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Librem is a line of computers manufactured by Purism, SPC featuring free (libre) software.[1][2] The laptop line is designed to protect privacy and freedom by providing no non-free (proprietary) software in the operating system or kernel,[3][4][5][6] avoiding the Intel Active Management Technology,[7] and gradually freeing and securing firmware.[8][9] Librem laptops feature hardware kill switches for the microphone, webcam, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.[1][2]



Librem 15 and 13 laptopsEdit

In 2014 Purism launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply to fund the creation and production of the Librem 15 laptop,[10] conceived as a modern alternative to existing free-hardware laptops, all of which used older hardware.[11][12][13] The 15 in the name refers to its 15-inch screen size. The campaign succeeded after extending the original campaign,[14][15] and the laptops were shipped to backers.[16] In a second revision of the laptop, hardware kill switches for the camera, microphone, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth were added.

After the successful launch of the Librem 15, Purism created another campaign on Crowd Supply for a 13-inch laptop called the Librem 13,[17] which also came with hardware kill switches similar to those on the Librem 15v2.[18] The campaign was again successful and the laptops were shipped to customers.[19]

As of March 2018, Purism had two laptop models in production, the Librem 15 (version 3[citation needed]) and Librem 13 (version 2[citation needed]).[2] Purism had already announced in December 2016 it would be preparing to move from a build to order production approach to a "ship from inventory" model with the new batches of Librem 15 and 13.[20]

Librem 11 tabletEdit

A convertible tablet-to-laptop model, the Librem 11, was under development as of March 2018.[2][21] Purism Chief Executive Officer, Todd Weaver, stated that work on the Librem 11 would continue after the planned 2019 release of the Librem 5 smartphone.[citation needed]

Librem 5 smartphoneEdit

The under-development Phosh UI

In 2017, Purism started a crowdfunding campaign for Librem 5, a smartphone aimed not only to run purely on the free software provided in PureOS, but to "[focus] on security by design and privacy protection by default". Purism claimed that the phone would become "the world's first ever IP-native mobile handset, using end-to-end encrypted decentralized communication."[22] Purism cooperated with KDE and GNOME in its development of Librem 5.[23]

Plans for security on the Librem 5 include separation of the CPU from the baseband processor, which, according to Linux Magazine, would make Librem 5 unique in comparison to other mobile phones.[23] Hardware kill switches for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication and the phone's camera, microphone, and baseband processor are also planned.[23]

The default operating system planned for Librem 5 is Purism's PureOS, a Debian GNU/Linux derivative, with a choice of either GNOME or KDE Plasma Mobile as the desktop environments.[23] Ubuntu Touch is also planned as a standard option for the operating system of Librem 5.[24]

Purism announced on 4 September 2018 that the launch date of Librem 5 would be April 2019, later than initially planned, because of two hardware bugs and the Europe/North America holiday season.[25] The two "silicon bugs" in components provided by NXP Semiconductors caused extreme battery draining, discharging the phone in about an hour. Development kits for software developers were planned for release in October 2018, mostly unaffected by the bug, since developers would normally connect the device to a mains power outlet rather than rely on the phone battery.[25] Finally, the launch date had been postponed to the next trimester because of the necessity of further CPU tests.[26]

The Librem 5 will have a 5.5 to 5.7 inch screen at 720x1440 resolution. It will also have a user replaceable battery and a 3.5mm standard headphone jack. It will also have a smart card reader, USB C port, MicroSD slot, SIM card slot, front/back camera, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and loudspeaker. the Processor is NXP's i.MX 8M Quad.

The operating system uses a GTK-compliant user interface called Phosh.[27]

Librem KeyEdit

Announced on 20 September 2018,[28] the Librem Key is a hardware USB security token with multiple features, including integration with a tamper-evident Heads BIOS, that ensures a Librem laptop BIOS was not maliciously altered since the last laptop launch. Also a one-time password storage with 3x HOTP (RFC 4226) and 15 x TOTP (RFC 6238) and a integrated password manager (16 entries), 40 kbit/s true random number generator, and a tamper-resistant smart card. The key supports type A USB 2.0, has dimensions of 48 x 19 x 7 mm, and weights 6 g.[29]

Operating systemEdit

Initially planning to preload its Librem laptops with the Trisquel operating system,[30][31] Purism eventually moved off the Trisquel platform to rebase onto Debian for the 2.0 release of its PureOS Linux operating system.[32] As an alternative to PureOS, Librem laptops were originally announced as purchasable with Qubes preloaded,[33] but in July, 2017 Librem announced that Qubes was no longer an option for new orders.[34] In December 2017 the Free Software Foundation added PureOS to its list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions.[35][36]


