Tag: Contributions / giving back

Meet the development team at the 2017 Debian Conference

We are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring and attending the 2017 Debian conference from August 1st to August 12 in Montréal, Canada. As PureOS is a derivative of Debian and various members of the team come from the Debian community, it is with great pleasure that we will support this event.

Many Purism team members will be present, including Zlatan Todorić (our CTO and an official Debian developer) with Matthias “Ximion” Klumpp, Jonas Smedegaard (Debian Developer) and Chris Lamb (current Debian Project Leader) for the full duration of the event, including the workshops (“Debcamp”) and core conference days.

Purism CEO Todd Weaver will also be attending from August 4th to August 8th.

On the “Open Day” on Saturday August 5th, we will be showcasing a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes.

Participation in the Debian conference and “open day” is free and no registration is required. Come and say hi! See the important dates for more information.

Jeff will also be available in the days before and after the event, to handle any logistics needs, or to answer any business or press inquiries. Should you want to meet before or after the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Celebrate GNOME’s 20th anniversary with us at GUADEC 2017

We are proud to announce that we will be attending the GNOME flagship conference, GUADEC, from July 28th to 30th, and co-sponsoring GNOME’s 20th anniversary celebration event at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday the 29th.

The local GUADEC organizers make a beautiful parallel between the local heritage of Manchester and the bleeding edge technology we are all developing:

“We’ll be planning the future of computing in the same city where some early breakthroughs in computing were made. The world’s first stored-program computer was developed at the University of Manchester in the late 1940s and the Museum has a working replica in the Revolution Hall where we’ll be holding the event, along with other amazing exhibits from the city’s industrial legacy.” — GUADEC 2017 organizers

We’re happy to be contributing to the party event on Saturday—where there will be food, lively discussions, and much rejoicing!

You will also be able to see a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes on display there—not that they “belong in a museum”,  but we do think they are interesting enough to be exhibited in a venue that honors science and industry.

During the rest of the conference’s core days, we (Jeff, Matthias, François, Todd) will be roaming around the Manchester Metropolitan University’s “Brooks” building to discuss topics of interest with fellow contributors and old friends. We’re particularly interested in:

  • Mobile and touch graphical user interfaces and input handling (including multitouch, gestures, etc.)
  • Power optimization (for laptops, tablets and phones)
  • Sandboxing, privacy and security in general
  • OEM desktop environment, applications and contents customizability
  • Extensions robustness
  • Graphics performance
  • Apps and Package robustness and user experience
  • Firmware updates management

Purism advisory board member Matthew Garrett will also be attending.

Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet GNOME enthusiasts—whether veterans or newcomers—and to answer any questions attendees may have for us.

A shipping update for Qubes-related orders

In light of our shipping-from-inventory fulfillment model having recently begun and in order to answer questions we have been getting related to pre-loaded versions of Qubes OS, we would like to announce that we will be fulfilling Qubes-related pending orders made until now by offering the Qubes install as a complimentary USB key included at no additional charge in those shipments.

  • Orders made with Qubes OS as the chosen operating system are expected to be fulfilled using the USB key accessory within approximately two weeks. Although the technical method of delivery is different, the $100 licensing fee Purism pays to Qubes will still be honored, for all Qubes-related orders made until August 2nd, 2017.
  • Should you prefer to forego the USB key accessory (containing the latest publicly available Qubes OS installer), please contact ops@puri.sm to adjust your order, which will then begin shipment procedures immediately alongside PureOS-related orders.
  • We apologize for not being able to pre-load Qubes OS onto your machine’s main solid state storage drive, as we have been unable to obtain an automated OEM image (suitable for secure and efficient mass-preloading in our fulfillment center) through our existing agreement with the Qubes Project/Invisible Things Lab s.c.

The current “free Qubes installer USB key” offer will also remain valid for orders placed between today (July 4th) and August 2nd, 2017, at which point our agreement with Qubes shall no longer be in effect. After this date, we may, at our discretion and as a convenience option for customers, offer a USB key accessory containing either a customer-requested free operating system (subject to availability), or a blank USB key, for a minor fee covering the cost of materials and labor.

