Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

About Purism

Is Purism a non-profit or corporation?
Where is Purism based?

Purism, SPC is based in San Francisco, CA USA (Headquarters).

Purism finalizes assembly, quality control tests, and delivers all our hardware from our fulfillment center in Carlsbad, California, USA.

Purism has employees, contractors, and volunteers from around the world.

How does an emerging company manufacture a motherboard?

Through business negotiations we license reference designs and prepay for all the tooling, so that we can do small quantity fabrication, albeit at a higher per-unit price.  It is not inexpensive, but it is possible! Purism’s founder, Todd Weaver, has built up these relationships for over a decade.

How ethical is Librem hardware?
How can I contribute?

You can help by purchasing a Librem device and benefit from a more secure computing experience. You could also help us out with projects that we are currently working on as we are sometimes stretched thin. Finally, the easiest way would be to help answer questions in our community forums, engage with others that are considering Purism products, spreading the word about Purism, be willing to write in with bug reports or user experiences or donating time and/or money for our project. Another item would be to write a blog post about your experiences in switching to a Librem or to GNU/Linux in general. Send us an email for questions, additional information or your willingness to be involved.

Are you hiring?

Short answer: Yes. See https://puri.sm/jobs/

Longer answer: Purism is hiring for a great number of positions, even more than are listed in our jobs section. If you are interested in any of the listed positions, or have an idea of a position you’d like to create within our organization, please send an email to hr(at)puri.sm with the following:

  • What you’re good at, or what you would like to help us with.
  • How you got good at it, or how you’d like to help us.
  • Why would you like to be involved with Purism?

We offer various forms of compensation and roles, from volunteer, part-time, paid, or margin share. Please list what forms of compensation you require and are amenable to.

Can I invest in Purism?

Yes, please reach out to ir(at)puri.sm (Investor Relations), and you will get a reply within 24 hours to discuss the opportunity.

Where can I read about your warranty/return policy?

See the policies page for our warranty, returns & refunds policy.

What are your plans for the future?

We currently offer our Librem laptop line, Librem server, Librem Key and Librem Phone is being developed. Check our products page to find out more. Check out our webshop to see all available items.

In the future we plan to expand our offer, so far Librem tablets, Librem desktops, and Librem routers are on our roadmap.

For Beginners

What is FLOSS?

FLOSS stands for Free/Libre Open Source Software and is software with its source code available to the public and allowed to be modified, improved or whatever else users feel like doing do it. It grants you freedom.

What is GNU/Linux?

A “Linux” operating system, properly described as GNU/Linux, is an operating system based upon the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel was created by Linus Torvalds initially for his own use during his years in college. It was used with the GNU operating system. GNU, created by Richard Stallman, is the entire operating system, minus the kernel. So, when people say “Linux operating system” they should be saying “GNU/Linux operating system”, or even a “GNU operating system”.

Both Torvalds and Stallman released their software to the world for free.

What is the difference between free and libre?

English language more often uses word “free” to describe something that is gratis – while it is true that all the software in FLOSS is gratis, it is not mandatory to be like that. The important part of FLOSS is that is has the liberty to be examined, learn about it, modify it to your needs without any restriction of copyright license which forbids you to use it as you want.

Often said it is “free as in freedom”.

Isn’t GNU/Linux just for hackers, programmers and developers? Do I have to be a computer expert to use PureOS or a Librem?

No, not at all. There are many people that do in fact use GNU/Linux to program and develop applications for various operating systems (not just for Linux) but GNU/Linux is easily used by many people of all levels of computing skill.

PureOS is designed to be user friendly by utilizing one of the most popular desktop environments available called Gnome 3. Gnome 3 works well with both touch and traditional mouse and keyboard user inputs to allow for easy use. The Librem has well known traditional ports and utilizes off the shelf parts for easy replacement if something needs replaced.

I still have favorite programs from my Windows/Mac computer. Can I still use them?

Yes and no. No Windows applications will run natively on PureOS. However, some Windows applications can be run with an application called Wine. Please go to www.winehq.org to check on the availability of your program. Applications designed for Apple products can not run on a GNU/Linux based machine such as a Librem.

Additionally, you can also run Windows or Apple operating systems within our virtual box application, Boxes, which would allow you to run the applications that you need.

Please also note that Windows based programs run as non-free source/proprietary code and Purism can not offer a guarantee that your Librem will continue to be secure if you choose to install. We do not recommend doing this for your own privacy and security but you are welcome to as the Librem is your machine.

I’ve heard that I have to type in complicated commands to use Linux in something called a terminal.

You don’t have to. There is also a “terminal” in Windows, Apple and Google machines as well but like those operating systems, complicated command lines are going away in favor of graphic user interface (GUI) focus. PureOS does have a terminal just like all Linux distributions but it is not needed in many situations for newer users.

I’m used to using an Android phone and a Windows desktop. Will this computer work the same as what I’m used to?

All operating systems have their differences when comparing, for instance, a mobile operating system like Android to a computer focused one like Windows. Apple has differences from Windows as well. However, each operating system allows you to do the same or similar things – it may just be a different button to push or icon to click.

Web browsers, applications and file managers will all work in PureOS/Librem in ways that you are used to on other devices. They may look a little different than what you’re used to, but they will get you to the same place.

Do you have an app store?

Yes! Our operating system, PureOS, has an app store called “Software” where many different applications are available giving you many additional gaming, productivity, video, graphics, and office choices.

Can I watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime?

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime distribute content with restrictive DRM technologies that Purism does not support natively through PureBrowser. However, there are other browsers that you are free to install if you choose to.

YouTube supports HTML5 and will play without additional input.

Does a Librem have Flash, Silverlight, Java and other plug-ins preinstalled?

No, it does not, as these are major security issues. Most websites are switching to HTML5 due to these security issues. However, you can install an OS which supports this proprietary software, but have in mind that this is a bad security practice.

Are there any tutorial videos or additional information on PureOS/Linux?

Often times when we think of an operating system we think of how it looks and feels. This is called the user interface or user experience. PureOS 3 uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI, also sometimes called “Desktop Environment”) called Gnome 3. Information on this user interface can be found here:



Where can I find out more about PureOS?

