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HowTo: Install Google Play on original Jolla Phone (sbj)

asked 2014-02-28 02:59:23 +0200

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updated 2018-05-06 23:07:49 +0200

jollajo gravatar image


Do not install, if you do not trust Google ("do not be evil" – this was long ago ;-).

The following procedure limits the software installed just to the Google Play store, eliminating all other stuff most often accompanying the Play store installation.

Alternative to Google Play Store installation

Question HowTo: Download app installation (apk) files from Google Play Store points to a web address allowing to download the app installation file when you know the package name or Google Play URL. So, at least for apps you do not have to pay for in-store, this could be an alternative to a Google Play Store installation as described below. (This alternative may not be more trustworthy than Google itself, see the comments to that question. Also: No idea, how app updates will be handled when you have not installed Play Store.)

Got a Jolla C or Tablet?

If you are looking for instructions for installing Google Play on your Jolla C or Tablet, have a look at this guide instead.


You need on your Jolla handset:

  • Jolla Store access
  • Internet access (WLAN/WiFi or mobile network)
  • App "File Browser" from Jolla Store
  • Since Sailfish OS possibly: Installation of untrusted software being enabled. Set |- Settings | System | Untrusted software | "Allow untrusted software" = active -|. (I could not test this, installation may also work while this option is left inactive.)

Note: Linux file and directory names are case sensitive!


  1. Make sure you have a Jolla account and the Jolla device can access the Jolla Store.
  2. Go to |- Settings | System Settings | Developer Mode -|.
    Because your Jolla device can access the Jolla Store, a Terminal app is installed now.
  3. Activate „Developer mode“.
  4. Activate „Remote connection” (either enter and [Save] a password or [Generate] it; if you generate it, you have to edit it slightly before the [Save] button becomes available).
  5. Using the Jolla device, open the browser and download ~ instead try:
    The file is downloaded to directory /home/nemo/Downloads
  6. Open the Terminal app installed during step 2.
    The SailfishOS command prompt will appear. You are logged in as user, the prompt is a "$".
  7. Go to the download directory: Enter cd ~/Downloads [Enter]
    In case of an English Terminal keyboard layout, the "~" key is the shifted "=" key.
  8. Unzip the file: Enter unzip [Enter].
  9. Get root access: Enter devel-su [Enter].
  10. When requested: Enter your password (as specified during step 4) and [Enter].
    The prompt changes from "$" to "#". Now, you have root access to the Jolla device! Be careful!
  11. Go to the destination directory: Enter cd /opt/alien/system/app [Enter].
  12. Copy the following files one by one (you do not need all the other ones unzipped before):
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/Phonesky.apk .
      (Do not forget the dot at the end of the line.)
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleLoginService.apk .
    • cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleServicesFramework.apk .
      By now, your Terminal window will look like:
      bash-3.2$ cd ~/Downloads
      bash-3.2$ unzip
      inflating: (… many, many lines …)
      Inflating: system/usr/srec/en-US/symbols
      bash-3.2$ devel-su
      bash-3.2# cd /opt/alien/system/app
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/Phonesky.apk .
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleLoginService.apk .
      bash-3.2# cp /home/nemo/Downloads/system/app/GoogleServicesFramework.apk .
  13. Reboot the Jolla handset (switch off and on using the power button).

    • Restart Alien Dalvik service: Enter systemctl restart aliendalvik.service [Return].
    • End root access: Enter exit [Return].
    • End Terminal: Enter exit [Return].
  14. Open app "File Browser".
  15. Goto directory /opt/alien/system/app.
    The File Browser opens in the /home/nemo/ directory. To get to the root directory you have to tap the 2 upper left dots, then you can go down to the app directory.
  16. Tap file Phonesky.apk.
    A new page opens with details of this file.
  17. From the pulley menu select "Install".
    The Google Play store is being installed, a corresponding icon placed on the launcher screen.
  18. Using File Browser you may clean up the Downloads directory from all the files unzipped there and not required any longer.
  19. Start the Play app and log in to the Play store. Refuse all options you do not want (e.g. backup to the Google cloud).

