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Updated: 3 hours 37 min ago

Happy Towel Day 2019

Saturday 25th of May 2019 02:37:56 PM
As you know for sure, a towel has immense psychological value.

You are also well aware that, for some reason, if non-hitchhikers discover you have your towel with you, they also assume you carry your own toothbrush, soap, space suit, etc; that they will happily lend you anything you need and might – accidentally – have lost. Above all, they will think that anyone who travels along the galaxy and still knows where their towel is, is clearly a nice, careful, reasonable person. And so, you’re very likely carrying a towel with you today.

The team at Purism wishes you a nice #towelday, and a really amazingly together weekend. We know our readers are cool froods who always know where their towels are.


Purism offers high-quality privacy, security, and freedom-focused computers, phones, and software. Our platform is meant to empower everyone. We believe people should have secure devices and services that protect them rather than exploit them, and we provide everything you need in a convenient product bundle.

We like to give back. Librem Chat is built with free software, created by security and privacy experts. Learn more about how Purism contributes to its community.

The post Happy Towel Day 2019 appeared first on Purism.

Introducing the Librem Tunnel

Thursday 23rd of May 2019 03:27:56 PM
Hello, it’s so nice to have you back. What will you be having today? Since you’re here, let us tell you about the new Librem Tunnel, the encrypted tunnel based on industry-grade technology.

You probably know by now that the Librem Tunnel is part of Librem One, a suite of privacy-protecting, no-tracking apps and services created by our team at Purism, which also includes Librem Mail, Librem Chat and Librem Social.

Librem Tunnel offers an encrypted, no-logging, virtual private network tunnel, making sure all your network traffic is secure and your privacy fully protected. This means you can safely and conveniently use any public hotspot and not have to worry about how private your connection really is, using standards-based OpenVPN with any compatible client. You are not the product in Librem Tunnel: you will not be tracked, we do not sell your data, and we don’t advertise.

Imagine you’re at a coffee shop, at a work seminar or on campus. Or maybe you work remotely, or you’re traveling, or your kids want to go to the park and the nice little cafe you’re having ice cream at happens to, conveniently, have free WiFi. You know you need to use HTTPS to get the little green lock, but you can’t be expected to review the network security of every WiFi access point you use. Do you really want the cafe owner to know the names of the web sites you visit, what IP addresses you interact with, what protocols you use? Why not use a secure tunnel you can trust?

You may be wondering why we are more trustworthy than an arbitrary access point. Well, we guarantee that we don’t ever monitor or log your connection. We also recommend HTTPS Everywhere to make sure you’re using HTTPS whenever possible. And for even more, extra safety, use Tor Browser.

You’re probably thinking: well, why not just use Tor Browser, without the tunnel? The answer is, because it would only secure your web connection, and your device makes other connections too. Additionally, if you make an unencrypted connection over Tor, you are again relying on an arbitrary endpoint. Trust us instead.

Want to stop your coffee shop recognizing your device every time you come in? We’ll cover that in a separate guide soon.

And here are a couple of bonus tips for PureOS users interested in defense-in-depth at the connection layer:

These tips are broadly applicable to other systems too, we hope they help. That’s all for now, we’ll be back soon with a short introduction to Librem Social, so stay tuned!


Purism offers high-quality privacy, security, and freedom-focused computers, phones, and software. Our platform is meant to empower everyone. We believe people should have secure devices and services that protect them rather than exploit them, and we provide everything you need in a convenient product bundle.

We like to give back. Librem Tunnel is built with free software, created by security and privacy experts. Learn more about how Purism contributes to its community.

The post Introducing the Librem Tunnel appeared first on Purism.

Avoiding Big Tech to Protect Your Privacy

Wednesday 22nd of May 2019 02:20:39 PM
In a recent opinion piece by Jennifer Senior, titled If We Care So Much About What Google Knows, Why Do We Keep Telling it Everything?, she properly describes the privacy paradox as what happens when a person consistently acts in ways that are contradictory to the privacy values professed by that same person.

The reasons behind the privacy paradox have been highlighted numerous times by our team at Purism: it all boils down to a simple word, convenience. It is convenient to give up your digital rights, it is simple to just click past a privacy wall, and easy to sign up for a service you know exploits you. It is inconvenient to learn about the best practices for privacy protection, from software to browser plugins and applications – let alone to find what service to use that isn’t entirely designed to spy on everything you do.

The solution to the privacy paradox has also been answered many times by our team at Purism. It all boils down to the same simple word, convenience. People want convenient products that respect them by default, that they can trust will not exploit them, that allow them to participate in digital society with peace of mind, knowing they are in complete control.

Creating an ethical, convenient alternative to Big Tech is what everything is about at Purism. As a Social Purpose Corporation, we design security-focused hardware combined with freedom-respecting software, and we have recently launched Librem One — our bundle of privacy-protecting applications, currently available on iOS and Android.

Librem One offers the gateway to the complete control of your digital life; it means you can sign up today and create a single account on Librem Chat, Librem Mail, Librem Social, and Librem Tunnel – that all are backed by proven protocols that do not track you, have no advertising, are decentralized and offer personal freedom with neither centralized control nor censorship. Social and chat are offered for free, while adding encrypted email and VPN are offered under a subscription – and more services are to be added in the future.

Combining Librem One with the other Purism line of products, such as a Librem laptop or Librem 5 phone, means you can relax in the knowing you are in total control of your hardware, software, and all your services. In other words: you can participate in digital society and be quite the trendsetter avoiding Big Tech, rather than sitting around (inside a privacy paradox – a strange place to find yourself in) shoveling your data to tech giants, for their profits only.

Avoid the privacy paradox: sign up for Librem One, and buy Purism products from your friendly Social Purpose Company.

The post Avoiding Big Tech to Protect Your Privacy appeared first on Purism.

Security Advisory: Kernel and Firmware Updates for Intel MDS Vulnerability

Monday 20th of May 2019 10:31:05 PM

Last week Intel announced a new group of speculative execution vulnerabilities in its processors related to the well-known Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities from over a year ago. These new attacks have been labeled as the MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) vulnerabilities by Intel, but in the age of branded vulnerabilities they also have been given more exciting names like Zombieload. An attacker who is able to successfully exploit these vulnerabilities has the potential to extract sensitive information including encryption keys from the target machine.

Because this is a vulnerability in the Intel CPU hardware itself, like with Spectre and Meltdown, the patch for these vulnerabilities comes in two forms:

  • Linux kernel patch for PureOS users
  • CPU microcode updates for Librem laptop owners
PureOS Users

PureOS users are advised to update their system packages using their normal software update process, which will pull down the latest 4.19.37-3 kernel package.

Librem Laptop Owners

Purism includes CPU microcode updates as part of our coreboot firmware, so laptops shipping out starting this week will already be patched for these vulnerabilities. For existing laptop users, you will need to update your coreboot firmware to the latest version. Just follow our documentation on using our coreboot update script. Microcode updates have been added to the default coreboot SeaBIOS firmware starting with version 4.9-Purism-1 and in our beta PureBoot firmware starting with version heads-beta-6. In addition to using our update script, you can access the changelog for our pre-built binary firmware images directly at our firmware releases project page.

