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Living with a Librem 5


Nearly four years after my order I've received my Librem 5 here in Hamburg, Germany. The last 3 weeks of delay have been completely my fault, as I was out of the country. Purism Support dealt with this quickly and no problems at all. After paying customs (and an amazing high fee to DHL for basically doing nothing) it finally made it to my home. Well, it is kind of big, but we all knew that before, right? The backside feels a bit cheap, thin plastic like, but in total I'm OK with it.


After charging I went through the steps at the This was pretty much straight forward. And everything seems to work:

  • Charging the device

  • Using the hardware switches

  • Using an SD card

  • WLAN

  • SIM (This was just a short test, the card was recognized, mobile data worked, I've made a call to and received a call from another device without speaking. That's probably most of the phone calling that I'll do with it, that's just not my compartment.)

  • The touchscreen feels a bit imprecise

  • Camera works (but with the known problems)

Trying to use PureOS

From here things went down the drain. The usability of the system is pathetic.

  • Purism shop for software works for delivering regular updates, installing more software, but it fails removing shit like a chess (and more stupid games), "parental control" (WTF?), Librem5 Tour and more. This can be done with apt, so I'm completely back to console using apt which is fine for me but a killer for non-nerds.

  • The mail client Geary is basically useless (not sure if in general or just on the phone)

  • Maps can be used for navigation if you don't care about some blocks difference between the displayed and actual position

  • The keyboard works, but I don't feel very comfortable with it, especially not for console.

  • Calender & contacts sync with Nextcloud but not with my IMAP accounts

  • VLC worked astonishing well

  • Sudo activity at /usr/share/applications to get rid of crap on the app menu again is no working solution for non nerdish users

  • Screen scaling is always starting with inconvenient 200% and needs manual tweaking  in the screen settings (maybe it is possible to make it permanent, I don't know yet.)

So my daily use cases (Mail, RSS-Reader, Threema, OSMand,Tusky, taking photos) are all either browser-only or not  really working. (I'd like to replace Threema with Matrix, but only one person in my private real life bubble is using it so far.)

This said, I may have to add that I use Linux desktops systems for more than 2 decades, including a phase when I did so called "disto hopping". But I never ever used Gnome and PureOS showed me again why. Gnome just don't wor for me and must be for another kind of user. (If you want to know: Mostly KDE for my workstation and XFCE for slower devices.)

I gave up for a while.

Convergence Mode

Actually after my first experiences with the phone I didn't feel like even trying the convergence mode. There is nothing that I couldn't do better & faster with a RasPi. That litlte thing is - including a  little powerbank - even lighter than the Librem5. OK, no fiddling with stuff on the way than, true, but as said in the section before, for most "on the way" stuff the phone is pretty useless anyway.

But as I use a 4K-Dell with USB C hub for switching between work laptop and my private one, I plugged the Librem 5 in two month later. While the charge sign popped up immediately nothing much else happened at first, but after several tries to of plugging of and in again (cheers to IT-crowd) and what feels like random clicking on screen settings it started to work: 4K screen, keyboard, mouse, LAN, charging. After a short period of time the phone feels hot (completely charged).

After shutting down and restarting the phone unplugged everything was fine. But it seems every time I plug in the USB C hub, I need to change the screen once (and back as it is initially correct), to make everything work. The position of the two screens to each other and application window settings are lost. This is much less convenient than using the monitor & hub with my laptops, but still kind of working.

Actually I'm writing this with a keyboard into Nextcloud notes in Firefox window on the big screen. It's OK, but a bit sluggish, I can type faster than the device is  displaying it. Same with mouse actions. And on the little screen from the phone some things work with mouse or touch only, some things with both - looks random to me.

Conclusion for now

I do appreciate the fact that the Librem 5 exists. And I know and value the endless work people have spent to make it like it is. Probably from all the information that is cluttering the purism forums and the web in general I missed a lot.

Nevertheless: So far the Librem5 is useless for me as a mobile device so far.


Are there any alternatives? After all for me it's mostly about Software not Hardware. Do I dare flashing the phone? I've read some stuff, thought a bit about things and finally decided: I'll try PostmarketOS with Plasma Mobile soon.

Update: Following the tip "uncomment & change the scale for output:DSI-1, from 2 to what you need in /usr/share/phosh/phoc.ini" just made the Librem5 unbootable, so I've got a good reason to flash it with something else.

Update 2: Due to massive spam comments in the moderation queue, I've disabled comments here.


Gelesen 2022

Es wirde im letzten Jahr zwar nicht gebloggt, aber gelesen:

39.-40. Katja Kleiber, Die Eifelhexe / Sturm über der Eifel (Oh je, die burnoutgeplagte Kräuterteetante und der dümmliche Dorfpolizist stolpern durch die Aufklärung von irgendwelchen Morden. Da fehlt es irgendwie an allem, was ein guter Krimi bräuchte.)