You are done.

Google account

The google account is saved in /data/system/users/0/accounts.db. If you wish to purge Google completely, then you can delete this file. Delete accounts.db (or better renaming it to accounts_backup.db) helps also for the cannot connect problem. The google account name is also saved into /data/system/sync/accounts.xml

Helpful was: -

Edit by @Tanghus: Some apps also require Google Play Services in order to e.g. pay for tickets etc.In that case you'll have to install the apk mentioned in this answer

After doing that you will have to repeat the step with tapping at Phonesky.apk to re-install it. Don't ask me why :)

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Excellent handholding guide. Did this a month back and a few steps had me scratching my head.

orjans ( 2014-03-06 03:35:59 +0200 )edit

On step 13 you don't have to reboot your Jolla, you just have to restart Alien Dalvik: systemctl restart aliendalvik.service.

Lcferrum ( 2014-03-06 08:43:29 +0200 )edit

Thanks for this very detailed guide! Is it possible to download paid for apps already purchased on an android device with my account? (tomtom for example) ( 2014-03-06 10:16:01 +0200 )edit

I have only bought a few app through play store. They will download and before installing them Play Store will crash, but you can find the temp file in data/app-private. If you rename that temp file to .apk you can install it manually and it will work. At least mine did.

Ozymandias ( 2014-03-06 10:27:27 +0200 )edit

Very cool. I've got Google Play on my Jolla. When I tried to authenticate to my Google account over WiFi it could not connect to the Google server to authenticate. So I switched wifi off and switched to 3G. This enabled me to login. As soon as it logged in the PlayStore quit. So I reloaded it and it tried to load the Google play home page. It this point it says "Server Error" - retry. Switch back to wifi and retry and still see same error.

Any suggestions?


JupiterOrbit ( 2014-03-07 18:02:17 +0200 )edit

15 Answers

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answered 2017-01-23 05:09:09 +0200

If you don't care about Google Services, can try the Yalp Store( , download apps directly from Google Play, with no intermediates, with a hardware configuration compatible with Jolla (not C, on C I don't try), I don't know how, but works all aplications what I need: Whatsapp, Airbnb, Skype and others. I liked to much of the results and the simplicity, maybe a good alternative to Google Play.

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The point of installing Google Play is not really to get apps, but to make apps requiring Google services (e.g. Maps) working.

Sthocs ( 2017-01-23 11:50:34 +0200 )edit

@Sthocs, my point for installing Google Play was to get an easy access to certain needed domestic apps like my net bank app and my internet operators' apps, the providers of which are not the slightest interested in distributing the apps through any other channel.

teemu ( 2017-01-24 09:05:14 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-11-27 19:49:51 +0200

Eminem gravatar image

File link doesn't work. Here is a new one. :)

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answered 2016-11-24 06:08:53 +0200

sundeeseeyou gravatar image

The Gapps link is broken, and is this method still working?

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Or go to » downloads » the last page (6), the zip is still there

Pheet ( 2016-11-24 12:43:29 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-08-16 22:56:48 +0200

malibu1106 gravatar image

Tried this topic on , google play store icon disappear after reboot ! Any idea?

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Did notice that Jolla 1 on runs PlayStore v6.8.24F whereas AquaFish on 2.02.45 runs later v6.9.15G after updating yesterday. Haven't tried a fresh installation upon Jolla 1 since this update.

aspergerguy ( 2016-08-17 17:46:37 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-08-11 23:56:15 +0200

rob_kouw gravatar image

I just tried this procedure on a clean installation of Taalojarvi 2.01.11. I managed to log into Google. Then the Google Play window produced a "Server Error - Retry" message. Also after retrying the installation of Phonesky.apk, I kept getting the server error.

So I used a .apk file I found in 2015. It provides a more recent version of Google Play, and it will open up to all the apps. A zip with the .apk can be found here:

Soon after installation it will upgrade to the newest version.

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Did not work for me - also a clean installation of Taalojarvi 2.01.11. Store installs fine, but crashes immediately and after reboot the icon is gone.