Some customers have asked us about the recent removal of the Librem 13 “v1” from the certified hardware page on Qubes website. While we were not notified in advance of this change to the contents of the Qubes website, we understand this de-listing to be due to the fact that the Librem 13 v1 is no longer being manufactured, as it has now been succeeded by the Librem 13 version 2 in 2017. The “version 2” has not been sent through the certification process.

Moreover, while our current and previous hardware has been found to work with Qubes OS, we currently no longer have plans to undergo the official certification process for the Librem 13 v2 nor Librem 15 v3. The costs involved, requiring a supplementary technical consulting contract with Qubes/ITL (as per their new Commercial Hardware Goals proposal document), are not financially justifiable for us.

We have no doubts that Qubes users will be able to independently report their successes with Qubes OS on the Librem laptops within the next few weeks.

We wish Qubes and Invisible Things Lab s.c. the best of luck in establishing commercial partnerships that match their new expectations.

Coreboot on the Librem 13 v2, part 1

Hello everyone! I am very happy to announce that the coreboot port to the Librem 13 v2 as well as the Librem 15 v3 is done! Wow, what an adventure! The entire thing took about 2 weeks of hard work, and an additional week of testing, fixing small issues that kept popping up, and cleaning up the code/commits.

It was truly an adventure, and I would have liked to stop and take the time to write 10 blog posts during that time, one for every major bump in the road or milestone, but I was under a strict deadline because we needed to finish the port before we started shipping the new Librem 13 v2 hardware (from now on referred to as ‘the v2’), so it could be shipping with coreboot pre-installed from day one. Now that the port is finished, I can finally start writing the first chapter in the story.

TL;DR: in the process of porting the Skylake-based Librem 13 v2 to coreboot, I have implemented a new debugging method (“flashconsole”) and added it to coreboot. It has been reviewed and merged upstream. Read more

Website and forums: Easier, Better, Faster, Stronger.

We are happy to announce that we have recently deployed our new forums, running Discourse! The provide a modern, pleasant-to-use dedicated discussion tool. We have tested them out with early adopters over the past few weeks, and they are a real joy to use. You can now participate too, at forums.puri.sm.

What’s special about Discourse? Besides the official list of features, you may want to read this seminal blog post where Jeff Atwood highlights the kind of thinking that went into its functional (and aesthetic) design, making it quite different compared to traditional forum software.

Our migration to a self-hosted Discourse instance brings many benefits:

  • Improving security by isolating the forums from the rest of our infrastructure;
  • Much better usability and user experience. The previous forums were cumbersome and frustrating to use, littered with bugs and limitations, and they just looked awful visually. The new ones are much more readable, and full of modern community-enhancing features. Using a forum should be fun, not boring or cumbersome, and I know that Discourse’s design actively encourages a sense of community and self-moderation, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results over time. We hope you’ll love the new discussion tools!
  • More flexible community management tools;
  • Better email notifications, and less noise (Discourse will not spam you with mail notifications if you’ve been recently active on the forums website);
  • Simplifying our main website’s daily management (previously, the forums actually interfered with the rest of the administration UI);
  • Better performance and resources usage.

Read more

A new boot splash for PureOS

A quick update about PureOS… from the design team this time! 😉

For the new version of PureOS (codenamed “Prometheus”), I am working with the developers to make a very smooth and pleasant user experience when installing and launching the system. We want to make sure that PureOS is not only secure, but also a beautiful and enjoyable experience, designed for everyone. No exceptions!

So, I am currently working hard on polishing the visuals. The video below shows an example of the animation that will now take place at boot time in PureOS.

Every new Librem ordered with PureOS pre-installed should ship with this beautiful PureOS update in the coming weeks (we’re working hard to make the PureOS release on time for factory installs!) If you already are using PureOS, a software update will also arrive soon for you.

If you like it so much that you can’t wait for it to be released with PureOS, or if you want to customize its look to make it yours, you can download the source files here.

