Your reasons for choosing Librem5?


A lot of the discussion related to Purism devices is privacy centric, but I mainly want a Linux based phone for ease of customisation. I’ve used iPhones for work, and various Androids for personal use, and have often been frustrated with barriers to controlling my own device. Even with Android custom ROMs, there are enough issues to be a significant frustration at times.

While privacy is a concern to me, particularly with broader social implications, at this stage it is an abstract concern for me, whereas other usability aspects are immediate. In previous work, I was dealing with valuable IP, and privacy may have been a more immediate concern.

I have been using Linux for general computing for some years, and am aware of the limitations. I have always still needed to use Windows for work and other duties, mainly due to software availability, and sometimes for client convenience etc. I am aware of the ‘small market’ limitations, but the benefits still appeal for my usage in most cases.

I was considering SailFish, but thought Purism may suit me better, and was happy to buy in.

So given the privacy focus of the discourse, I was curious as to how that ranked on other customer’s priorities?


I agree with your basic two points.

  1. Privacy is certainly an issue - and becoming worse i.e. more pressing. Do you trust your platform? If so, is that trust justified? With your typical phone, the answers are “no” or “yes but no”.

  2. I want to change or add functionality X. With your typical phone, the manufacturer decides that you can’t do that. With an open source phone your own limitations or capabilities (be they time or expertise etc.) usually decide it.

I’m not ranking those two points because the two points together make the package that you either buy or don’t buy.


Everything about it really, the freedom, the respect, the privacy. If the hardware is solid it’ll be one hell of a phone! Everything is just right for now. No curved screen, no notches, no rounded screen corners, removable battery, etc etc

I like to imagine the Librem 5 as my potential pet project. It’s like a big Raspberry Pi or C64 for me. I really want to get involved and shift my focus on development for the phone when it launches.

I can’t hold the excitement XD

Edit: Oh and shoutout to GDQuest for doing the game tutorials! So cool that Purism partnered with him :slight_smile:


If you are looking for an Linux mobile device, may I direct your attention to .

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Privacy is a big aspect of it for me; I don’t like that the only two choices (without rooting) are Google and Apple, both of whom I trust with my information about as far as I can throw their corporate headquarters. The problem with relying on third party solutions like LineageOS or ubports is that you’re dependent on devices being able to be rooted, and you still have little to no information about what hardware is in the phone.

From a free market standpoint, it’s bad for people to have only two choices. I’d like to promote competition in the phone marketplace.

The phone also has hardware features that I like:

  • User replaceable battery
  • Headphone jack
  • Lifetime updates (the lack of this has been a problem with my current phone especially - on my old Android phone I had Oreo via LineageOS before buying my current one, and I found out several months ago my current phone won’t be getting Oreo, ever)
  • Hardware kill switches - not as big of a deal to me as it is to some of the other people on the forums, but a good feature from a privacy/security standpoint and one that I’m glad to have
  • Not a Snapdragon processor - every smartphone I’ve ever owned has had a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in it. While Qualcomm doesn’t have a monopoly on all non-Apple devices, they do have a very large market share, and I’d like to encourage competition to improve the options available with smartphone processors.

Great question! In order of significance, I’d say

  1. un-Google my life
  2. same system as my laptop (distant future: even same architecture: RISC V)
  3. consequently: convergence, compatibility, convenience
  4. security, privacy and freedom

Note on #4: I very much want security, privacy and freedom.
But after #1 (having a Linux-based, Google free device), I’m pretty much content.
It’s a good thing to have these things converge towards perfection, but at the state Purism can already deliver, I rate convenience higher. And I think the market will, too.


Modifyability is what’s most important to me.
Even though Android is open source, to me it doesn’t feel open source because it’s not designed to be a good development environment and forcing me to re-flash the device if I want to modify the OS. The fact that OEMs pre-installed ROMs are closed-source also means that there will never be easy to integrate and distribute changes to the OS. Android doesn’t also give a shit about being modular and has fewer CLI applications which are very important when you want to know something about your system. Often if you want to get some deep information about Android OS you need to develop an app in Java because it’s only easily accesible from the Android SDK which is very annoying.

Security and privacy is also nice, but I buy this device for the freedom.


