Workarounds for running Librem with dead battery?

Battery health is dying fast. I don’t think I’ll be able to drum up a replacement before it dies.

With that in mind, what workarounds will allow me to boot and run off power cable?

The bios clock will be blanked. I can imagine I can reset the clock on each boot?

Anyone running a Librem this way? What do I need to know?


I don’t know this for certain but I would think that even with a very weak battery in place you will still have the clock working and you should be able to keep using the computer as long as you can live with always having the power cable plugged in while using it.

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One possible solution is this:

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Using the supplied power adapter is enough.

The hardware clock will only be reset if you disconnect the power adapter from the Librem 14.

I used the Librem 14 like this for over a year before the 3-cell battery was available. Here are a few tips I can provide you:

  1. Keep a live USB with a PureOS image available for recovery purposes.
  2. Keep the power adapter plugged in.
  3. Prepare for brownouts/blackouts.

My Librem 5 runs fine with the battery removed completely, except that it will not boot without a battery if it is connected to my pinephone dock for some reason. It bootloops as if the dock is not supplying sufficient power. For me I consider that to be unfortunate, because for convergence purposes I would enjoy using the Librem 5 on the dock as though it were a PC – while not involving the battery in that situation.

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I believe that the Librem 14 has a separate button cell that will maintain the clock anyway.

We are talking about a Librem 14, are we?

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The Librem 14 does not have a separate battery as far as I know: I had to manually synchronize the hardware clock every time I ever disconnected the power adapter cable.


See the photo in: Librem 14 Battery-Related Time and Date Reset Issue - Seeking Help and Solutions

I guess that button cell must serve some purpose.


It sounds like I should get mine replaced - thank you for the reminder.

I do not recall seeing anything yellow when I disassembled my Librem 14 a few months ago, but I will do another physical inspection in the near future before I consider contacting Purism support.

I would find a tech lab to build compatible battery! :wink:

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The first run or two did not have the extra battery, so you were probably correct in that you didn’t see one when you had it open. Mine at least didn’t and I had one of the first L14’s.

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My experience is when the batteries die, the clock is blanked…and its always a hassle to reset it and get network working again.

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Based on the above discussion, it would therefore be important for you to understand whether your Librem 14 has

a) only a laptop battery, or
b) a laptop battery and a button cell for maintaining the time when the laptop battery goes flat (or outright dies).

If that is too hard then maybe you could ask Purism i.e. if this was a design change and they can look at the details associated with your order and work out whether you got the earlier design or the later design - and if the earlier design, ask them whether you can user procure and user install a button cell.

This is somewhat covered by the link that I posted above but you will note that that topic ends with Purism Support asking to be contacted directly - so I would imagine that they will need some information from you and that the answer is conditional on that information.

This of course doesn’t get you an actual laptop battery. It is only relevant to the “workarounds” side of things.

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I disassembled my Librem 14 and confirmed I do not have a backup battery for the CMOS clock.

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What a step backward in laptop design. I wonder if this is because most laptops can’t be opened and main batteries are not removable…

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Or maybe it’s a step forwards i.e. early batches had no button battery and later batches do. See the linked discussion above.

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