Timeline Librem 5

Just came across this site, I had thought that the ubuntu phone had died off but I guess I’m wrong :slight_smile: I would be very interested in one of these phones but realistically when will this phone be able to compete with your android and IOS phones as far as applications?

my list of must-have apps,


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I tell you in a friendly way, I think your interests are very far from free software and privacy but you can always explore these issues and see if they can interest you.


Well the main focus of the phone is using the Foss software community and demonstrating that using only Foss software it is possible to have the same core functionality. The reasoning for this are listed under the companies purpose/goals on their website. However because FOSS is also very much about personal freedom, and because making it possible for Android apps to work was a stretch goal that was not achieved, it is possible that you can run Android apps on the phone should the runtime be ported. In this case competition isn’t necessary as you’d have access to it all.

For the purposes of security and privacy it would be advised that you exercise this eventuality, should it happen, very wisely.


Thanks for the info I guess i could have two phones :slight_smile:

This phone will (hopefully) never run any What’s Ape application, because it would make it insecure.


I disagree. You can’t have freedom with a mindset like that. It may never run on your phone, and it may be advised for others to not run it either, but I personally hope I can run whatever I want on the phone.


You can not have freedom without security. And with being tracked and watched.

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@guru You have it the wrong way, you cannot have security without freedom.

You can easily install malware on a completely open and free platform, but you cannot verify that you are secure without having the freedom to validate everything on the platform.

Wrong! If you install any propriety software, like What’s Ape, you can not trust in anything anymore. The device is just poisoned and whatever you see with your investigations in your “freedom” may just be a phantom but not the truth.


@guru But then you make the decision to not be secure and if you don’t have the ability to make that decision you are not free, which is exactly why I’m correct.

F. Engels: “Freedom is the recognition of necessity”. You just have another idea of what freedom is. That’s all.

I don’t use Whatsapp, I will never use it, and I refuse to hand my contact details over to anyone who does (because I don’t want Facebook to get my information).

However, others do use it. And the availability of software plays a pretty big factor in whether users will switch to it. Ask yourself this: do you want a proper Linux-based phone to become a viable mainstream option? Do you want other people to view this (or if someone else makes a different, but compatible device in the future - that) as a viable option aside from the current Apple/Android duopoly? Do you want people to see actual Linux and a device over which they actually have control as a possibility that they can use?

@guru: Consider that the main purpose of a phone is communication. This is, obviously, only possible if there are others to communicate with who use the same means of doing so. This unfortunate reason is why things like Facebook and Whatsapp are so big - people use it because people use it. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.

I don’t expect that any kind of Whatsapp client will be made for this device in any reasonable timeframe, but if it ever does, you could see it acting as, for lack of a better term, a “gateway drug” to software and hardware that doesn’t sell you to someone else. A current Whatsapp user might not like what their particular hardware and communications software is doing, and want a new phone which can do things differently. But they’re not willing to suddenly drop their contacts on the old system.

If they have a device available which handles both their old communications method and something which doesn’t treat them like someone else’s property (for instance, if Matrix works out right), then they might be tempted to try out the new software. If it’s good, they spread it to their contacts, who might start moving away from the old system.

The best way to truly slay a monster like Facebook is to starve it. The only way you can “salt the earth” over its corpse to ensure that it never comes back is to ensure that people know exactly what it is that got done to them. But people aren’t going to immediately switch away to something else unless something completely and absolutely unignorable comes out. And they can only switch if they know about alternatives. To get people away from FB’s malignant tentacles, you need to a) make an alternative, b) make the alternative usable, c) make the alternative visible and d) make it clear that the alternative is superior (read: doesn’t stamp, file, index and profile them) while providing similar features.

Point c) here is what makes having a Whatsapp client… desirable (shudder). Someone who relies on that won’t even consider a Librem 5 or similar unless it’s available. But if it is, they might take a closer look at what else the phone offers. That’s the key. The initial hook.


@guru or your interpretation of the word freedom is completely skewed because of you defining it by a citation of a political philosopher using it within a context instead of simply by the general definition in a dictionary.

The Oxford dictionary defines it as “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.”
In this case, the freedom to act however someone wants on the software in their computer and therefore being able to install whatever crappy proprietary software they want.


you should research how Engels died and then ask yourself if you really want to trust those words.

sometimes anglicised Frederick Engels; 28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German philosopher, communist, social scientist, journalist and businessman.

Engels developed what now is known as the Marxist theory together with Karl Marx and in 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in English cities. In 1848, Engels co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Marx and also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works. Later, Engels supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx’s death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organised Marx’s notes on the Theories of Surplus Value, which he later published as the “fourth volume” of Capital.[5] In 1884 another major work, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, was published.

Engels died in London on 5 August 1895, at the age of 74 and following cremation his ashes were scattered off Beachy Head, near Eastbourne.

the key word here is “cremation” - pulled for your convenience from wikipedia dot org


So the goal is to appeal to a niche market of linux/security geeks?

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Your options are:

  1. Not use any computers/phones
  2. Use only open software and open hardware
  3. Be at the mercy of corporations, who embrace surveillance capitalism more and more.

Option 1 practically excludes you from society.
Option 3 will lead to your life being severely damaged, sooner or later.

Purism aims to make Option 2 easier and easier to choose, because other options are simply unacceptable.


Maybe Purism will last a thousand years and become highly profitable as they eventually dominate market share, but I see projects like these as something like homo heidelbergensis; maybe it’s a niche thing that dies off, but ultimately was a necessary step toward a more free and enlightened world (in the case of homo heidelbergensis, a likely hominid ancestor of modern humans, it was a step toward modern civilization as we know it).


See I don’t believe it will be niche. Maybe the ultimate realization of Purism’s goals but the hardware they produce is such a necessary thing in todays technilogical landscape, that it should be kind of like a beacon for many.

People who are tired of sealed batteries, thinnest, features nobody asked for that increase a phone’s price, etc.

A device intended to be yours for as long as you want.

This is the beacon that should appeal to many. Now when they come they’ll see that the software offerings are slim compared to what they are used to, BUT they will see that they can put whatever they want on their hardware. So EVEN if they load Windows on their Librem 13, or use proprietary software, it has struck a blow at those companies who insist on engineering hardware with built in extra early EOLs and walled gardens.

Viva Purism, and viva freedom.

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I like that. Do I really need Whats*pp? That’s a good point. But what is necessary to me to realize if I need that or not?

@2disbetter I want to share your optimism, but I’ve been involved in a few projects with similar freedom ambitions (most recently, Neo900) that fizzled out or stalled indefinitely. Again, I’m obviously all for Purism and what the community is striving to achieve (I’m a Librem 15v3 owner, Librem Key owner, and plan to buy a Librem 5), I’m just not 100% sure this will be the ultimate “freedom for the masses” and may just be a stepping stone.

Some stepping stones are important and necessary!

My sentiment isn’t negative; I just don’t want to tie up our desires for freedom to a specific brand.

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