The post Security Advisory: Kernel and Firmware Updates for Intel MDS Vulnerability appeared first on Purism.

Purism and the Linux Kernel

Monday 20th of May 2019 06:27:00 PM
Purism contributes to several free software projects such as GNOME, wlroots and Debian.

We’re especially proud of our kernel contributions – where 13 patches have made it into 5.1. Since this is our first installment, it also includes the changes that went into 5.0 and 4.20. Bellow is a list of our most recent contributions.

Let’s start with support for the Librem5 dev kit’s charge controller:

SDMA fix for i.MX8mq [needed for SAI (audio)]:

Support for the Librem5 dev kit’s touch screen:

Finally, here are some miscellaneous i.MX8-related fixes and device tree additions:

We also contributed Tested-by and Reviewed-by to five patches.

There’s more to come for the 5.2 kernel, as there are 14 patches staged in linux-next already, and we have gotten some friendly reviews for other parts. Stay tuned for more details getting us closer to make the Librem5 dev kit bootable with a mainline kernel, and many thanks to all the reviewers!

The post Purism and the Linux Kernel appeared first on Purism.

Introducing The New Librem Chat

Friday 17th of May 2019 05:00:40 AM
How do you do again? Let us tell you about the new Librem Chat: the no worries, free end-to-end encrypted chat, VoIP and video-calling service.

Social good, freedom personal privacy and security are things you take seriously (and probably think everyone else should, too). And maybe you already know that the Librem Chat is part of Librem One, a suite of privacy-protecting, no-tracking apps and services which aim to make the world a better place.

Librem Chat is:

Decentralized – join chatrooms at,, or any other Matrix domain
Private – create end-to-end encrypted chatrooms that only participants can see
Text, voice and video – communicate any way you want to
Mix and match – use either the official app or a compatible app; use our app on a compatible service
Convenient – connect from any device with a compatible app
No ads – we don’t sell ad space, we don’t track you
Free – we don’t think there’s much need to explain this one

What else can we say? It is a total, privacy-respecting replacement for all those intrusive chat services. One you can either use to have a friendly, one-on-one conversation with your best friend, or to call large groups of people. It is a real-time communication app, making real-time communication work seamlessly between different service providers. And since Librem Chat is based on the universal Matrix chat protocol, you can be sure you’ll be able to chat with all your relevant people, either inside or outside the domain, because we do not lock-in to one technology company. Just remember that trust is per device – so only install Librem Chat on devices you own and trust, and be sure to remove any devices that you no longer use.

Talk with friends and family, share photos – anything you’d like. We hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more news on the Librem One services!


Purism offers high-quality privacy, security, and freedom-focused computers, phones, and software. Our platform is meant to empower everyone. We believe people should have secure devices and services that protect them rather than exploit them, and we provide everything you need in a convenient product bundle.

We like to give back. Librem Chat is built with free software, created by security and privacy experts. Learn more about how Purism contributes to its community.

The post Introducing The New Librem Chat appeared first on Purism.

Purism’s Librem One Suite of Privacy Protecting, No-track Apps and Services Surges Past Initial Crowdfunding Goal After Two Weeks

Thursday 16th of May 2019 02:30:41 PM
Early traction of Librem One demonstrates demand for ethical alternatives to Big Tech as data privacy snafus continue to plague users on a weekly basis

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 16, 2019 — Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces popular secure hardware, software, and services, has seen its Librem One suite of privacy protecting apps and services surpass its initial crowdfunding goal of 5,000 backers in just two weeks.

Librem One is growing in popularity as users grow distrustful of how large tech companies are using their personal information.

In the past week, tech giants have been under fire over repeated bad faith efforts to protect users, paying lip service to data privacy while their actions demonstrate otherwise:
• Days after Google‘s CEO wrote an OpEd in the New York Times on the importance of protecting user data, the company announced new data-dependent advertising products.
• Facebook declared that “the future is private“ at its developer conference last week, even while the company is facing billions of dollars in fines for data privacy violations.

The Librem One suite of apps and services are designed to provide users with convenient alternatives to Big Tech products so they can use everyday tools without being tracked or having their data harvested for advertisers.

“Librem One is just what I was looking for: a simple-to-use, all-in-one bundle that gave me everything I needed to finally leave Big Tech. I purchased the family pack and even got my wife and kids to leave Facebook and WhatsApp and make the switch to Librem One. We are all as happy as can be with the experience.” – James Jackson

Librem One includes end-to-end encrypted chat, end-to-end encrypted mail, and end-to-end encrypted VPN, as well as an open public social network. More services, such as end-to-end encrypted cloud storage, payments, and phone service, will be built in the future and added to the bundle. All current and future services in Librem One have no ads, do not track users, do not look at, sell, or share anything people create or send, and are available on popular platforms like Android and iOS.

“Librem One reaching backer goals within such a short period of time underscores the public demand for secure, ethical online services,” said Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of Purism. “No advertisements. No tracking. No selling of user data. This is the way online services should be, and we have baked that into the very core of Librem One.”

Additional Information

Librem One FAQ
Librem One Policies
Librem One Moderation and Code of Conduct

About Purism

Purism is a Social Purpose Corporation devoted to bringing security, privacy, software freedom, and digital independence to everyone’s personal computing experience. With operations based in San Francisco (California) and around the world, Purism manufactures premium-quality laptops and phones, creating beautiful and powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use. Purism designs and assembles its hardware by carefully selecting internationally sourced components to be privacy-respecting and fully Free-Software-compliant. Security and privacy-centric features come built-in with every product Purism makes, making security and privacy the simpler, logical choice for individuals and businesses.

Media Contact

Marie Williams, Coderella / Purism +1 415-689-4029 See also the Purism press room for additional tools and announcements.

The post Purism’s Librem One Suite of Privacy Protecting, No-track Apps and Services Surges Past Initial Crowdfunding Goal After Two Weeks appeared first on Purism.

5000 Happy Librem One Users!

Thursday 16th of May 2019 12:54:28 PM

The post 5000 Happy Librem One Users! appeared first on Purism.

Librem 5 App Design Tutorial – Part II

Monday 13th of May 2019 03:50:19 PM
Hello and welcome to the second of my series of blog posts on how to design your own, brand new app for the Librem 5.

In my last post we went over the philosophy and process, goals and relevant art of building a read-it-later app; today we’ll be covering the basics of navigation, layout, and adaptive design, for both mobile and desktop.

Sketches and Mockups

Now that we have a pretty clear idea of the structure of our app, we can finally dive into designing the UI. Personally, I like starting off with sketches on paper and only then move to Inkscape for more detailed mockups, but you may use any tool you’re familiar with. There’s no need to be good at drawing, or good at a particular application, for this; you should just find a way to visualize your ideas – any way that works for you is good.

If you are using Inkscape for mockups, you might want to check out the GNOME mockup template for some common layouts and patterns to use in your designs. If you are looking for GNOME-style symbolic icons for your mockups, you can find them here, here, and here.


When it comes to the layout of an interface, it’s a good thing to have in mind what navigation structure would make the most sense for the type of content you have. The most common navigation patterns for GNOME apps are the Stack, the View Switcher and the Sidebar List.