In 2015, Purism began research to port the Librem 13 to coreboot[37][38][39] but the effort was initially stalled. By the end of the year, a coreboot developer completed an initial port of the Librem 13 and submitted it for review.[40] In December 2016, hardware enablement developer Youness Alaoui joined Purism and was tasked to complete the coreboot port for the original Librem 13 and prepare a port for the second revision of the device.[41] Since summer 2017, new Librem laptops are shipped with coreboot as their standard BIOS, while some older models can be updated.[42]


  1. ^ a b Miller, Paul; Krales, Amelia Holowaty (2017-08-23). "Librem 13 laptop review: physical security for the paranoid". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  2. ^ a b c d Wallen, Jack (2018-03-26). "Purism Librem 13 review: This Linux-based laptop takes your privacy to the next level". TechRepublic. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  3. ^ Kyle Rankin. "Purism Librem 15 Review". Linux Journal. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  4. ^ IEEE Consumer Electronics, Vol 5, Number 1, 2016 January, "Veillance Integrity by Design A new mantra for CE devices and services", pp. 33-143, By Steve Mann
  5. ^ Purism Aims To Build A Philosophically Pure Laptop, TechCrunch, Jan 23, 2015 by John Biggs (@johnbiggs)
  6. ^ Bridgwater, Adrian (2015-01-26). "Purism Librem: 100% open source crowdsourced 'high-end' laptop". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  7. ^ Armasu, Lucian (2016-08-29). "Purism Explains Why It Avoids Intel's AMT And Networking Cards For Its Privacy-Focused 'Librem' Notebooks". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  8. ^ Ung, Gordon. "Purism discovered how to make open-source software laptops even more open". PCWorld. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  9. ^ Armasu, Lucian (2017-04-12). "Purism Laptops To Use 'Heads' Firmware To Protect Against Rootkits, Tampering". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  10. ^ "Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  11. ^ "Purism Librem 15 | Linux Journal". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  12. ^ "Purism Aims To Build A Philosophically Pure Laptop". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  13. ^ "Purism Librem 15 Linux laptop blends high-end hardware with totally free software". PCWorld. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  14. ^ "Purism hopes to crowdfund a high-end, open source laptop - Liliputing". Liliputing. 2014-11-19. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  15. ^ "Purism's high-end, open software-stuffed Librem 15 laptop hits crowdfunding goal". PCWorld. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  16. ^ "Shipping Update". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  17. ^ "Librem 13: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  18. ^ "Purism Puts Physical Kill Switches on Latest Laptop". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  19. ^ "Purism Librem 13 Review | Linux Journal". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  20. ^ Weaver, Todd (2016-12-15). "Growing to Ship from Inventory in 2017". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  21. ^ Baldwin, Roberto (2016-05-19). "Purism expands its line of privacy-focused devices to include a 2-in-1". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  22. ^ Holwerda, Thom (2017-08-24). "Librem 5: a security and privacy focused GNU/Linux smartphone". OSNews. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  23. ^ a b c d Byfield, Bruce (2018). "Librem 5 and the Challenge of the Free Phone". Linux Magazine. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  24. ^ Verma, Ardash (2018-04-25). "Open Source Smartphone Librem 5 Will Officially Support Ubuntu Touch". Fossbytes. Archived from the original on 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  25. ^ a b Faerber, Nicole (2018-09-04). "Progress update from the Librem 5 hardware department". Purism, SPC. Archived from the original on 2018-10-13. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
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  28. ^ "Introducing the Librem Key – Purism". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  29. ^ "Librem Key – Purism". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  30. ^ Linder, Brad (2014-11-19). "Purism hopes to crowdfund a high-end, open source laptop". Liliputing. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  31. ^ Rahl, Jon (2015-05-17). "Production and Shipping Update". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  32. ^ Weaver, Todd (2015-09-18). "Weekly Update on Librem Production 2015-09-18". Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  33. ^ Porup, J. M. (2015-12-14). "Qubes OS will ship pre-installed on Purism's security-focused Librem 13 laptop". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  34. ^ "A shipping update for Qubes-related orders – Purism". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  35. ^ "FSF adds PureOS to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  36. ^ "OpenNews: Фонд СПО признал PureOS полностью свободным дистрибутивом". Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  37. ^ Moberg, Larry (2015-07-20). "Freeing the BIOS: Memory Init". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  38. ^ Moberg, Larry (2015-08-14). "2015-08-14: Librem 13: Weekly BIOS Progress Update". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  39. ^ Moberg, Larry (2015-08-21). "2015-08-21 Librem 13: Weekly BIOS Progress Update". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  40. ^ Laurie, Duncan (2015-12-22). "Gerrit Code Review". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  41. ^ Alaoui, Youness (2017-01-05). "Diving back into coreboot development". Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  42. ^ "Downloading and installing coreboot on Purism Librem devices – Purism". Retrieved 2018-04-02.