What's the point of the monitor Librem 5 combo?


I can’t believe I have to ask this, as I can’t find any info on this whatsoever on the purism website:

Exactly what is the point of buying a Librem 5 and monitor combo? One would think this would be explained by a company but no.

Will Librem 5 be a desktop replacement of sorts if combined with a monitor, is that what it’s for?

Any details would be appreciate it.

External Monitor Support?
Librem 5 - as laptop replacement?

Yes you can plug your librem 5 into a monitor, combined with a keyboard and mouse and use it as a desktop.

I think they didn’t specify more because the picture used to illustrate this is sort of self explanatory.

If you mean you want specifics, then that is probably intentionally vague as they are still very much developing the product.


I think the idea is that many phones these days are powerful enough to be used as desktop computers but lack the connectivity for that purpose.

There have been attempts in recent years to popularise this idea, so maybe it was thought that people would be familiar with it. It’s difficult to know without more background information.


Well I also think that because the phone will be running PureOS (debian based Linux) that using it as a desktop comp is natural as it is running desktop class software. Of course it is an ARM version and so not compatible per se with the standard stream of software unless it has been recompiled for that platform, or unless PureOS give us emulation, which would be beyond huge. However, plugging a keyboard, mouse, and monitor in would be just another day for PureOS.

Whereas before all the efforts have been to make the experience through a mobile OS scaled up to be a desktop, which ultimately just failed, and is not appealing.


Well, partially I’d say it’s a marketing gag, or you could also say an opportunity for you to support Purisms work even more, because it might be cheaper to get the screen elsewhere.

As this was first an option during the campaign, I viewed it mostly as an option to show your support. Now, I’d see it more as advertising the possibilities, but yes, then it could be explained a bit :wink: .
@2disbetter might also have a point, that it’s still in development, so it might not yet be known what exactly works. On the other hand, all desktop apps (LibreOffice, Gimp) should just work out of the box, the hardest part is to make a smooth transition between phone and desktop mode.

I also think some information was just lost during the website transition. So, for your convenience, here’s a quote from the original campaign page:

Enabling the path for a true convergence device, capable to work as a phone, making video and audio calls, encrypted messaging, email, web browser, that can also become a full desktop computer with an option for a compatible keyboard, mouse, and monitor. It can be a desktop computer and phone all-in-one.


I think that’s it. We want to use the same OS on both the phone and the laptop, with same applications, but using different human interfaces. It’s inevitable that we’re going to need to support both anyway, so the “convergence” idea is kind of a free gift, and underlines that we’re not inventing a new thing, but rather giving a lift to already existing and trusted software.

Whaaaaaat, Debian is the standard stream of software!


Hahaha, I just meant that a recompile and possible UI tweak would be required for most of the Debian mainstream software.

Keep up the awesome work. I’m hoping that I can find some time between work and home to contribute developmentally to Purism’s cause. It would be time well spent.


not at all, i just wanted to start with my devkit and found “The attached display does not function correctly” in the docs. On my dev “not correctly” means it stays blank. So investment into an external display may be necesary (i dont have any anymore). :wink:


Having trouble finding specs for the Librem 5 30-inch Monitor kit. Want to do photo editing, so keen to know about the resolution, etc.

Assuming the monitor would also be compatible with the Librem 15?


It’s been several months since I asked, but at that point they hadn’t settled on a monitor. I am also curious to know what they go with, if only to learn what monitor exists that gets enough Purism approval to bundle it.


I would be careful about making assumptions but making assumptions anyway …

I would guess that the only requirement of the monitor to connect to the laptop would be that the monitor supports HDMI 1.4 (or better). That’s the easy part. That is just about any monitor.

For the phone, who can say? Is it going to be using MHL and if so via USB type C? Or USB-to-HDMI adapter? Or wireless (like Miracast)? Or?

I couldn’t glean from your text as to whether “also” in your question encompasses using two video inputs on the monitor simultaneously - in a range of modes (switch between them, picture-in-picture, …).

To be honest, convergence isn’t my highest priority for the phone. I would try it out if it’s there and works for me, but it isn’t my use case. Importing a monitor isn’t really financially practical for me, so it would have to work with an existing monitor.


The phone outputs DisplayPort Alternate Mode over USB-C. I’m not sure exactly what the display will be, whether it will be natively USB-C or through an adapter.


connecting a librem 5 to a monitor with thunderbolt 3 port through a usb 3 type c cable - will that work ?


I don’t have any thunderbolt devices, but how i understood the wikipedia article. Thunderbolt 3 allways supports displayport and usb alternate mode (especially on a monitor input). And if you mean by usb 3 type-c cable one with two usb-c connectors rated for display port alternate mode (high bandwidth). Yes this should work.
All these confusion is the down side of having one connector which is great but also having many protocols using the same connect which is kinda bad.


One connector makes sense on a phone, where space for connectors is at a premium.


This might be a silly question, if you get the monitor, will you be able to use it for other purposes or is it simply to connect to the phone? For example, could I use it as a tv/computer/console monitor? Mainly I’d want to hook it up to xbox or playstation. And even though I’m pretty against Google Stadia, I want to play Baldur’s Gate 3 as soon as it comes out. Does anyone know if this monitor will work in either of these capacities?


I am not aware of any monitor that would exclusively work with a particular device. I’m 99% sure it will be a monitor with USB-C and/or DisplayPort (and maybe HDMI) connections that you can plug anything into


Thanks! I was curious and didn’t really see anything in the FAQ. I know there’s adapters for VGA to HDMI or similar but that’s the extent of knowledge in that regard. I just didn’t want to spend $1000 to plug my phone into a monitor and have it be single purpose. Ideally I wanted the Librem 5 to be a desktop replacement and to be able to use it for gaming. Maybe it won’t be at that level at launch, but in the long run it would be pretty cool. Kind of like what the PS Vita was what I wanted it to be and Switch is good but it’s still mainly for gaming.

edit: I also want to support Purism and the privacy and social purpose goal but am hoping for more of course. didn’t mean to hijack the thread…


Given the price of the monitor, you should get an official answer for this before ordering.

As the previous reply says, I would be very surprised if it only worked with the phone but you should know in advance what connection ports the monitor will have and what adapters if any it will come with - so that you can assess it for suitability with your other requirements.

If it were me, I would want to know more about the specs of the monitor itself too.


I got a response that specs not finalized but will be on the website once they are. Also, “monitors that will come bundled will also support other devices” “probably via HDMI or even DisplayPort additionally”.

DISCLAIMER: “info” “provided about »possible« technologies supported is not official until specs are published.”