot easier once you’ve learned the basics …from puppets! :smiley: