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GNOME Linux

GNOME Partners With Purism On Librem 5 Linux-based Privacy-focused Smartphone (betanews.com) 100

BrianFagioli writes: The Librem 5 smartphone by Purism has a long and difficult road ahead of it. Competing against the likes of Apple and Google on the mobile market has proven to be a death sentence for many platforms -- including Microsoft with its failed Windows 10 Mobile. Luckily, Purism has found itself a new partner on this project -- one of the most important organizations in the Linux community -- The GNOME Foundation. The GNOME Foundation explains, 'The Librem 5 is a hardware platform the Foundation is interested in advancing as a GNOME/GTK phone device. The GNOME Foundation is committed to partnering with Purism to create hackfests, tools, emulators, and build awareness that surround moving GNOME/GTK onto the Librem 5 phone. As part of the collaboration, if the campaign is successful the GNOME Foundation plans to enhance GNOME shell and general performance of the system with Purism to enable features on the Librem 5.'
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GNOME Partners With Purism On Librem 5 Linux-based Privacy-focused Smartphone

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  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @01:28PM (#55232619) Homepage Journal

    With Gnome doing the UI it'll be so private that even the owner can't find his shit.

    Captcha: frosty

  • oh good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    because what I need gnome to do is pull a mozilla and half ass a phone for a few years
    that will suck up resources and put them behind on their core product
    which will then lose most market share and eventually die
    awesome

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hey man that's a good strategy. The quicker Gnome dies the better for the linux community. Gnome is a cancer, if pie in the sky smartphone projects brings about their demise it's all good.

    • Well hopefully they put more resources on it than Mozilla did, because Mozilla's still around and Firefox is OK (not great, just OK). I want to see Gnome die sooner rather than later. The death of Gnome would be a benefit to the cause of desktop Linux.

      • I don't prefer Gnome, but I don't hate it. I've used it as my DE, but changed it. I didn't find it all that bad.

        How is it harmful to Linux? I guess I'm not seeing why you'd say that. It's just one of many desktop environments that you can select. More choices are good, yes? Competition is good, yes?

        Oddly, even with modern hardware, I prefer LXDE. Still, I didn't find Gnome to be that bad.

        • Competition is fine. Domination by something sub-standard is not. That's why Gnome is harmful to Linux. I can't even recommend Linux in good conscience to anyone without being extremely specific about which sub-distro they should use, because if they pick a standard distro running Gnome, they're going to have an awful experience because Gnome is such a piece of shit and such a large departure from what they're used to.

          • Gnome definitely needs to die and get replaced with Cinnamon ASAP.

            • I'm not a big fan of Cinnamon either. I'd rather see KDE take over as the primary DE for Linux. But I think it'd be healthiest for the Linux ecosystem for Gnome to completely die, and all the alternatives to increase their share of the space, so that any incoming user has several very viable alternatives to choose from, rather than one that gets all the glory (undeservedly), while all the others seem to barely be afterthoughts and generally get poo-pooed.

              • I like KDE, but it just seems to be that they're trying to do way too much stuff, and it's affecting the quality and stability. It got a hell of a lot better with KDE 5, but it's still less than ideal.

                On the other hand, Cinnamon gets out of my way, which I appreciate.

                • Yeah, I do agree that KDE seems to be stretched too thin, and this was especially a problem in the 4.x cycle with all the crap they tried to throw in there. But in our ideal universe where Gnome dies, I think KDE would get some more developer time which would help with the quality and stability problems.

                  Gnome delenda est.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            That doesn't really explain why you think it's so bad. I may be missing something, but I don't find it all that terrible? What, specifically, am I missing? You've usually had good opinions in the past, so I respect your opinions. This is a serious question - I'm not sure why it's so harmful in your views, specifically.