The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete

Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue. Read on for details. Read more

Meet us at LibrePlanet 2017 from March 24th to March 26th

We are proud to announce that we will be attending and sponsoring the Free Software Foundation’s flagship conference, LibrePlanet, at the MIT on March 25-26th.

We will also be manning a booth there, where you can try out our Librem laptops and discuss latest advancements, including our completed port of the Librem 13 to coreboot. Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet old friends and new Free Software enthusiasts, veterans and newcomers, and to answer any questions attendees may have for us. We might also have a few surprises for our visitors.

Todd and Jeff will also be present in Cambridge/Boston on Friday, March 24th, for any business or press inquiries. Should you prefer to meet before the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Purism Devlog #3

Welcome to new devlog post. Many exciting news here, so lets dive into it step by step.

New infrastructure

In past we had many issues with failing repositories, an outdated archive, expired keys, sources changing too often… this is why we have now moved to new servers, with control from the ground up, and started building the new PureOS infrastructure (the whole Purism infrastructure also moved to new server). We are still improving and tweaking everything on a daily basis, but the foundation is there. New infrastructure is now mandated by DAK (Debian Archive Kit) and Laniakea (which is developed by Matthias Klumpp, aiming to make creating and maintaining Debian derivates easier for all).

Bug tracker

One of the most important aspects of every distribution is its users reporting bugs and submitting ideas. Now you can simply go to https://tracker.puri.sm/maniphest/ and report any issues as well as submit ideas. In the near future we plan to tweak the infra in such way that it becomes publicly visible even without registering an account (we spent our time building everything, so we haven’t been tweaking it yet).

The PureOS bug tracker
Example of what the PureOS bug tracker looks like

Code hosting

While our code is still spread out on GitHub and we’ll be mirroring it to our infrastructure in the beginning, we plan to eventually host all our work on our infrastructure by default. After all, our infrastructure is entirely Free software based (code auditable, anyone can contribute, etc.). The code will be in place at https://tracker.puri.sm/diffusion/ (only a small, non-updated portion lies there at the moment).

Wiki pages

A good OS needs good documentation pages. Good documentation needs a good community. We started building the foundation for that as well, and now need your help. Our wiki effort will be lead by our main support person, Mladen Pejakovic. Either contact him or send mails that you want to contribute to the wiki foundation of PureOS, to feedback@puri.sm or hr@puri.sm. The wiki is located at https://tracker.puri.sm/w/. You can also fire up your favorite IRC client (Polari, Hexchat or some web IRC client), connect to freenode (irc.freenode.net) and join our #purism channel to chat with us. We need our community to pull this all out, as the task we are setting needs combined effort of an entire community that cares.

PureOS 3.0 alpha release — codename “Prometheus”

prometheus-by-heinrich-fueger-cropped

With a new infrastructure comes new tasks, and the first and obvious is to improve our OS. We chose to start from ground zero and progress on it properly. We call this release an “alpha” as it is missing a few things (and we want people to test it) but its overall stability should actually be slightly higher compared to previous releases. Also, a great feature it gained is that now our images are “live”, meaning you can run them without installing on your drive! The download link is located at the usual place.

For those who don’t want try the new installation (although we would appreciate that, even if done in GNOME Boxes or other virtualization tools you use) and just want to update to it, here is what should be done in terminal:

wget http://repo.puri.sm/pureos/pool/main/p/pureos-archive-keyring/pureos-archive-keyring_2016.09_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i pureos-archive-keyring_2016.09_all.deb
sudo > /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo echo "deb http://repo.puri.sm/pureos/ green main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt install pureos-minimal pureos-standard pureos-desktop
sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade 

And voila, you’re there!

Now lets talk what is in there, what is missing and what can you do.

PureOS 3.0 Prometheus aims to be the best release we ever made, and we want it to be the release with the most community engagement ever (this is why we deployed our awesome now infrastructure foundation above!)

