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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.

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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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 12 > The Linux smartphone is back: Purism Librem 5 developer kit now shipping
Codrut Nistor, 2018-12-19 (Update: 2018-12-19)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.