In my case I have to say that I wanted for a very long time a phone that was a combination of FOSS, privacy friendly, that I can modify as I wish (like if I ever get crazy and wanna throw in some obscure OS found somewhere on the web I can do it (as long as it’s ARM based of course)), not too hard to use (I can learn lots of things but if it’s as hard as quantum science I won’t be able to learn anything) and has a damn jack (don’t understand why it’s going away while everything is still using it and I still wanna be able to plug my phone on the aux of my 10yo car).
But I have to say that out of these few things I’m not too picky, as long as it respects widely used FOSS standards and I can browse the web while being protected (privacy-wise) I’m happy.

  1. Privacy/Security- With the stories about how telecom companies were selling our location data, the kill switches are important. I can leave the baseband on when I want, turn it off when I want. I also don’t like all the closed-source apps on today’s phones collecting data on us.

  2. Freedom - This is really going to be a GNU/Linux phone! I can program for it :slight_smile: My daughter and I are already discussing what we should program on it!

  3. Ease of having Linux on the phone - Not everyone is comfortable with installing Linux on their phones themselves. I think it is important that we are able to buy a phone with Linux pre-installed, because it opens it up to the non-techie world.


My reason to buy this device. Is…
I am obsessed with security and have been all my life. I absolutely love locks and have done since I was a little kid. I was always that kid who would lock a door multiple times and put up self-made alarms to my room. :slight_smile:

Being as private as I could came along with it as I continued searching for maximum security. That brought me to this site, and at the same time as I was thinking of a better phone to secure it. I wanted to buy Librem5 instantly!

Simply being secure and private makes me super happy! :smile: :sunny:


When I first got in touch with Linux I was about 14 years old, and since then I ever liked the underlying philosophy that guides this social movement. I managed to learn as much as possible to make good use of FOSS apps and was excited when bought my first Android phone, as I thought it was open source (I soon started using F-droid). But when I became aware that android was only partially open source and that, as a matter of fact, there were bad practices regarding to user’s data I wanted to get rid of the android OS and install linux on my phone. But I’m not that nerdy nor there were viable options out there, so I only managed to stop using a google account on it and started a quest to expand my use of android FOOS apps.
After a while I found out about L5 and decided to crowdfund it.
So basically my reasons are:

  1. It’s FOOS software; and
  2. It’s privacy respecting hardware and software - which are auditable.

The sensation that you’re not being abused by bad practices is a very valuable thing someone could achieve acquiring the hardware and software that Purism offers. And more: knowing that Purism frees its code and contributes to free software in general gives the sensation that you’re helping other people too, as they’re going to have access to better software for free – something that was of great importance wen I was a student.


I haven’t chosen yet. I’m a longtime BlackBerry user, still using a BB10 device. My priority is not using iOS or Android, definitely not Android. This is partly philosophical, partly security of the device and my information stored on the device, and partly privacy. But I’m much more philosophically against iOS and Android than I am philosophically attracted to the Librem 5. I would continue using BlackBerry if BlackBerry was still developing, selling, and supporting its own devices with its own OS. For now, the Librem 5 looks like the next best thing.

Customisability, sustainability and freedom were the main reasons for me.

The absolute key thing is that I get to control the hardware and I get to make the decisions that affect how I experience it, and that I get these freedoms as intended use cases of the device, rather than as aftermarket, reverse-engineered hacks.

Smartphones are to some extent only useful as far as you rely upon them in your day-to-day life. When usefulness breeds reliance, you need reliability. But mainstream phones cannot be relied upon. They are controlled by the manufacturers, OS vendors and app vendors, not the users. These landlord-like entities can change the functionality and user interfaces on a whim. User customisation is difficult and unnecessarily limited. Users are corralled into brand experiences.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the whole operating system of these other phones can be abandoned and stop receiving security updates just a few years after purchase, usually with no realistic possibility to install a different one. That, to me, is not a useful device. That is a liability. The moment you make it useful to yourself by depending upon it, you become a slave to these third parties. I chose to avoid that and have therefore never owned such a device.

To my mind, a smartphone ought to be personal, like a room in your own home. Instead, it’s often more like a room in a chain hotel. You can rearrange the furniture a little, and bring your own possessions with you; maybe put up a couple of posters if you’re careful; but you can’t redecorate or start drilling holes in the wall to put up some shelves and the housekeeping staff keep coming in and moving your stuff.

For these reasons, the Librem 5 is the first smartphone that I have felt is worth the cost of purchase, and the first I’ll own.