Example of Stack navigation in GNOME Photos

The Stack pattern is meant for when the views are completely separate, the UI is not shared and there is a back button that enables you to go back to the overview. This is, for example, how Photos allows you to navigate between a stream of photos and the detailed view of an individual photo. This means there is a bit more friction to switch between views than with other patterns – but it’s also more focused. It’s a great pattern when you don’t have to switch between views a lot.

View switcher in GNOME Clocks

The View Switcher is better for cases in which a small number of views are either equally important or need to be easily accessible. It’s used in GNOME apps such as Clocks, Music and Software as the primary form of navigation. On the desktop this switcher is always in the header bar, but a new adaptive version of it, which moves to the bottom of the screen for mobile, is being developed. It’s not quite ready yet, but it will soon hit a version of Libhandy near you.

Sidebar List in Fractal

The Sidebar List is used when not only you have a lot of views, but you also often need to switch between them. It’s used in Fractal’s room list for example, because it gives a quick overview of all rooms and allows for quick context switching. On mobile, where there’s obviously not enough space for a content pane and a sidebar, you can use a Libhandy widget called Leaflet which transforms a Sidebar List on desktop into a Stack on mobile.

Experimental branch of GNOME Settings using HdyLeaflet to switch between Sidebar List and Stack navigation Sidebar List and Stack navigation

For our own read-it-later app, we will need navigation to switch between the different lists (Unread, Archive, Favorites) and between lists and article views.

The former is a small set of views that we want easily accessible, so a view switcher is a good fit. Since we can’t use the shiny new adaptive view switcher widget yet, we can use a plain old view switcher in the header bar (though we can, and should, design the UI with the beautiful new switcher in mind).

For the latter we could either use a stack or a sidebar list (along with the Leaflet widget so it works on mobile). Since we want this app to allow for a focused reading experience, and switching back and forth quickly between articles is not going to happen very often, a Stack is probably the best solution.

This means our main screens will look something like:

Quick pencil sketch of the layout for the list and article screens Article List Screens

Now that we have a basic navigation structure, we can design each individual screen in more detail. These three article list screens are basically the same lists, but with different content.

The main purpose of these screens is to provide a nice, legible list of saved articles that entices people to catch up with their reading (list). In order to do this we’re going to go for a comfortable layout – which should include the article’s title, a preview, and some information about each article.

To help users catch up with their saved articles we should also try to make the content as interesting as possible. A plain, reverse-chronological list of saved items can be quite boring, and I’ve noticed I myself often scroll down the list randomly, looking for older articles. A potential way to build this feature into the core experience would be to show the reading list in a randomized order, while also showing the most recently saved articles at the top, as a separate category (see the mockups below).

Mockups of Unread, Archive and Favorites screens

In terms of actions, we need to expose Search and Selection modes (for operations on multiple elements) as well as the application’s primary menu. The primary menu contains global app-level categories such as Help, Preferences, and About.

In the selection mode we need to have the ability to move articles to Favorites and Archive and delete them from our reading list. Since this is not an essential functionality though, we won’t be doing designs for it yet (but if you want to learn more, have a look at the selection mode page in the GNOME HIG – and the same goes for search, in the relevant HIG page).

Article Screen

An article screen’s job is pretty straightforward: it’s meant to provide a great reading experience for the saved articles. Since many websites kind of suck in this regard, a reader mode (like the ones Epiphany and Firefox have) should be the default view whenever possible. There is however no guarantee that a given article will end up perfectly rendered, and we do need a way to show the website in its native styling, if and whenever necessary.

We also need to move articles into Favorites and Archive, and be able to delete and share them. The most important actions are usually shown directly in the header bar; the remaining ones (or simply the result of not having enough space) will call for a secondary menu.

Mockup of the Article screen Desktop

We should by now have a more or less clear idea of what our app looks like on mobile; but what will it look like on desktop? Similar to responsive web design, if we design our app for a mobile environment first, it’s usually pretty easy to make it work well on larger screens as well.

As our app has no sidebars or other complicated layout elements, the main change is that the content column width will have to grow with the window until it reaches a maximum width which is comfortable for reading. This can be implemented by wrapping the content area in a HdyColumn. The view switcher will also move up to the header bar, and there will be a close button on the right side.

Desktop mockups

We now have the basic structure and most important screens for the application – but that’ far from being everything we need. We need to design login and account settings, empty states, first run experience, errors, search and a number of other things that are beyond the scope of the series… It’s worth noting that mockups tend not to be final, that interfaces almost always change during implementation – as you learn more about use cases, underlying technology and other constraints. Ideally, you’ll also do some informal user-testing with real people, in order to get feedback about what you designed.

If you enjoyed the second part of this tutorial, stay tuned: I’ll be back soon with the third (and final) part. In the meantime, feel free to play with the mockups I made for this tutorial.

The post Librem 5 App Design Tutorial – Part II appeared first on Purism.

May Progress Update – Librem 5

Wednesday 8th of May 2019 01:38:43 PM
Hi again, here’s your Librem 5 hardware update report for the first half of the month of May: Conferences

At JDLL, Adrien gave a talk on “GNOME on phones” and helped out at the GNOME booth, where he answered lots of questions about Purism’s products and animated a first contribution to GNOME workshop along with community member Alexandre Franke.


The current design effort is around the Geary email client, where adaptive designs have begun; some of the symbolic icons in Geary have been improved.

Software Work Images

There are always improvements and fixes making their way into the image creation; for example, the librem5-base package needed a fix in order to unbreak rendering. To make testing easier, debs built by gitlab-ci are now saved as artifacts. Flashing a devkit is a little easier now that the tool used to flash a new image, uuu, has been updated to make it buildable for PureOS. Also, with a recent change to the scripts used in flashing the devkit, we avoid re-downloading the image if one already exists.


Since graphics are quite important for a phone, we continue to invest in the mesa graphics library. A lod level dump issue and a symlink issue were fixed. A second version of the GALLIUM_DDEBUG fix was submitted and merged upstream (thanks to Lucas Stach for the review!).

Compositor + Shell

We continued experimenting with our own forked compositor by implementing wlr-output-manager: however, until it is ready for prime time, there is a parallel effort to keep on improving rootston. The main phosh improvement was that the adwaita-dark theme was applied to the shell by default.


We all know how important it is for a phone to place phone calls, so there is a continuing effort investigating audio over the modem. There are issues with DMA transfers on the SAI interface; digging into the issues included testing various kernel changes. Stay tuned for more to come on this effort.


We’re getting closer to bumping the API version of LibHandy to 1! Some new widgets are in the works: HdySqueezer is a cool new widget that is needed for HdyViewSwitcher, which is needed by many apps and HdyPreferencesWindow, which in turn is needed by Web and other apps.


The SMS plugin is being reworked, and an issue happening when more than one instance of Chatty was opened that has been resolved.

Linux 5.X Kernel

Hooray, the devkit’s LCD panel driver has been accepted upstream; thanks to Thierry Reding for applying these, and thanks to the reviewers Fabio Estevam and Sam Ravnborg, too! We are working on getting the librem5-devkit devicetree upstream. There is also an ongoing investigation into why USB stopped working with the 5.1 kernel, and last but not least, an SDMA fix was accepted upstream.

