Purism (Company)

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Purism SPC
IndustryComputer hardware
FoundedNovember 19, 2014; 4 years ago (2014-11-19)
FounderTodd Weaver
HeadquartersSouth San Francisco, California
Area served
Key people
Todd Weaver (CEO) Zlatan Todorić (CTO)
ProductsLaptops, smartphones, tablet computers, handhelds
RevenueUS$1 million (2015)
Number of employees
27 (2018)[1]
Todd Weaver in Swathanthra 2017 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Purism is a computer technology company based in South San Francisco, California[2] and registered as a social purpose corporation in the state of Washington.[3] Purism manufactures the Librem personal computing devices with a focus on software freedom, computer security, and Internet privacy.


Purism was founded in 2014[3] with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 15,[4] notable for being the first attempt at custom-manufacturing an Intel-based high-end laptop for Linux with freedom-respecting components.[5][6][7][8][9]

With the success of the initial crowdfunding campaign, a second campaign[10] was made for a 13-inch model of the Librem, where privacy was improved further via hardware kill switches built into the product design.[11] The 15-inch model was still undergoing design and production, so the kill switch feature was backported to it.

The two campaigns raised US$1,052,174 through the support of 1,042 initial backers, which allowed producing and delivering Librem laptops starting at the end of 2015.[12][13]

As campaign orders gradually were fulfilled, Purism announced that it would be transitioning from a purely build to order order fulfillment model to a build to stock model in 2017.[14]

In February 2017, Purism transitioned to become a social purpose corporation, with its articles of incorporation detailing its social purpose.[15] The move was announced in May 2017.[16][17]

On August 24 2017, Purism announced plans to build a smartphone, named the Librem 5.[18] This phone, with launch delayed to early April 2019, will feature baseband processor (BP or BBP) separate from the main CPU and hardware kill switches for the baseband, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, and microphone. Further, this phone would run entirely free and open-source software. Purism announced a crowdfunding effort for the phone that would run 60 days, intended to collect US$1.5 million. Purism reached its goal two weeks before the end of the campaign.[19]



Purism manages development of PureOS, a fully free Linux distribution based on Debian. PureOS mostly ships with software from the Debian software repository but has all software removed that violates Purism's guidelines. Most notably, the Mozilla Firefox web browser is rebranded as PureBrowser and ships with plug-ins to enhance user privacy. PureOS was endorsed by the Free Software Foundation in December 2017.[20][21] Librem laptops ship with PureOS by default and an optional Qubes OS USB drive. Purism says that it is easy for Librem owners to install alternative Linux distributions and that owners have the freedom to install any operating system that they wish to install.[22]

PureOS Store[edit]

Purism has announced that it will run an app store for PureOS that will offer Microsoft software including Windows. Applications will be rated on a scale representing maturity, which ranges from early development to products that have been approved for default inclusion.[23]

Librem hardware[edit]

Librem 13 and 15 laptops[edit]

Librem line of laptops is the flagship product of Purism. The Librem laptops come in two sizes: the 13 and the 15 feature a 13 and a 15 inch screen, respectively. These products ship with Purism's own operating system, PureOS, a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux, and an optional Qubes OS USB drive. Purism's products also feature hardware kill switches to allow users to shut off the camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the cellular modem on products that have one (or can be purchased air gapped).

Comparison of Librem laptops[edit]

Name Coreboot version Intel ME Launched Max RAM (GB)
Librem 15 v1 32[citation needed]
Librem 13 v1 32[citation needed]
Librem 15 v2 v4.7[24] February 2018[25] 16[citation needed]
Librem 13 v2 v4.7[26] February 2018[27] 16[citation needed]
Librem 15 v3
Librem 13 v3
Librem 15 v4 Disabled[28]
Librem 13 v4 Disabled[29]

Librem 11 tablet[edit]

Librem 11, sometimes termed Librem 10 or 12, is a proposed convertible tablet-to-laptop device. It would have an 11-inch touch screen in an 11.6-inch body with a detachable keyboard, and an optional docking station. Development on the device began in April 2016[30] and was suspended in October 2018.[31]

Librem 5 phone[edit]