36.-38. Kerstin Gier, Liebe geht durch alle Zeiten 1-3 (Da bin ich mal sowas von nicht die Zielgruppe ... aber ich glaube auch nicht, dass die wilde Story für hormonell verwirrte Teeniemädels mehr Sinn macht.)

35. Nicole Galland, I Iago (Probably more fun if you know your Shakespeare.)

34. Nicole Galland, Master of the Revels (Galland returns to D.O.D.O. and endless repetitions of time travel to "fix" things that the witch Grainne broke ...)

33. S. M. Stirling, Emberverse 4, The given Sacriface (The end of Rudi ...)

Friederike Schmöe, Mind Games (Ziemliche Räuberpistole, aber unterhaltsam.)

32. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (The Book Thief is the little girl Liesel suffering through World War II in the Germany reported by Death himself ..)

31. Markus Zusak, I Am The Messenger (Ed needs to deliver messages to other learning stuff about himself.)

30. Friedericke Schmoe, Käfersterben (Detektivin Palfy halt.)

20.-29. S. M. Stirling, Emberverse 1-3: Dies the Fire / Protector's War / A Meeting in Covallis / The Sunrise Lands / The Scourge of God / The Sword of  the Lady / The High King of Montival / The Tears of the Sun / Lord of Mountains (That was long and still one Book to go. The setup is great, the stories widespread, but sometimes all the medivian fighting stuff get's a bit boring. Additionally it turns more and more to the spiritual side of world views.)

15.-19. Ben Aaronovich, Die Füchse von Hamstead Heath / Geister auf der Metropolitan Line / Der Galgen von Tyburn / Die Glocke von Whitechapel / Ein weißer Schwan in Tabernacle Street  (Mir fällt es manchmal schwer allem zu folgen, aber es ist ziemlich lustig.)

12.-14. Kameron Hurley, Worldbreaker Saga (Wow. Pacifist societies, crashing worlds, magic powers from star fragments, carnivorous plants, 5 genders or more ... great stuff.)

11. Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland, The Raise and Fall of D.O.D.O (Old Magic meets modern beaurocracy meets human stupidity. Very funny.)

10. Neal Stephenson, Termination Shock (Great stuff from Stephenson again.)

7.-9. Brandon Sanderson Mistborn Trilogy (The Final Empire, Well of Ascencion, The Hero of Ages)

6. Stephen Baxter, Evolution

5. Vikki Wakefield, Friday Brown (Slightly weird YA novel.)

4. Harlan Coben, No Second Chance (Thriller, pretty average.)

3. Fannie Flagg, I Still Dream About You (Hmm. Novel about older women in the real estate business, I'm not sure, if this was meant to be read by me ...)

1./2. Ben Aaronovitch, Peter Grant 4/5 (This is still really fun to read.)

Update April 2023: Kommentare wegen zuviel Spam deaktiviert.

Gelesen 2021

Wo die Liste schon mal da ist, hätte man sie ja auch posten können:

43.-44. Ben Aaronovitch, Peter Grant 1-3 (This is still really fun to read.)

42. Susanne Gerdom, Der Blaue Tod (Deutscher Steampunk, recht unterhaltsam, obwohl mir am Ende doch ein bisschen fehlt.)

41. Thomas Pletzinger, The Great Nowitzki (Zuviel Pletzinger, zuwenig Nowitzki. Und auch wenn Wiederholung Thema ist, müssen sich Anekdoten nicht wiederholen. Für den Inhalt letztlich viel zu lang.)

40. Kelley Armstrong, Broken (Our famous femal werewolf is pregnant. Phh.)

39. Malte Klingenhäger, Türspione (Ein "Datenschutzroman" herausgegeben von der Piratenpartei in Münster ... nun ja. Anfänglich an der Grenze zur Unlesbarkeit aber irgendwann gibt es doch einen gewissen Flow. Letztlich aber zu unentschieden, ob das ganze nun bedeutungsschwanger sein soll oder nur seichte Belustigung über Bürokratie.)

37./38. Tami Hoag, Deeper than the Dead / Secrets to the Grave (While the actual crime story and the problems detective work in times pre DNA-checks is ok altough a bit overdone, the main charactors transport such a conservative attitude to the world, that it is hard to read.)

36. Katja Kleiber, Dicker als Blut (Genau das richtige, für einen Flug und das damit verbundene Abhängen am Flughafen. Ansonsten ein typischer "So-was-kann-jeder-schreiben-ich-auch"-Regionalroman.)

35. Cory Doctorow, Backup (= Down and out in the magic Kingdom - Wer kann sollte Doctorow auf jeden Fall im Original lesen. Das hier, das ich aus dem Original kannte, liest sich auch eher kaputt übersetzt.)