PureOS home page: https://pureos.net/
PureOS FAQ: https://tracker.pureos.net/w/faq/
PureOS Wiki pages: https://tracker.pureos.net/w/
PureOS bug tracker: https://tracker.pureos.net/maniphest/
Purism Community forums, PureOS category: https://forums.puri.sm/c/pureos

Can you explain to me in plain English why I should be concerned about security and privacy issues on my computer?

The same reasons you are concerned over unwanted people entering your property, peeping through your windows, or installing cameras in your house. These same physical rights apply directly to digital rights. You should not want unwanted people having access to your digital files, your photos, emails, website history, or your camera or microphone.  Your home is your private life, your digital life should have the same rights and protections.

Will the Librem help me avoid data breaches?

Properly used, Librem will make it by magnitudes harder to have data breaches compared to Windows and Mac OS X. It has integrated full disk encryption, all of the best GNU/Linux security practices, sand boxed applications, and hardened security features.

What kind of cyberthreats can be prevented with a Librem?

All threats are bonded a lot to user interaction with their device. Librem’s underlying software by default do not track or log your keypresses, location, software usage. Default operating system (PureOS) has app isolation (with Wayland) and SELinux enabled.

Do you put up ads or steal and sell my data?

No. Quite simply, we will not show you advertisements nor do we care about mining your data. Your data, your pictures, your browsing history – that’s for you and you alone. We exist as a company because we personally wanted to have better control of our own data. And we think you do, too.

Do I need special proprietary hardware, software or cables to use a Librem?

No! We hate those proprietary things! Your Librem will work with industry standards such as HDMI, USB, hardware after market parts and all software is free and libre. RAM, hard drives or solid state drives, batteries and power supplies are all “off the shelf” and available for purchase from online and big box stores.

How do I talk to a real person in case I need to?

You can:

    Librem Key

    What is Librem Key?

    Librem Key is a USB security token to make encryption, key management, and tamper detection convenient and secure. See here to learn more about what it does, its specs and to see purchase options.

    Where can I find documentation about Librem Key?
    Can this key be used with other BIOS or only coreboot?

    The tamper-evident boot only works with our Heads firmware that runs on top of coreboot. We have not yet released a Heads ROM for our systems but we are working to beta test that right now before we release it to a wider audience.

    Does Librem Key only issue warning or will it actually prevent the system from booting in case of tampering?

    We intentionally still allow users to boot even if Heads detects tampering. We do not want to lock people out of their own systems. That said, Heads is free software so you could modify it to have that behavior if you wanted to.

    Can the keys generated on a single Librem Key be used to validate multiple devices? (For example, if I have two laptops and one key.)

    At the moment you could only register a Librem Key with one Heads ROM.

    Can the keys be copied or backed up, then restored to another key, in the event that the key is lost?

    Yes, you can backup the GPG keys that you put on a Librem Key to a USB thumb drive or other backup. As far as the shared secret for tamper-evident boot, if you were to lose your Librem Key you could either skip tamper-evident checks until you got a replacement, or fall back to the 6-digit TOTP code + your phone.

    Does the Librem Key support U2F?

    The Librem Key does not currently support U2F, but we are looking into adding that feature into a future revision.

    Is there any actual difference between a Librem Key and a Nitrokey Pro?

    The Librem Key and Nitrokey Pro v2 have the same hardware and similar firmware, so yes, you can use Heads with Nitrokey Pro v2.
    Nitrokey Pro v1 has older firmware and will not integrate with Heads.

    But please understand we can provide support only for Librem Key and its integration with other Librem hardware.

    How secure are my keys on Librem Key?

    We rely on the tamper protection of the embedded smart card. Smart cards are especially designed to protect the stored keys. They embed technologies like special metal coating and covers on the silicon so that attacks using an electron microscope are not possible (with regular chips you can actually see the stored bits). They also implement protection circuits to protect against current analysis attacks and more. So we can assume that the smart card, even if it gets intercepted, can not be tampered with, especially it is not possible to extract the key(s) from it.
    A different thing is the micro-controller on the Librem Key. This is not especially protected but you also have to ask what the possible attack vector could be. Since the private key(s) never leave the smart card the micro-controller thus never sees them or could expose them. So even it being unprotected does not impose any risk for exposing the private key(s).

    Librem Laptops

    What is a Librem?

    The Librem name originated with the desire to make a truly freedom respecting laptop and phone. Libre is an adjective meaning “free, at liberty” and is used to distinguish it from gratis which means “free of charge”. Libre is used extensively in the GNU/Linux community to show that software is free in the sense that its source code is available as opposed to non-free software where the source code can not be viewed. Libre also translates easily to a variety of languages. The “m” was added to help it roll of the tongue.

    What are the benefits of using a Librem?

    The Librem runs PureOS as it’s operating system. This operating system is based upon the Linux kernel and is viewed by privacy and security experts as being incredibly secure. This is due to it being free software where the source code is available, meaning that people with proper technical skill can easily read, view and understand the language of the operating system. Operating systems that you are used to such as Windows and OS X are non-free and the source code is held by Microsoft and Apple. This non-free software, where the source code is not available in proprietary OSes makes it impossible to fully read and understand the computer language thereby making it impossible to fully know what your Microsoft or Apple based computer is doing or if it is secure.

    Why does it cost so much? What are the benefits of paying more?

    We are working hard to bring down the price of the Librems. In fact, we were able to reduce the price of the Librem 13 in April 2016 by over $200! In the simplest terms, it is the sheer economics of supply and demand. As there is more demand for privacy respecting and secure computing, the price will come down because as we will be able to order more parts for our wonderful computers.

    The truth is that we need capital in order to grow as a business. We are already working with thin margins. The benefits to supporting a privacy and security focused computer manufacturer are vast but the decision to help us is yours.

    How do the Hardware Kill Switches (HKS) work? Why do they matter?

    The HKS physically cut the power going to the microphone/webcam and the wifi/bluetooth radios in the device. There have been several cases where either big government agencies or nearby hackers have remotely accessed these devices to turn on computers or otherwise view or listen in through the microphone or web camera. Software solutions of turning the camera on and off can be easily bypassed. The HKS physically cut the electronic circuit to the accessory. No power, no work. When the switches are thrown the accessory is, quite simply, off, and can not be remotely turned back on.

    This matters as a security feature and for your own piece of mind. No longer do you have to worry about private communications being recorded or someone looking back at you through the webcam. Parents can especially enjoy this feature to help protect their children.