Hardware Work

We continue to work on the Librem 5 board schematic, and are getting ever closer to getting the hardware into production!

Community Outreach

The troubleshooting guides on the developer documentation have been split out to be a little more readable.


A big “Thanks!” to all the external teams that have helped review and merge changes into upstream projects; your time and contribution are much appreciated.

That’s all for now, folks – stay tuned for more exciting updates to come!

The post May Progress Update – Librem 5 appeared first on Purism.

What’s In a (User)Name

Tuesday 7th of May 2019 02:02:23 PM
One account for all things – the power of the Librem One username.

At Librem One you have One account to rule them all. One account to remember, One account to share with all; and no privacy to surrender.

One of the fundamental design goals for Librem One, outside of privacy, was linking all of our services under a single convenient login. This means that no matter how you want to connect with me, you have everything you need on this personal card:

Whether you want to follow me on Librem Social; email me on Librem Mail; or message me with text, voice or video on Librem Chat, you can do it all using

Discovering Others in the Community

Using your email address as the discovery tool across platforms makes it simple and convenient to find and communicate with people. As a remarkable side-benefit, it becomes very simple for people to determine the protocol-specific usernames—be those for social, for chat, or for email.

As an example of how this works in practice, let’s say you have joined a room in Librem Chat—a room about a topic that interests you. You meet other interesting people and make some friends; it’s now easy to find and follow them on Librem Social, since the usernames are the same on both platforms.

A single login also makes things easy for Librem 5 users: when you first get your phone, if you have a Librem One account you will be able to enter a single login and have all of these services light up, ready to use.

Hasn’t This Already Been Done?

It has, but for (unfortunately) very different reasons. Many tech giants also offer a unified login that gets you access to a bundle of services—but convenience is only one of the motives, and often the most innocent one. You see, they also find a lot of value in being able to link your accounts across platforms, in order to be able to collect and correlate more data about you—as well as lock you into their complete proprietary product suite.

Our approach is different from your traditional unified login, because by using standards and open protocols—Mastodon, Matrix, Email, OpenVPN—that allow people to communicate outside private clubs (and be free from centralized authoritarian control), we can offer a service that has a built-in and thriving community of millions of people. We can also offer a service that allows people to move freely, to change providers, to have control over their digital lives.

By using free software like Tusky, Mastodon, Matrix, RIOT, K9, Dovecot, PureOS, etc., we participate in a strong ecosystem of millions of developers – who release authored code for others to use, as long as they follow the same licensing of share-alike. By bundling all these standards and protocols into a single account, we are making it safer and more convenient for people than the rights-stripping proprietary services from big tech.

Proprietary Services Make Logins Complicated

Even though big tech firms offer unified login, their commitment to lock-in, proprietary protocols means you instantly sacrifice convenience once you leave their club. Currently, you may be a member of countless private clubs, designed to exploit and control you, and not even know it. If I ask you what are all the ways I can contact you, you will probably answer with a list containing a username on Facetime, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype, Whatsapp, WeChat, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest… and a phone number and email, of course. All of these ways to communicate have their own logins and (mostly proprietary) protocols that don’t work with each other. The last one, the email, stands out as it was created as a standard, to allow interoperability across the world, regardless of what client or service you use; the same design choices of advancing standards made it into Librem One.

So instead of a laundry list of accounts, you can have one single, simple account that offers you all the same convenience of posting, chatting, messaging and sharing. You will be able to do all those things from different applications, but the only account you have to remember is your Librem One account.

Enjoy freedom, sign up now for Librem One!

The post What’s In a (User)Name appeared first on Purism.

Introducing The New Librem Mail

Thursday 2nd of May 2019 01:51:00 PM
Here you are. You take social good, freedom, and your personal privacy and security seriously. You know Librem Mail is part of Librem One, a suite of privacy-protecting, no-tracking apps and services – a network system that we, at Purism, believe is already starting to change the world for the better. So why, and how, can it change your world for the better? How will it help and protect you, and why is it better than the rest?

Well, let’s start from the very beginning (always a good place to start): Librem Mail offers you an end-to-end encrypted email account, making sure that all end-to-end encrypted communication is kept private.

How is it kept private?

By using OpenPGP, the best-in-class cryptography. And just like every other client Purism offers as part of Librem One, Librem Mail uses free software-based clients (such as Librem Mail on Android, based on K-9 Mail), across all platforms. This ensures that rights (and freedom) of people using it are protected when third party verification of privacy and security protections is confirmed.

Will it make communicating with your friends more difficult?

Maybe you’re worried that such a degree of safety will isolate you. But no, it won’t, we’d never do that: like all other services offered in the Librem One bundle, Librem Mail allows you to communicate with anybody, inside or outside the domain. Each server-side service that Purism provides as part of Librem One encompasses a philosophy of decentralization, so you can communicate to other people on other systems. We do not lock you in to one (our) technology company.

Why is it safer than most email offers?

It’s safer because we don’t keep your data. Email that isn’t encrypted isn’t safe, so we made it temporary. Temporary emails expire after 30 days. If you want to keep a temporary email, just send yourself an encrypted copy. We are aware this is a new approach to email safety, that you may need some time to get used to the idea. So we’ll only start the timer once the campaign ends (temporary emails sent on the day the campaign ends, or before, will be deleted 30 days after the campaign ends).

As the Mail service evolves, we’ll add the following features:

  • Discoverable keys: sending email to someone else but don’t have their encryption key? The Librem Mail client will pull it in automatically.
    This is called “Blind Trust Before Verification”.
  • Encrypt-on-receipt: If you share your public key, we can encrypt your mail on receipt. Or, no more temporary mail.

Both of these convenience options put more trust on the service, so they will be on by default, but you can opt-out. We will elaborate when these features are released.

One other reason Librem Mail is safer it that we use free software, so you can know – and verify – you are not being tracked; and also because we utilize standard protocols and self-hosting options (for your business, your friends, even for yourself). Our services are powered by our own PureOS, Purism’s rights respecting operating system. Librem Mail uses Standard SMTP/IMAP/POP MTA, with OpenPGP, which may sound terribly technical if you are not an advanced user… but don’t worry, you don’t really need a lot experience to use Librem Mail.

Here’s a quick and simple setup on how to configure advanced options (if you are an advanced user, feel free to connect with other applications native to your system).


Purism offers high-quality privacy, security, and freedom-focused computers, phones, and software. Our platform is meant to empower everyone – including privacy-conscious users, entrepreneurs, business people, developers, writers, digital artists, activists, geeks and defenders of freedom all around the world. We believe people should have secure devices an services that protect them rather than exploit them, and we provide everything you need in a convenient product bundle.

The post Introducing The New Librem Mail appeared first on Purism.

Opt-IN, No Ads, and No Tracking Solve a Lot of Problems in Society

Wednesday 1st of May 2019 11:21:45 PM

There are a lot of issues with social giants and we are hearing about them daily, from Cambridge Analytica manipulating people through social media feeds, through silicon valley social companies censoring people, to algorithms that discriminate you and the content you see based on your friends or posts or likes.

It’s also a common question from the press to Silicon Valley social giants “what are you going to do about certain content on your private platform?” and those social giants keep incorrectly answering that question with “we will censor things on our closed platform based on an evolving policy.” But this is missing the larger more menacing point.

