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In 2017, Purism officially started crowdfunding the Librem 5, with interested customer becoming backers and pledging money in return for a device in one of the shipping batches later on. Purism began sourcing components and working to make its PureOS privacy-centric operating system work well on a mobile form factor.
To that end, they developed the Phosh mobile user interface to better scale a Linux distro down to a phone screen. They also developed their own suite of apps (an SMS app, a dialer, and others) to make PureOS phone-ready. Other Linux phone distributions have now benefited greatly from the work Purism has put into developing the Librem 5 and PureOS.
The Librem 5 was an anomaly in the smartphone space on launch because of its unique take on privacy, offering the user full control. For example, there are killswitches controlling these parts of the device:
The Librem 5 has some of the following technical specifications:
The Purism Librem 5 is finally shipping! We will keep up to date news articles on the News section of this site, so that you can keep up with some of the latest developments in Librem 5.