Opening librem13, not familiar w/intracacies of distros... what is pureos?

Hi, I just got my new librem13 and it is awesome. Before I overwriting the OS on disk here, I’d like to know what I’ll be missing from “PureOS” vs. another distro (not tailored to a Librem laptop). That is: what do I need to install/setup/configure to make the laptop work as expected for a shipped Librem? Custom drivers? Crazy x config for this touchpad? etc.

Some friendly feedback/thoughts (not on-topic, just initial impressions):
a) hrdwr: the touchpad’s double-finger scrolling only reacts 50% of the time that I try to scroll
b) hrdwr: I was surprised to find this particular keyboard layout, but not end of the world (I’d rather get a larger left-shift key[1], standard etc.)
c) ux: if you accidentally move through the root-password config on boot, you can’t get back to it (had a frustrating experience with everything being clicked on by accident in that wizard, because the touchpad had touch-to-click enabled and my palms kept clicking things)
d) ux/docs: and the variuos repos (which are 404’d from that page) don’t seem to provide any information one what PureOS really is. ie: reads like a pitch for gnu/linux, and seems to be non-specific to PureOS; I didn’t see any repos’ readme’s that said, “welcome, here’s how this distro diverges from {trisquel,debian,whatever}”

(I’m happy to open bugs/send emails on any of these topics, if anyone wants an action-item somewhere)

[1]: maybe my gripe about the keyboard is just the ansi vs. iso difference, but also the strange “~”/"#" key that i keep hitting where my finger expects to find an enter key.

Does your keyboard look like this: ? That’s the UK layout, you probably want the US layout. I received the UK layout in error, and I contacted and had it sorted out.

It looks like PureOS has a custom rather-automated install routine, a custom recent kernel with likely not-yet-fully-upstream touchpad driver, likely a custom bootloader setup, custom artwork, and a fairly full set of default app installs. It includes tor-browser and a custom build of firefox called “PureBrowser” with a few privacy-related add-ons pre-installed. That’s not much, all I really care for there is the kernel/driver.

FWIW the touchpad driver works well for me.

This default PureOS install I have installed-on-first boot in a slick manner and works, but it only has debian “stretch” updates in /etc/apt/sources.list. I can’t install any packages that are not pre-installed until I add a normal package repository to sources.list. It’s not easy to figure out if a later version of PureOS than I got installed has some other repos in sources.list, perhaps some trisquel ones (though trisquel stable is obviously too old and not based on debian stretch, and I can’t easily find information about a testing branch on the trisquel website).

Basically, the PureOS situation still seems rather early/raw. I was going to try using it for a while to give it a fair shake but I probably won’t.

I’ve experimented a bit more with the default install on my recent librem 13.

My /etc/apt/sources.list was initially like so (with some trivial whitespace and comment differences):

# from install # deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux none _Stretch_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20151112-20:48]/ stretch main

deb stretch/updates main
deb-src stretch/updates main

I added the rest of the standard debian stretch (testing branch) repos:

deb stretch main deb-src stretch main

deb stretch-updates main
deb-src stretch-updates main

Then I was able to apt-get update and apt-get install git, curl, and other key bits I wanted. Everything looked good and apt-get dist-upgrade proposed actions looked good, so I went ahead with the dist-upgrade from a VT and rebooted. Everything seems to work. So I’ve got a fully functional debian testing installed now.

I think these might be the only three packages which this spin of PureOS adds to the snapshot/selection of debian stretch it’s based on:

ii linux-image-4.2.3purism-rc2 4.2.3purism-rc2-1 amd64 Linux kernel, version 4.2.3purism-rc2 ii purebrowser 38.4.0esr-1~deb8u3 amd64 Web browser based on Firefox ii tor-browser 5.0.3-1~pureos-1 amd64 Tor Browser Bundle

purebrowser conflicts with iceweasel (debian’s firefox build), but otherwise these packages pose no problems and work fine with the rest of the debian stretch system so far. Since I can’t find a repo which will have updates for these packages, I’ll have to switch to iceweasel soon and eventually figure out the touchpad driver situation with newer debian-provided kernel packages. But I’m happy, I have no complaints. (And I could always install my usual Arch Linux setup if I wanted.)

Pierce, yes! That’s exactly the keyboard (sorry for late reply - this forum doesn’t email you about thread updates).

wrt the keyboard, I’ve mostly gotten around my frustration by doing this:

in some file, like ~/.Xmodmap I have:

! turn tilda/hash key into [enter] key
keycode 51 = Return

! turn bar and back-slash key into left-[shift] key
keycode 94 = Shift_L

! TODO: figure out how to simulate bar key...

and I’m running xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap but I’m still stuck as I’ve no idea how to get create complicated key-combinations to simulate the bar (|) key. eg: I’d like to have [ctrl]+[shift]+[space] produce bar key, but still wrestling with xmodmap to figure that out…

wrt PureOS initial install: I have the exact same experience/impressions you describe. Pretty empty sources.list and I only knew enough about it to check that file and find out why I can’t install anything. I’ve yet to look up exactly what the proper edits to that file should be to get my everyday applications installed.

thanks, Pierce those seem to be the lines I needed in sources.list
(though, of course, not actually using the upgraded kernel…)

wrt keyboard: it just occurred to me that there was a keyboard-layout option when ordering the librem, and I double-checked and sure enough I ordered “English (US)”, yet received UK as you pointed out. Thanks again for that link!

I think the last time I looked at the PureOS page ( ) it just had marketing images, but now it has an install ISO download link, and a link to the pureos package repo ( )

I figured out the apt/source.list entries for the PureOS-custom packages. To the above normal debian stretch sources I add:

deb stable main
deb devel main

Before apt-get update works, the repo signing key needs to be added to the keyring:

curl -s | sudo apt-key add -

It would be better to get the key over https from a trusted source, but let’s let that slide for a moment as we figure this out … anyway, after an apt-get update I know have sources for the important custom packages:

nessa@purism:~$ apt-cache policy linux-image-4.2.3purism linux-image-4.2.3purism-rc2: Installed: 4.2.3purism-rc2-1 Candidate: 4.2.3purism-rc2-1 Version table: *** 4.2.3purism-rc2-1 500 500 devel/main amd64 Packages 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status nessa@purism:~$ apt-cache policy purebrowser purebrowser: Installed: (none) Candidate: 38.4.0esr-1~deb8u2 Version table: 38.4.0esr-1~deb8u3 0 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status 38.4.0esr-1~deb8u2 500 500 stable/main amd64 Packages

I received my librem-13 yesterday and spent half day trying to get it work correctly.

One cannot curl the key for repos since curl is not installed by defaut :frowning:

That line can do the job wget --quiet -O - | sudo apt-key add -

Thanks. (The repo structure and such has moved around since I posted that as well.)