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Jolla + Sony Xperia Q&A

asked 2017-02-27 17:10:55 +0300

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updated 2017-10-04 19:15:58 +0300

olf gravatar image

This is the big news. HUUUUUGE news in fact. Every Jolla user expected exactly that. Quality HW and SFOS officially supported by Jolla. But we have questions.

Post questions as separate answers and hopefully @veskuh or @james or anyone else at jolla will answer. In case this doesn't work on TJC we can take the questions to one of the community meetings.

Fire away.

Edit 2017.03.02 by c.la: I suggeted to discuss the Q&A in the upcoming Jolla community meeting, feel free to add yourself as substitute as likely I won't attend.

Edit chemist: if you start a specific Q&A you might also have it as wiki so teh actual Q&A can be added to the op. Please, do not put your questions into answers.

Answers: The answers to most of the questions can be summed in section 3. of This page

Edit 2017.06.29 by William: the blog post

Edit 2017-06-30 by Direc: The blog post now contains an FAQ section as an update.

Edit 2017-07-13 by h.berd: Look at the recent comments of the blog post about the 20MP AOSP driver blog post and maemo

Edit 2017-08-01 by ghling: The blog post was updated to announce the first images are available to the cbeta group.

Edit 2017-09-27 by ghling: According to a new blog post, the sale for Sailfish X now should start October 4th with the first relase still be available October 11th. To flash the images, you will need to use Sony's Emma Tool for Windows. See my recent answer for more details.

Edit 2017-10-04 by olf: From Jolla's shop, "As of October 4 only Jolla Tablet refund voucher customers can use the sales site. The wider sales opening will happen at the same time with the software delivery start.", which is still supposed to happen October 11.

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1) The slides stated that SFOS will be supported on a range of devices. Will those devices be available from the jolla store or a user can buy (from any ventor) and then install SFOS on one.?

2) Will sony give jolla access to the SW that powers its really good cameras so SFOS can fully exploit them?

3) Can we have a compact X on the store tomorrow :P

PS. I am so excited about this :D :D

ApB ( 2017-02-27 17:16:51 +0300 )edit

Mee too...almost nose-bleeding like hyped... posting here for later reads hope we will get here more details.

PatsJolla ( 2017-02-27 17:21:42 +0300 )edit

4) will it support Android as previous "official" devices?

pemek ( 2017-02-27 17:22:23 +0300 )edit

@pemek that would be a must...alien-dalvik is unfortunately too much needed on everyday basis.

PatsJolla ( 2017-02-27 17:24:37 +0300 )edit

1.) Will the Dual Sim models be supported if the single sim devices are going to receive SFOS?

2.) When can we expect the first Xperias with SFOS?

Armadillo ( 2017-02-27 17:29:28 +0300 )edit

28 Answers

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answered 2017-10-04 21:24:33 +0300

Upp15 gravatar image

This may have been asked before, but ... is it possible to flash (original ?) Android back to the device ?

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Hi, I recently read an article describing the process to flash forth and back the Xperia X. It looks like it was written before agreement was reached that the official flash tool would be "emma" as it was describing the process under windows. At some point of time these blog sites can be confusing, so now I tried to find the article and in 5min I reached nothing, but it looks like it is possible to flash to Sailfish and back to Android, yes

deloptes ( 2017-10-04 23:29:37 +0300 )edit

In theory yes. To be able to do that, you'll need to backup Sony's DRM keys: http://talk.maemo.org/showpost.php?p=1535948&postcount=1390

Sthocs ( 2017-10-10 12:14:06 +0300 )edit

Ok, from Sony's FAQ:

Q: If I change my mind later on, is there any way to restore my device?

A: No. Once you have unlocked the boot loader, you will not be able to revert the device back to a locked or original state or restore the DRM security keys. You can however use the Flash tool for Xperia™ devices to flash a generic Sony ROM, although it will not receive automatic software upgrades.