What most people want is rather simple:


Most people want to opt-in to what they want to follow, be that a news feed, a celebrity, a friend, or family. Most people do not want to be force-fed a constant stream of manipulated content to catch and keep their attention.

No Ads

Most people want an ad-free experience but are willing to accept some contextual advertising or non-creepy advertising from opt-IN data shared. Most people do not want everything they have ever done and said and shared to be secretly recorded permanently in exchange for using a service online.

No Tracking

Most people want to retain their privacy and freedom and most people are concerned about their digital footprint. Most people do not want to be tracked all the time from all devices.

The Pros and Cons of Timelines

Every social network tends to have a timeline. The original idea behind a timeline makes sense–aggregate all of the posts from people in your network and present them in a chronological view. Because so many social networks are funded by ads, however, that quickly changes into posts from your friends as well as overt ads and promoted posts pushed to the top of your feed.

This leads to the next complaint about timelines: hiding chronological order. Ad-driven social networks are in a constant struggle to determine what’s “relevant” to you. They do this not just by collecting raw data about you and your social network, but by tracking you and training their own systems based on how you view posts. This is one reason why social networks try to hide chronological sorting and force you to view posts based on relevance. By tracking which posts you view versus which posts you scroll past, they train their own systems and figure out which ads you’d most like to see.

The ironic result is that your timeline ends up being full of things you don’t want to see, dictated by a central authority instead of you.

Decentralized Timelines

This problem is most prevalent with ad-funded proprietary social networks but it also shows up in decentralized federated social networks like Mastodon. This is a side-effect of what’s otherwise a beneficial feature: local and federated timelines. Local timelines show you a live feed of posts that are happening on the local social network (say and federated timelines show a feed across Mastodon networks. This can be great because it shows you people on the network you haven’t explicitly followed and posts that your social network haven’t yet promoted so in that steady stream of new posts there’s a chance you might find something you like.

The downside to local and federated timelines is that there are also a bunch of posts you aren’t interested in from people you don’t want to follow. You don’t opt in to that feed so when it gets content that you particularly find offensive, distasteful, or not aligned with your views there’s little recourse unless your opinion of undesirable content happens to match those of the central moderators.

How We Handle Timelines

There are plenty of social networks that are trying the traditional opt-out approach. We are trying something completely different at Librem Social: disabling timelines altogether. That way you only see content you have explicitly opted into (posts from people you follow). We are also working on additional features to give you even more control over how you view and filter content in a decentralized way instead of relying on a central authority to dictate what should and shouldn’t show up in your feed. In addition to blocking users, Librem Social will offer flagging of content for DMCA copyright violations, spamming, harassment, and illegal activity.

In our view, the advantage of full opt-in control over your feed outweighs the downside of not being able to discover some content you like (signal) in the public feed amongst all the content you don’t (noise). Popular content can still spread through the network via organic boosts from people you already follow instead of artificial boosts from relevance algorithms or advertisers.

A Different Approach to Social Media

Combining no ads, no tracking, and opt-in is the trifecta of what most people want, because it offers a different approach to how social media functions:

  • It offers no timeline or news feed pushing data onto your device and into your brain.
  • It offers people to build communities for any legal topic with opt-in for users.
  • It means things you want to follow you follow, things you don’t want to follow you don’t.
  • It means there is no trending timeline to manipulate.
  • It means there is no need for private platform censorship policies.
  • It means people are back in control of what they see, share, and block.
  • It means digital society can operate the same as it does in the physical world.
  • If means if you want to be part of the butter-side-up club you can and won’t see anything from the butter-side-down club, and if you don’t want butter at all there’s a club for that too.

Adding in decentralized (like email) accounts, based on the popular ActivityPub standard, would allow everybody on the Internet to control and follow anybody they’re interested in without a centralized Silicon Valley company controlling the entire user-base.

This Opt-in, No Ads, No Tracking, Decentralized, No Timeline social platform is not a complicated idea, but it seems like it will take a social-purpose-driven corporation that isn’t funded by advertising and data collection to do it.

The post Opt-IN, No Ads, and No Tracking Solve a Lot of Problems in Society appeared first on Purism.

How Purism Works Upstream and Gives Back

Wednesday 1st of May 2019 05:06:57 PM

One aspect in free software (and its copyleft licensing) is the benefit of releasing software for others to use as long as the same licensing terms are used.

Purism has a long history of giving back and working with upstreams and continues to release everything Purism authors under free software licenses in accordance to Purism’s Social Purpose Corporation Articles of Incorporation.

In light of our Librem One launch, and since we use free software for our clients and services, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we use free software considering our commitment not just to free software but to open standards. There is so much we want to tell you about Librem One over the coming weeks from various design decisions, policies, and upstream software that we couldn’t address all at once on launch day. To start, let’s talk about the free software that we use in Librem One.


It’s no secret to anyone familiar with free software on mobile that Librem One apps are based off of popular existing free software applications. Most people understand why we opted to use existing, high-quality applications instead of reinventing the wheel by writing them from scratch. What may be less clear, however, is why we opted to release rebranded applications.

Before we talk about why we rebranded, let’s highlight the upstream projects our versions are based on:

Why Rebranding?

A major goal with Librem One was to provide people with convenient and easy-to-use alternatives to big tech services that respected their privacy. The key to this was the combination of decentralized services with a centralized brand. With decentralized services that used open standards and ran on free software, users aren’t locked in to any one provider and can even host services themselves (more on that in a future blog post).

By putting services under a centralized brand, we make these decentralized services just as convenient to use as the big tech alternatives. That way an end-user doesn’t have to know what Matrix, ActivityPub, or even IMAP are or try to find all of the applications that work with those services on their particular platform. Instead, they just need to know that they want to chat, join social media, or send email.


Many of the changes we made to existing clients and our server configurations were to make it easy to connect with others on Librem One. The goal is for you to be able to say “you can reach me at” and regardless of the service, your friend should be able to find you. In many cases the clients and servers didn’t allow this kind of feature out of the box because the apps are focused on a single service, not a collection under one brand.


Beyond all of that, convenience is important. We wanted people to be able to switch from existing big tech services without having to fill out a bunch of forms with server information. Instead we wanted them to just type in their login and their password and have the client already configured and ready to use, just like they are used to with big tech alternatives. This required some customization in the existing apps so that they defaulted to using Librem One services while still allowing a user who wanted to, to dig into the settings and use any other provider if they wanted.

If you are interested in the changes we’ve made, you can check them out at their temporary location here.


In addition to clients, we are also hosting free software services for Librem One. We will elaborate on our services and our plans to make it easy to host them yourself in a future post but for those that are curious we are using Postfix and Dovecot for Librem Mail, Matrix for Librem Chat, and Mastodon for Librem Social. We are partnering with Private Internet Access for Librem Tunnel.

Our Contributions

An non-exhaustive unordered list to summarize our thanks to all the people we’ve been involved with:

While this list is not complete, it highlights the core beliefs behind Purism, its team commitment, and its free software roots. At Purism we will continue to work with, advance, partner, fund, push upstream, and most importantly release all our software under free software licenses.

Our commitment to working upstream is no better highlighted than by our Librem One bundle of ethical services that are supported by our partners Matrix, PIA, and Mastodon.

