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Access of Android Apps to SD card

Tracked by Jolla (In release)

asked 2018-01-08 16:09:17 +0300

JMLatJolla gravatar image

After adjusting yesterday the storage allocation of root and home file systems on my SX X to cover my personal needs, I would now like to make the installed microSDXC card accessible for all the Android applications, so that their data can be stored there and they are able to access all the data shared there. Is this procedure from Dec '13 still state-of-the-art?

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answered 2020-04-27 11:27:22 +0300

jovirkku gravatar image

Android apps have better chances of using the SD card in OS release 3.3.0. This concerns Android App Support 8.1, i.e. Xperia XA2 and Xperia 10 products.

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answered 2018-01-08 20:58:10 +0300

Robomike gravatar image

If you want to leave the card installed in the device, you will find the best answer here: https://together.jolla.com/question/40802/how-to-format-your-usd-card-to-share-space-with-android/

Temporary / removable is a different usecase.

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Yes, @Robomike, I have already seen this proposed approach, but I have my doubts: On the SX X the SD card is not that accessible, so in practice I won't remove it really often - but this is exactly why, in the unlikely case that I have/need to do it, I don't want the need to think and worry about a live btrfs hanging around that afterwards is missed inserting a new card - it's kind of a undesirable limitation for me. Hm, I'm really a little bit wavered... but anyway, thanks for the tip.

JMLatJolla ( 2018-01-08 21:39:22 +0300 )edit

There's no BTRFS for Sailfish X. In case you want to do so, you need the Jolla C solution.

I never had a problem with this, neither with BTRFS on Jolla 1 nor with Ext4 on Sony. When stopping the Android services, I can remove the tray without issues, but due to the fact that the SIM-card is removed at the same time, you need to reboot the device anyway to make the phone working as a phone again.

Even most android apps will run properly without the card, as long as you have the duplicated folders (containing no or less data) on the flash disk. If they don't find their dirs, they will set up new ones and behave like freshly installed.

In case you want to replace the card with a newer, bigger one you might have some work because the uuid is different. So I decided to take the biggest available (256GB) for my Sony, one third is already used by now, it's ridiculous...

Robomike ( 2018-01-08 23:57:45 +0300 )edit

Hi, thanks for the hint, @Robomike! I had only been stubbornly aware of the btrfs solution, and as a newbie, model terms like Jolla 1 or C don't really tell me so much... blind, blind, blind!
A few moments ago I implemented and tested it successfully. I've also cleaned up the original directory a little bit - now the file system layout fits more to my needs: root 3.4 GB free, local home 7.8 GB free, and on the 200 GB SD card 138 GB free - I like it. :)

JMLatJolla ( 2018-01-09 02:33:16 +0300 )edit

For heaven's sake, that should finally be adopted by Jolla as the standard. It is possible to imagine that this function can be activated in the settings - or that it has to be defined during initial setup.

Moo-Crumpus ( 2018-01-10 12:09:42 +0300 )edit

@olf : thanks for your addition. Jan '18 was way back....

Robomike ( 2019-09-29 21:08:05 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-09-29 10:43:16 +0300

WT.Sane gravatar image

I installed mount-sdcard from openrepos. Works.

btw: You might need a file-manager and gallery app for Android, too. I found mine on fdroid.

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which device you have please?

cemoi71 ( 2019-10-01 00:06:01 +0300 )edit

XA2, Dual SIM, with Seitsimen 3.1.011

WT.Sane ( 2019-10-01 13:55:10 +0300 )edit

answered 2020-04-02 21:22:03 +0300

Sebix gravatar image

Citing the release notes for 3.3.0:

Many Android apps can access the SD card, now. For instance, OsmAnd and HERE WeGo map apps can save the offline map tiles to the card. Likewise, Spotify can save the music to the card. Apps like WhatsApp can attach pictures from the SD card to messages now. The card name must not contain spaces.

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@Sebix: thank you for citing the release notes here The link to this TJC post was missing from the Jolla-internal bug - now added.

The support for the memory card access is not perfect yet on 3.3.0 but still an improvement. This fix concerns Android App Support 8.1, i.e. Xperia XA2 and Xperia 10 products.

jovirkku ( 2020-04-08 14:21:09 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-09-23 20:03:56 +0300

kibatz gravatar image

updated 2019-09-24 02:09:58 +0300

For XPERIA XA2, i've tried with a SYMLINK by adding the sdcard folder to /home/nemo, even like that it s not working, android app does'nt reconize it. So dont loose your time to do that.

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coderus's Alien Dalvik Control will mount your SD card in the Android filesystem under /sdcard/sd/.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2019-09-24 13:11:02 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-09-24 17:43:23 +0300

olf gravatar image

updated 2019-09-29 18:29:46 +0300

@JMLatJolla, the procedure from December 2013 you linked to is long outdated.

There are a couple of other guides here at TJC, but I found most of them not working properly on recent SailfishOS versions and none of them working fully satisfactory.
Hence I wrote the "Guide: Externalising android_storage and other directories / files to SD-card" (which @Pohli already pointed out in a comment). Please note the contributed answers for XA2 devices.

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The solution for XA2 is interesting, but nevertheless it could break at any update. If it's that simple, moving Android directories to SD card should be officially supported by SFOS, especially since almost all available devices are very tight with flash.

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2019-09-30 11:19:09 +0300 )edit

Anything can be broken by any update! And that does not really matter:
If it happens, one has to reestablish the changes to to the file (a single one) which is deployed by Jolla. It did not happen since SailfishOS 2.2.0 (released Summer 2018), though.

As it is "that simple", good luck telling Jolla what they should do: I guess they have a couple of hundred things, which are "that simple" to improve or fix, but too few employees to address more than the most prioritised ones.

olf ( 2019-09-30 15:41:58 +0300 )edit

Well, SFOS 3.2.0 turned out to be a "breaking update", because it replaced Jolla's original /opt/alien/system/script/platform_envsetup.sh with an identical file.
Hence, if one had altered it before, one has to reestablish the changes (or copy a backup of your altered platform_envsetup.sh).

olf ( 2020-06-17 15:56:59 +0300 )edit

answered 2020-06-17 04:33:31 +0300

speefak gravatar image

Externalising Adroid Apps to sdcard is no problem : https://speefak.spdns.de/oss_lifestyle/sailfish-os-speicherpfade-auf-sd-karte-mappen/

But android apps can`t access the Telephone memory e.g starting from /home/nemo directory. Symlinks from /home/nemo/adroid_storage back to /home/nemo ware not accepted bei the alien dalvik emulator.

The only solution is a mount bind command. write to fstab for mounting directory on system start. But is this entry surviving an SFOS update ?

My favorite way is a config from alien dalvik itsself to get access the main memory as a kind of external memory

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AFAICS, this does not work well, see my comment to your similar posting.

olf ( 2020-06-17 15:52:02 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2018-01-08 16:09:17 +0300

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Last updated: Jun 17 '20