34. Cory Doctorow, Upload (= Eastern Standard Tribe - In der deutschen Übersetzung liest sich das irgendwie komisch/verkehrt. Ist aber sicher nicht das Beste von Doctorow, aber vielleicht las es sich vor 15 Jahen auch anders.)

33. Christopher Ecker, Fahlmann (Unlesbares Geschwurbel, eines der wenigen Bücher, dass ich wirklich nicht zu Ende gelesen habe.)

32. Stephen Baxter, Raft (A nice one, no idea if I'm supposed to read the rest of this series in chronical order or after publishing dates.)

31. Richard Castle, Naked Heat (Boring crime stuff.)

30. Tana French, Broken Harbor (Another story from French and again it is an outstanding crime novel.)

29. Viv Albertine, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys (I usually find autobiographies a boring waste of time, but this is the exception to the rule.)

27./28. Glen Cook, Red Iron Nights / Deadly Quicksilver Lies (Seems like everything goes down the drain in Tunafair.)

21-26. Jim Butcher, Codex Alera 1-6 (A bit bloody, but better than average fantasy.)

20. John Brunner, Der Schockwellenreiter (Scifi, der für 1975 ganz schön visionär war. Wenn auch zu optimistisch.)

19. Friederike Schmöe, Fratzenmond (So langsam gewöhne ich mich an Frau Palfry, als schneller Lesestoff für Zwischendurch.)

18. Jim Butcher, Summer Knight (Harry Dresden is still topping the stories before.)

17. Ken Follett, The Key to Rebecca (Agentstory in WW2 Cairo, didn't really move me.)

16. Cory Doctorow, Makers (SciFi from Maker's Geekland.)

15. Cory Doctorow, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (Already some Nerdstuff, but also a bit of very nice Fantasy/New Weird.)

14. Elias Snæland Jònsson, Runen (Runen, Nazis, Island plus Höllentauchen ... da kommt dann ungefähr das raus, was man so erwartet.)

11.-13. Jim Butcher, Dresden Files: StormFront / Full Moon / Grave Peril (Hardass detective Harry Dresden is also a Wizard. Nevertheless he has to take a lot of beating ...)

8.-10. Günther Thämmes, Der Bierzauberer / Das Erbe des Bierzauberers / Der Fluch des Bierzauberers (Simpel, teilweise auch schlecht geschriebene Geschichten, die aber sehr viel historisches Wissen über Bierbrauen erzählen.)

7. Andreas Schröfl, Brauerehre (Das ist so unfassbar Kacke, dass ich nach wenigen Seiten aufgeben habe. Und das passiert wirklich sehr, sehr selten.)

6. Antje Ippensen, Armageddon Zone - Der kosmische Fluch (Richtig gut war das nicht, die Story geht irgendwie nicht auf.)

5. Wolfgang Schorlau, Brennende Kälte (Dengler ist ja eigentlich einigermassen sympathisch, aber die Fälle sind ganz schöne Räuberpistolen.)

4. Christopher Moore, Island of the Sequined Love Nun

3. Denise Mina, Das Vergessen

1.-2- Glen Cook, Cold Copper Tears / Old Tin Sorrows (More of Garrett , P.I)


Es ist wirklich wahr geworden. Livekonzert. Maulgruppe präsentieren ihr neues Album "Hitsignale". Aber ich frage euch: Sieht so Punk aus?Punk in der Kurmuschel

Naja, vielleicht sieht 2021 Punk so aus. Ältere Herrschaften (wie gendert man das korrekt?) sitzen vereinzelt vor der Kurmuschel und verfolgen die Darbietung der Kapelle. Und oben am Fenster wacht der Stellvertreter des Herrn. Aber wie Herr Rachut völlig zu Recht angemerkt hat, wurde von dem Verein schon wieder nicht richtig aufgepasst, denn die große Francoise Cactuse steht dieses Jahr  auf der Verlustliste.

UPDATE 12.02.22: Wegen Spamattacke Kommentare deaktivert.

Gelesen 2020

In absoluten Zahlen nicht viel, aber ein paar interessante Sachen dabei. Mein gutes, altes Pocketbook von anno dunnemals musste ich wegen Akkuversagens ersetzen. Das neue Pocketbook Touch Lux 4 ist natürlich viel kleiner und leichter als das olle Teil und auch die Software ist etwas weniger sperrig, aber im Prinzip gibt es wenig Gründe für den Ersatz. Könnte man den Akku tauschen, hätte ich das wohl getan. WLAN habe ich schon beim alten nie angeschaltet und die "Weiterentwicklungen" Touchscreen &  Hintergrundbeleuchtung stören zwar nicht, sind aber letztlich überflüssig. Und was soll ich sagen: Das Teil hat nur ein paar Wochen gehalten, vermutlich zuviel Druck auf die Jackentasche, so dass ich dieses Jahr also zwei Ebookreader kaufen musste. Das zweite Pocketbook verrichtet seit September seinen Dienst.

