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Newbie on Sailfish X via Mac OS

asked 2017-11-19 00:43:02 +0200

Loenneberga gravatar image

updated 2017-11-29 02:18:15 +0200

image descriptionHi there, today I bought an Xperia X and installed Sailfish OS on it with Homebrew and a Mac. I´m not really IT skilled but very curious person willing to try out this new OS and I have to admit, that installing it wasn´t that easy for me, but it worked at the first try as described on the Jolla/Sailfish website.

I was quite happy and a little bit proud about it after the installation, but then I found out very soon, that this aquisition might not have been worth the price I paid. The Xperia X isn't bad as a mobile phone - as long as Android 7.1 is on it. If you buy Sailfish OS for some other 50 Euros you get a smartphone which isn't smart anymore IMHO.

You can make phone calls, send sms, email etc. - well that's basically it - if you are not installing android apps. But to install andoid apps, I could have kept Nougat 7.1, too. Don't misunderstand me. I would like to support this other smartphone OS, but if you pay some 250-300 Euros for the phone and 50 Euros for the OS, you can expect more.

I'll definitely give Sailfish OS a second chance and try it out for some time getting to know this OS better, but it's impossible to make it my first phone for everyday usage, yet. Most of the apps in the jolla store aren't even worth joking about IMHO.

Android apps could be an alternative for some time, but unlike on Nougat 7.1.1. on Sailfish OS you have to accept all the permissions the andoid apps are asking for, without being able to take them partially away. This is even possible on Google's OS.

Then the Sailfish browser allows only Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex as search engines. Are you kidding? Why not allow DuckDuckGo or Ixquick for example instead of those usual suspects?? I really don't understand this. This simply doesn't look thrustworthy to me.

On the other hand, Jolla/sailfish say bluetooh wasn't officially supported. But I was able to pair my Bose QC35 headphones with the Sailfish X. That's good news, at least. Tomorrow I'll try to pair the hand free / sound system in my car.

So my conclusion for now: I mutilated a well working android phone to have little more than a dumbphone. Well, enough for know. As I said, I'll give it another try, but I hope that the Sailfish guys will make lot's of efforts to deliver value for money.


In the meantime I found out that this annoying warning is still showing up (see screenshot above): "Your device has been unlocked and can't be trusted". Well is this the cooperation or partnership with Sony, if have been reading about since the Barcelona fair? LOL Anyone any idea how to remove this? Maybe not. There already is a special thread on this.


  • I connected my two Macs to Sailfish X using bluetooth sharing. Now I'm able to send photos either way. Yay!
  • Found out that I can't chose to block sending my caller ID choosing an option in the phone menu, then learned that code #31# does the job on my Sailfish X
  • Still can't believe that I paid that much for this "smartphone"
  • Installed File Browser and Recorder from the Jolla Store
  • Found out that appearantly you can't set up a Wifi Connection manually if the SSID is hidden. (-.-) UI shows hidden network but doesn't give you time enough to enter Login and Password. Worked on my typing speed. Finally made it. Whew! It works. Can't believe that I'm doing this...


I set up Caldav, Carddav and IMAP accounts and it's seems to work quite well. Especially Carddav is tricky once in a while, because I'm using the account from a mac, from an iPhone from Sailfish X and a Webinterface.

I tried to make use of the camera app and must say that it is pretty far from good and out of focus. Why is there no manual focus and focus lock, or does this exist and I simply can't find it. For video there seems to be no manual focussing at all. For videos a focus lock is essential IMHO.

By the way I decided to install no android apps and try out all the native apps before.


Today I changed my mind and installed Android support, because I didn't want to give up Threema messenger. I would also like to install Signal Messenger APK but the permissions requested make me feel uncomfortable. Calender access, huh? GPS position? Change contacts? WTF?! IOS and recent Android OS give users the possibility to grand those permissions or not. What about Alien Dalvik? Is your only choise to install the APK whith ALL the permissions or not at all? Don't like this. In the Sailfish Settings you can only grant an APK access to the contacts or not. Maybe I'm getting this wrong. Can anyone explain?

There are two apps on Openrepos and Github i.e. Cameraplus and Whisperfish. They sound interesting but I have no clue if they are save to be installed. If so they should be in the Jolla store, no?


The last weekend I decided to make Sailfish X my first phone for a month to examine if it works in an everyday private&work environment as my main phone. Well, it's not bad, but there is a really annoying issue, when I cross the border everyday to my neighbouring country and back. The network change doesn't take place automatically. See this thread for details: If this issue can't be solved, Sailfish X is unfortunately not for me.

