Reboot Purism 14

I have a Purism 14 that I need to do a factory reset on.

It boots but will not unlock using the key. I can access the Pureboot options menu. I do have spare keys that shipped with the machine.

I need instructions to do the simplest reset. I don’t necessarily need to use it with a key I just need access to a functional machine right now.

I have the original Pure OS 10 USB it shipped with. Along with a Qubes USB and a Pureboot Bundle USB. These may have also come with my 15, which I no longer have.

I am not familiar with the Linux operating system and with learn it once it’s rebooted.

What I’m keen to avoid is rebooting and somehow not having it work on reboot. I’m not so familiar on how the key will work after reboot.

Any assistance welcomed. Thanks

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Hi there!

A pre-setup Librem Key simply helps you detect whether or not your boot files were tampered while the machine was at rest. More advanced integration of the Key can leverage it for encryption, which CAN lock you out of a system.

So since you already have an install medium, boot into coreboot and try to boot from USB. It will ask you to choose the device to boot (after detection), one of which will probably be PureOS (usually sda1). From there, you can reinstall the OS, then reboot into the new environment.

You can also factory reset the Librem Key and coreboot itself through the coreboot BIOS.

In short, it’s used to detect tampering. You can still move forward in the boot process if it detects it, but now you know about it. Updating boot files will create the same “error” and you’ll just have to re-sign the files with your key to update your system’s checksums.

You can disable Librem Key integration entirely during this process, if it’s of no value to you.

Purism has a lot of pages on this stuff but it can be hard to find: PureBoot Getting Started Guide - Purism - Librem products documentation

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The simplest path if you don’t need tamper detection is to switch to PureBoot Basic mode.

Power on the system. If it asks you to insert the Librem Key, you can select Skip. If it says it will boot automatically, press a key to enter the main menu.

When you reach the main menu, go to OptionsChange Configuration SettingsEnable PureBoot Basic mode. Confirm the change.

Select Save the current configuration to the running BIOS and confirm. Wait for this to complete, then confirm the reboot.

(BTW that’s from here: Using PureBoot Basic - Purism - Librem products documentation)

This disables tamper detection, and the system will just boot the installed OS. You will need to know the disk encryption passphrase that you entered when first setting up the system. If you don’t, reinstall PureOS from the Live USB. Feel free to follow up if specific instructions for that would help.


Thanks. I was able to load up from the USB and get it working. However, there’s something which is making the cursor repeat. It turned itself of shortly after this. I’ve attached a photo. You’ll see the outline of the selected function in LibreOffice is on “Writer Document

" but it is running up and down each of the menu items”. It doesn’t effect the mouse.

It boots from the USB but how do I then reinstall the PureOS on the hard drive?

I’m hoping the blinking cursor problem will go if I reinstall the OS.

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On the left side of the screen is a dock, and on the top of it, there is an icon with a square containing an arrow pointing down and three dots connected by lines. Hovering over it will produce a tooltip reading “Install PureOS”.

Select that to start the Calamares installer, then follow the prompts. You can use this resource if you need more guidance:

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Thank you, that’s much appreciated.

In the instructions it says “it’s assumed the disk is blank”

Do I need to format the disk first whilst running PureOS from the USB?

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No, you have the option of overwriting the disk during the Calamares installation, so the instructions may be slightly different.

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It’s doing something very strange.

Some keys no longer work like the “q” but when I press “w” it types “w” it types “[wee”
When I type “x” it types “/xc”

The PureOS was successfully reinstalled

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The strange output from key input points to a misconfigured keyboard mapping. I would try changing the keymap settings (should be in GNOME Settings under Keyboard), or if that fails, a reflash of the Embedded Controller firmware may be helpful.

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This indicates a short in the keyboard matrix. This could be on the keyboard itself, on the keyboard connector to the mainboard, etc.

The groups mentioned show that some of the rows seem to be shorted together. You might also get combinations like P23 when pressing 2, etc.

If you remove the bottom shell, you could try re-seating the keyboard connector. You can also clean debris from around the keyboard connector’s electrical contacts, EC chip, etc. (These are delicate so use care.) You can also contact to discuss options like out-of-warranty repair, replacement parts, warranty RMA, etc.


Brilliant, thank you. This makes most sense and especially now as the up and down keys are only working intermittently.

I’ve taken the back off and attached a photo. Could you indicate what I’m looking for? Thanks


It’s this area:

That’s the keyboard connector, you can try re-seating it. Lift the gray locking lever (very gently). That will allow the keyboard ribbon to slide freely, remove it.

While you have the locking lever up, check for any debris around the electrical contacts, gently clean it.

Then reinsert the keyboard ribbon and lower the lock again.

The EC itself is on the other side of the board near this area (big “ITE” chip). If you do remove the mainboard to inspect it, you’ll see a lot of parallel traces running from the keyboard connector to the EC, those are the same signals. It’s possible there could be a short there, such as debris around the EC pins.

It’s also possible there could be a short in the keyboard itself, which may mean the keyboard needs to be replaced.


Thanks Jonathan, I’ve tried it but could not get the clip to flip up.

Just to try it. Where can I find the keyboard mapping in the menu? Under “keyboards” it only says keyboard shortcuts and there’s no “gnome settings”.

Forgive my ignorance I’m completely new to Purism and Linux.


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Hi Zlg, I can’t find the settings in the menu. It only says keyboard shortcuts.

Are there any instructions on how to reflash the firmware? I’m a noob to Linux and don’t want to get it wrong.


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For the EC firmware:

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Hi, sorry for the delayed response.

I think @jonathon.hall 's response is actually more likely than mine, and since it’s happening in multiple regions on the keyboard, a simple reseat might resolve it without needing to do an EC firmware flash.

Which part are you trying to lift? In the photo, from what I can tell you’ll need to lift the black portion acting as a clamp. There are notches on the sides that you can use a tool (or your nail) to gently push inward before lifting.It should loosen from the black tab lifting, then you can remove and re-insert the ribbon into the channel and re-clamp it. If you have any non-static brushes, it might help to use it in the channel to clear debris, as long as you don’t lose any bristles. Otherwise, a little canned air can’t hurt.

I also think a short could be possible if reseating doesn’t work. Excess pressure on the keyboard could easily damage its board.

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Thank you both @zlg and @jonathon.hall

I successfully reseated it but now it won’t turn on. I unscrewed the battery and carefully moved it to the side but clearly something happened.

If you have any suggestions about what might have happened I’d appreciate it.


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That tells me the reseating wasn’t correct. It usually works fine. Could you take a picture of the keyboard ribbon area on your unit?

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Thanks. Photos attached. Having looked at it further you’ll need to forgive my ignorance. I wasn’t aware the clip broke as I unseated it. I gently pulled and it came off. Any work arounds?

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@Alcobot22 Try reinstalling the battery to see if it will boot. While it’s intended to be able to boot without a battery, I found recently that the AC PL4 limit since EC 1.9 is too high for some power adapters, like the 65 W AC adapters from early Librem 14s or some USB-C adapters. I’m planning to restore the value from Librem EC 1.8 in the next EC release.

I don’t think the keyboard should be able to prevent a boot, in theory you could short all those lines together (equivalent to just pressing all the keys) and it should still boot.

Regarding the keyboard connector, is it possible the black tab could be reinserted? Maybe it just separated from the housing and didn’t actually break? If you have that piece, could you share a picture?

If that’s not an option, unfortunately it will need a mainboard repair or replacement.

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