On August 24, 2017, Purism launched a funding campaign for a $599 "security and privacy focused phone" Librem 5.[18] The 60-day funding campaign aimed to collect US$1.5 million, however the goal was surpassed two weeks early and concluded with US$2,677,609.10 raised, 78% over the target.[19][32] The phone would run entirely free firmware and software: Debian derivative with a choice of desktop environments GNOME[33] or KDE Plasma Mobile[34] or Ubuntu Touch.[35] Further, unlike in any other phone, the baseband processor will be separated from the CPU main bus and instead connected via a fast USB interface, thus isolated from the main CPU RAM bus. Also, the phone will feature hardware kill switches for the isolated baseband processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, and microphone.[36]

Librem Key[edit]

Librem Key is a hardware USB security token supporting multiple features, including integration with tamper-evident Heads BIOS that ensures Librem laptop BIOS was not maliciously altered since the last laptop launch, and one-time password storage (3x HOTP (RFC 4226), 15 x TOTP (RFC 6238)), integrated password manager (16 entries), 40 kbit/s true random number generator, and tamper-resistant smart card. The key supports type A USB 2.0, has dimensions of 48 mm × 19 mm × 7 mm (1.89 in × 0.75 in × 0.28 in), and weights 6 grams (0.21 oz).[37]


  1. ^ "The Core Team". Purism. September 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  2. ^ "Contact". Purism. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  3. ^ a b "Registration Detail". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  4. ^ "Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  5. ^ Linder, Brad (2014-11-19). "Purism hopes to crowdfund a high-end, open source laptop". Liliputing. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  6. ^ Gallagher, Sean (2014-11-19). "Crowdfunding project promises a "laptop that respects essential freedoms"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  7. ^ Biggs, John (2015-01-23). "Purism Aims To Build A Philosophically Pure Laptop". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  8. ^ Low, Cherlynn (2014-11-19). "Librem 15: Sexy Open Source Laptop Wants Your Money". Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  9. ^ Hoffman, Chris (2014-11-19). "Purism Librem 15 Linux laptop blends high-end hardware with totally free software". PCWorld. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  10. ^ "Librem 13: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  11. ^ Casey, Henry T. (2015-06-19). "Purism Puts Physical Kill Switches on Latest Laptop". Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  12. ^ "Updates from Librem 13: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  13. ^ "Updates from Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  14. ^ Weaver, Todd (2016-12-15). "Growing to Ship from Inventory in 2017". Purism. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  15. ^ "Social purpose". Purism. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  16. ^ "Purism Becomes a Social Purpose Corporation". Digital Journal. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  17. ^ "Purism now a SPC – What this means for you and us". Purism. 2017-05-06. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  18. ^ a b "Purism will try its hand at security-focused smartphones".
  19. ^ a b "Success – Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches Its Goal". OMG! Ubuntu!. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  20. ^ Robertson, Donald (2017-12-21). "FSF adds PureOS to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  21. ^ "Open Source Operating Systems Linux FSF Adds PureOS To List of Endorsed GNU/Linux Distributions". Slash Dot. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  22. ^ "FAQ". Purism. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  23. ^ "Purism 'PureOS Store' will be for both desktop and mobile apps, and that's a mistake". betanews.com. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  24. ^ https://puri.sm/posts/february-2018-coreboot-update/
  25. ^ https://puri.sm/posts/february-2018-coreboot-update/
  26. ^ https://puri.sm/posts/february-2018-coreboot-update/
  27. ^ https://puri.sm/posts/february-2018-coreboot-update/
  28. ^ https://puri.sm/learn/freedom-roadmap/
  29. ^ https://puri.sm/learn/freedom-roadmap/
  30. ^ "Purism expands its line of privacy-focused devices to include a 2-in-1". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-10-06.
  31. ^ "Tabling the Librem tablet". Purism. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  32. ^ "Librem 5 – A Security and Privacy Focused Phone". Purism. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  33. ^ "GNOME Foundation Partners with Purism to Support Its Efforts to Build the Librem 5 Smartphone". Purism. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  34. ^ "Purism and KDE to Work Together on World's First Truly Free Smartphone". Purism. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  35. ^ Verma, Adarsh (2018-04-25). "Open Source Smartphone Librem 5 Will Officially Support Ubuntu Touch". Fossbytes. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  36. ^ Byfield, Bruce. "Librem 5 and the Challenge of the Free Phone". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  37. ^ "Librem Key". Purism. Retrieved 2018-10-25.

External links[edit]