Seems like the gapps from the orginal link is no longer available. Any suggestions on an other source?

DNG ( 2016-08-30 01:48:37 +0200 )edit

@Nicole - Thanks a lot for the link - worked like a charm.

DNG ( 2016-10-26 00:05:56 +0200 )edit

@rob_kouw Also got "Server Error - Retry" message with build. link is no longer valid.

Has anyone have a working version to download?

Vitaly ( 2016-11-10 21:18:03 +0200 )edit

answered 2016-04-18 09:40:02 +0200

Apooo gravatar image

Does this work with Sailfish 2.0 ?

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Yes, I installed it on my Jolla (had to because of a few apps not working without it), works well. But after installing google play, some android apps tend to crash a bit more often and sometimes to re-open them, you have to open google play too.

Antti22 ( 2016-04-18 10:54:11 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-04-18 16:07:11 +0200

Neotopia gravatar image

Can I deactivate the developer mode after all steps?

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Sure you can.

rburkhanov ( 2015-04-18 18:54:18 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-06 17:58:22 +0200

zappAtom gravatar image

I have a question regarding updates! I guess the Google Play app will offer updates of applications I installed by it. What about these other solutions where I use the URL or just download an apk package. I guess you have to check for updates by yourself, or?

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It seems like Play Store remains in the system even if you uninstall it. For a confirmation consider removing it and look at available updates in Aptoide.
Dunno what would happen with updates distributed only through GP.

Odorobo ( 2015-03-06 18:06:04 +0200 )edit

thx for your answer. But my question was related to normal Android app updates. I guess you get this only with the respective store apps!?

zappAtom ( 2015-03-06 18:21:31 +0200 )edit

@zappAtom, you mean cracked ones?

Odorobo ( 2015-03-06 18:46:04 +0200 )edit

I mean Android apps that you installed via the Google Play store. If there's an update for I receive that via the Play store? If I manually install an apk file, I probably need also to update manually, or?

zappAtom ( 2015-03-06 18:48:37 +0200 )edit

@zappAtom, i'll reply in a metaphor:
if you load a gun, you still need to pull the trigger for it to shoot
if you can make someone else to do all the job, you just ask

Odorobo ( 2015-03-06 18:51:26 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-06 14:46:47 +0200

Odorobo gravatar image

updated 2015-03-10 10:59:55 +0200

I couldn't find a .tmp file (or anything else) in /data/app-private/ but still I've managed to install a Paid game from google store without having it crashed and avoiding the renaming thing.
Writing what i did as much detailed as possible in case someone would want to repeat my actions.
First I've installed Google Store as guide in opening post says to.
Then in store app I've pressed "APPS" button that sent me to a page with a green headline.
Then I've used the search located at the greed headline and went to the game page. I've paid for it before so i've pressed "Install" and it started downloading anew.
After that i'v switched to FileBrowser to see for myself if a .tmp file is going to appear but instead GoogleStore successfully installed the game.
Dunno which one of theese two things mattered.
(haters gonna hate)

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Please convert this non-answer to a comment.

Tanghus ( 2015-03-10 01:46:41 +0200 )edit

Please keep your irrelevant thoughts to yourself.

Odorobo ( 2015-03-10 10:30:52 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-02-14 20:44:45 +0200

kurdit gravatar image

help me pls step 11: bash-3.2# cd /opt/alien/system/app (enter) no such file or directory

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andoid support is installed and running?

rudi ( 2015-02-14 21:42:17 +0200 )edit

thks for ur answer.. i think need running andro support? how mate? im newbie here

kurdit ( 2015-02-14 22:37:51 +0200 )edit

download and install from Jolla store, then you'll able to proceed here

rudi ( 2015-02-14 22:43:33 +0200 )edit

cant find alien dalvik on store any link?

kurdit ( 2015-02-15 00:17:33 +0200 )edit

on the phone, jolla store, android support

rudi ( 2015-02-15 01:06:10 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2014-02-28 02:59:23 +0200

Seen: 101,407 times

Last updated: May 06