PureOS byzantium on the phone?

Having just learned how to upgrade PureOS amber to byzantium on a Librem laptop, now I am wondering if the corresponding change can be done on the Librem 5 (Birch). The change from amber to byzantium means getting newer versions of lots of packages, which may be needed for some things (in my case right now, trying to make a development version of the Geary email client work via a flatpak, seems to almost work but fails because of too old versions of libsecret and xdg-desktop-portal, I think).

On a laptop, all that is needed to change from amber to byzantium is to change the three lines in the /etc/apt/sources.list file as described here:


and then after that change, basically just do “apt update” and “apt upgrade”.

So in principle I would like to just do the same thing on the phone, changing “amber” to “byzantium” in the /etc/apt/sources.list file and thereby getting newer versions of things. However, I think there is a problem here because on the Librem 5 the /etc/apt/sources.list file looks like this:

deb https://repo.pureos.net/pureos amber main
deb https://repo.pureos.net/pureos amber-updates main
deb https://repo.pureos.net/pureos amber-security main
deb https://repo.pureos.net/pureos amber-phone main

So in addition to the amber, amber-updates, and amber-security lines which can be changed to byzantium, byzantium-updates, and byzantium-security, there is also “amber-phone” and as far as I can tell there is not (yet?) any “byzantium-phone” to change that to, at least it does not look that way here: https://repo.pureos.net/pureos/dists/

Is it at all possible to at least partially update to PureOS byzantium on the phone, and if so, how to do that?

Of course I can (and probably will) try to simply replace “amber” by “byzantium” on three lines in /etc/apt/sources.list and leave the “amber-phone” line intact, but I have a hunch that there will then be problems with some “amber-phone” packages not being compatible with the newer byzantium packages.

Is there perhaps some experimental “byzantium-phone” archive that I could try?

Alternatively, is there a way to pick some individual packages from byzantium and let everything else stay at the amber versions?

Other possibilities?

This is related to what @dos explained here https://puri.sm/posts/what-is-mobile-pureos/ but that was a while ago, I’m hoping that byzantium on the phone is at least closer to being possible now compared to how it was back then.


In a way amber-phone is byzantium because it contains a recent kernel (5.7) and the latest versions of the mobile software. The only advantage of using byzantium is getting recent versions of the software which isn’t adapted for mobile.

It would be an interesting experiment to try using byzantium and then using pinning to give the amber-phone packages higher priority, and see what happens.

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How does that work? I was wondering about that, what happens if the same package exists in different places, which one will apt choose.

The package with the higher pinning number gets installed by default. If you don’t want to mess with the pinning configuration, you can manually select which repo to use with the -t option, like this:
sudo apt install -t amber-phone package

See: https://wiki.debian.org/AptConfiguration


There was a first work in that sense:

But like the post says it still required some hacks.

Also if you just need a few dependencies, you can maybe get away with manually downloading and installing said dependency in your Librem 5.



Up to your idea I’ve just successfully tested something similar on my PinePhone so I could recommend this input:

Package: *
Pin: release a=amber-phone
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release o=PureOS
Pin-Priority: 500

for 00-pureos-priority (name purposely changed/adjusted) file that might reside (if you allow this) inside /preferences.d folder.

apt-cache policy output should (after apt update) work fine, but not sure as this was shortly tested and coarse work of mine.

NOTE: As @amosbatto already proposed: You need to understand that such configuration should not be recommended by default for all packages, take care. And please read output from apt list --upgradeable -a before you proceed with apt upgrade. Anyway, as I don’t expect, optimistically :slightly_smiling_face:, that there will be some package(s) to be upgraded, please let us know if so, if anything changed.

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When will be available PureOS Byzantium to Librem 5 :smiley:??