PureOS can cancel the window of SIM PIN?


I am currently using a OnePlus 9 with Android 11 and there is no way for the user to reject the window or this SIM PIN message. Important!!! The SIM card remains locked anyway.

Here is a thread in XDA https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/can-lineageos-cancel-the-sim-pin-screen-window.3995637/post-80832453

and other users find the current behavior of Android very user unfriendly. I have the same problem, sometimes in everyday life I have my OnePlus 9 device lying in the car for a few days or weeks with a SIM card, then when I want to use the device the battery is empty, normal.

Then when I charge it in the car and start the Android device the SIM PIN message appears but at that moment I don’t know the SIM PIN or don’t feel like unlocking my sim card and just want to listen to music. At that moment I do not want to take out the sim card with a needle because I do not have a needle.
No the solution is not to disable the SIM PIN from the SIM card.

What is the behavior with Librem 5 and PureOS? According to the XDA thread iOS system can do that. https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/can-lineageos-cancel-the-sim-pin-screen-window.3995637/post-81568959

Questions for PureOS 9:

  1. When SIM card is inserted into Librem 5 device can only SIM PIN message be cancelled?

  2. When the SIM PIN message is canceled, the SIM card remains locked and is there any way later when the SIM card needs to be unlocked I can display the SIM PIN message again to unlock the SIM card? If so how does this work exactly?

  3. Are there any other things to look out for?

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For clarity, when you boot the phone, it asks for the phone PIN and that is all it asks for and you don’t see anything else (no other prompts) until you enter the phone PIN.

Once you have entered the phone PIN, you will be prompted for the SIM PIN (assuming that the cellular modem is not hardware killed).

Yes, you can touch Cancel at the SIM PIN prompt.

Yes, the SIM card remains locked and that is clearly indicated on the top line of the phone as being locked still.

There are probably lots of ways but one way is to touch the battery icon (top line of phone, right hand side) and then touch the locked-cellular-modem icon.

That will bring back the original SIM PIN prompt.

The above answers are for “PureOS 9.0 (amber)”.

If I understand your actual “problem” correctly then you could solve it using the cellular modem hardware kill switch too.

I am not sure what the emergency calling scenario would look like if you leave the SIM locked. You would hope that you can still make an emergency call but that is not something that I have tested or could readily test.


Thank you for the help. :heart:

That is PureOS behaves very similar to how I know otherwise on my Windows Notebook. In Windows, when I connect an external USB UMTS or 4G LTE stick with SIM card or there is already a SIM card in the Notebook and restart the Notebook, the user can decide whether to enter the SIM PIN or later. In the Windows network sidebar, under settings or manufacturer software of the external USB 4G LTE stick there is always this option.
Exactly that does not work on Android.

My second Android device a Google Pixel 5 with Android 12 beta has the same problem. There is no way to cancel the SIM PIN prompt, the user is forced to enter the SIM PIN when starting or restarting the Android device.

There is no way to get to the Android homescreen to play my music from the SD card or write notes, for example.

The only option here is that I am forced to manually remove my SIM card from the Android device or permanently disable the SIM PIN of my SIM card. However, I don’t want to permanently disable the SIM PIN because I sometimes use my SIM card for other non-Android devices or share it with my friends or guests for a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

Android is open source, but I am not a developer and do not know why such user-unfriendly behavior is integrated. Do you know why Android does not support it? Android uses the original Linux kernel, right?

The Calls app’s user interface seems to say that you can’t place calls when the SIM is locked (“no voice-capable modem”).

In addition, in PureOS 9.0 (amber) there is not yet any obvious way to initiate an emergency call when the phone is locked, let alone when the SIM is locked.)

The user interface for changing the PIN or turning PIN lock on and off doesn’t actually work yet. If your SIM already has PIN lock enabled, then PIN lock works; it’s just that you can’t change it!

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No. You would really need to ask Google that but don’t expect an answer. :wink:

I could guess that since Google’s business model involves extracting as much private data from you as possible, it is inconvenient for them if your cellular modem is not “online” because then the data feed runs dry for them if you are out and about.

Sort of. Linux may have been the starting point but I think Google has hacked it in a thousand ways since then.

Please do take note of @patch’s comment about making an emergency call when the SIM is locked - particularly as your use case is “in car”.

That seems like a deficiency to me.

I am not overly bothered that you can’t make an emergency call without unlocking the phone (since that is a major trade-off).