    The switch for the WiFi can be thrown and along with pulling out the ethernet cord will ensure you the convenience of true off line computing. Then when you want to use either the microphone/web camera or the WiFi/Bluetooth, simply return power to the accessory by turning the switch.

    What the Librem’s cases (bodies) made of?

    The outer shell is solid aluminum with a black anodized finish.

    Do you make the case yourself, or are they from a third party?

    They were custom fabricated for us.

    Will the Librem have replacement and upgrade parts?

    Yes, it is possible to order replacements for the wireless card, RAM, 2.5″ SATA drive and M.2 SSD, power adapter. Batteries are available within the USA, international shipment for batteries is on a case-by-case basis (due to carrier restrictions such as these).

    What CPU/RAM/storage options are available?

    Please see our products page for comparison, you can also see more detailed specs for Librem 5, Librem 13 and Librem 15.

    Do Librem laptops with coreboot support booting from USB key or SD/MMC slot?

    Yes, just press ESC when Purism logo shows up and select your device to boot.

    Would I be able to install (myself) my own choice of wifi card, RAM, second HDD/SSD and M.2 SSD?

    Yes, you can unscrew the back and add your own upgrades, like storage, RAM or wifi card.
    Aluminium 2.5″ SSD mounting frame required for mounting 2.5″ disk is not included if you do not order 2.5″ disk, but you can purchase it from our web store.

    Can I install a different OS on my Librem laptop?

    While we are preloading PureOS which, alongside Parabola, Trisquel and few others, is the strictest of GNU/Linux distributions—we strip all binary blobs from the Linux kernel—you can easily install any less strict up-to-date GNU/Linux distribution, such as Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu. You can even install them alongside PureOS, and simply choose what OS to run from the boot screen.

    We have not tried installing a non-GNU/Linux-based operating system, but the Librem is your computer, so you can do with it whatever you wish, even if that includes installing non-free Windows or other operating systems. We obviously don’t recommend this, but it is your computer to do what you wish with it.

    Do Librem laptops come with disk encrypting software by default?

    Yes, with full disk encryption provided by our OEM system setup (PureOS). The first time you start your Librem laptop, you will have to setup the disk encryption passphrase. See here for the full setup procedure.

    What mystery code, or binary blobs remain with Purism laptops? Is there any concern with them?

    Security is a game of depth, and Purism goes deeper than any manufacturer by avoiding blobs or mystery code in the top 4 layers of a computer: applications, operating system, kernel, and bootloader.

    At the firmware level, we utilize Coreboot instead of a proprietary BIOS/UEFI, a huge advancement for current high-end laptops. Within coreboot there are still some binaries though.


    We are “as close to free software foundations respects your freedom as possible with current Intel CPUs” but are spending real money to advance that toward complete binary freedom.

    Librem One

    What platforms are supported?

    You can use Librem One services on any desktop, mobile or embedded platform with compatible software.

    Native apps for Android are available on the Google Play Store and F-Droid. Native apps for iOS are available on the Apple App Store. Native apps for Librem hardware (including the Librem 5) are coming to the PureOS store soon.

    You can also set up third-party software on any platform, including GNU/Linux, *BSD, macOS and Windows. Please refer to our documentation for details.

    If you need to pick a client for your platform, the following guides and lists will help:

    Why do I need to pay?

    We are changing the landscape of digital rights, which includes changing the business model from the previous exploitative zero-price for all-your-data, to a nominal-price to retain your digital rights, data, and privacy.

    Can I get a free Librem One account?

    Since not everybody can afford to pay, we do offer a free Librem One Basic account if you agree to strictly avoid products and services from big-tech that exploit you, lock you in, and control your data. If you agree to that, select the FREE option for Librem One Basic: Social + Chat service, and you can get a free account as a gesture of gratitude from Purism, SPC.

    Can I communicate with people on other services?

    Yes! Librem One uses open standards, free software, and decentralized protocols for all our services; similar to email, you can communicate to anybody using the same protocols for chat, email, and social, this allows you to communicate across different domains.

    Can I buy this for my friend or family?

    Yes, you can buy an individual account or a Family Pack, and then download the bundle and have the persons sign-in using the account you created.

    Can I get Librem One integrated into PureOS on phone or laptops?

    Currently you will install and setup the applications individually, in the future you will be able to just sign-up and then log-in during initial product setup and have all the services available by default.

    I live in a different country, can I buy and use Librem One?

    Yes, we accept many forms of payment and even offer a free basic service, Librem One has no restrictions on geolocation or country, if your country has rules or regulations that limit service it is not due to Librem One restrictions.

    Can legal requests from authorities access my data?

    Public data (Librem Social) is publicly visible to everybody. Private data (Librem Chat, Mail and Tunnel) is end-to-end encrypted and only visible to you and the intended recipient(s). If something is not Public and not Private, it is Temporary and is removed within 30 days (this includes unencrypted direct messages and unencrypted email). Any valid legal request for data (including so-called metadata) will be complied with. To learn more about your rights and seek legal representation, read our Stay Safe guide.

    How much data can I store?

    Basic tier users have a 1 GiB storage quota across all services. Complete tier users have a 2 GiB quota. If you exceed your quota, your oldest messages/posts will be deleted, until you are within quota again.

    Can I purchase additional storage?

    Once Librem Files and Librem Backup are released, you will be able to opt-in to a pay-as-you-go storage plan.

    How much traffic can go through my tunnel?

    You can tunnel unlimited traffic from up to 10 devices.

    What are the upload limits of Chat, Social and Mail?

    Current upload limits are:

    • Chat: 10MB
    • Social: 10MB
    • Mail: 50MB
    What is the bulk email limit?

    Current limits set:

    • Number of outgoing emails per minute: 5
    • Total number of emails per day: 100
    • Number of recipients per single email: 50
    Why can’t my username contain special characters?

    Your username needs to be valid across multiple existing and future protocols and services. So we permit only the “lowest common denominator”. That means no dot, underscore, accents, non-roman letters or emoji is allowed.
    Note that most clients let you set your “display name” to anything you want.

    What characters are allowed in my passphrase?