Sign-up Now and support the movement to protect your digital rights online.

The post How Purism Works Upstream and Gives Back appeared first on Purism.

Underscoring Our Transparency: First Librem One Bug Report

Tuesday 30th of April 2019 09:43:02 PM

We are super excited about our Librem One launch, if you can’t tell, but to make things even more exciting, we also have hit a different milestone with the service: our first security bug! We believe in transparency in general and especially when it comes to security. Security bugs happen in all software and services and our stance is the best approach is not just to address security issues as soon as possible but to be up front and alert you to security issues as soon as possible.

One of our keen community members rae discovered a severe security vulnerability in the Librem Chat service that allowed them to login to our chat server as any user. This is obviously a serious vulnerability and so we immediately shut down that chat server while we investigated.

It turns out the bug was related to a change that was made in the unreleased “master” branch of the matrix-appservice-ldap3 plugin being used by Librem Chat to authenticate users over LDAP. The bug ultimately came down to a mistake in a single line of code in a function related to LDAP searches:

- result = yield self._ldap_simple_bind(
+ result, _ = yield self._ldap_simple_bind(

What a difference an underscore makes. See for the security notice from the Matrix team


First it’s important to discuss what this bug didn’t impact. All other Librem One services including Tunnel, Mail, and Social were not impacted by this bug. It was an authentication bug specifically with the Librem Chat service.

Fortunately this bug occurred early in the service launch before too many customers were using chat. We shut down chat immediately upon confirming the bug and the overall outage lasted about 30 minutes while we investigated and patched. We have also taken the precautionary step of removing all existing access tokens, which required any clients that were logged in to re-authenticate.

We do not have any indication of any malicious exploitation of the bug, and any attempts to access a user’s chat encryption keys would have resulted in a prompt on your own chat client to approve the access from a new device. If you did happen to see that prompt on your account, click the “Ignore” link in the notification and contact us at Purism support. If an attacker did manage to login to your chat account, they would have been able to send chat messages as you and also see your chat account details, including your current client’s IP, if they looked at your account privacy settings.

To check whether someone successfully logged in as you, go to your Librem Chat settings and scroll down to the Devices section. You should only see your Mobile device listed, unless you also logged into Librem Chat via a web client or other client. If you see any other device in that list (in particular a device) and you did not use that device yourself, then select that device and delete it. If you have any questions about this issue, please contact our support team.

The post Underscoring Our Transparency: First Librem One Bug Report appeared first on Purism.

The New Librem One Services

Monday 29th of April 2019 05:01:03 PM

Tired of your digital life being exploited online? Hi. We’d like to present Librem One.

Purism isn’t only about designing and producing secure hardware and software, and we have just added a neat bundle of services to our offer:

Encrypted chat – simple end-to-end encrypted chat, VoIP, and video calling.

Encrypted mail – easy to use, end-to-end encrypted email.

Encrypted VPN – toggle your connection to a secure VPN tunnel.

Public social – safe and privacy-respecting social media account.

Sign up now and get services that respect you

Our bundled, all-in-one services are ethical, respectful of your digital rights and concerned about your privacy – something we guess has been on your mind lately – or maybe for quite some time now. It’s in everyone’s mind, these days: we love the convenience of digital, internet-based services, but we worry about what we read and watch in the news. We love communicating, but communication between peers and family is meant to be private. It’s meant to be safe, and yet we are being harvested. We put our loved ones at risk by emailing them, by tagging their name. Interacting with the ones you love is not meant to serve other’s interests or to exploit you in any way.

At Purism, we are a Social Purpose Company. We don’t exploit you (and, by our own philosophy and contract, we can’t exploit you). We don’t offer advertising services to third parties. We don’t track users. We don’t look at, sell, or share anything – we offer a simple subscription model.

Librem One is a subscription service, using open standards and free software, and it is available for $7.99/mo, or $71.91/yr for the four services. Librem One does offer a basic tier, with encrypted chat and public social, for a pick-your-price from free to $5.99/mo. Librem One bundles popular, convenient services into a single, easy-to-use account – with more services are to be added over time.

Librem One. Pure, ethical services for people with principles.

Librem One is a growing bundle of ethical services. By creating a network service that advances social good, societal freedom, personal privacy and the best security, Purism is changing the world for the better. If you’d like to know more or support us, we have an ongoing crowdfunding campaign.

The post The New Librem One Services appeared first on Purism.

Complete PureBoot Demo and More Progress

Monday 29th of April 2019 04:10:43 PM

Hi again! Things have been busy on the PureBoot front since our last blog post on overall coreboot progress. – and we can prove it: we now have a video that walks us through the complete PureBoot demo we showed for the first time at SCALE a few weeks ago.

The video, as you can see, starts with powering on the Librem Laptop with a Librem Key inserted. PureBoot then starts by checking the firmware for tampering and authenticating itself to the Librem Key, which blinks green to indicate the system is safe.

Next we select the Default Boot option, and PureBoot scans the /boot directory for any tampering – and if and when it doesn’t find any, it starts booting the OS as normal.

Once the OS boots, you see a prompt show up on the screen requesting the user’s GPG PIN, which demonstrates PureBoot unlocking disk encryption using the Librem Key instead of a passphrase. We find this approach to be more convenient for the user than typing in a long passphrase; and being a 2-factor authentication, it’s more secure too.
Finally we reboot the machine and simulate tampering, by storing a new shared secret in the TPM chip without the Librem Key inserted. Once we do reboot, PureBoot detects and warns us that the Librem Key isn’t inserted. We could skip this warning and boot anyway, but we insert it and then the Librem Key flashes red to warn us that there was tampering.

More PureBoot Improvements

In addition to the demo, we’ve also made a number of PureBoot improvements since our last blog post:

Dynamic USB disk detection

In the past you had to hard-code a specific disk device, in order for PureBoot to use when booting or using a USB disk – which was clunky, and caused some problems to those trying to set up PureBoot for the first time on a system with only an NVMe drive. Now it dynamically detects any USB disks that are present – and if more than one exists, you get a prompt; otherwise it just automatically uses the one it finds.

Other Improvements

We’ve also added a number of cosmetic improvements to the initial boot screens, including removing or changing certain prompts that were proving confusing to some of our beta testers. We’ve also added an automated “OEM factory reset” option to the GPG menu, that will factory reset a Librem Key and then generate a new random GPG key on the device – and add it to PureBoot firmware in an automated way.

The Improved Advanced Settings Menu in Heads

We’ve also updated the official PureBoot documentation at to describe how to use our new coreboot utility to pull down pre-built PureBoot firmware, so you no longer have to compile it yourself.

What’s Next

The introduction of pre-built PureBoot firmware has brought in a new wave of beta testers, which in turn has led to a fresh set of improvements. Each of these changes brings us closer to PureBoot being ready for general availability… we are looking forward to being able to announce PureBoot as a pre-installed, pre-configured option when buying new Librem laptops with a Librem Key very soon, so stay tuned for more Pureboot news!

The post Complete PureBoot Demo and More Progress appeared first on Purism.