            I use LXDE, so I presume I have bad taste. I don't even do it for the low resource usage, I do it because I like the features and the way it looks. It's pretty easy to customize and rather sta

            • I guess I didn't explain it well enough before: it's the utter domination of Linux by Gnome that I see as harmful, combined with the fact that I *do* find it all that terrible. I think it's a bloated, buggy, half-assed piece of crap that espouses minimalism on an OS where that shouldn't be needed (if you want minimalism, go buy a Mac; Linux is supposed to be an OS for hackers). Worst of all, customization is completely antithetical to the Gnome worldview: some disagree, and they try to make extensions (wh

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @01:43PM (#55232709)

    "Competing against the likes of Apple and Google on the mobile market has proven to be a death sentence for many platforms..."

    No, competing against the ignorant masses who no longer value privacy at all is exactly why this project will fail, especially when the first fucking thing your "privacy-focused" smartphone customers will ask is, "Where's the Facebook app?"

    Not only is privacy itself dead, but the demand for privacy is as well. Manufacturers need to wake up to this reality.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Not only is privacy itself dead, but the demand for privacy is as well. Manufacturers need to wake up to this reality.

      Behind 80% of all smartphones is now made by the biggest data mining company of them all, and most on /. seem to think Apple's walled garden is the greater enemy. To use an old saying, with friends like these who needs enemies...

      • Behind 80% of all smartphones is now made by the biggest data mining company of them all, and most on /. seem to think Apple's walled garden is the greater enemy.

        I haven't seen anyone making a "greater enemy" argument. You can diss iPhones for being so handcuffed without having to think there's nothing wrong with Android.

    • by Thad Boyd ( 880932 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @02:10PM (#55232881) Homepage

      It's quite clearly a product for a niche audience. Like desktop Linux. There's nothing wrong with that if you can find enough customers within that niche, but there's a definite chicken/egg problem there where most people don't want to give you money until your product is complete, tested, and stable, and you can't get a complete, tested, stable product without an existing market. It's extra daunting to know that even companies with the resources of MS and Canonical couldn't crack the market; smaller companies like Purism really have their work cut out for them.

      I think Canonical made a lot of serious mistakes in Ubuntu Touch, and that's a shame, because an alternative to Android and iOS would be nice. I tried installing Ubuntu Touch on my phone a few months back and I was really impressed with the interface and the depth and breadth of available packages, but, uh, it didn't work as a phone. Couldn't call, couldn't text, couldn't connect to my data network; asked for help on the UBports forums and never got a reply. So now I'm on LineageOS without Gapps; no Gapps means missing a lot of compatibility and functionality, but for the most part I haven't had too much trouble.

      • It's quite clearly a product for a niche audience. Like desktop Linux. There's nothing wrong with that if you can find enough customers within that niche, ... even companies with the resources of MS and Canonical couldn't crack the market; smaller companies like Purism really have their work cut out for them.

        I'm not very optimistic about Purism, but comparisons to MS I think are problematic. MS had some big problems with their efforts: 1) the biggest is that their reputation pretty much sucks, and their br

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          It's possible that for a phone Gnome would be allright. My main objection to it for a computer is that I want to have several widow using applications running at once. (Of course, if I actually tried to use it I might have more objections. It sure doesn't seem to have many fans.)

          • I use GNOME on my HTPC and I think it's a very good UI for that sort of environment (though I would hate using it on my primary desktop). I think it needs some tweaks to be workable on a phone, but it's more suitable for a phone paradigm than a desktop one, IMO.
          • by olau ( 314197 )

            GNOME's working fine.

            Alt-tab behaviour is still stupid by default and probably will stay that way for a while, but it's one configuration option away to fix it (or an extension, can't remember the details anymore).

            The rest works well. The launcher thing is especially nice - I hit the Windows key and type teCtrl+RET to get a terminal, for instance.

            Otherwise it's unobtrusive and stays out of the way.

  • 33% funded in 50% of time. But this will be better funded than ubuntu campaign
    • Yeah, I suspect that everyone who wanted to help fund it has already done so. They were pleased to announce rapidly getting partial funding, but that appears to have considerably slowed down.

