VirtualBox with PureOS

I’d like to have a play with PureOS in advance of potentially ordering a Librem 5. I’ve installed it on VirtualBox and it runs, but I can’t make it switch into ‘phone mode’. Is there a trick to this or is the phone version of PureOS simply not out yet?

hi ! as far as i know PureOS is a convergent OS type. that means it will NOT have separate versions for the PC and mobile. as such the librem laptops and the phone run the same OS which inteligently adapts to each use case scenario. see bellow.

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Partially true. The link below only shows how APPS converge between desktop and mobile, but they do not show how the DESKTOP converges and that is because it can’t yet.

While the base OS for the Librem 5 and the Librem Laptops are the same, the desktop is not. The laptops run Gnome Shell while the phone runs Phosh. They still use the same settings applications etc though so the experience will be rather similar, but they are NOT the same.

To make the Librem 5 run like a desktop currently you would have to install Gnome Shell, close all your apps, log out, log in to with Gnome Shell and then start your apps again. I have not yet seen anyone actually do this, but it’s technically possible. The reason why no-one wants to show of this is because in the future they will release “real” convergence for Phosh as well, but that will not be the same experience as on the Librem laptops. In the future we might see the Librem Laptops ship with Phosh though, but I’d expect that to be years from now.

@Banjo If you want to try out the Librem 5 desktop in a virtual machine, here’s links where you can find the image download and how to set up the emulator.


then i have a question of my own. do you know if this ‘Phosh’ Desktop Manager adheres to the philosophy or is it following strictly the GNOME guildlines ?

also how come it is called “Phosh” ? how do you even pronounce that ? what inspired this name ?

It’s developed by Purism so they’re the once deciding, but but it’s much closer to the GNOME guidelines than suckless guidelines as it’s 95% a GNOME stack. The suckless community is rather “hardcore” and even consider GTK to be bloat, so it’s rare with software that adheres to their guidelines.

No idea, I agree it’s an odd name

You can find the source code here

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It’s the phone shell of course. Has been mentioned in the blog.
I found libhandy amusing. Of course it comes in handy when developing mobile apps. As some devs are German, the name is no surprise, as cell phones are called Handy in German.


duh :sweat_smile: silly me.

the suckless philosophy is weird at times imo - for example why did they decide on the 2k lines of code maximum for the st (simple terminal) ? then there is this concept of adding patches to the minimal nature of each program that they group together under the suckless meme. for example you have to add your own “tabbed” patch in order to have tabs inside “surf” their web browser. the same goes for the bookmarks. the whole concept is not BAD but it is too minimal for most users. also no add-blocking extensions.

this convergent nature of the librem 5 OS that purism says will be the first in the industry can be better implemented by having the phone auto-detect when it is beeing used like a pc with a mouse and keyboard connected or rather when the terminal is openned ( auto-switch to a suckless ‘like’ mode that can be snappy[er] than let’s say the touch friendly interface of ‘phosh’ for regular mobile-phone ‘like’ use cases.