Unlocking a librem laptop

I have wondered for some weeks (at least) now why unlocking my librem 13v4 laptop is so “difficult”, i.e., why I always seem to mistype my password.

This happens if the screen lock goes active because of inactivity, as well as when waking up from ‘sleep’.

I suspected a flaky keyboard (some character not working well), as well as having inadvertently hit ‘caps lock’.

Eventually, I realized that entering the password directly seems to fail after a few iterations of screenlock (or wakeup from sleep). However, when I click ‘login as different user’ and then login as myself again (the same user for which the session was locked), the password is accepted.

Anyone has seen this? This is PureOS (on a librem), with all updates applied. This has happened for quite a while, so if some software triggered this, it must have been several weeks, if not months ago.

I tried to check the logs, but nothing meaningful. More specifically, the ‘incorrect attempts’ when trying to enter the password directly seem not to be logged.



Hi, i am using PureOS for three years now and haven’t had a problem like the one you have described. Logging in works perfectly for me.

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Thanks for the feedback, will keep searching …

Just to be clear, “logging in” works fine; it’s unlocking that gives me a headache, and in a way by logging in as myself I work around (and unlock my session).

Also, after a restart things work for a while; it seems to take a couple of suspends / wakeups to trigger the problem.

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Red Herring, but…
I have a ChromeBox attached to a kitchen TV and either the blurtooth keyboard or the OS does a wierd quirk where only after a restart of the box, the first keystorke of the input goes to the NULL stream. I was wondering for a long time why I kept mistyping my password because I look at the keyboard to type. One day I was looking at the screen and caught it skipping the first keystroke.

Thanks for the feedback! I just checked, and my first character echoes.

Also, to be clear, I am talking about unlocking the laptop using its keyboard, so there is no strange “chain of devices” involved.

While I personally I am not too much a fan of the Librem 13s keyboard, I have not noticed a stuck key during regular operation …

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Had a similar situation, too. Realized that - don’t know why - the keyboard-language was changed. If i remember right, in the upper status-bar right-hand-side you can see a eg. “en” width a down-arrow. If you’re using a language other thank english, it might be you don’t see your preferred syllable there - eg. “nl”, but “en”. If so, change it to the preferred one before typing the password.


The Librem 13 also has a number lock key to the right of the F12 key called NumLk. I have had issues entering my password when that key is on, but then my password has a number or two, which your password may not.

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Even if you DON’T have a number in your password, if numlock is on, any alphabetic character in that part of the keyboard (uiojklm) will be turned into a number without your knowledge and you’re FUBARed.

This bit me repeatedly when I first got the system. Whatever it was that I was doing that was tripping that key without my knowledge–I stopped doing. I don’t know what it was.

But it’d sure be nice if there were some sort of visible indication that the caps lock and/or num lock was on.


Sorry for the late reply, again, thank you all!

Alas, I don’t think that a hidden NumLock etc. is the cause in “my case” (also, I only have English / English keyboard activated on the laptop – if that got screwed up, it would certainly bite me). Apparently, I am the only one affected, so don’t waste time.

Just in case, let me re-describe the issue if someone comes late:

  1. After a reboot, it takes a number of screen locks / sleep+wake-up cycles to trigger the behavior.
  2. After some use, once the screenlock is on, entering my password fails “reliably”. However, when I click “login as another user”, and then “log in” as myself (I am the only user on this machine), the password is accepted.

The difference seems to be screen lock (whatever this is on PureOS/Gnome), vs. the login mask (gdm3 ??).

I leave this repeat description just in case someone notices this, too; and obviously I’ll post when I find a solution (not just the workaround described). I just use too many machines, each slightly different, so I have no time and energy to debug this …

Thanks again,

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