Librem 5 App Design Tutorial – Part I

Thursday 25th of April 2019 10:56:30 AM

Are you excited about the Librem 5 and GNOME going mobile, and do you want to start building our own, brand new app for it? Well, the first thing you need is, of course, to design the new app – this can be a bit challenging on its own, especially if you’re starting out with a new platform.

This is the first of a series of blog posts which will walk you through some of the most important UI patterns, and guide you step-by-step during the process of going from idea to mock-up. We will be using a read-it-later app as example. To start with, let’s get some context, and take a look at philosophy and process, goals and relevant art.

GNOME Design Philosophy

It’s always good to familiarize yourself with the design philosophy of a platform before starting to actually design in it. The GNOME Human Interface Guidelines explains this philosophy quite well in the “design principles” page, which you may want to read in its entirety; meanwhile, here are some of its most important points:

Simplicity and focus Make sure your goals (for the app) are clear from the outset, and focus on those. It’s better to make a separate application to cover an additional use case than cramming too many things into one app (e.g., video podcasts are different enough from audio podcasts to be better off as an app of their own).
Search and undo If there are large amounts of content in your app, provide full-text search so things are easy to find. People are likely to make mistakes: make data hard to lose, and never use a warning when you mean undo.
Avoiding preferences Adding an extra option may seem like a good, quick fix, but in most cases it is treating the symptoms rather than the cause. Try to figure out what that cause is instead, fix the problem for everyone; I highly recommend this article by Havoc Pennington on the topic.

Design Process

Now that we’re aware of all the right, high-minded ideals, we will consider the design process itself. So, let’s say we want to design a great read-it-later app.
If we follow the GNOME design process, which primarily consists of three steps (plus iterations), we will have to: first, defining goals, and non-goals, for our app; second, collecting relevant art, i.e. examples of similar apps (to borrow ideas from); and finally, making sketches/mockups of detail views and user flow.

Defining Goals

We’re about to design a native client app for read-it-later web services (such as Pocket). Services like these allow us to store articles or other web pages we’re interested in, but don’t have the time to read immediately. Using them means we can catch up on all the stuff we saved later, when we have more time. This means our primary goals are going to be:

• Listing saved articles
• Providing a great, focused experience for reading articles in the app
• Helping to catch up with the reading list
• Storing articles offline so they can be read without a network connection

Along with goals, we will also set some non-goals (i.e. things that are out of the scope of this application):

• Social features
• Content discovery

Relevant Art

Our next step is to find examples of existing apps that do similar things. It’s good to look at how other people have solved the same problems, what they did well (and what could be improved) before jumping right into designing a new app.

Or: let’s check the competition.

Pocket, on Android, has way too many features – and a pretty complicated interface. It has many different categories, social features, a discover section, text-to-speech, and much more; most of these features are rarely used and make the app feel quite cluttered. Pocket is also not very good at helping you get through your list of saved pages; it mostly wants you to discover new things to save (and then not read them).

Clearly there are some lessons to be learned here.

Instapaper is an app we’ve never really used, but judging from the screenshots, Instapaper’s UI feels a lot saner and way more focused than Pocket. The rich article previews in the list view and the typography are also quite nice.

Wallabag is a self-hosted alternative to both Pocket and Instapaper. The corresponding Android client (also called Wallabag) is not very sophisticated UI-wise, but it is quite a good example of a very simple native client.

Structurally, these apps are all quite similar: they feature a main view with a list of articles, plus an article view that displays the articles in a clean, readable format. Depending on what service we are looking at, there are multiple lists for different types of articles – such as Archive, Highlights, Favorites, Notes, etc. To keep things simple, and because we’re targeting Wallabag first and foremost since it’s the only self-hosted service, we’re keeping three categories only: Unread, Archive, and Favorites. This means we need to design four main screens for our application: the three article categories plus a reader view to display the content.

We know our needs, and we may close this part of the design process. You should have, by now, a very clear idea of what you need in order to design an application for the Librem 5, and of the GNOME design philosophy guidelines. Later on, we’ll be guiding you through the rest of the application design process – stay tuned for the second part of this tutorial, to be published soon!

The post Librem 5 App Design Tutorial – Part I appeared first on Purism.

April Progress Update – Librem 5 Hardware

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019 11:24:25 AM
Things are as awesome as usual.

Hi again, everyone! A lot has happened during these last few months of work, so get ready for a thorough Librem 5 hardware update report.


Springtime seems to bring both nicer weather and plenty of events, and this year’s was no exception: Guido and Nicole went to Embedded World and met some very interesting people, while Tobias went to a GNOME Design Tooling Hackfest and worked on a number of ways to improve the workflow for those making GNOME app icons – including previewing hicolor and symbolic from a single template, auto-generated nightly icons and a new symbolics library app. Other team members attended LibrePlanet and saw a lot of excitement in the community about the devkit.


In terms of design, the GNOME mockup templates were updated to include mobile screens, and thanks to Alexander Mikhaylenko from the community we now have a more realistic interactive mockup of the gestures for phosh; and GNOME 3.32 was released, containing many interesting things for our Librem 5 phone, such as a new app icon style and some adaptive core apps. There is now an initial adaptive mockup for Nautilus, and a nice tutorial blog post was written to serve as an introduction to designing apps for the Librem 5. See below for a preview of the Librem 5 shell mockups: Software Images

We have the new kernel builds integrated with the image-builder scripts, and finished flash-kernel and initrd rollout. The changes have been submitted upstream. Bug fixes included fixing an issue upstream when attempting to grow the root filesystem on first boot, which has been included in Debian buster – and this gives the root file system enough space to install Flatpaks. We also made some minor cleanups around the clocks and audio subsystem.


We have had some issues with stability and texture corruption with the GC7000, and there is an ongoing investigation to resolving this. Two upstream bugs were found and fixed: a segfault in GALLIUM_TRACE and a segfault in GALLIUM_DDEBUG.


Thanks to Benjamin Berg and his review on the initial wwan plugin, we are now much closer to having this functionality in GNOME Settings.


We also started experimenting with our own forked compositor, after some additional bug fixes – and even added features – and are just waiting for a few more pieces to fall into place before releasing it, so stay tuned! Concerning upstream wlroots bug fixes, we have made some functions static, fixed a build issue, uploaded wlroots v0.4.1 and wlroots v0.5.0-1 to Debian experimental, added support for supplying the preferred mode to the drm backend, and fixed layer shell popups in rootston.

Voice Calls

Concerning voice calls, our focus right now is testing call audio. In aid of this, we have been debugging DMA operations in the kernel, in order to discover why the audio buffer isn’t being filled quickly enough during playback through the SGTL5000 audio codec. The SIM7100 modem and the i.MX8’s SAI interface are also being investigated; while the latter is receiving PCM data, DMA transactions aren’t reading said data.


