FAQ

As the community grows within our Matrix Chat Rooms, we do encounter some repeated questions. Rather than answer them repeatedly or ask the community member to search past logs for their answer, we aim to answer those common questions here.

Of course, if the question you have is not answered here or you would like some clarity on an issue, please reach out in the relevant chat room.

Software


When will the dev kits ship?

December 2018.

External factors have caused our development board schedule to adjust to accommodate manufacturing scheduling. While developing the schematic for the development board, additional investigations were needed on various components (e.g. cameras, WLAN+BT, batteries, switches, push buttons, etc), and circuits needed to be added before the schematic was considered ready for review by manufacturing. The Librem 5 hardware team has done all of these required tasks and are in the process of ordering parts to be sent to the manufacturer of the boards.

What CPU will the Librem 5 use and why?

The i.MX flavor of CPUs were chosen after testing various CPU/GPU combinations for their ability to deliver on our freedom requirements.

The CPU in the dev kit and Librem 5 will be the i.MX8M Quad. It contains 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores using the the ARMv8-A instruction set. The i.MX8M also features one Cortex-M4F core.

What graphics does the i.MX8 CPU use?

The i.MX8 CPU will use the Vivante GC7000Lite GPU.

Does the Vivante GPU need a proprietary driver?

No, we use the reverse engineered Etnaviv driver.

What is the resoluton of the built in display?

The screen resolution will be 720x1440 on a 5.7” screen. (There are more details on our Phone Constraints page.)

Having 720x1440 pixels within a 5.7” screen has the benefits of clear pictures and 2:1 square pixel ratio. Also, higher resolutions would have a higher heat dissipation and increased power usage since more pixels need to be moved around so we are purposefully reducing the heat dissipation and power consumption.

Can the USB-C connector drive an external display?

Yes, the built-in display of the Librem 5 will be able to run alongside one other external display, via the USB-C connector (either HDMI Alt Mode or Display Port Alt Mode - TBD). However, the dev kits will have a separate HDMI port.

The USB-Cs capable of driving more than one external screen are likely to use something like Thunderbolt - the Librem 5 USB-C connector will not support Thunderbolt.

I want to port X app to the Librem 5. How do I do that?

Please take a look at our Application Development page.

I want to help in some way but don’t know where to start.

Start by getting familiar with the environment. We currently build x86_64 VMs that has the same software environment as the development images we build for the development boards. This is to enable folks that do not have a physical board. You can read more about how to set that up in this section.

Once you have an environment running, you can have a look at this list of tasks the team needs help with. If you find something that you’d like to sign up for, then look at our contributing guide for guidance on the process of claiming a task.