Egal, hier die Leseliste von 2020:

39. Silvia Roth, Schneetreiben (Ziemliche Räuberpistole in der Winnie Heller im Alleingang ein altes Geheimnetzwerk in Polizei & Staatsanwaltschaft nicht zu letzt durch ein Praktikum in einer Seniorenresidenz aufklärt ...)

36.-38. Guy Gavriel, Kay, The Fionary Tapestry - The Summer Tree / The Wandering Fire / The Darkest Road (Some students from Toronto end up with very special abilities and roles in another World and have to save the Light against the Dark. And it's for what ever reason mixed up with the Artus Saga, that's probably the reason for a sometime old fashioned language.)

35. Birgit Lautenbach / Johann Ebend - Hühnergötter. (Du meine Güte, was für ein Geschwurbel.)

33.-34. Glen Cook, Sweet Silver Blues / Bitter Gold Hearts (A beer drinking, hardboiled P.I. solves problems his way. That would be boring, if the story wouldn't take place in world with a bit of magic, different beings and lots of misbehaviour.)

30.-32.Wolfgang Schorlau, Dengler - Die blaue Liste / Das dunkle Schweigen / Fremde Wasser (Nicht meine Lieblingskrimis, aber irgendwie ein bisschen straighter als die z. T. leicht wirren Verfilmungen.)

27.-29. Kelley Armstrong, Dime Store Magic / Industrial Magic / Haunted (Funny, but nothing really deep.)

24.-26. Peter F. Hamilton, Missspend Youth Pandora's Star / Judas Unchained (This took quite some time. The first book is definetly not the best from Hamilton. The rest is another epic SciFi story in a Future where brains can stored and bodies can be replaced, alien are around, wurmlochs enable space travel ...)

(hier ist mein Ebookreader abgeraucht und damit auch die Leseliste ...)

22./23. Kelley Armstrong Bitten/Stolen (More werewolf stuff, but at least not romantic.)

21. Komissarin Lund - The Killing (Meine Güte, da hat einer stumpf aufgeschrieben, was er auf dem Fernseher gesehen hat. Und das nicht mal gut.)

20. Friederike Schmöe, Kirchweihmord (Noch einer mit Privatdetektivin Palfy. Halt so ein Krimi für die Zugfahrt, wenn man eigentlich zu müde zum Lesen ist.)

17.-19. S. M. Stirling, Nantucket Island Trilogy (Starts very interesting but the second and third book is mostly filled with boring war stories.)

16. Joseph Caldwell, Das Schwein war's (Ganz unterhaltsam irische Story.)

15. Glen Cook, The Swordbearer (Der unfreiwillige Superheld mit dem Superduperschwert spielt nicht mehr mit ...)

14. Jens Lapidus, Mach sie fertig (Mehr Machotrallala und Kriminalität im migrantischen Milieu Schwedens. Vermutlich ziemlich nah dran, aber nervt auch ganz schön.)

11. -13 Glen Cook, Darkwar Trilogy: Doomstalker / Warlock / Ceremony (A planet full of dogpeople, ruled by female witches and males are just stupid laborers. But with technical skills. So its witchcraft vs. technology, add some space surfboards and a million dead. Interesting to read though.)

9. /10. Ann Leckie, Imperial Radch Anilliary Justice / Sword (Hard to get used to the gender stuff but besides this, it's pretty avarage, pathetic SciFi)

8. Frank Owen, South (Great dystopic story although the main idea is a bit weird.)

7. Helen Oyeyemi, Boy, Snow, Bird (Hmm. Written very well, but I'm still not sure, if I really got it completely.)

6. Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch  (Probably more an YA-book. I was facing Juju and other alien stuff again.)

5. Nnedi Okorafor, Who Fears Death (Africa, Juju, Kickass-Woman and a lot more ... that's great.)

4. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti (Wow. So much in such a small story.)

3. Nicky Charles, The Keeping (I'm not much into this Werewolfstuff anyway, but this is using the behaviour of dogs/wolfes for a very conservative story where the women obey the man on the long run ...)

2. Jasmin Ramadan, Soul Kitchen (Ein Art Vorgeschichte zum gleichnamigen Film, die sich gut liest, aber machmal ein bisschen zu inkonsequent daher kommt.)

1. Jasmin Ramadan, Das Schwein unter den Fischen (Ein Geschichte über Erwachsenwerden & oft kaputte Menschen die nicht langweilt, sondern mit teilweise fast anarchischem Humor wirklich Spass macht.)