Upp15 ( 2017-10-11 22:17:48 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-04 20:48:49 +0300

jabgoe gravatar image

now all of a sudden it says that you need to have a windows-os to get sailfish x working. this is a bad development. i'm quite certain that jolla had some installation instruction prepared for sailfish x when only linux was a platform to flash the xperia x. did this instruction disappear?

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Apparently Sony shocked Jolla with this Windows requirement in the last minute.

As I understood (there was some discussion I don't find now) it is technically still possible to flash from linux, but you will lose device identifiers, so the trouble will come later on. If you want to have everything clean, Sony requires to use their own tool, which they don't care to port to linux. So Windows it is, there is not much Jolla can do about it right now (and I doubt they will in the future despite such hints).

William ( 2017-10-04 21:04:01 +0300 )edit

can somwane confirm what Wiliam is saying? Would just be a reason more not to buy sony one on the bad side always on the bad side

Wuestenschiff ( 2017-10-04 23:08:05 +0300 )edit

Making your product rely exclusively on the whims of a third party business with no real stake or interest in your business be like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpE_xMRiCLE

Tasos P. ( 2017-10-20 12:54:13 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-04 16:31:15 +0300

ghling gravatar image

updated 2017-10-04 16:32:18 +0300

Looks like most of us will have to wait a little longer. The new site for SFOS X (https://jolla.com/sailfishx/) currently states:

As of October 4, 2017 only Jolla Tablet refund voucher customers can use the sales site. The wider sales opening will happen at the same time with the software delivery start.

Not that it matters since the image will not be available until next week or so...

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(delivery start ... ) which is scheduled for the Oct. 11 - I think this is OK

deloptes ( 2017-10-04 16:34:45 +0300 )edit

strange, late at the option to buy it and now only refund users... lets hope its not a bad sign.

h.berd ( 2017-10-04 20:34:22 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-09-28 00:19:51 +0300

GD gravatar image

For those without windows.

If you have a machine which came with windows i.e. all laptops. Then run up a Windows VM, you won't need to activate it or even need a windows key, as you install emma flash the experia then enjoy deleting that VM. plus emma. Repeat and rinse again anytime you need to flash. If that's the only way.

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I don't have a Windows license. Where can I legally download a suitable VM?

Also, no support on Linux to flash a Linux OS to any device which exists because of Linux, is wrong on multiple levels. It might not be Jolla's fault, but for me it sure is an extra impediment and a factor to consider when buying a Sailfish X license.

Fuzzillogic ( 2017-09-28 00:40:28 +0300 )edit

You can download a iso from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Then use VirtualBox, you might also want to download the extension pack for USB 2 and 3 support.

emva ( 2017-09-28 01:54:21 +0300 )edit

@emva downloading the ISO is legal, I don't know how valid this use would be for a trial of windows. though it will work. plus it would remove any unwanted feature Sony may bring with emma.

GD ( 2017-09-28 04:48:06 +0300 )edit

@emva does that ISO allow you to run Windows as a LiveDVD, or does it really require installation (in a VM) to be useful for flashing? For Linux, many distributions have LiveDVD's. Also, there are up-to-date pre-installed VM's available.

For Windows, I know of VM's for web development testing in IE/Edge, but at least in the past they blocked installing anything else in those VM's.

Fuzzillogic ( 2017-09-28 22:51:31 +0300 )edit

Must be installed, Windows was never a run-live-from-disk type of OS, not officially anyways...

emva ( 2017-09-28 23:57:14 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-09-27 22:15:03 +0300

Wuestenschiff gravatar image

updated 2017-10-04 09:35:06 +0300

Flash without Sony Software

I am not hyped about the news of the sony flash tool. Sony is the only firm in history to have deployed trojan for commercial interest (DRM). So i would not want to install a Sony Software anywhere. Will it be possible to flash the Image another way?


