The travails of updating and reflashing

I’m struggling to understand why someone would want an RCA port on a phone but maybe I am misunderstanding what you are referring to.


Right, both my Librem 5 USA and Librem 14 can be subjected to reflashing procedures at any time, as I externally backup anything important beforehand. Afterwards, I import any declassified databases and configurations as necessary.

RCA mini 3.5mm port for audio.


So this thing: Phone connector (audio) - Wikipedia - standard audio out socket on many a desktop or laptop (TRS) and for headphones / earbuds on a phone - or audio out/in if you want to have a microphone as well (TRRS) for a headset on a phone.

It is a quirk of history that what started out as a phone connector (for switchboards) then had a lengthy detour as a desktop/laptop connector, only to return as a phone connector (on mobile phones). And now, if you believe Apple :slight_smile:, obsoleted on phones by Bluetooth. (Cynics suggest that Apple just wants to sell more accessories.)

The above link also indicates what I thought you meant - which would be fairly retro on a phone. :wink:


That is the advantage of the other 2 phones. Do the other phones allow the renter of the phone to access the command line? The L5 reminds me of Heathkit and Radio Shack,

To those that know quite a bit more about the guts and wares and the Linux language itself, think back to when you first got interested in the hardware and software side of devices. Were you born with a L5 and it’s nuances?

Just because many here are interested in the L5 and controlling it and have/had the time and initiative to get to where you can say “it’s easy”. doesn’t mean everyone else wants to.

Humans prefer the path of lease resistance and may want a device that doesn’t require researching, and reading novel after novel just to set something up. Too, expecting any advertised Puri/Librem/? product is a Pay&Go device are, as I am, disappointed.

Not everyone has the time to make their device a hobby. Nor want to.
My opinion gathered over the years tween 1982 and yesterday. But we orbit tech in a different galaxy.

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Yes. On Android, one can install termux (preferably from f-droid). Similar to Linux distros one can then install packages to let you use sshd, ssh, scp, sftp … as well as compilers (clang) and utilities like curl/wget all that fun. It comes with python installed.

I haven’t used it, but there is even a package called Andronix (which relies on termux) that will let you install a Linux distro. Mostly people use this on Android based tablets rather than phones. But it’s still worth mentioning.

For people who are more familiar with Linux, it should be noted that there are some limitations since these are installed using proot (which is a userspace implementation of chroot) and these installs are similar to people who install Linux distros on ChromeOS with crouton (a chroot based installation).

I agree. And in that sense, even though I’ve been a Linux user since 1995, I still prefer Android on my phone. Still, I have to do research. It’s mainly about how I can use Android and still keep my privacy intact. But there is also the time I spend to make sure that Android — which has the Linux kernel — does what I want it to. That includes being able to easily use tools that I’m more familiar with like sftp, ssh, scp, curl/wget and python.

What I find disappointing is the number of people on this forum who haven’t bothered to understand Android and what it can do. It’s FOSS. It’s just not familiar to people who are used to traditional Linux distributions.

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As for me, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been using GNU/Linux on the desktop since circa 2010, and exclusively since 2012. Most of my usage consists of just regular, non-technical computing, and it has been a long, deep breath of fresh air to use an operating system that does what I want it to, and which allows me to modify the desktop experience as I like, for the most part. I never feel as if I have to fight the OS to get things done, unlike with Windows (which was mainly Vista at home, and Windows 7 at my former job). And that’s to say nothing of the colossal privacy benefits and absence of marketing/upsell that GNU/Linux affords the user.

That said, I’m no “expert” Linux user. Occasionally I want or need to try a new functionality to accomplish a task, and if I dont know how to do it, I do the requisite internet research to try to learn it. Usually I’m not disappointed, and I end up “smarter” than I was before, with new skills.

From my perspective, continuous learning is not only fun, but also utilitarian. It exercises your brain as well, which is good for your general health and outlook.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, of course.


I like Android in general, but only as a degoogled custom ROM (even then it’s not completely privacy-protecting) with additional privacy tweaks, and avoiding non-FOSS apps. I’m using iodéOS, having moved from /e/OS. I could wish for better insight into the file/OS structure and more “desktop-like” functionality. Maybe that is possible with a rooted device? I don’t know.

Not too long ago, I finally figured out how to use sftp via the SimpleSSHD app from F-Droid (Tutorial: Set up ssh/sftp between non-rooted Android and Librem 5), so now I can view and transfer files over my network between the phone and any of my other comuters… including the L5.

I haven’t learned much about using Termux on the Android. although I have it installed. One day…

Learning new stuff is great, regardless.


It’s nice. It’s basically a bash terminal and a package manager (“pkg”). After installing, one should do a “pkg update” (just like “apt update”). To be able to sftp or ssh you need to do a “pkg install openssh”. And there you go. You can even start the sshd daemon once you generate the host keys with “ssh-keygen -A”. Run an SSH server on your Android with Termux - This is great to move files (e.g. pictures) using your LAN’s wifi (instead of a USB cable) from your phone/tablet to your desktop. ifconfig works to get your IP. The “python -m http.server” works, so you can browse from your desktop’s browser or you can use wget/curl to download everything. [Sadly, you can’t change usernames. Android’s permissions are locked down to the application and its username which is generated … and might look like u0_a203 or something.] Aside: nano is installed by default. You can install emacs if you wish…


This is strictly FYI to help others understand how things can go off the rail and though instructions look great on paper, one cannot cover all the unlikely possibilities.