    We restrict characters for string safety and other reasons, so it’s easiest to stick to alphanumeric characters. Longer passwords, even with reduced character classes, are better (more combinations) than shorter passwords with more complexity. If you are using a password generator rather than diceware, we recommend at least 12 alphanumeric characters for 71 bits of entropy. More is better!

    Why can’t I have a different username for Mail and Social?

    You can do this with two accounts. For example, register basic@librem.one for chat and social posts, and register complete@librem.one for mail and tunnel services.
    Multiple accounts also allow you to implement a separation of concerns. For example, you could have a business account, and a separate account when discussing a medical condition with your support network.
    To protect your privacy, we do not store a mapping between accounts, except in the case of family packs where one user is financially responsible for multiple accounts.

    Why can’t I use my recovery email?

    Our registration system currently does not allow one to use the same recovery email address for a Purism Shop account and a Librem One account. In order to create a Librem One account you need to use a recovery email address that is different from the one you have used to buy something at shop.puri.sm.

    Why doesn’t Librem Tunnel work?

    Please confirm that you have subscribed to a Complete or Family Pack account. Then visit your profile page to activate your tunnel connection. Once you have done this, your Librem Tunnel client will work.

    Why doesn’t Librem Mail work?

    Please confirm that you have subscribed to a Complete or Family Pack account.

    Why is my forwarded mail not working?

    Librem Mail uses a Sender Framework Policy (SPF) which basically says: “Do not allow mail from anything@librem.one if it does not originate from a Librem One mailserver”. So if you try to forward your @librem.one mail via alternative mail providers it will probably fail. The same will happen if you try to forward your personal mail to your librem.one mail using a mail service that uses SPF. The librem.one mailserver will see that your personal mail is forwarded by an unauthorized mail server and block the connection.
    Here’s a more extensive explanation of the problem (with possible solutions) for the tech savvy: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4408#section-9.3.

    How do I report illegal content?

    Any illegal content or illegal acts should be reported to the appropriate authorities who are equipped to handle it.

    How do I delete Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram and switch to Librem One?

    Each of these services, all owned by Facebook, has a different set of steps for deletion. To delete your Facebook account, see the Facebook or WikiHow guide.
    To delete your Instagram account see the Instagram or WikiHow guide.
    To delete your Whatsapp account, see the WhatsApp or WikiHow guide.
    Then sign up here!

    How do I delete Twitter and switch to Librem One?

    See the Twitter or WikiHow guide to delete your account.
    Then sign up here!

    How do I delete G+ and switch to Librem One?

    Google Plus consumer accounts shut down on April 2nd 2019. You can still check the Google or WikiHow guide to make sure your account is gone.
    Then sign up here!

    How do I delete Gmail and switch to Librem One?

    To delete your Gmail account, see the Google or WikiHow guide.
    Then sign up here!

    Can I send and receive encrypted mail on my Apple device?

    On the macOS desktop you can use Thunderbird to encrypt email with OpenPGP. Read the EFF’s how-to on PGP for macOS.
    There is no free software solution for OpenPGP on iOS today. You can still send and receive temporary messages from the Mail app. Native Librem Mail app for iOS is in our TODO list.

    How do I know you won’t become just like Big Tech and lock-me-in or spy-on-me?

    No, we are a Social Purpose Corporation, which means we are bound by our articles of incorporation that clearly state we cannot exploit people and that we must put doing social good over maximizing profit.

    Librem Phone

    Can I run Android apps?

    Not natively. But there is an isolation layer (aka “emulator”) that we successfully tested: Anbox. We do not officially support Anbox, however we worked on our software to allow Anbox to run smoothly on Librem 5. Also we can not commit to provide any support for Android apps themselves.

    How easy will it be for me to switch from Android or iOS to the Librem 5?

    For phone calls, email, web browsing, there will be no issues with switching, if you rely upon native applications that are not yet supported, you may need to use HTML5 applications (Social Media, News, Banking), or consider alternatives (e.g. Riot.im vs. Signal).

    Can I transfer my photos, files, downloads from Android or iOS to the Librem 5?

    Yes, you will be able to use the phone as a storage device, that can show up on your computer by just plugging in the USB cable and viewing the folders. This will allow you to import or export files, photos, documents, with ease. With the Librem 5 there is no proprietary software that locks your files into proprietary formats, allowing easy sharing of the content you want to share.

    Will I be able to communicate from my Librem 5 to other phones?

    Yes, you will be able to make regular unencrypted phone calls to any phone number. You will also be able to communicate securely by using the phone dialing application and messaging application, that can run on the Librem 5 phone, Android based phones, and iOS based phones, and any computing device.

    Will communicating from my Librem 5 to other phones compromise my privacy or security?

    The Librem 5 will be the most secure when communicating with another Librem 5 phone, communicating via an encrypted app on a Librem 5 to an Android or iOS encrypted app is the second best option available.

    Will my existing SIM card work? What countries and networks will be supported?

    The Librem 5 is an open network phone, not locked to any particular network.

    For the time being we only offer BroadMobi BM818 modem. Three variants are available, BM818-A1 (Americas), BM818-E1 (Europe), BM818-T1 (Asia, Australia, New Zealand).

    Here’s the detailed list of bands supported:

      BroadMobi BM818
    EGSM 900 MHz
    DCS 1800 MHz
    PCS 1900 MHz
    CDMA BC0 800 MHz
    HSPA+/WCDMAB1 2100 MHz
    B2 1900 MHz
    B3 1800 MHz
    B4 1700 MHz
    B5 850 MHz
    B8 900 MHz
    LTE-FDDB1 2100 MHz
    B2 1900 MHz
    B3 1800 MHz
    B4 1700 MHz
    B5 850 MHz
    B7 2600 MHz
    B8 900 MHz
    B12 700 MHz
    B13 700 MHz
    B17 700 MHz
    B20 800 MHz
    B25 1900 MHz
    B26 850 MHz
    B28 700 MHz
    B66 1700 MHz
    TDD-LTEB34 2000 MHz
    B38 2600 MHz
    B39 1900 MHz
    B40 2300 MHz
    B41 2500 MHz

    Using frequencycheck.com, you can find your carrier under your country to see which bands are supported by them. However, keep in mind that not all of these bands may be available in your area.

    To find out which LTE bands are available from cell towers in your area, you can look at cellmapper.net. Additionally, if you call your carrier they may tell you which LTE bands are available in your area but they also may not divulge this information.