      I'd love a real Linux based phone, so long as it was practical and realistic. This project seems like it is neither, though I've voiced that opinion before. So, I didn't fund it, nor will I. I suppose I could be talked into making a donation for such a product, but this is not that product. I'd be inclined to donate to

  • The only thing better than a new Linux phone would be one with a keyboard. I recently had to retire my N900 for a rooted Droid 4 and I'd like to get back to an actual GNU/Linux OS on a phone with a keyboard. Android feels too much like the bad old days of Windows.

  • Guaranteed to fail (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    People keep trying, like battering their heads against the walls of Jericho, but they will not unseat Google and Apple. The mobile world is utterly dominated by the first-mover advantage, and Google and Apple have a 10-year head start. That's before we even get into the pathetic quality of FOSS operating systems when it comes to UX design consistency and simplicity or even working out of the box, all of which are utterly indispensable in the mobile world. No one wants to use a terminal to unfuck their packa

    • Wish I had more mod points for you. I had a good chuckle at "No one wants to use a terminal to unfuck their packages on a tap-to-type keyboard."
    • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @04:02PM (#55233711)

      I don't care if anyone unseats iPhones and Androids. I'd be perfectly fine with an alternative that is never widely adopted.

      • I'd be perfectly fine with an alternative that is never widely adopted.

        This. Personally I *prefer* that. There may be less adoption but successful attacks on the phone would be nothing compared to iOS/Android.

        • This is exactly what I do, also. I use a Symbian phone (an Early Phillips Xenium) that simply doesn't have the ability to run "apps". It doesn't support bluetooth for anything but headsets (but I turn that off anyway). So yeah, like you, I go out of my way to be on an obscure platform nobody cares about. Guess what they did with the phone last time I went through customs? Handed it back saying "We can't read this." Inside I was playing a little violin for Big Brother and cheering for the phone.
          • "We can't read this" - Sorry if I'm a bit uneducated (I don't travel much) but what exactly does customs do with your phone when inspecting it?

            • I'm actually not sure at all. All I know is that, whatever it is they do, they couldn't do it to my ancient Phillips Xenium. I presume they steal your address book to see if you know any "terrorists" and probably try to crack/hack any apps like Telegram they believe might be a juicy pile of ISIS communique.
  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @02:01PM (#55232819)
    Last week it was announced that KDE's Plasma Mobile was partnering with Purism's phone pursuit. Six days later we read Gnome is partnering with Purism. So did the relationship not last or will the phone be like desktops were we pick the interface?
  • Wait. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thad Boyd ( 880932 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @02:02PM (#55232823) Homepage

    Wait, didn't they announce last week that they were going with Plasma?

    There's certainly nothing wrong with a device that will run either one as the user chooses (I've currently got KDE on my main desktop, GNOME on my HTPC, and XFCE on my laptop), but it seems like picking one to focus on to start with might be a good idea.

    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

      Doesn't KDE/Plasma have much of the UI/touch interface stuff in place from back when QT was owned by Nokia and Meego was based on it?

      If so, why isn't somebody making a tablet with a detachable keyboard instead of trying to compete with iOS and Android? That would at least be a unique category of device - and if they at least did the browser really well, it could find a niche much like Chromebooks did. Of course, now that Android apps are coming to Chromebooks...

  • Would anyone else would be happier with a simple Whisker Menu and an XFCE panel at the top? You'd drag your finger down from the top for the Whisker Menu and double tap the home button for application switching. Triple tap for a file manager. The important stuff could just be shortcuts on the "phonetop." Keyboard shortcuts as phone button shortcuts would be really awesome. Double tap volume for a terminal. I want to know what login/desktop manager (lightdm, gdm, etc.) they plan on using, if any. How is powe
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @02:03PM (#55232829)

    If it has GNOME on it, no thanks. I have yet to see any sane person to voluntarily choose GNOME for anything; this includes distributions.

    For the latter, you have Ubuntu. Most others merely used sort-of usable Gnome 2 then had it mutate into a monstrosity into then.