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Yep, 4 years ago, they launched Jolla1 (JP1301) - aka The First One and guess what - it still isn't all singing or all dancing, with plenty of regressions and a myriad of other small niggles, nonetheless, it still isn't suitable for everyone who likes just about every app in existence on their launcher not forgetting a said lack of standard apps like a proper native Facebook client (official api) or Whatsapp (owned by facebook).

So, please don't expect to see leaps and bounds with Sailfish XperiaX - this is of course, just my opinion based on what progress I've seen over the last 4 years. There are many problems, including that of a lack of good developers, this is because there is not a decent paid apps scene for Sailfish and good developers are NOT tempted by NO financial reward for their time and efforts and of course, most end users want apps for free.........stalemate quietly springs to mind.

Time will tell.

Edz ( 2017-11-19 12:43:34 +0200 )edit

just use it, you'll have a lot of fun as a member of a active community, and you can learn much on Linux, and you'll find work arounds for many issues.

danfin ( 2017-11-19 13:03:16 +0200 )edit

I basically agree with you Nasenbär, but to break this circle ... no good apps - no paying users - no skilled devs - no good apps - ... Jolla should make sure, that Sailfish OS should come with the apps most people need and expect. There are not so many really essential apps I think. Besides those that already exist as native apps there should be at least a more or less thrustworthy messenger available like threema, telegram, signal. Then a native app (port) for music streaming like tidal or spotify would be good. A maps/navigation app - native sailfish not android. That would be a start to attract more users. Especially if the OS costs 50 Euros per year. Of course bluetooth should be officially supported and the existing apps should be furtherly developed. Personally I'd like the clock to have a sleep timer, so that you can listen music and set a timer to mute sound or even switch the phone off. And a selective do not disturb functionality would be good (this is simple but great in IOS). With those features and the apps I named I'd be entirely satisfied, I think. Maybe there are already solutions for this. As I said, I'm a Sailfish newbie.

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-19 17:12:23 +0200 )edit

@Loeneberga: I basically agree. - For the messengers I think there are native options (at least I read about telegram/signal here iirc). Personally I use Threema (Android app). Sure I 'hate' that it is an Android app. But, it works well, better than I hoped for. Android apps are reasonably well integrated into the overall 'Sailfish feeling'. An advantage to 'normal Android phones' is that Google Play Services is missing, i.e. no (or at least much less) Google snooping. As Threema works well with my old Jolla 1 phone, I suppose Android apps will fly on your phone. Give - thrustworthy - Android apps a chance.

chappi ( 2017-11-19 20:03:06 +0200 )edit

@Loeneberga: Regarding Spotify. There is an app on openrepo: See also here:

chappi ( 2017-11-19 20:10:41 +0200 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2017-11-19 03:29:29 +0200

sifartech gravatar image

First, Thanks for supporting Sailfish OS. We need more people like you willing to support it despite its current flaws.

I mutilated a well working android phone to have little more than a dumbphone.

It can seem like that. :)

The problem is, without more users, developers won't build apps for Sailfish OS. And some users don't want to shift to Sailfish OS due to lack of apps. So what is a new mobile OS to do?

That is why Jolla opted to include android app support in Sailfish OS so that you can use apps that are not yet available on Sailfish OS. (Note that Jolla also has built and provided useful native apps that are frequently used - email, docs, browser, etc. - and they tap the full potential of Sailfish OS too.)

Until Sailfish OS reaches that critical point of adoption where developers start taking it seriously, we will have to continue using the android apps for some time.

From personal experience, I can tell you that while this may seem like a HUGE ISSUE now, once you stick with Sailfish OS and become familiar with it, you'll start appreciating the other features of Sailfish OS and realise how much of an improvement it is over Android and even IOS (to a certain extent). And you won't find it irritating to use whatever Android app you want with it.

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Thanks for your comment sifartech. I don't need that many android apps. 2 or 3, maybe. One of them is made available by the developpers on their website and the other one I downloaded with Yalp, that i found on F-Droid.

Is Yalp, ok? No mal- or spyware? Seems to be ok. I never hand any issues with F-Droid.

By the way is there a setting for "rooting" the Sailfish X or installing software from "unknown sources"? I didn't find that. I´d prefer to turn that off. I've to admit that I'm not really feeling very secure with Sailfish X. I only dare to use a prepaid phone card (sim card) in it, not a normal mobile sim (contract) where they can charge you any price if something goes wrong (like dialer malware etc.)

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-19 04:51:15 +0200 )edit

YalpStore seems to safe as far as I can tell. To be safer, download and install it from the developer's site itself (link to the apk).

For "unknown sources": go to Settings > Untrusted Software. But note that if you do not allow untrusted software, you may not be able to run the android apps you've downloaded from elsewhere.