    Note that some carriers do not allow devices on their networks unless devices are approved by themselves.

    Will I be able to use emergency services (e.g. 911 or 999)?

    Using the 3G/4G data+voice modem, the Librem 5 will work with most carriers; the carriers are the ones providing technological support for emergency services dialing.

    Are all hardware components running completely free software, with the source code available?

    Based on our testing: the CPU, GPU, Bootloader and all software will run free software, we are evaluating the WiFi and Bluetooth chips and their firmware, this is an area we have to evaluate, finalize, and test. The mobile baseband will most likely use ROM loaded firmware, but a free software kernel driver. We intend to invest time and money toward freeing any non-free firmware.

    Can I connect the Librem 5 phone to a monitor/keyboard/mouse?

    Yes, with a USB-C adapter in DP-alt-mode which has DisplayPort or HDMI out, and at least two USB ports you could connect a monitor, wired keyboard and mouse at the same time to your Librem Phone. The adapter can also charge the phone.

    Can the Librem 5 phone run Android?

    Quite likely, although we will not expend resources to test this.

    Can the Librem 5 phone run Microsoft Windows, Apple’s iOS, or OS/2…?

    Not likely, and we will not expend resources to test this.

    Will the phone receive updates after launch?

    Yes, all hardware Purism releases gets regular security and performance updates within PureOS.

    Will Twitter, Fandango, My Bank, etc. work on a Librem 5 phone?

    Yes, any web based app will work through the browser. Over time these sites will either use progressive web applications, or could have a native app.

    What apps will be available?

    PureOS on Librem 5 already has a lot of apps, as almost everything that can run on a desktop computer can be run on Librem 5 as well. However, just a number of them are really usable on a phone sized screen. Check PureOS wiki pages to see:

    The lists are constantly updated as more and more software is being adapted to scale nicely on phone.

    Will I be able to open word or excel documents sent via email?

    At delivery we do not plan to support the reader or renderer for these proprietary formats, but this is a top priority to solve after product delivery.

    Can I remove the battery and replace it?

    Yes, like all Purism products, the case itself will allow you to access the insides, and the battery will be modular and can be replaced with ease.

    Does Purism comply with CALEA requirements?

    No, because CALEA applies to US based telecommunications providers, not to Purism. If the user of a Librem 5 phone uses a carrier in the US with a traditional “phone number”, that carrier must comply with CALEA for phone calls, as the phone call is sent over the carrier’s connection. Pure Matrix-to-Matrix calls are outside of CALEA requirements (Matrix nor Purism are telecommunications service providers). If the call touches the PSTN is becomes the carrier’s responsibility to adhere to CALEA. Matrix is an encrypted VoIP/messaging protocol not a telco.

    Will the Librem 5 run coreboot and have the Intel ME neutralized?

    The Librem 5 is not Intel-based, it is based on an i.MX 8M chipset, so we don’t need coreboot nor the Management Engine. The chipset will be completely free software without any binaries whatsoever!

    Is Librem 5 vulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre?

    Since Librem 5 is based on an i.MX 8M chipset, it is not vulnerable to either Meltdown nor Spectre.

    Why don’t you build a free UI ontop of Mer (Sailfish OS)? Or resurrect Firefox OS? Or insert-name-here?

    Because we want to promote a pure and unified stack, not have a separate mobile OS with proprietary bits or a completely different middleware stack. We want to support the community efforts of GNOME, KDE and UBPorts, and allow for any GNU+Linux to work out-of-the-box providing mainline improvements that work not just on mobile but across the device spectrum. The Librem 5 is a new approach to use a regular Linux system and adopt it to mobile use-cases instead of creating a completely new system. We do not create a walled garden, instead we tear down these walls, creating an open utopia. A fully standards-based freedom-oriented system, based on Debian and many other upstream projects, has never been done before–we will be the first to seriously attempt this.
    You can also learn more about our position on GNOME and KDE further below in this FAQ.

    Will you be running GNOME, Plasma, or your own custom UI?

    We will be working with GNOME/GTK, KDE/Plasma and Ubuntu Touch communities, and have partnered with the foundations behind them for the middleware layer. PureOS currently is GNOME-based and look forward to working with GNOME as an upstream as well as GNOME’s OS and design-centric development model; however we will also test, support, and develop with KDE and the KDE community, and of course we will support Qt for application development.
    Learn more about the rationale behind this approach (part 1 and part 2).

    Will this be an “open hardware” design?

    Our intention is to have everything freed down to the schematic level, but have not cleared all design, patents, legal, and contractual details. We will continue to advance toward this goal as it aligns with our long-term beliefs.

    Will the phone have a fingerprint reader, or other biometric access?

    No, we will not be shipping with any biometric hardware, the reasons for this is because single access via biometrics does not prevent access to your phone the same way a security code or lock does. The US Supreme Court has alluded to biometric access not protecting you the same way that a security code from memory (a security code) does (e.g. You can say “no” to a passphrase, or security code, but you cannot say “no” to biometric (physical) information). So even if in future models of the Librem 5 phone we do include biometric hardware, we will be double-locking it with a security code, to have the best security story we can for users.

    To learn more about why biometric access is not good you can read this fine article here.

    Will the phone have dual SIM capability?

    Not the first model, but there is some room for implementing this in one of the future models.

    Will the phone have NFC technology?

    The first model of the phone (v1)—no. We wanted to have a metal case and that is already a challenge with the three other antenna systems that we have to support: Cellular, WiFi/BT and GNSS. NFC Antennas, likewise wireless charging, are pretty large. Last but not least they add another radio emitter which can cause additional EMC issues. This was left to be solved in the future models.

    Will the phone support hotspot tethering?

    The hardware will support this, the software to do so may require developer community effort or take some additional time to include.
    We are providing the hardware to do it, and will increment the software as we progress.

    Will the phone support 5G networks?

    Librem 5 has M.2 slot for a baseband module, so it is a potential for “upgrade” (with additional antennae upgrade). But at the moment only 4G modems are available.

    What are the phone specs?