As far as Libhandy is concerned, a new expander row property was added, and it is useful to reveal external widgets depending on the state of the row. We are now working on adding a new adaptive view switcher, released version 0.0.9 and uploaded it to Debian. The team has also updated the libhandy version being used in GNOME settings, contacts, and web to v0.0.9 (see below for an example of the prototype of HdyPreferences window). Last but not least, the team fixed a regression bug, improved compatibility with glade and cleaned up style handling. Text Messaging

We worked on enhancing the color scheme: from now on, all messages from unknown contacts will be colored red in the “Chats” list messages (but it can be disabled in the settings). A menu entry for adding unknown users to the contacts list and a “Leave Chat” entry in the main menu were also added. Chat logs are now preserved after chats are left, and chats remain when “Start Chat” (with the same contact) is opened. The “Delete Chat” behavior was improved – it now removes both the chat history and the chat. We have also worked with the design team to update, and improve, the UI – and, in terms of bug fixes, a severe issue that led to a segfault when the member list was updated was fixed, as was an issue that prevented new chats from being shown in the ‘Chats’ list. See bellow for a preview of the Librem 5 Chatty color scheme:



Linux 4.18

The userspace firmware load helper has been disabled since it is not needed and can be problematic; a magnetometer was added and the power key was enabled.

Linux 5.X

We submitted the devkit’s LCD panel driver upstream, found and fixed an issue in the device tree where SAI6_RXD0 and SAI6_TXD0 needed to be swapped for the WWAN module, moved the redpine driver to the 5.0 kernel; we also posted a patchset to add initial support of the Mixel DPHY and a patchset to add initial support for the NWL MIPI DSI host controller, as found on the i.MX8MQ SoC. A patch to enable the updated TMU driver was submitted, and a VCNL404 light and proximity sensor driver added, as found on the Librem5 devkit. We have also submitted the librem5-devkit devicetree upstream – and the proposed change to OpenOCD, in order to add a m4 target, was accepted. Our upstream bug fixes included correcting some examples in the dt-bindings docs.


When it comes to hardware, the team has continued working on our schematic of the Librem 5, tested an antenna patch with a recent build of U-Boot with the 5.0 kernel and generally continued the hardware devkit testing, especially around power and testing a prepaid SIM card showing a phone call is able to be placed. We also fixed a U-Boot issue that changes the charge controller’s slave address properly be 0x6B, and thanks to Hugo from the community, u-boot has been refactored. The team is now reviewing camera choices.

Our Community

Regarding community outreach, there was a mention of the Librem 5 devkit on the KiCad page; the troubleshooting section related to devkits in the documentation got some additions, and it was reorganized so users can find what they are looking for even quicker. Clayton from the community added the UART pinout table (which is very useful for debugging) to the documentation, and Bhushan Shah updated the tutorial on installing Plasma mobile in the documentation (thank you); an adaptive UI tutorial, a guide to sandboxing permissions, an example regarding network state and a very a nice example on writing an application were also added to the documentation.
A big “Thanks!” to all the external teams that have helped review and merge changes into upstream projects. Your time and contribution are much appreciated.

That’s all for now, folks – stay tuned for more exciting updates to come!

The post April Progress Update – Librem 5 Hardware appeared first on Purism.

Purism’s Librem 5 Progress in Videos

Wednesday 17th of April 2019 03:10:05 PM
The Purism team is making a remarkable progress to deliver the Librem 5 phone.

Nothing shows the progress we have been making quite as clearly as a demonstration of the Librem 5 status from the devkit itself – so let us take you through a handful of (short) videos showcasing the current possibilities and development of our Librem 5 devkit:

Bootup in under 10 seconds

In this video we get to witness the devkit’s amazingly fast bootup – less than 10 seconds!

Incoming call

Here we are, receiving a voice call on the Librem 5 devkit.

SMS text messaging in chat application

Using the Librem 5 chat application to send and receive sms text messages (and hello world).

Web browsing and video playback

You can now browse the web, choose a video and watch it play.

Librem 5 devkit to devkit calling

And finally, the really awesome one that never fails to amaze: voice calling from devkit to devkit.

That’s it for now, we hope you are as happy about what you’ve just seen as we all are.


You can pre-order your Librem 5 phone now

The post Purism’s Librem 5 Progress in Videos appeared first on Purism.

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Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Linux Gaming News Punch, Open Source Security Podcast and GNU World Order

Review: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0

My experiment with RHEL 8 got off to a rough start. Going through the on-line registration process produced some errors and ended up with me getting the wrong ISO which, in turn, resulted in some confusion and delays in getting the distribution installed. Things then began to look up as RHEL 8 did a good job of detecting my system's hardware, registered itself without incident and offered good performance on physical hardware. I was particularly pleased that the distribution appears to detect whether our video card will work well with Wayland and either displays or hides Wayland sessions in response. I did have some trouble with the GNOME Classic Wayland session and GNOME Shell on X.Org was a bit sluggish. However, the Classic session on X.Org and GNOME Shell on Wayland both worked very well. In short, it's worthwhile to explore each of the four desktop options to see what works best for the individual. The big issues I ran into with RHEL were with regards to software management. Both GNOME Software and the Cockpit screen for managing applications failed to work at all, whether run as root or a regular user. When using the command line dnf package manager, the utility failed to perform searches unless run with sudo and occasionally crashed. In a similar vein, the Bash feature that checks for matching packages when the user types a command name it doesn't recognize does not work and produces a lengthy error. There were some security features or design choices that I think will mostly appeal to enterprise users, but are less favourable in home or small office environments. Allowing remote root logins by default on the Workstation role rubs me the wrong way, though I realize it is often useful when setting up servers. The enforced complex passwords are similarly better suited to offices than home users. One feature which I think most people will enjoy is SELinux which offers an extra layer of security, thought I wish the Cockpit feature to toggle SELinux had worked to make trouble-shooting easier. I was not surprised that RHEL avoids shipping some media codecs. The company has always been cautious in this regard. I had hoped that trying to find and install the codecs would have provided links to purchase the add-ons or connect us with a Red Hat-supplied repository. Instead we are redirected through a chain of Fedora documentation until we come to a third-party website which currently does not offer the desired packages. Ultimately, while RHEL does some things well, such as hardware support, desktop performance, and providing stable (if conservative) versions of applications, I found my trial highly frustrating. Many features simply do not work, or crash, or use a lot of resources, or need to be worked around to make RHEL function as a workstation distribution. Some people may correctly point out RHEL is mostly targeting servers rather than workstations, but there too there are a number of problems. Performance and stability are provided, but the issues I ran into with Cockpit, permission concerns, and command line package management are all hurdles for me when trying to run RHEL in a server role. I find myself looking forward to the launch of CentOS 8 (which will probably arrive later this year), as CentOS 8 uses the same source code as RHEL, but is not tied to the same subscription model and package repositories. I am curious to see how much of a practical effect this has on the free, community version of the same software. Read more

GNOME 3.34 Revamps the Wallpaper Picker (And Fixes a Longstanding Issue Too)

The upcoming release of GNOME 3.34 will finally solve a long standing deficiency in the desktop’s background wallpaper management. Now, I’ve written about various quirks in GNOME wallpaper handling before, but it’s the lack of option to pick a random wallpaper from a random directory via the Settings > Background panel that is, by far, my biggest bug bear. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with GNOME 3.32. Here, the only wallpapers available to select via the Settings > Background section are those the system ships with and any top-level images placed in ~/Pictures — nothing else is selectable. So, to set a random image as a wallpaper in GNOME 3.32 I tend to ignore the background settings panel altogether and instead use the image viewer’s File > Set as background… option (or the similar Nautilus right-click setting). Thankfully, not for much longer! Read more