Purism (company)

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Purism SPC
TypeSocial purpose corporation
FoundedNovember 19, 2014; 8 years ago (2014-11-19)
FounderTodd Weaver
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
  • Todd Weaver (CEO)
  • Kyle Rankin (CSO)
  • Nicole Faerber (CTO)
ProductsLaptops, smartphones, tablet computers, handhelds
RevenueUS$1 million (2015)
Number of employees
32 (April 2022)[1]
Todd Weaver in Swathanthra 2017 at Thiru­vanan­tha­puram, Kerala, India

Purism, SPC is an American computer technology corporation based in San Francisco, California[2] and registered in the state of Washington.[3]

Purism manufactures the Librem personal computing devices with a focus on software freedom, computer security, and Internet privacy. In addition to hardware, Purism also maintains PureOS, an operating system along with Librem One, a suite of software as a service based on open standards.


Purism was founded in 2014[3] with the start of a crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 15,[4] an attempt to manufacture an Intel-based high-end laptop for Linux with "almost no proprietary software".[5][6][7][8] A second campaign[9] funded development of a 13-inch model with hardware switches to disable the microphone and camera as a privacy feature.[10] Kill switches were also added to the 15-inch model[further explanation needed].

The two campaigns raised US$1,052,174 from 1,042 initial backers, and production began at the end of 2015.[11] In 2017 Purism announced its transition from a build to order to a build to stock order fulfillment model.[12]

Purism reincorporated as a social purpose corporation in February 2017[13] and announced the change in May.[14][15]



Purism manages development of PureOS, a 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 and the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines.[16] PureOS was endorsed by the Free Software Foundation in December 2017.[17] Librem laptops ship with PureOS by default and an optional Qubes OS Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive.[18][19][20] Purism says that it is easy for Librem device owners to install alternative Linux distributions and that owners have the freedom to install any operating system that they desire.[21]

Librem hardware[edit]

Librem has been the brand name used by Purism for all of their computer hardware products since the firm's first website in late 2014.[22] The name is based on the French word libre for the English word free as used in the term logiciel libre for free software.

Purism devices feature hardware kill switches to allow users to shut off the camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular or mobile broadband modem on devices that have one (or can be purchased air gapped).


Purism's first products were two laptop computers. Since late 2015, they have made laptops of two sizes: Librem 13 and 15, featuring 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.[18][19][20]

Purism does its best to remove Intel's Management Engine from its Librem laptops, considering it a security problem.[23] Still, it was not able to completely avoid use of proprietary BIOS firmware, earning it criticism from the Coreboot and Libreboot projects (which are working on completely free firmware, but as of 2015 had not yet achieved support of the contemporary hardware that Librem was using).[24] Since summer 2017, new Librem laptops are shipped with coreboot as their standard BIOS, and updates are available for all older models.[25]

In July 2020, Purism announced the Librem 14, the successor of the Librem 13.[26] The Librem 14 features a 10th generation Intel processor, and was scheduled to begin shipping in February 2021.

Comparison of laptops[edit]
Librem model Coreboot version CPU Intel ME Release Max RAM (GB)
15 v1[27] Intel Core i7 5557U Enabled July 2015 32
13 v1[28] 4.19 (2023)[29] Intel Core i5 5200U Enabled September 2015 16
15 v2[30] 4.19 (2023)[31] Intel Core i7-5557U Enabled September 2015 32
13 v2[32] 4.19 (2023)[33] Intel Core i5 6200U Disabled June 14, 2017 16
15 v3[32] 4.19 (2023)[34] Intel Core i7 6500U Disabled June 28, 2017 32
13 v3[35] 4.6 (2017)[36] Intel Core i7 6500U Disabled October 2017 16
15 v4 4.19 (2023)[37] Intel Core i7 7500U Disabled[38] January 2019 32
13 v4[39] 4.19 (2023)[40] Intel Core i7 7500U Disabled[38] January 2019 16
14 v1[41] 4.19 (2023)[42] Intel Core i7 10710U Disabled (but not "neutralized")[43][unreliable source] early Q4 2020 64