    In Debian, Joey Hess switched us to XFCE but then got overruled by a "rational choice" with a score sheet [debian.org] which looks just like a case of government procurement: requirements tailored towards a specific choice with scoring that's in some cases reversed compared to what anyone without an agenda would pick: for example, "systemd integration" gives +1 -- ie, a desktop environment that is universal and works with any init gets negative score while something systemd-only gets +1 just for that. No score for "media size" despite the promoted answer being massively bloated. A whole -1 for "tasksel quality" which anyone who has seen that DE can make perfect within minutes. And the biggest gem? As of Jessie, GNOME worked on only two architectures (amd64 and i386) at all -- out of 11 primary 12 secondary archs. Even on x86, it suffers from dog-slow software emulation if you try to run it in a VM or anything that has one of supported GPUs. So did GNOME get a RC bug that keeps it from Jessie at all? Meh...

    And this doesn't even mention the oh so insignificant question about basic usability and ergonomy. GNOME beats even Win8.0-era Metro in obstructing simplest tasks.

    • Yes, because your opinion is gold. I find Gnome 3's workflow waaaay more useful and intuitive than KDE. I think I'm still sane.
    • I have yet to see any sane person to voluntarily choose GNOME for anything; this includes distributions.

      I have to disagree with this. Your criticism of Debian's selection process aside, that is a large project with many members, not just a single dictator, and they collectively made that decision. Canonical recently switched back to Gnome3. Most distros feature it as their main DE, and either half-ass or completely ignore anything else.

      Why it's like this, I don't really know, but it shows that typical L

      • by olau ( 314197 )

        Well, it's pretty minimalistic, it gets out of the way. I can run my terminals and Emacs and a browser. What more do you want?

        Yes, a couple of the defaults are annoying, but you can change them. There's a big set of extensions.

        You should give it a try, maybe you'd be surprised.

        • I want something I can configure to be the way I want. No, I will not use extensions; extensions break every time they release a new version; that's very well-documented. I've used Gnome3. It's a complete piece of shit.

  • Just what everyone was waiting for: Systemd on the go! ;)

    • by zdzichu ( 100333 )

      You seem to have missed Jolla phone. Systemd, btrfs, wayland, shipped couple years ago.

  • Purism has found itself a new partner on this project -- one of the most important organizations in the Linux community -- The GNOME Foundation

    Ubuntu is also one of the most important organizations in the Linux community. How did that work out for them?
    http://www.techradar.com/news/... [techradar.com]

  • Browser and my bankid application and Steam mobile authentication is what I need I guess.

    if it could run Android APKs and have something like Samsung health then that's also good.

    Maybe things like camera will be complete garbage though, both in hardware and software side?

    • Personally, I couldn't care less about the camera. I never use the camera. But if it can't make/receive phone calls and texts, it's pretty much a nonstarter.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2017 @03:33PM (#55233465)

    I don't need a linux based privacy focused smartphone to compete with iOS or Android... it just needs to be there and serve as an option.
    But it needs to have real products at competitive prices and fully working on the market.

    Doesn't even need to be for an end consumer, but a fully functional option for businesses and enterprise.

    • But it needs to have real products at competitive prices and fully working on the market.

      Can the price of a privacy-oriented phone ever be competitive with a phone that's subsidized by selling your personal info?

  • From TFA:

    Luckily, Purism has found itself a new partner on this project -- one of the most important organizations in the Linux community -- The GNOME Foundation. Yes, the maker of the absolute best desktop environment is offering to assist with the Librem 5

    There's no quicker way of losing all credibility than proclaiming that Gnome is the "absolute best desktop environment". That tells me the article is a hamfisted sales pitch and nothing else it has to say can be trusted.

  • Let's go muzzle to muzzle against Android and iOS with OpenMoko, yeah, good luck with that. Openmoku was a joke 10 years ago, don't see why it's any different this time. What's the point, Android is open source, don't like it, fork and change it. Instead, they're trying thus again https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik... [wikipedia.org]

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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