    CPU: NXP® i.MX 8M Quad core Cortex A53, 64bit ARM @max 1.5GHz (auxiliary Cortex M4)
    GPU: Vivante GC7000Lite
    RAM: 3 GB
    Storage: 32 GB eMMC internal storage
    External Storage: microSD (2TB max)
    Screen: 5.7″ IPS TFT 720×1440


    Baseband: Broadmobi BM818 (see details); nanoSIM tray
    WLAN: SparkLAN WNFB-266AXI(BT): 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4GHz/5GHz
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.3
    GPS: TESEO LIV3 multiconstellation GNSS receiver (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, Galileo, BeiDou; SBAS)
    NFC: No


    DAC: Wolfson Media WM8962
    3.5mm jack: Yes (stereo out and mono microphone in)
    Loudspeaker: Yes
    FM Radio: No


    Battery: 4,500mAh, user-replaceable
    USB: USB C: USB 3.0 data, Power Delivery 2.0 (Dual-Role Port), video out (DisplayPort alt-mode 1.3)


    Buttons: Power, volume ± buttons
    Kill Switches 3 – WiFi, Cellular, Microphone/Cameras (all 3 will turn off GNSS)


    Accelerometer: “9-axis” by ST, LSM9DS1 (gyro, accel, magnetometer)
    Ambient light and proximity sensor: Yes (VCNL4040)


    Back Camera: 13 Mpx with flash LED
    Front Camera: 8 Mpx
    Notification LED: Yes (RGB LED with PWM control per color)
    Smartcard Reader: 3FF format smart cards (SIM card size)
    Haptic Motor: Yes

    Dimensions (W×H×T): 74×152×15 mm
    Weight: 262 g

    What is OpenPGP card?

    The OpenPGP card is a „smart card“ that is integrated with many OpenPGP functions.

    The purpose of the card is to place your GPG cryptographic keys on it, and they cannot be extracted from there (meaning no one can steal them), but you can use them to sign/encrypt emails, textual files, etc.

    Our Librem Key has an open PGP smart card integrated, for example.

    Ordering from Purism

    Can I buy my Librem with cash?

    Unfortunately, no. If you are worried about privacy, you can pay with bitcoin or monero.

    What forms of payment do you accept?
    1. Credit card (via Stripe)
    2. Cryptocurrencies (via Coinbase):
      • Bitcoin (BTC)
      • Ethereum (ETH)
      • USD Coin (USDC)
      • Dogecoin (DOGE)
      • Litecoin (LTC)
      • Dai (DAI)
      • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
      • ApeCoin (APE)
      • SHIBA INU (SHIB)
      • Tether (USDT)
      • Matic (MATIC) (via Polygon network)
      • USD Coin (USDC) (via Polygon network)
      • Wrapped Ether (ETH) (via Polygon network)
    3. Direct bank transfer

    We currently do not offer any payment plans.

    For subscriptions, like Librem One or AweSIM/SIMple, the only option available is Credit Card (via Stripe).

    If you need any assistance or alternative options for payment, email payments(at)puri.sm for assistance.

    I am having troubles with payment, what to do?

    Please note that for cryptocurrency or direct bank transfer it could take some time before we validate the payment.

    When paying with credit card, make sure you enter billing address that matches the address on your credit card info!

    If you want to change your payment option or you have issues with payments, send an email to payments department with your order number and/or payment details and await further instructions.

    In case you have other questions, send an email to support.

    You can review your order by loggin-in to our webshop interface and go to your Account page orders section.

    Are your products available in stores or online?

    Our products are available only on our online store.

    Do you ship worldwide?

    We ship world wide, except to countries that are subject of trade sanctions imposed by USA.

    International shipments may be subject to customs processing and additional charges. Purism is not responsible in any way to cover such costs. The customer is responsible for customs clearing/duties, and local taxation.

    Customs policies vary from country to country, therefore you should contact your local customs office for more information. When customs clearance procedures are required, it can cause delays in arrival.

    How are your products shipped?

    Continental USA: larger packages by FedEX Ground, smaller packages by USPS.
    World-wide: larger packages by DHL, smaller packages USPS Priority Mail International.

    NOTE: The above is just informative, we retain right to select other couriers based on our assessment or various factors that affect shipping.

    You can also pay for something faster, leave a note when ordering and contact support with your order number.

    On the day of shipping an automated email notification with tracking info will be sent to your email.

    What does “pre-order” mean?

    Pre-ordering means you are funding research and development of a product which is not available/manufactured yet. By pre-ordering a product you accept the following:

    • * This carries a certain risk that shipping will be delayed. We provide best effort estimates but there are a lot of external factors, unpredicted situations (like COVID-19 for example) that we could not predict.
    • * This carries a possibility that specs will be changed by the time product enters productions phase.
    • * You cannot withdraw funds once you invest/pre-order. Check our policies page.
    Can I get a refund on my order?

    No, not a cash refund, please read our Hardware Warranty section, our Return Policy and our general policies page and contact support if you have questions.

    Can I get a refund on my Librem 5 campaign order

    There was some confusion related to our Librem 5 refund policy, this FAQ should help clarify.

    Purism had an overwhelmingly successful crowdfunding campaign raising well over the $1.5M goal within days after launching. Like most campaigns, we continued to offer the opportunity to invest in the Librem 5, PureOS, and the creation of an alternative to Android/iOS from our website all while releasing our dev kit, early versions of the phone, and through the five iterations toward mass production. The purpose of the campaign and all pre-mass-production funds was to invest in free software for the benefit of the general public aligned with Purism’s Social Purpose, and we did that. The phone was a possible (but not a guaranteed) reward for participation in the campaign before holding stock.

    A small amount of early supporters assumed our previously published regular in-stock product refund policy applies to them. While we disagree with this position because the entire intent of early backing is to fund the research and development with the goal of product delivery, we do understand the source of the confusion and in a few instances agreed to honor a the refund requests which were approved by us in the past. Any refunds hurt the forward momentum of the project. Since then, we changed our refund policy for the Librem 5 project and our general product refund policy and do not accept any new refund requests. Refunds are not applicable to crowdfunding campaigns nor pre-orders related to them and therefore we view them as a rare exception. All the money raised during those campaigns was invested into component hardware to manufacture the phones and into free software development and the Linux ecosystem that we have developed and released, which is currently available for all and is widely used by the Linux community.

    We cannot withdraw money from the fully released software that has been published. This means that any Librem 5 refund requests that we have previously approved, will be funded by our other business in the future.

