Librem 5 phone by Purism


#1

Finally a phone that is not running on Android and iOS. I hate Android and iOS due to their lack of privacy and control over the OS.

https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/

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I hope any BSD distro can make an optimized version for this phone as I heard that you can install another OS using an ISO image. It works just like a regular computer which is nice. You can even plug it into an external monitor and use it like a desktop


#2

That looks like a nice phone. I’m glad someone picked up where Ubuntu left off. The guy did say that you could install another GNU/Linux distribution on it. However the problem with that would be that distribution wouldn’t be optimized for phone. The biggest problem Canonical had with the Ubuntu phone was that not enough developers were willing to build apps for it. I wonder what their App store will look like.


#3

Don’t the Linux phones, such as Ubuntu and Sailfish OS, use drivers from Android to run on phones? I wouldn’t be surprised if this phones did the same.

I would love to see a BSD based phone. Just don’t see compatibility with android drivers coming any time soon though.


#4

You can theoretically already run GNU/Linux applications on that phone, it just has to ajust its resolution and perhaps make it more touch screen friendtly which wouldn’t be hard to do.


#5

I don’t think it uses Android drivers at all.


#6

The problem with changing the O.S. is that it would have no drivers, no dialer, no SMS, no MMS, no reliable battery indicator, no GPS, No antenna drivers, etc… So it would be cool to use as a portable computer similar to a Palm Pilot, but not as a phone. Since it would be missing so much.

Edit:
Although I am considering pre-ordering one, but I will keep the O.S. that it comes with, unless someone from BSD makes an SMS/MMS app, dialer, etc…


#7

I’ll try to find where I read it at. I may be wrong though.


#8

If any / all of those apps are open source it may not take too much to get them working.


#9

Lets hope either PureOS or UbuntuTouch (as I heard that Librem 5 will come in either two of these OSs) have got drivers in their repo so that if the user wants to install another OS, then they can fetch it from their repos (not sure if that even makes sense).


#10

I hope it honestly doesn’t have Android drivers.


#11

Then I think you’d be disappointed in the performance of the device.

Android runs on top of Linux kernel, so any kernel drivers for hardware likely found/find their way back to “The Kernel” at some point. GPL mandates this and Google is very likely to play by the rules on it.
That would be a good thing because hardware folks don’t want to give out the specs for their hardware without NDAs and money (I’m talking about things like Wifi devices, telephony devices). Latest generation are the ones they hold tight, 2 or 3 back they care less about and may be more forthcoming.

To me, “Android” is really just another distribution of the Linux kernel with a bunch of apps on top that make if a smartphone. It’s the applications that give you all the look and feel, that let you make phone calls, take pictures, send texts, etc. That’s where all the tracking is done.

At the raw hardware level, a smartphone is a processor, memory and peripheral devices (Wifi, telephony, sound, camera, touch screen) so in theory you could install any operating system on it you wanted. How useful it winds up is a different story.


#12

There are open source versions. I use the F-Droid repo on my Android since everything in it is open source software. I downloaded a KQSMS for Texting and Dialer2 a T9 dialer for making calls.


#13

Do they work as well as the texting and dialer that comes with the phone?


#14

They both worked perfectly fine, until a recent Google Android update. now I can’t send MMS, my group text don’t group together, and when I send a group text it sends it as if I had sent it to each individual person and not as a group.
The Dialer works perfectly fine though. I don’t know what Google changed, but I hope the KQSMS guys figure it out and update their software also.