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

asked 2014-02-28 02:59:23 +0300

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updated 2018-05-06 23:07:49 +0300

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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )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 +0300 )edit

16 Answers

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answered 2015-04-18 16:07:11 +0300

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 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-04-18 09:40:02 +0300

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 +0300 )edit

answered 2016-08-16 22:56:48 +0300

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 +0300 )edit

answered 2019-05-25 18:02:11 +0300

I am on

19 steps to install play store ... oh my god ... is it still that complicated?

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It's not that complicated. This is just an extremely particular and beginner-friendly quide.


1) obtain the three needed Google apk files

2) copy them to to the correct folder as root

3) reboot

4) install Phonesky.apk (one of files in step 1)

5) sign in to the Google Play Store app

teemu ( 2019-05-26 17:29:51 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-03-06 14:46:47 +0300

Odorobo gravatar image

updated 2015-03-10 10:59:55 +0300

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 +0300 )edit

Please keep your irrelevant thoughts to yourself.

Odorobo ( 2015-03-10 10:30:52 +0300 )edit

answered 2015-01-06 17:20:31 +0300

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2015-01-06 17:50:46 +0300

foss4ever gravatar image

As Google Play Services and droid-ware that requires them is not supported in Jolla and in my view, never officially will be, enabling and promoting them is counter-productive and out-of-scope in regards to this forum and #SailfisOS native app provision. Questions, issues, requests and how-to's that link to Google Play (Services) should be closed and/or removed from this forum as irrelevant, counter-productive and/or out-of-scope.

It's ok and fine (because the SailfishOs native app spread is still quite small) that AlienDalvik related support is available in Jolla devices and this forum but Google Play support and advocacy is IMO just helping the competitors and is thus not good for Jolla and #SailfishOS and native app ecoystem future, nor to it's advocators, supportes, collaborarors, users or developers.

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Also, it could possibly lead to legal issues?

anandrkris ( 2015-01-06 17:27:27 +0300 )edit

Besides legal issues, I strongly disagree with @jjaone. I am one of the few who use jolla as the main and only mobile phone in day to day business. And you know all the things that still don't work, functionalities missing, and sometimes even are a real pita (calendar and many others, all massively voted).

There are some apps who are only available through the google play. I need a special security app for generating access codes for remote access. Same goes for banking apps and others. The android engine is fine, but you need to access playstore for getting/buying them.

If your suggestion would lead to deleting this thread, I will stop using jolla and period. It's not about advertising android apps here, but sbout making jolla more and better usable!

melg01 ( 2015-01-06 17:55:06 +0300 )edit

@jjaone: Dream on. Jolla is not Apple. Proceed as you like ... and Jolla will end up on the same place where you can already find WebOS, PALM, Symbian, Atari -- you name it. Even Microsoft and Adobe have realized that they have to open up their eco systems (at least, partly) in order to survive.

There may be legal reasons that Jolla does not support Play officially, but obviously there is nothing wrong in publishing the way to a solution.

jgr ( 2015-01-06 18:57:06 +0300 )edit

I think it should be a user decision where to download Android apps from. If I need Android apps for certain functionalities, I would prefer to download them from the most official source which currently is the Play Store. If not prefered by you, you can simply ignore the post. Those who are interested, let them help each other. Its fine if employees of Jolla do not respond to this particular post due to legal reasons, but we have a wonderful community supporting each other.

Aashish ( 2015-01-06 21:29:27 +0300 )edit

Not that surpring that in a HowTo-thread that gives instructions to hack/install Google Play Services support to Jolla phone the advocates of Google Play service / business ecosystem oppose the proposal. Personally, I don't care which vendors or companys ecosystems, operating systems, platforms, or devices ppl use but supporting Google Play Services has nothing to do with Jolla and SailfishOS and Jolla user/developer community and for rhis reason only Google Play related posts don't belong here, and all the contributions by sailors or community to enabing full Google Play compliance to Jolla is complete waste of time and effort and resources, and most importantly working directly against the spreading and improving of Mer/Nemomobile/Qt/Qml-based #SailfisOs as an open mobile stack, an app platform and an alternative / open source service eecosystem. Also, you might intetested to know that the proposal to keep Google Play stuff put of Jolla (device and forums) is not even the nost extreme view in here; e.g. there are quite many posts in Together that suggest to get rid Android-support altogether (which I think is not possible while the native app/system service provision is not feature-complete or mature enough).

foss4ever ( 2015-01-07 21:41:52 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-02-28 02:59:23 +0300

Seen: 103,937 times

Last updated: May 25