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If you are that serious in avoiding Sony software, Sailfish X might not be the right choice for you. Remember that even after flashing Sailfish onto an Xperia, parts of the original Sony software will be active. Sailfish utilizes Android device drivers which are provided (and may be adapted) by Sony.

ziellos ( 2017-09-28 14:32:54 +0300 )edit

Thanks for the link, very interesting, I hadn't heard of that scandal at the time. But unfortunately they are not the only firm to deploy trojans for commercial interest, more recently it was Lenovo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenovo#Superfish

I agree with you, we need to boycott that kind of companies, but on the other hand we want to support Sailfish. So for now the best option is maybe to buy a second hand Xperia ^^

Sthocs ( 2017-10-04 12:36:25 +0300 )edit

I didn't use Emma, as my device was unrooted, up-to-date and ready for OEM unlocking. No need to flash the device in order dor it to be flashed, if it is already ready. I just used fastboot to unlock and then flash my device.

Direc ( 2017-10-12 22:29:00 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-09-27 18:15:22 +0300

ghling gravatar image

To keep this thread updated: There was a new blog post yesterday (found here: https://blog.jolla.com/sailfish-x-new-sales-start-day/ ) which announces that the start of the Sailfish X sale was postponed by a week and now should start at October 4th. According to the post, this should not change the date for the release (still October 11th). The decision for this was made because the flashing process of the image changed by quite a bit. From what I understand, Sony changed the conditions for their Open Device program and now require the use of their Emma Flashing tool, available for Windows only, for the installation of images (including Sailfish OS).

To quote James from the comments below the post:

I will however say that the Emma tool is now officially a requirement for everyone in order to flash their devices. Xperia X is supported by that tool, more on that later. So for further clarification (and maybe to repeat myself), the current official requirement from Sony is that everyone should use Emma tool in order to flash their devices.

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this is a big fat fuck you into everyone who saw sailfish as an open source driven project. windows only?? if this is not extended to linux in the near future jolla is a goner. so we have ti buy a mobile phone now, break the warranty and have to buy a propatory operating system, install it and only then can use rhe.image.we may have thought about buying?

non-crucial info well communicated again. guess i wont use dailfish anymore when my j1 passes. i for sure wont getvwindows just to have a sailfish phone.

as i dont know- what us needed to flash phones with the unofficiall images?? but i can guess- probably a smarter solution works.

kaktux ( 2017-09-27 21:02:43 +0300 )edit

Sorry, but are you sure about that? When reading the post it seemed obvious to me, that it's only a new way and a way that now enables windows users to flash their devices. The flashing from linux worked before and there were many complaints about that. Now I thought this gap is closed by the new emma tool and all windows users should be happy. But I didn't expect (and didn't understand it that way from the post), that we linux users will now loose the ability to flash. Have to read the comments you mention...

naytsyrhc ( 2017-09-27 21:53:18 +0300 )edit

Wow. Just read the regarding comments. That's really a big bad news. So now I'm forced to use Windows to flash Xperia. This is "put your favourite swear word here". Only way I see is to check if emma works with wine.

naytsyrhc ( 2017-09-27 22:08:05 +0300 )edit

So far no luck with wine and emma. Any version/combination tried so far let emma exit on start with the message "This version of windows is not supported by emma." :-(

naytsyrhc ( 2017-09-27 22:32:43 +0300 )edit

Luckily I already have a spare Windows VM. Still the news is a bummer for me. I'm guessing that linux flashing instructions will emerge sooner or later from the community.

For the lazy me: Can someone provide the link to Sony's licence terms? It sounds odd to me that they would flip the only supported flashing tool over the night.

Valentin ( 2017-09-28 14:15:06 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-09-25 00:43:33 +0300

Tasos P. gravatar image

I am an owner of a Jolla phone. It has served me reasonably well since I bought it in March last year (i.e. one and a half years ago), and I'd been happy with it despite some hardware troubles and software glitches (lack of functionality notwithstanding, like the now positively jobian "no notes in contacts" bug). However, while I've been happy with the phone, I have completely lost my trust in the _company_.

