Two Awesome Librem 5 Daily Driver Hacks I Learned Today

Today I learned two new cool things that I can do with a Librem 5:

  1. I already have four batteries and many chargers, but when I wanted to switch batteries today instead of powering the device off, I plugged in the charging cable, removed the empty battery to place it in a battery charger, inserted the full battery, then unplugged the charging cable. As a result, I did not have to reboot my software for the Librem 5 to reset back to 90+% battery life instantaneously.
  2. Using a high-power-throughput dock rated at 100 Watt, I can dock my Librem 5 to a Mouse/Keyboard/Monitor and then remove the battery while it is still on, meaning that I can use it as though it were a PC essentially indefinitely. Previously, I had only succeeded in docking while the battery was inside of the device, which would have meant that using the device as though it were a PC for long periods of time might have reduced battery longevity or whatever.

I’m going to try something new in a similar way. I want to buy a new keyboard for my desktop and found one I’m really interested. It has USB and Bluetooth connections and is able to switch it via shortcut. I want to try to connect L5 via Bluetooth to it and would not need 2 different keyboards anymore.

The Keyboard I found is the Keychron K10 Pro which is also fully repairable (not sure how long parts will be available) and is using open source firmware, which can be adjust via open source application that also runs on Linux. Profiles are saved on keyboard itself, so no need to run it all the time. Sadly it’s no open hardware as far as I know.

There are still some things I want to check before ordering, but if I do, I will share results (Bluetooth and software).

I tried something similar with my PS4-Controller, just for fun without real need. It could connect via USB and I could play Tux Card out of the box (in fact, much better than via touch input, because much more precise). But L5 Bluetooth did not find the controller.

Another thing I do:
Plugin the power cable and if 100% I don’t remove it. This way battery will be ignored. For many(!) hours it does not even try to fill the last 0,1% again and if so (mostly my fault) it just takes some seconds to charge. There is no need to remove battery at all. If I know I don’t need the phone for hours (or use it just on desk), I even plug it at 85% in, because once it’s full, it doesn’t use battery anymore.


Could this be your all-in-one battery charger?

This is a working advert model in a major auto shop chain. Customers can charge their phones while they wait. (I took the pic yesterday knowing something would come up here to post the joke for.)


Sometimes you have to hit the starter with a hammer to get it to go though.


What is the model of your dock and power adapter? I tried a few from Amazon. I tried a mix of Anker chargers into docks that support PD charging. I think one of the chargers was 100W, maybe 60W, but it didn’t work so I returned it all. Thanks!

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After I said it, and thought that I was so smart, it turned out that it’s harder than I made it out to be. About 5-30 minutes after I use the Librem 5 that way, sometimes it will randomly shut off probably due to insufficient power. My understanding is that the dock I am using is probably strong enough, but the Librem 5 charger probably does not supply enough power. I’m planning to try again with a more powerful charger plugged into the same dock sometime soon.

The dock was the most expensive one I could find at Staples. It’s a j5create dock that has 2 HDMI ports, 1 display port, 1 ethernet port, a USB C PD power port, a USB C output port that might be able to do a second display-port out but that doesn’t seem to be supported by most devices, an SD card slot, and two USB 2 or 3 ports. It said that it was rated for 100W.

Edit: Now that I mentioned it, I tried again with a 45W charger borrowed from a friend. Still no luck-it shut off after a while and some use. I have one coming I ordered online that claims to be a 100W charger, so maybe I can try that sometime soon once it ships.

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So keyboard arrived just in time. It works fine via USB and Bluetooth. Changing connection (PC cable to L5 Bluetooth) is done with no time. I just needed to web search for first connection (had to hold down a shortcut). This way I can power my phone and using the keyboard on desktop without USB-hub. Or I can plugin USB-mouse in additional.

Software failed on install. It seems there are dependency issues. I guess it happened because Byzantium runs on an outdated Debian version. I will dig into it later.


Byzantium uses Bullseye (Debian 11), whereas Crimson uses Bookworm (Debian 12/stable).


That’s what I mean. I just forget the names all the time (and don’t know why). :smile:

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Probably because Toys Story characters are not memorable enough to use as a naming scheme to begin with. In contrast, Purism chose the alphabetical/Android naming scheme instead.


Okay app is not for ARM64. They don’t explain anything about installation, so it was not easy to find out. There is a web-app that does not work with Firefox (Firefox does not support a required Feature for “security reasons”), but I don’t want to use an online app anyway.

One wired thing on Librem 5 is the courser that appears on connection with this keyboard. Is there a way to hide it in configs or anywhere else?
Found the reason for this: I can set buttons to move the mouse via keyboard. That’s why courser gets activated on L5.

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Just curious to know what shortcut?

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fn+1, 2 or 3 until L5 found the keyboard. It configures the used channel. I also have to use same shortcut (short click) to switch between different Bluetooth devices (switching to cable is via hardware switch). I also could program custom shortcuts / keybindings for this.


You can also get a Bluetooth keyboard that supports more than one independent Bluetooth connection, and has buttons on the keyboard to switch between connections.

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I’ve got such keyboard as you can see on the previous post (FN + 1-3 aka support for 3 connections). And indeed it makes life much easier.