Librem 13, take IV

Puri.sm hardware is damn fine, too fine to leave sitting idle even though I am still extremely angry about the delivery issues. But after three fails to get PureOS to install/set up properly, I gave up and installed Qubes.

Qubes is exactly what it advertises – an intensely secure operating system which operates by carefully insulating everything from everything else. But I have spent the past 20+ years becoming skilled at integrating everything digital. I was lumbering around inside Qubes feeling like I was in an ancient dive suit dropped into a sea of honey.

And it did not help that everything is built around Fedora. A wonderful, powerful operating system! with which I am only slightly conversant. The Debian bits seemed half-hearted, tacked into place but not truly integrated into the gestalt.

After nearly three weeks of mostly not using the new laptop, I tried again. Downloaded the recent upgrade of PureOS, got it installed, now I am tentatively poking at it, trying to get comfortable with both the operating system and hardware. Adding some of my usual tools; changing some of the pre-installed options.

There are definitely some nice elements to the OS, and rather a few wtf moments. (A biggy for me was the pretty-much-stock Mozilla FireFox, sans the trademarked logos of course, being relabeled PureBrowser and marketed as “Powerful, extensible web browser with privacy defaults.” Hello? Never heard of Tor Browser? and some of those defaults include updating Mozilla and Google with your browsing behavior; reeeeeaaaaal private. not.)

But the hardware is cool. The monitor, especially, is impressing me as I compare, side-by-side, with my 2013 MacBook Air. Because of implementation failures by Puri.sm I cannot trust my hardware/bios was not altered between them and me. On the other hand, once I finish setting up the tpm and my librem key I should be able to trust the forward security.