Tablet: Librem 11[edit]

Purism has proposed a 2-in-1 PC, a convertible, hybrid, tablet-to-laptop computer: the Librem 11, sometimes termed Librem 10 or 12. It would have an 11-inch touchscreen in an 11.6-inch body with a detachable keyboard, and an optional docking station. Development on the device began in April 2016[44] and was suspended in October 2018 to focus on the Librem 5 smartphone.[45]

Smartphone: Librem 5[edit]

The Librem 5 is Purism's first smartphone. They began a funding campaign on 24 August 2017, for a $599 "security and privacy focused phone".[46] 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 goal.[47][48] The phone's operating system is entirely free software: it comes with PureOS pre-installed but also supports Ubuntu Touch.[49] Further, the baseband processor is 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 features hardware kill switches for the isolated baseband processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera, and microphone.[50] The firmware for the cellular modem on the phone is proprietary.[51] On September 24, 2019, Purism announced that the first batch of Librem 5 phones had started shipping.[52] On December 6, 2019, Purism announced Librem 5 USA–the same phone, with Made in USA electronic fabrication.[53]

As of Q2 2021, many of the original backers of the 2017 funding campaign are still waiting for their orders to be fulfilled. Purism has cited product development and supply chain challenges. The company now promises shipments will resume in October, 2021, but also expects backorders to extend into 2022.[54]

Librem Key[edit]

The Librem Key is a hardware USB security token with many features, including integration with tamper-evident Heads Firmware. Heads helps to ensure that the Librem laptop's BIOS was not altered since the last laptop boot. The Librem Key also holds a 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 weighs 6 grams (0.21 oz).[55]

Librem One[edit]