Acting as my own attourney… I now what they say about that, I think I might be nearing senility but have a few blocks to go yet. When I read post 16 by @amarok in my Topic “Time to flash is now - but how?”, a excellent StepxStep.
I copied it to LibreOffice Write copied it over to the desktop that was going to do the flashing. I read it through a couple of times as I imagined the step-through looking for what I don’t understand.
If memory serves, I asked a couple of questions about things I wasn’t so sure about and some replies, I think, were added in to the SxS.

But NOTE please, that before asking here, I search the various posts, the wiki, and manual. Sometime I will also search what is nearby my house (Google results) and then search the Internet.

What Amarok or anyone else could not predict is how all the ducks were not lined up i.e. no “uuu”, one device had Amber the other had Byzantium.

When it said no ‘uuu’ my thought was "what in tarnation is a ‘uuu’! I read up on it and the language assumed people reading it spoke the same language so I came back here to ask.

In summary, I think that everyone did a great job of support. Couldn’t ask for better. I did and do not, want to learn what for others is second nature thanks to their dedication and experience with Linux/L5.
I just want to get the L5 to the stage where I can depend on it like it’s ads say. :smirk:
What I will continue to do, is to learn some how-to’s by looking it up myself.

Happy Easter everyone… and thank you all,


First, thanks for the explanations.
It’s been just over a year since I ended up with and dug deeper into L5 and it’s nuances, plus the 'wares that are available. Learning about what it can and can’t do and, do I really need a cell all.
I never had use or need for a cell. I see how addictive they are. Me being me, can’t fathom being glued to one. Facebook goes down for hours, and some people are going ape-poop because it’s the only syringe they have to get their Internet high.

I refuse to be assimilated. Along came the L5. I still didn’t care for it, but long story short, I ended up with a L5. What I did like was the Pure operating system because I use PureOS on a workstation for about 2 years now.

After a year+ I still just use it to play 2048, and to send and receive texts w/ images w/ close friends and family only. I used it to test a call with a few people. All complained about how tinny or scratchy it sounded. “Worse than VOIP” said one. Meh, I don’t need it as a phone.

Prior to that I felt, and still do, that if it’s important, they’ll call me on the landline. $30.00 a month… even the phone scammers know that. Use of cell 34.00.

In the end, it has become a challenge to myself; mainly as a I won’t let a digital 3" x 6" binary bit byter get the best of me. I guess I’m just different that way. I don’t want to become what a friend has coined; an Apathacan.

So to your point, everyone has an opinion about everything. They enjoy(?) the arena they orbit… be it whatever technology they prefer.
What about other sites, those that might cater to “Android” as this forum caters to Pure and it’s products?

I searched the Internet then “googled” the catalogue - google sent me to buy “FOSS” for only $1,341.69 CAD.

The first word in (F)oss is “free”. So far, most software is free, downloads are “free”, until we get to the checkout. A lot of stuff starts out free; until the Pro and Enterprise versions come out and we find we got free crippleware or nagware.

F will have to change one day, I think, because devs can’t put food on their plate building ‘apps’ for nothing. Some devs use it to develop their “flagship” and entry on their resumé. Yep, we can donate, or as we’ve seen of late, support development by sending money for that build.
As the dealer says, ‘first one is free’.

Just my 10 bits inflation by greed.


Yes. But, as FOSS enthusiasts will tell you, the F is for “Free and in Freedom” (Libre) rather than “free as in beer (CAD)”. Android, or more precisely, AOSP (Android Open Source Project) provides the source for the operating system.

Of course most Android based phones also include programs that are not FOSS (e.g. gmail, gdrive, googe play store, keep, …) as well as the Google Play Store which has mostly non-FOSS and paid programs … which is where Google and others harvest its money. By using these programs, people are being a bit Apathacan-y (love the word) —> they have apathetically traded their information for free (not FOSS) software. That’s the origin of the so-called “de-googled Android” distributions.

So to your point, everyone has an opinion about everything. They enjoy(?) the arena they orbit… be it whatever technology they prefer. What about other sites, those that might cater to “Android” as this forum caters to Pure and it’s products?

Other sites? Of course. Where I’m still befuddled is that while this site is all about FOSS and phones, far too many here don’t have a real understanding that base Android (specifically AOSP) is a FOSS Linux distribution for phones and tablets. i.e. Android is 90% the same, yet it seems to be treated as an enemy here. Despite people’s enthusiasm for FOSS, many here don’t seem to be aware that you can install a terminal, ssh, rsync, sshd, sftp, etc. … with a simple “pkg install openssh” and “pkg install rsync” and 1000’s of other FOSS packages. The only issue with Android IMO is that most phone makers do not supply FOSS drivers.