My phone battery has today died completely, and I have come to the shop to see the latest state of affairs. The company now no longer makes phones, let alone accessories like batteries for them. What guarantee do I have the this new-fangled Sailfish X project for which "some sort of continuation program will take place" after the 1-year warranty, isn't going to end up having the same fate as the Jolla phone project?

Plus, if we're going through all that trouble to install the OS on the commandline on linux, shouldn't there have been some sort of dual-boot solution offered? Or at least a backup of your factory settings? This is not mentioned anywhere. Is one seriously expected to forever wipe their stock android installation (let alone void their phone warranty) for an OS that is still deemed to be experimental (for that particular device) by its developers, and for which the only guarantee seems to be a vague promise of a "continuation program"?

I don't know ... it seems that unless the company comes up with something more concrete, it looks like this is the end of the ride for me, and I suspect many of their customers will probably feel the same way.

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I am not working for Jolla, not I have any relation with it, but I can understand the frustration quite well. This is only my opinion here. The thing is there are two type of users. The straight forward, I don't give a sh*t for my personal information and the opposite - I really care for my personal information. If you go the first way, all works fine and you don't have the troubles. If you go the second way .... it is hard, because I have not found any company providing an alternative. I don't know where you got your Jolla device. I bought an Intex Aqua Fish from India. So far there is no problem at all. It works very well with SailFish OS v.2.0.4. There should be instruction somewhere around the web how to replace your battery. Forget the warranty - batteries are standard - they are not produced by Jolla.

read here: https://together.jolla.com/question/65826/compatible-spare-battery/

find information on your exact model and replace with equivalent ;-)


PS: life today is like in The Matrix, you either get the blue or the red pill :) It's all up to you

deloptes ( 2017-09-25 01:10:30 +0300 )edit

If I remember correctly, Jolla never offered spare parts such as batteries, even when they were a "hardware company". That was a big fail, and they even repeated that with the Jolla C.

Now that they are a "software company", things will change. The customer will have to buy Sony's hardware and Jolla's software. You have to ask Sony for spare parts and repair services, and Jolla will take care of software updates. Of cause there will be a grey area between hard- and software issues, but hopefully the Sony-Jolla collaboration will solve them. As a last resort, there would be the factory reset.

My expectation is that things will get better. We will get better hardware (I mean durability and stability, not only specs) and can use Sony's existing service infrastructure (at least spare parts are available). Jolla will continue to offer software support because that's their business.

Some thoughts about privacy. You either pay for something or you are the product. That's the way it works in the smartphone universe. You can decide to pay money to Apple or to Jolla, in this case your privacy will be respected rather well. Or, use Google services which are basically free, and pay with your data. You decide.

ziellos ( 2017-09-25 10:07:23 +0300 )edit

@tasos-p If you want to buy battery for your Jolla 1 I can help you with that. In Poland it's possible to buy it. I can buy it for you and sent it to you. Brand new Jolla batteries. I don't know how this Polish shop get these batteries. All I can say these batteries are original and new.

atlochowski ( 2017-09-25 10:16:51 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-09-24 13:14:10 +0300

OptimistiJolla gravatar image

Have a single question: in Jolla Blog it is mentioned that one needs a "linux PC". If one doesn't have LinuxOS, how does one go about installing Sailfish X?