    As we currently have all liquid funds allocated to physical assets and to hardware we are unable to process any remaining previously approved refund requests at this time. However, we do offer two alternative options to those early supporters who requested refunds that we made the exception to approve:

    1. The Librem 5 phone, running PureOS (with all the latest investments and enhancements) which they have backed and we are now delivering.

    2. A store credit equal to the amount of their investment + 20% courtesy increase which allows an exchange for any other product at shop.puri.sm.

    We have your phone, and we will ship all the phones to those who have confirmed their mailing address, with the store credit available to the rest.

    We would like to apologize for any inconsistent messaging or any confusion around our refund practices.

    Crowdfunding innovations are an immense challenge and Purism has consistently delivered on revolutionary inventions, and we appreciate everyone who supports us. We will keep delivering products which are available to all and we firmly stand behind our values. We exist to fulfill our mission to create hardware, software, and services that respect people’s privacy, security, and freedom. We sincerely thank everyone who shares this journey with us.

    Can I purchase Librem 13 or Librem 15 laptop?

    Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops are sold out and discontinued.

    A successor to our Librem 13 line is the upcoming Librem 14.

    At the moment we are pointing potential Librem 15 customers to the Librem 14 as well, as we feel it hits a sweet spot between the Librem 13 and Librem 15. However we are also keeping track of customer demand for a larger alternative to the Librem 14 so if there are features the Librem 14 is missing for you, please let us know so we can factor it in as we consider future upgrades and future products.


    What is PureBoot?

    PureBoot is Purism’s secured boot process which combines a number of technologies. Physically, PureBoot requires TPM enabled Librem laptop with proper coreboot version (actually, it is possible to setup this on a Librem laptop without TPM, as well), and a Librem Key, Purism’s USB security token.

    With PureBoot you can easily verify if the your device software has been tampered with while you were not attending it, or during transit from Purism to you. Each time existing files in /boot change, Librem Key will warn you by flashing red light. This means that there may be some false positives if you upgrade your system, so you may want to check out best practices with PureBoot, compiled by our CSO.

    PureBoot also allow you to unlock your encrypted disk using your Librem Key (having to enter just your Key’s PIN).

    For more information and manuals please see PureBoot documentation.

    What are the various PureBoot options offered?

    When purchasing a Librem laptop, you have presented with several options for boot firmware (“BIOS”):

    • Default: PureBoot Basic:
    • PureBoot, configured in Basic mode. This is the simplest choice. If you have a Librem Key, you can disable Basic mode and configure PureBoot with your Librem Key at any time. You can also switch to coreboot+SeaBIOS, a traditional BIOS firmware, using Purism’s coreboot utility.

    • PureBoot Bundle:
    • Preconfigured PureBoot: Librem Key with factory-generated GPG key. The Librem Vault USB drive is used to store the public GPG key.

      For an explanation of PureBoot, please read through the PureBoot FAQ category. You can also see it in action.

    • PureBoot Bundle Plus:
    • The same as above, with the Librem Key shipped separately from the device. This means that a malicious person cannot have your laptop and your Librem Key at the same time, thus leveling up protection.

    • PureBoot Bundle Anti-Interdiction
    • The same as above, with additional measures to make any tampering attempts during transit obvious. We will initiate a secure line of communication with you (via encrypted email or chatroom) in order to arrange this. Note that this option may delay shipping of your laptop for a few days. See anti-interdiction services announcement for more info.

    Can I use PureBoot setup with other operating systems?

    Yes, they need to have /boot partition unencrypted.

    What is Librem Vault USB drive?

    It is a plain USB flash drive, gold coloured, with Librem Vault label on it, that is used to store your Librem Key’s public GPG key (textual file with .asc extension). Librem Vault drive is required for certain operations with PureBoot, like OEM factory reset of the PureBoot.

    Technical & Advanced

    Are current Librem products vulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre?

    No, these vulnerabilities are patched in our coreboot/PureBoot firmware and as future Intel vulnerabilities in that family happen, that’s where we end up applying patches. So Librem laptops, Librem server, and Librem Mini are protected on coreboot level, no matter which OS you are using. Just make sure you are always on latest coreboot/PureBoot version.

    Are current Librem products vulnerable to Intel CSME?

    No, Librem laptops, Librem server and Librem Mini are not vulnerable.

    Do Librem devices use non-ECC RAM or ECC RAM?

    Non-ECC. Because ECC RAM takes modifying the motherboard in addition to selecting a CPU that supports ECC.

    What is TPM and do I need it?

    TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is a special chip on a Librem laptop motherboard which provides some interesting security features. To best understand what it can do please read the following news articles from our blog, sorted by date:


    TPM is required for the PureBoot secure boot feature. All current models of Librem laptops are equipped with the TPM chip and are capable of utilizing PureBoot.

    Who is in control of the master key stored in the TPM chip?

    The user completely controls any keys that are stored in the TPM on our hardware. Traditional understanding that manufacturer is in control of the master key stored in TPM is not true for our hardware. We don’t use it that way.

    What is coreboot and why is it important?

    Coreboot is a free software (and open-source) replacement for proprietary BIOS. Librem laptops come with coreboot pre-installed. For more info about coreboot please read this tech page.

    What is the difference between libreboot and my Librem’s coreboot firmware?

    Libreboot is a downstream distribution (or fork) of coreboot which doesn’t allow non-free binaries (“blobs”), and only supports a small number of devices, the vast majority of which are over 10 years old. Libreboot also doesn’t “keep track” with coreboot; its most recent release is from mid-2016, whereas coreboot is updated regularly.

    Our coreboot firmware still has some blobs, as all modern Intel-based systems require them, but our our goal is to ship devices with blob-free coreboot. Since our devices are already working with completely free software, blob-free coreboot firmware would allow us to achieve FSF’s RYF certification for Librem laptops.

    Our coreboot currently contains the following blobs:

    * video initialization blob (VBIOS) — we’ve already made some progress on this front, and our next coreboot version might be shipped without it.Done!
    * memory/silicon initialization blob (FSP) — there are some rumors Intel might release source code for this, so our work on this is currently on hold.
    * CPU microcode updates — microcode updates are uploaded to the CPU at boot time, which patch the built-in microcode and disables buggy parts of the CPU to improve reliability. In the past, these updates were handled by the operating system kernel, but on all recent Intel systems the system firmware is required to perform this task (though it can still be updated by the kernel after the fact).
    * Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware — we disable and effectively neutralize this blob by removing most of its code and setting flags to disable the ME coprocessor at boot time.