However it makes no sense to me that you could make an emergency call without being a valid subscriber (out of range of your SIM’s network but in range of another network) but can’t make an emergency call if there is a SIM but the SIM is locked. Unclear whether you can make an emergency call if there is no SIM.

Obviously the Librem 5 gives you one other scenario … you can’t make an emergency call if the HKS has the cellular modem turned off - well unless your provider allows WiFi calling.

I raised: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/linux-next/-/issues/327


It would not surprise me to find out that the behaviour is actually specified in the GSMA or 3GPP standards. I’ve never had another phone that allowed itself to be used without unlocking the SIM. Some older phones don’t even let you use them without a SIM! (e.g. classic Nokias require either the SIM PIN or an unlocked SIM)

If those are the rules, then a Windows notebook wouldn’t have to follow them, because (a) the modem is not integral to the computer and (b) it is only a data modem, not a voice modem. A Librem 5 might get away with the same user experience as the Windows notebook, because the modem is removable, so the modem can be separately certified as complying with the standards, leaving the rest of the device to do its own thing.

… and the modem can also be hardware killed. (It would just be annoying to prompt to unlock the SIM if the modem is switched off.)

At a quick look, the 3GPP spec specifies that certain operations are permitted without unlocking the SIM. So it may make more sense for the spec to be interpreted that the phone should solicit the SIM PIN and supply it at any time that the SIM has not already been unlocked and an operation is to be performed that requires the SIM to be unlocked.

The 3GPP spec also allows the SIM to be re-locked, which makes more sense if the spec contemplates periods of time when the SIM is locked.

In any case, the Librem 5 is like a computer. The modem is not integral to the operation of the Librem 5. You can be doing any number of a zillion things even if you don’t have an operational modem.

What about Ubuntu Touch? There are supposed to be older Android phones that are compatible with Ubuntu Touch system.

What about iOS? According to the XDA thread, it seems that the iPhone (iOS) can cancel the SIM PIN prompt.

That’s terrible.

Made a new discovery, my OnePlus 9 has Dual SIM and when I insert 2 SIM card the same problem happens. Sometimes I want to unlock only the first SIM card, but the second SIM card should remain locked. But this does not work I am forced to unlock both SIM cards with the SIM PIN.

But a completely different question, what about eSIM? Is there the same problem?


I am afraid I don’t know. I’ve never had a phone running either of those operating systems. I have only stated my suspicion based on what I have experienced. It is open to refutation by counter-example or by a study of the relevant standards.

But I do find it hard to imagine Android’s SIM PIN user experience came about by accident. They’ve had more than a decade to refine it, so I think they must have their reasons.

Yes, I thought about that - but I didn’t mention it since I think there is little prospect of a revision of the Librem 5 being dual SIM in the foreseeable future.

One observation though about the Librem 5: When it prompts for the SIM PIN it quotes the ICCID (the SIM card ID). So that in a small way suggests that if you could have two SIMs then you could enter the PIN for one and cancel the other.

For the purposes of this discussion, I think so. The physical implementation of the SIM doesn’t change the basic problem.

However in the wider context of the Librem 5 there may be additional concerns with how the eSIM is remotely provisioned. Customers who are strongly focussed on privacy and security might not be too happy that the network provider can reach into your phone and provision the eSIM (or reprovision or deprovision).

I can confirm that on iOS you can touch Cancel at the SIM PIN prompt and after that the phone shows as carrier “SOS” but at least some iPhone functionality works normally (e.g. associate with WiFi, ping a host on the LAN, operate the camera) - not exhaustive testing by any means.

I’m sure Google has their reasons but the above lends some support to the idea that demanding the PIN is not a requirement of 3GPP.

I couldn’t immediately see how to encourage the iPhone to issue the SIM PIN prompt again. However selecting myself as a contact and asking to dial me (which is going to fail anyway) gave an error and then gave the SIM PIN prompt and on entering the correct PIN it gave an error (because my phone is engaged) but the phone is then once more associated with the network provider for that phone.

Ever since I got my Librem 5 :slight_smile:, I have packed away my Ubuntu Touch phone and it is no doubt discharged at the present time. So I can’t easily answer that.

My issue, as mentioned above as having been raised, has led to

an existing issue: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/calls/-/issues/30
(about emergency calling)

and a new issue: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/OS-issues/-/issues/210
(about AML)

I have a dual-SIM Sony Xperia X running SailfishOS, and it caters very well for not unlocking one or both SIMs. If you touch “X” when prompted for the SIM unlock code, you get the following screen:

So the behaviour must be down to choices made by the OS developers.
I hope that this helps.

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