Librem One is a paid subscription, free-software social-networking suite launched April 30, 2019[56] to bring decentralized, privacy-respecting applications to a wider user base. The first components released were Librem Mail supporting OpenPGP standards using a K-9-based client; Librem Tunnel based on OpenVPN; Librem Social microblogging using Mastodon server and Tusky-based client software federated via the ActivityPub protocol,[57] and Librem Chat using Element software federated via Matrix and XMPP.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Core Team". Purism. 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Contact". Purism. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  3. ^ a b "Registration Detail". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  4. ^ Weaver, Todd (2016-08-30). "Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  5. ^ Gallagher, Sean (2014-11-19). "Crowdfunding project promises a "laptop that respects essential freedoms"". Ars Technica. Wired Media Group. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  6. ^ Biggs, John (2015-01-23). "Purism Aims To Build A Philosophically Pure Laptop". TechCrunch. Verizon Media. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  7. ^ Low, Cherlynn (2014-11-19). "Librem 15: Sexy Open Source Laptop Wants Your Money". Laptop Mag. New York City, New York: Purch (Future plc). Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  8. ^ Hoffman, Chris (2014-11-19). "Purism Librem 15 Linux laptop blends high-end hardware with totally free software". PC World. San Francisco, California, U.S.: IDG Communications. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  9. ^ Weaver, Todd. "Librem 13: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". Crowd Supply. Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  10. ^ Casey, Henry T. (2015-06-19). "Purism Puts Physical Kill Switches on Latest Laptop". Laptop Mag. New York City, New York: Purch (Future plc). Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  11. ^ Weaver, Todd (2015-12-28). "Purism Librem Shipping Status". Crowd Supply. Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 2017-01-16.
  12. ^ Weaver, Todd (2016-12-15). "Growing to Ship from Inventory in 2017". Purism. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  13. ^ "Social purpose". Purism. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  14. ^ Ozeki, Ken (2017-05-08). "Purism Becomes a Social Purpose Corporation". Digital Journal (Press release). Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  15. ^ "Purism now a Social Purpose Corporation – What this means for you and us". Purism. 2017-05-06. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  16. ^ "List of Free GNU/Linux Distributions". GNU Project. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  17. ^ Robertson, Donald (2017-12-21). "FSF adds PureOS to list of endorsed GNU/Linux distributions". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  18. ^ a b "Librem 13". Purism. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  19. ^ a b "Librem 15". Purism. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  20. ^ a b Carbone, Michael (2015-12-09). "Partnering with Purism and the first Qubes-certified laptop". Qubes OS. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  21. ^ "FAQ". Purism. Retrieved 2018-12-02.
  22. ^ "Purism". Purism. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  23. ^ Claburn, Thomas (21 Oct 2017). "Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops". www.theregister.co.uk.
  24. ^ Hoffman, Chris; PCWorld | (2015-08-07). "Why Linux enthusiasts are arguing over Purism's sleek, idealistic Librem laptops". PCWorld. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  25. ^ "Downloading and installing coreboot on Purism Librem devices". Purism. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  26. ^ "Purism Launches Librem 14, Successor to Security-focused Librem 13 Product Line – Purism". 2 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". CrowdSupply.com. Archived from the original on 30 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Librem 13: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". CrowdSupply.com. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  29. ^ "librem_13v1 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. 2022-01-27. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  30. ^ "Librem 15: A Laptop That Respects Your Rights". CrowdSupply.com. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  31. ^ "librem_15v2 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  32. ^ a b "Products - Purism". puri.sm. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  33. ^ "librem_13v2 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  34. ^ "librem_15v3 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  35. ^ "Products - Purism". puri.sm. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  36. ^ "Coreboot". wiki.puri.sm. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  37. ^ "librem_15v4 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  38. ^ a b "The Purism Freedom Roadmap: Road to FSF endorsement, and Beyond". Purism. 2018-04-04. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  39. ^ "Librem 13 version 4". puri.sm. Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  40. ^ "librem_13v4 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  41. ^ "Purism- Librem 14". puri.sm. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  42. ^ "librem_14 · master · firmware / releases". GitLab. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  43. ^ "Are Laptops For Sale or Not?". Purism community. 2021-03-10. Retrieved 2023-01-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  44. ^ Baldwin, Roberto (2016-05-19). "Purism expands its line of privacy-focused devices to include a 2-in-1". Engadget. Verizon Media. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  45. ^ "Tabling the Librem tablet". Purism. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  46. ^ Moon, Mariella (2017-08-24). "Purism will try its hand at security-focused smartphones". Engadget. Verizon Media. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  47. ^ Sneddon, Joey (2017-10-09). "Success – Linux Phone Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches Its Goal". OMG! Ubuntu!. Ohso. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  48. ^ "Librem 5 – A Security and Privacy Focused Phone". Purism. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  49. ^ Verma, Adarsh (2018-04-25). "Open Source Smartphone Librem 5 Will Officially Support Ubuntu Touch". Fossbytes. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  50. ^ Byfield, Bruce. "Librem 5 and the Challenge of the Free Phone". Linux Magazine. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  51. ^ FaerberCTO, Nicole (2018-09-04). "Progress update from the Librem 5 hardware department". Purism. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
  52. ^ "First Librem 5 Smartphones are Shipping". Purism. 2019-09-24. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  53. ^ Librem 5 USA
  54. ^ Social, Kyle RankinPGP ID: 0xB9EF770D6EFE360FFingerprint: 0DFE 2A03 7FEF B6BF C56F73C5 B9EF 770D 6EFE 360FLibrem (2022-08-22). "Where Is My Librem 5?". Purism. Retrieved 2023-05-04.
  55. ^ "Librem Key". Purism. Retrieved 2018-10-25.
  56. ^ "Librem One by Purism -". archive.is. April 30, 2019. Retrieved 2020-03-23.
  57. ^ a b "Librem One by Purism - We don't look at your junk... or anything else". librem.one.

External links[edit]