With that in mind, we want to see of course your code and ideas of what do you want to see in the default installation, but we also want artwork! A lot of artwork. We are opening a contest for wallpapers. The rules are simple: create a piece of artwork (it can even be an old photo you took at some point in time) that inspires you, reminds you of freedom and/or has the Prometheus idea floating around, combined with some Free license (GPLv3 for example). Prometheus gave to humans fire (a.k.a. knowledge) which made humans free. We are giving you the OS which we hope will empower you to make your dreams true and form the best community around it. Also, if anyone feels inspired and wants to challenge their skills, please do a plymouth theme (here is inspiration).

GNOME Software is in there but we still need to build our Appstream machine, so it’s currently missing data (the Synaptic package manager is not ported to Wayland yet, so the good old terminal will be your friend for next couple of days—or just pick “GNOME on Xorg” at the login screen 🙂 )

Wayland logo

PureOS 3.0 alpha will be shipping with Wayland by default (you can simply choose your session on login screen by pressing the gear button and choosing which one you want). Wayland is such a huge step forward in many ways, to provide a beautiful tearing-free desktop experience but also to build future security. To get why this is important, watch this video. We are proud to push this last bit forward as we feel comfortable that our hardware will play nicely with GNOME and Wayland. Notice there are some quirks with Wayland (some missing legacy icons, global menu loading 15-30 seconds before it becomes usable, some pointer issues) but most of them we will clear out in the near future while bravely going towards the final release of PureOS 3.0.

Here are some known issues (nothing that affects stability):

  • The default wallpaper is still the old one, and while we have new artwork done, we still didn’t integrate it as we want your wallpapers in as well.
  • You will miss our patched kernel which provides somewhat better touchpad functionality compared to stock kernel, but we will push that in soon: you will be able to find it in a package update; we hope to eventually provide fully automated builds that you can test early.
  • About the touchpad, we plan one more quick snapshot in coming days to fix few things and, after that, allow one developer to focus full-time on making it work better.

FSF distribution endorsement

This is something PureOS is aiming for. What does this endorsement mean? It means that we provide and support only Free software by GNU standards. While PureOS is not meant only for our hardware, we must advise people who will try it on other hardware that you may encounter some issues, for example WiFi might not work if your hardware requires a proprietary firmware. Also, in the future we will optimize the default image towards our hardware (so AMD and nVidia drivers would be missing from default images, as we currently only use Intel ones—unless AMD or nVidia start providing an entirely free/libre and open source stack to run their cards efficiently). To the endorsement and beyond!

Purist services

While we focused most of our energy towards building infrastructure for PureOS, we also gain one notable feature very important for future of Purist services usage: keysafe. Joey created this to make it easy for all our users, as services will use GPG keys in some form—and we all know how hard that can be to use, for many reasons. Not only we built such a feature, Joey also deployed it as the standard for our servers already (check here for requirements and path to our server). We will also move the Purist Services roadmap to the PureOS bug tracker (or make it visible at some place so people can hop in to contribute).

Community

Our systems administrators are volunteers. They believe in what we do and dedicate some portion of their time to our cause. We mentioned this many times, but  we really want the community integrated inside the company, not to become just another commercial entity. We care for our community and we would love you in. Head towards anything you want to help with (you can see how much we trust community that they take care of our critical infrastructure) and please do chat with us. To show appreciation for their entire effort we sent Librems to our sysadmins and one of them even responded with a great tale that made us laugh (sadly we can’t share it here). Yes, we love fun stories (we want even to integrate some humor into all our products so feel free to suggest something “spicy”). We lived entirely of community donations (in form of purchasing our hardware) and although we started searching for some investments to speed up our development, we still trust that the community will stay the biggest backbone of our progress.

Developers

You can jump straight into coding for PureOS. Probably the only missing bit is Developer Guidelines, and we plan that write those soon. Besides technical aspects (how to do proper packaging) we will also make some guidelines about look & feel. For example, it would be awesome to have beautiful GUI app for creating, editing, maintaning GPG keys. It should work just as nicely as Etcher.

That would be all folks, we will try to update blog (not only technical part) more often, especially now that our website has new contents and a new look, improved in many ways thanks to the tireless efforts of our marketing guru Jeff (from the land of maple syrup)!