Somewhat important feature missing

I don’t know if anyone noticed but L5 cannot read contacts from SIM card. This is rather a shock to me. I appreciate the devs are working on multiple fancy things like convergence and full disk encryption but they should get the basics out of the way first. And this is super basic feature, even Nokia 3310 can do this. Imagine someone with 200 or 300 contacts on their SIM and when they stick it into Librem 5 their first impression will be like “WTF…why is that not working.”

I don’t want to spam the forum with every single issue I encounter but I thought this was rather important to raise.


I think you are correct that this is a gap.

I think most people have imported contacts in another way e.g. export from SIM on the source phone and then import on Librem 5 using the Contacts Importer app (or weren’t using the SIM for contacts).

I don’t store any contacts on my SIM (which I did directly move from my previous daily driver to the Librem 5). However I did successfully use the Contacts Importer app.

Could you edit the topic title to better reflect the content?

In any case, the search function will bring up earlier discussions of importing contacts, including trials and tribulations.

I suggest you do spam the forum, after confirming not already raised, unless you choose to raise an actual issue - which is a more formal way of getting developer attention (and again you should search to confirm not already raised).


IIRC, I have stored contacs on SIM last time 20++ years ago on my Siemens S10 cellphone. Since I use smartphones they are stored in the app, for example gnome evolution. The number of contacts in SIM is very limited, some 16 IIRC. I would not waste time for such a feature.


I’ve got many more than 16 on my SIM card. Personally, I like keeping them there, as I can easily take them to a different device when I want. Of course, I also need to copy them to the device, in case I change SIM cards while traveling abroad.

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Someone already raised this issue. That’s good. At least they know about it. Thanks.

On my SIM I have around 80 maybe 100 contacts.

If your phone breaks and does not turn on anymore and all contacts are locally saved there instead of SIM, how are you going to get them on your new phone?

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You should think your smartphone as an UNIX laptop and ofc you should do backups of your personal data (photos, messages, contacts). The contacts exported as VCF file before the backup to have them in a form whih should understand any other app:

$ grep BEGIN:VCARD utcontacts-guru-20210911.vcf | wc -l

And in case your SIM breaks?

(elaborating on what @guru wrote)

Three answers:

  • We all do comprehensive backup, right? That will pick up the actual contacts database - and everything else.
  • Selective backup / export specifically of the contacts.
  • You don’t need the contacts locally anyway e.g. use LDAP or other network-based solution (Nextcloud?) - more for advanced users (and the support may not even be available yet on the Librem 5)

Same for me. But Linux likes to give users the freedom to organise themselves as they see fit. So if @Poseidon wants to store contacts on SIM, perse should have that possibility.

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