    Can I buy a Librem laptop with a proprietary BIOS/UEFI?

    No. We ship with the free software firmware coreboot. We don’t ship Librem 13 or Librem 15 with any proprietary BIOS/UEFI.

    How much is your coreboot fork different from the mainline code?

    Most of our changes have been upstreamed and merged, there is very little difference and it’s mostly just for the most recent patches that we haven’t yet pushed.

    What is Intel Management Engine and what are concerns with it regarding Librem laptops?

    The Intel Management Engine (ME) is a separate independent processor core that is actually embedded inside the Multichip Package (MCP) on Intel CPUs. It operates all-by-itself and separate from the main processor, the BIOS, and the Operating system (OS), but it does interact with the BIOS and OS kernel. It is a black box of mystery code at the lowest level, in ring -2, with complete control over every part of the system, and therefore presents a serious threat to your security and privacy, as it could be possibly exploited by a remote attacker to gain full access to your system. It is present on every post-2008 Intel CPU system.

    Purism actively avoids this technology and even both disables and neutralizes it on a firmware level, thus minimizing or removing the threat entirely.

    Does Qubes OS run on Librem hardware?

    If you would like to try Qubes OS, you may purchase the installer on a USB Flash Drive. This option is an installer only, not a LiveUSB, and is only recommended for advanced users with strong technical knowledge. Most users should stick with our default operating system, PureOS.

    We also now offer Qubes OS pre-installed on our Librem devices. It will not run on Librem smartphones — Qubes OS requires virtualization on the CPU and there is no port for ARM architectures.

    While we support Qubes on our hardware, please direct all general-purpose support questions pertaining to Qubes OS to the Qubes community.


    Can I have your motherboard schematics?

    We cannot share the schematics nor design currently because it is copyright encumbered from Intel reference designs. In the future, on future versions we plan to be able to release those.

    Are you looking to offer a AMD-Radeon/Ryzen-Vega or nVidia GPU option for laptops in the near future?

    No, this hardware requires proprietary firmware to even function, therefore not aligned with our philosophy. However, we are monitoring the development and will consider them if something changes in the future.

    What are your plans for tamper-proofing the Librem 5?

    We hope to have a version of PureBoot available for the Librem 5 for users who want to verify it with a Librem Key. We cannot commit to it being available at launch but it’s a goal.

    What is the difference between various storage options you offer?

    Librem laptops support two types of storage form factor: standard 2.5″ size and newer M.2.

    Standard 2.5″ slot supports SATA interface, disks are mostly cheap and available in larger capacities. For Librem laptops they require aluminum frame which holds them in place. Maximum disk height that will fit in Librem is 10mm.

    M.2 supports SATA and PCIe interfaces. Both SATA and PCIe M.2 are very similar from the outside: they are smaller, compact and easier to install, compared to 2.5″ disks. To install one in a Librem laptop you only need one screw. Librem laptops support B+M and M keyed 2280 sized disks (the sockets themselves are M keyed).

    What is the difference between SATA and PCIe M.2 disks?

    SATA M.2 disks do not offer speed improvements over 2.5″ SATA SSD disks.
    PCIe M.2 disks using NVMe interface offer quite the speed improvement compared to SATA M.2 or standard 2.5″ disk.

    For M.2 Purism offers:
    * SATA disks (sequential read/write speeds: up to 550/520 MB/s)
    * NVMe disks (sequential read/write speeds: max 3,200/1,900 MB/s)
    * NVMe PRO disks (sequential read/write speeds: max 3,500/3,300 MB/s)

    What is the difference between various USB flash drive options you offer?

    When ordering laptop or mini desktop you have option to select an USB memory flash drive to your order. They are 16 GB (5 Gbit/s max speed) and offer 3-in-1 USB port support: USB-C, USB-A and mini-USB. You can also order separately from a dedicated shop page: https://shop.puri.sm/shop/usb-flash-drive/.

    However we do not ship them empty—they come with a bootable system, meaning you can boot a system from them. You can select from following options:

    * PureOS OEM → OEM installer: it will boot into a working system from where you can start installer and pre-configure your computer for PureOS, so that when you first time start the computer you will have to complete initial setup.
    * PureOS live → a “live” system: it will boot into a working system, you can use it just like a usual PureOS system, but instead it runs completely from the USB flash drive (and does not write to your internal hard disks). From the “live” session you can start system installer if you like and install (or re-install) PureOS to your internal hard disk drives.
    * Qubes OS → Qubes OS installer: it will start Qubes OS system install procedure so that you can install Qubes OS on your computer. Qubes OS is not developed by Purism, so refer to Qubes OS documentation if you need help installing (or using) this operating system.

    NOTE: In any case you can simply format the USB flash drive and use it as a portable USB storage device (Purism branded).

    What are encryption details for your hardware/software?

    Software encryption

    LUKS software disk encryption with standard setup (cipher: aes-xts-plain64, size: 256) is used.

    Librem 14, Librem Mini and Librem servers come with PureOS with OEM setup, which pre-encrypts the disk but allows customer to set up their own disk encryption password. Boot partition is not encrypted but it can be verified with Librem Key (see PureBoot).

    Librem 5 also comes with internal encryption.

    Find out more about LUKS: reference implementation project home, specification, documentation.

    Whitepapers: 1, 2, 3.

    Secure boot

    We are using PureBoot.


    Librem Chat is using Matrix communication protocol, for FAQ, specification and reference implementation details check out their website.

    Librem Tunnel utilizes OpenVPN.

    Why there are no hardware kill-switches for speakers?

    There is a concern that a malicious hacker, if they gain access to your device, could re-purpose speakers to act as a crude microphone, thus circumvent microphone hardware kill-switch found on Librem Laptops and Librem Phone.

    This is not concern with Librem devices.

    In Librem Laptops: the speakers are connected to an amplifier since the codec itself can not drive a speaker. The amp will for sure not work backwards as an input amplifier, quite the contrary.

    In Librem Phone: The codec in the phone uses DACs to drive the speakers, and they can not be re-tasked as audio inputs.