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The Linux smartphone is back: Purism Librem 5 developer kit now shipping

Librem 5 Developer Kit now shipping December 2018 (Source: Purism)
Librem 5 Developer Kit (Source: Purism)
Supporting both Purism's own PureOS Linux-based operating system and Ubuntu Touch, which is now being developed by the UBports team, the Librem 5 smartphone is supposed to hit first customers next year, in April. However, the first developer kits are already shipping to those who already placed orders.
Codrut Nistor,

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The Linux phone is not dead yet, although the Ubuntu Phone project has been buried a while ago. Purism's upcoming phone promises to deliver support for both the company's own PurismOS, but also for Ubuntu Touch, which has been picked up for further development by the UBports team last year, after Canonical abandoned it. Sriram Ramkrishna, Business and Community liaison for Prism, revealed yesterday that the first Librem 5 developer kits are on their way.

According to Sriram, the generic i.MX 6 boards — which were used for most demos that made it to the public so far — have been upgraded to the Purism i.MX 8M-based hardware. Since there is still a lot of work required to bring the whole project closer to its market-ready status, the backers who are receiving the kits will also get access to a Matrix channel. "This channel will be staffed by our engineering team who will be on hand to answer questions, work with the community on merge requests," but all those interested can send an email to [email protected] to gain access to the group. 

If everything goes well, the Purism Librem 5 security-focused, Linux-driven smartphone should be ready for the masses in April. The early-bird US$599 price for this handset will go up to US$699 on January 7. In the meantime, those interested should also check out Purism's special holiday bundles.

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Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - Senior Tech Writer - 5461 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
In my early school days, I hated writing and having to make up stories. A decade later, I started to enjoy it. Since then, I published a few offline articles and then I moved to the online space, where I contributed to major websites that are still present online as of 2021 such as Softpedia, Brothersoft, Download3000, but I also wrote for multiple blogs that have disappeared over the years. I've been riding with the Notebookcheck crew since 2013 and I am not planning to leave it anytime soon. In love with good mechanical keyboards, vinyl and tape sound, but also smartphones, streaming services, and digital art.
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Codrut Nistor, 2018-12-19 (Update: 2018-12-19)