I've to admit that I'm not really feeling very secure with Sailfish X

Don't worry, as long as you download the APKs from a good source, you don't have to worry about malwares on Sailfish. Moreover, the android support in Sailfish has a lot of restrictions to prevent any app from messing with the actual OS (for example, access to contacts are blocked unless allowed, they can't access SIM card etc.). While your fears of malware are not unfounded, Sailfish OS is much, much more secure than android and it helps that its userbase is low and so no known malware for it even exists as far I am aware.

sifartech ( 2017-11-19 06:25:01 +0200 )edit

Ok thank you. And the root user? Can you "root" the Sailfish like an Android phone? If so, is that the case by default.

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-19 13:32:27 +0200 )edit

@Loeneberga: Regarding root. You can enable the developer mode and then basically do what you want. See e.g. And/or search here on together for old questions. Much has already been asked/answered. (But this is not meant to discourage you from asking;)

chappi ( 2017-11-19 20:15:27 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-19 22:18:19 +0200

zepher gravatar image

You certainly raise some good issues. I think the most critical one for a security based audience is the lack of root on aliendalvik.

It's a little bit absurd that on a privacy oriented OS we have root on Sailfish but not root on the sandboxed Android layer.

This really reduces functionality, as fine-grained permission control is not allowed. I disable contacts on aliendalvik but per-app controls are desperately needed.

I live in hope that this can be resolved...

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answered 2017-11-19 08:48:21 +0200

pawel gravatar image

install openrepos.

there are patches i.e for search engines..

and more apps.

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I'll have a look at it. Thank you.

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-19 13:34:09 +0200 )edit

Hi pawel, is it this what you are writing about? Is this like a "store" for native sailfish apps? Or like F-Droid? Even if this sounds a bit paranoid to you, but is this openrepos free of malware etc. so is it thrustworthy? I'm not the kind of user that installs different apps all the time. I just want my phone to do certain things. If this is done, I normally leave it the way it is, except updates of course. Thanks for your help. I'm alearner. Please be patient. Thx.

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-19 17:53:10 +0200 )edit


and well you enble a repository and then can install the packages..

a lot of source is on github

pawel ( 2017-11-19 18:03:44 +0200 )edit

yes openrepos is thrustworthy. I used it in the past but not currently b/c I can live with a quite bare phone and the things I need are here as native apps (ore very seldom, e.g. threema, as Android app).

Regarding duck duck go: 1) really can't understand that this is not build in but 2) there is

2.1) a recipe to enable it via ssh ( or

2.2) a possibility using openrepos (first answer in

chappi ( 2017-11-19 19:49:37 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-21 19:52:13 +0200

molan gravatar image

updated 2017-11-21 19:54:50 +0200

Here an answer to your updated question regarding the annoying unlock warning screen: It's not a partnership with the Sony Corporation, but a collaboration with Sony Open Devices and thus Sailfish OS on the Xperia X is officially supported by the Open Devices Program. Every Sony device, which is unlocked and uses Sony Open Devices software (open Android) or other roms, shows this warning.

This warning has legal reasons - in case you install a malicious rom/software on your unlocked Sony device, it's your responsability.

I also think the warning is a bit annoying (especially since I trust my device more with Sailfish OS than with stock Android including all the Google spyware). But I don't see a reason, why Sony would remove it.

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Alain, you are right:

BUT, this doesn't make it any better. Collaboration & "can't be trusted"-screen = no go

Like you, I don't think Sony will remove it. :(

Loenneberga ( 2017-11-21 21:26:24 +0200 )edit

I know that my answer doesn't make it better - but that's the reason behind it, like it or not. Like I said: It's not a partnership with Sony Corporation, but a corporation with Sony Open Devices (that's not the same!). Even the open Android version distributed by Sony Open Devices itself has this warning screen.

Sony Corporation could run in legal issues if they wouldn't do that. I would prefer to have a less intrusive screen - but that's up to Sony and not Jolla.

So unless Jolla has the specific official partnership with the Sony Corp., where Sony distributes their Xperia devices with Sailfish OS preinstalled - and modified the way Sony wants to - we have to keep this warning screen.

Be happy that Sony lets us unlock the bootloader and use alternative systems on their phones, other manufactorers don't allow that ;-)

molan ( 2017-12-01 00:06:13 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-01-17 22:56:31 +0200

stef gravatar image

RE the annoying unlock warning, does anyone know if restoring the TA partition/DRM keys is possible with Sailfish installed and if this would remove the problem? Or is this not possible while running Sailfish?

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Asked: 2017-11-19 00:43:02 +0200

Seen: 1,338 times

Last updated: Jan 17 '18