A few days after KDE, the GNOME Foundation has now officially confirmed its support for Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone if crowdfunding is successful. This was announced today by Neil McGovern, most recently Debian Project Leader (DPL), now director of the GNOME Foundation. McGovern writes that his organization will support Purism in its efforts to build the world’s first free and open smartphone that offers end-to-end encryption and advanced user protection. In the latter case, McGovern alludes to the various hardware switches that the Librem 5 brings with it for camera, microphone, baseband, Wireless and Bluetooth as well as to encrypted communication through the Matrix project.
Librem 5 is a hardware platform where the GNOME Foundation would like to help turn it into a GNOME/GTK smartphone. In the event of successful funding, the Foundation will extend the GNOME shell along with Purism towards Librem 5. It goes on to say that GNOME developers know about the problems of mobile devices by working on Nokia 770, N800 and N900, the XO laptop of the One-Laptop Per-Child project and the OpenMoko Neo1973.
KDE and GNOME together
GNOME was Purism’s first choice when it came to the desktop of the Librem 5 operating system. Purisms Debian-based operating system PureOS already uses the GNOME desktop on the company’s notebooks. A week ago, it was announced that KDE’s Plasma Mobile was also in the game, as this project has a several year advantage over GNOME. Purism emphasized that this was not a competition, but a bundling of forces to create the best possible operating system for Librem 5. Approximately one month after successful financing, Purism then wants to announce how the operating system is composed.
A long way to go
However, funding is still on a not so sound footing at the moment, even though last week’s funding has provided a good boost. The project needs commitments of about $30,000 per day in the remaining 33 days. In the last few days this amount has always been exceeded. In the last 24 hours, even more than 50,000 US dollars have been committed. At present, commitments for a total of USD 536.275 or 35.75 percent of the total amount are to be reported, but it is still a long way to the goal of USD 1.5 million. Anyone who has always wanted a free smartphone should support Purism however possible, because such a realistic chance of making this dream come true will probably not come back so soon.