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what about using a linux live image? E.g. knoppix?

bomo ( 2017-09-24 13:27:07 +0300 )edit

Yes, I also think that the easiest solution will be to boot a Linux distro from e.g. a USB stick. The question is also discussed here.

luen ( 2017-09-24 23:12:50 +0300 )edit

yes. and im totally pro in jolla.doing so. imagine the other way round: you would need windows. you would have to buy thatbas linux user. absolute deal breaker.

kaktux ( 2017-09-25 14:57:07 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-08-23 12:21:05 +0300

ghling gravatar image

updated 2017-08-24 11:15:50 +0300

Some more information from the last community meeting:

TL;DR: There will be a new announcement soon (tm) from Jolla. The port is progressing well and veskuh (Vesa-Matti Hartikainen, the Project Manager) is using it as daily device. They currently developing only for the F5121 model, but still suggest to wait with a purchase until the announcement. The Xperia X port will run Alien Dalvik based on Android 4.4.4

Full extract:

veskuh: Thanks :) So we are getting closer to announcing the details

veskuh: I think we are getting good progress with the issues we’ve had and I’m using the device happily as my daily device already :)

jenix: can you already estimate a release date or month?
veskuh: jenix: I can’t announce it here. We should be ready to announce the details quite soon.

jenix: veskuh: any news regarding device models? You're still on F5121 or did you expand to other models as well?
veskuh: jenix: Still only supported model is F5121

jenix: veskuh: thanks, so it's feasible to buy a F5121 (like many already did) by now?
veskuh: jenix: My advice is still wait to hear the details first before going to shop.

jenix: veskuh: (...) Can you already say which Android Version the Alien Dalvik on the Xperia X will run on?
veskuh: jenix: Alien Dalvik will be based on the 4.4.4.
Coolgeek: 4.4 for android support ? why can't it be more recent ?
veskuh: Coolgeek: Porting newer Android version is a major effort

Sailor5811_: is sfos without android support ready for X ?
veskuh: Sailor5811_: There are still some missing features and few bugs, but most stuff is working quite nicely.

The full log can be found here: http://merproject.org/meetings/mer-meeting/2017/mer-meeting.2017-08-23-08.03.log.html

Edit 2017-08-24: Added additional info regarding AlienDalvik.

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Thanks for sharing this

NuklearFart ( 2017-08-23 13:13:36 +0300 )edit

Thanks for sharing this information. Maybe it's a bit pity, that Alien Dalvik stays on 4.4.4. Unfortunately I had to learn that one of the very very few Android apps which I really need doesn't work anymore since it requires 5.0 and doesn't allow to keep or start the previous version anymore. In this case fortunately a browser based version of this tool more or less solved this issue.

I assume that sooner or later more apps will quit 4.4.4. support and I am wondering if there are any plans to bring Alien Dalvik on a higher level in future? Not for me.. but maybe other Jolla users might need it more urgent than I do it.

Anyway I am still very happy with the Jolla C which doesn't have any remarkable or any not solvable issues which can't be solved by asking or searching in TJC.

vision ( 2017-08-23 14:51:12 +0300 )edit

4.4.4 is ancient!!!

Kollin ( 2017-08-23 18:07:58 +0300 )edit

Thank you for collecting this here!

What does it imply when veskuh says people should wait with purchasing a F5121? I can guess a few things, but I grew a bit tired of dreaming.

saylorz ( 2017-08-23 20:40:13 +0300 )edit

My guess is that they will release for F5121 but currently can't promise that all issues will be ironed out. If they would say "run away and buy an Xperia X, we will make SFOS work for it", people will take that as a promise that everything will work and get disappointed when Jolla release and says "here is the image, but this and this won't work on this model". They probably don't wish for more pressure than there already is.

luen ( 2017-08-24 00:42:54 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-08-18 19:06:39 +0300

NuklearFart gravatar image

Even i did not allow Softwareupdater to run in background it always tries to update my x. Somewhere i read to install other mods the system needs to be downgraded. How is that for the Sailfish port?

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Sony XX has now Android 7.1.1. I asked ftom Jolla support, and they said that Androids 6 and 7 are tested to be valid for transformation to SFOS. So I think we can without any troubles so far.

N9Sailfish ( 2017-08-23 13:57:17 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2017-02-27 17:10:55 +0300

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