Re-flashing the Librem Phone with Byzantium

If you just received a Librem 5 you probably have the latest software – including the new software that has a (mostly) working photos app, gps and a basic maps app! Development has continued on these devices but if you have one of the previous preorders you probably have been waiting on new updates and only getting a few standard package updates and no new apps 🙁

If you want to upgrade the phone in this case you need to re-flash it and wipe it with the newer version. Note this deletes everything and starts anew!

Their instructions here should be fine for some, but only if you have a very very new Ubuntu based system. If you have an older one such as Ubuntu 20.04 then you can get set up as shown below.


  • Approximately 5GB of free disk space.
  • Ubuntu or any similar Debian Linux on another computer.
  • UsbC cable to plug in Librem5 to the computer (one you would regularly use to charge it).
  • According to the docs, “The uuu tool requires a 64-bit host to run and is packaged as an amd64 binary.”

When ready, install some prerequisites as the “sudo apt build-dep .” in their instruction will not work on older Ubuntu…

sudo apt install git libusb-1.0-0-dev libzip-dev libbz2-dev python3-tqdm python3-jenkins
git clone
mkdir mfgtools-build
cd mfgtools-build
cmake ../mfgtools
sudo ln -s /home/user/path/mfgtools-build/uuu/uuu /usr/bin/uuu

This builds “uuu” as in their instructions so that you can use the tool. In the last command, write out the full path to that directory of mfgtools-build before the “/usr/bin/uuu” and then you can use the “uuu” command anywhere.

Next, run

git clone
cd librem5-flash-image
sudo ./scripts/librem5-flash-image --udev

This sets Udev so you can flash the device. The script and python dependencies in the “requirements.txt” from above should be installed, so now run:


with any extra parameters as described in the documentation.

Finishing up

At the end of the script’s download, the script will show the same instructions as their page:

            Turn all Hardware-Kill-Switches off
            Remove battery
            Hold volume-up
            Insert the USB-c cable: (red light blinks, no green light)
            Reinsert the battery: (red light is constantly on, the script will continue)

Now enjoy a phone that actually has maps, gps, and working camera!

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