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… which, given that a driver typically has unfettered access to the system, is a fairly major obstacle if you take your privacy seriously.

An arbitrary phone maker also has the option to lock the boot process so that it is simply not an option to replace the “standard” firmware with something that is (more) privacy-friendly.

An arbitrary phone marker also has the option to withhold crucial information so that no FOSS will work on the hardware.

To bring this back on topic … how would a random person go if given a phone that is running “standard” firmware but which allows the firmware to be replaced, and the person is told to replace the firmware with something that is (more) privacy-friendly?


Name any time a driver on a Pixel 7a phone running GrapheneOS intentionally leaked private details. Find just one example or I can’t take you seriously. :wink:

What this underscores is that you have a different threat model than I do. Pixel phones are much more secure and, with the right image choice (e.g. GrapheneOS), privacy-respecting for my threat model than the Librem 5.

To bring this back on topic … how would a random person go if given a phone that is running “standard” firmware but which allows the firmware to be replaced, and the person is told to replace the firmware with something that is (more) privacy-friendly?

The more appropriate/analogous question is about replacing firmware or flashing images that the vendor has offered. Because that’s the exact topic of the thread. With Android, it’s done all the time and it’s easy and is most appropriate since this is the route that 99.9% of the devices owners choose. The question is “Why does Purism make it so hard?”.

Some device owners prefer 3rd party images, e.g. GrapheneOS, and flashing such an image is a bit more involved (e.g. you have to unlock the bootloader, etc.) and is similar to the Librem 5. However, it is better documented and the code is better (e.g. it actually checks version requirements before proceeding and gives better feedback for the process as a whole). There are videos of people doing this. There’s even a video of someone who, instead of flashing a pre-prepared image, he first custom-patches and builds his own patched version of GrapheneOS and loads it.

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It is arguable as to what is “more appropriate”. All three scenarios are of interest within the scope of this topic.

  • in place update of firmware
  • reflash current firmware (i.e. replace current firmware with the original unmodified version of itself - like a factory reset i.e. revert the software with the loss of all data and settings)
  • replace current firmware with unrelated firmware

The answer is: the CPU makes it hard. Just like the earlier iPhones before they could update themselves over-the-air. They are therefore dependent on a host computer that needs to be running the right software, and connected up, … and is an additional source of aggravation. We can live in hope that the next generation of i.MX CPUs natively support booting from a USB mass storage device class device. (If not, Purism may have other options even while sticking with that range of CPUs, but that is further into the land of speculation.)

… you mean … and got caught. :wink:

And then there’s PRISM.

You don’t actually have one though so your claims about the Librem 5 are theoretical. You may find that the Librem 5 is straightforward to use, as I do, if you had one. Basing it off the experience of one user who has had no end of problems is hardly statistical.

However as I already said: I don’t think anyone would argue that the Librem 5 experience is as polished as a current or even recent phone developed by a bazillion dollar company.

Faced with that reality, you can work to make it better or you can throw your hands in the air and be assimilated. :wink:


Or, instead of being assimilated, one could try to gain an understanding of the ins-and-outs of Android and have it do your bidding rather than retreat to the familiar-but-weak-security world of standard old desktop Linux. If you’re worried about PRISM, standard desktop Linux is not sufficient. That said, if Purism moved to an immutable and privilege-isolated desktop structure, that would be different. Desktop Linux is heading that way, but it has a ways to go — and, I may note, it is following the lead of Android (while adding in its own nuances from various container technologies) as it progresses.

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Buying a Google Pixel is however financially supporting Google and making Big Tech even bigger. You are funding the next Google domination. That’s going to stick in the craw of many who want an option that is independent of the duopoly.

There are interesting discussions to be had about application security models but that is way off topic. There are even interesting discussions to be had about operating system security, which could intersect with the ease or difficulty of any of the three scenarios that I mentioned.

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  1. One should not have to.

  2. One doesn’t need to with Android or iOS

a friend/coworker has had her first cell just under a year now. She has never had to ask how one’ do this or that or required to understand the OS, any OS. Well, almost any.
Some other relatives have had cells for years and never needed to learn if a command line would help, or even know what a command prompt is.

Sorry to say, but other cells are miles ahead.

BTW, my experience with a cell was a very long time ago when I got 10 days or until released for hitchhiking on a Intestate highway… :innocent:

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The procedure for getting an iPhone into DFU mode is about as intuitive as the procedure for getting a Librem 5 into Serial Download mode i.e. not - and most users will have to refer to the internet the first time they have to do it.

iOS has been going for 17 years (and really even a bit longer). It is way ahead.

I’ve only had to use DFU mode once - when an iOS “upgrade” contained a serious regression - but then it turned out that Apple wouldn’t let me “downgrade” anyway. That’s the kind of duopoly crap that I want to leave behind.


And that’s exactly what I love about the L5.
I do not know that much about the OS. Using the command line is, for me, a great opportunity to learn more about it.
It’s a steep learning process, but that’s OK for me.
An android or apple phone does not provide this opportunity. Those phones are not your friend but your enemy. :wink:

EDIT: several typo’s corrected.