A big part of that is that it will run a standard, Linux based operating system with a mainline kernel. It’s a sensible way to do convergence, and it provides a nice, well-known, well-understood and well-supported modular platform for application software, system software and customisations. @johan-bjareholt summed up some of my feelings about Android better than I ever could.


coming from BlackBerry q10 - i’m always beeing greeted by the ever-present evil sneer’ - “is that antique piece of $h!t in your hand a BlackBerry ?” switches to librem5 - “nah bruh it’s about freedom and it’s convergent.” whaaaat ?

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Privacy is important but to me Linux (and all it brings with it) is more important. In the answers there are many good points and I agree with most. I am now using Android and it is not bad even if Snoople is abusing it in a very bad way. Still I am not a privacy fanatic. Linux is my system and I have been using it since Linus made his first version and before that I used Unix. There are other phones based on Linux but Librem 5 is the first phone that has made about every choice just right in my opinion.


i and a lot of people here understand what you mean but how you put it is misleading and leads people to confuse things.

clarification bellow - quoted from - Richard M. Stallman, Free as in Freedom 2.0

“I ask that you please stop calling the operating system Linux … The Linux kernel is just a small part of the operating system. Many of the software programs that make up the operating system you call Linux were not developed by Linus Torvalds at all. They were created by GNU Project volunteers, putting in their own personal time so that users might have a free operating system like the one we have today.
To not acknowledge the contribution of those programmers is both impolite and a misrepresentation of history. That’s why I ask that when you refer to the operating system, please call it by its proper name, GNU/Linux.”

Accepting the 1999 LinuxWorld show’s Linus Torvalds Award for Community Service – an award named after Linux creator Linus Torvalds – on behalf of the Free Software Foundation, Stallman wisecracks, “Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Alliance.”

as such the linux in the GNU/linux is just a small part (but essential)

On September 27, 1983, 12:30 a.m. a message by Stallman : “Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu’s Not Unix), and give it away free to everyone who can use it. Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly needed.”
“GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identical to Unix,” the author wrote. “We will make all improvements that are convenient, based on our experience with other operating systems.”
Anticipating a skeptical response on some readers’ part, the author made sure to follow up his operating system outline with a brief biographical sketch titled, “Who am I?”:
I am Richard Stallman, inventor of the original much-imitated EMACS editor, now at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. I have worked extensively on compilers, editors, debuggers, command interpreters, the Incompatible Timesharing System and the Lisp Machine operating system. I pioneered terminal independent display support in ITS. In addition I have implemented one crashproof file system and two window systems for Lisp machines."


@reC, i and a lot of people here understand what you mean but how you put it is misleading and leads people to confuse things.
I’m not sure why you feel the need to insert a history lesson here, but what makes you think that when

it came with a GNU?

I’d just like to interject for moment. What you’re referring to as GNU/Linux, is in fact, Bash/Linux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, Linux plus a bourne again shell.

Which is but a part of GNU/Linux, but not even (GNU/Linux)/2


Sorry for causing an old discussion to repeat itself. I was working at the Computing Centre at the Technical University of Finland from 1970. We were very excited about Unix and had high hopes for Stallmans GNU project. But it dragged on and on because of the kernel delay (HURD came only in 2006 I think …). Finally Linus wrote his own kernel which was very rudimentary and far from the kernels we know today. However rudimentary it was, we could start working around it. I was a friend (still am) of his parents and could insert it in our university computers and it was a standard operating system since then.

It is quite right to call it GNU/Linux but I’m afraid it is an uphill struggle to get that name universally adopted. Language tends to go for simple and short names.

I can see the same kind of enthusiasm for the Librem project as we had in the 80’s for GNU and Linux but I hope it is not being delayed too much so that another group overtakes it. I have paid my Librem5 already and I wait for the delivery. The project should not be rushed but it should not take too long either. My reasons for choosing Librem5 are partly to get an open system, partly to get better privacy. An open system is perhaps more important to me. Privacy does not have to be perfect as long as I get can rid of Snoople and Crookbook (and the likes).


I chose Librem 5, because other products out there stright out disrespect me.
They make it hard to opt out of sharing my personal data. In some cases that opting out is a continouus process.
They insist that I keep my information on their servers instead locally on “my” phone.
My hopes for Librem 5 are that it will just do what I tell it, and only what I tell it.


then what about GNU Emacs (which is an operating sistem in itself - and the first GPL was for Emacs … )

yes BASH is an essential part but naming it like that doesn’t do justice to the whole …