HowTo: Access command line with root privileges

asked 2014-03-08 13:32:34 +0200

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

updated 2014-03-09 16:37:45 +0200

chemist gravatar image

This is a tutorial how to access terminal window with root privileges on Jolla phone.

  1. Go to Settings -> System -> Developer mode
  2. Enable Developer mode

    • Do not enable 'Developer updates' further below on the same page
    • If the phone asks for a reboot, do so.
  3. Again under Developer mode settings, enable Remote connection and set a password for it.

  4. Activating Developer mode installed the Terminal application on your device. Look for it in the application view and launch it.
  5. In the terminal type:


The password is the same that you did set for the remote connection.

After these steps you have access to SailfishOS with root privileges.


  • Remote connection option under Developer mode enables SSH access to your device through the network. It is important that you set a good password for it under the same option. Preferably you should disable remote access when you do not need root privileges (this resets the password every time you re-activate it).

  • You may not ssh to root directly without setting up key authentication. You can access your device with ssh nemo@ipaddress, from where you can again gain root level with command devel-su. Password for the account nemo is the same as for devel-su.

  • Unlocking the bootloader for Jolla device is a different matter from plain OS root privileges access. It is achievable by other means out of scope of this article.
    (This is covered here: HowTo (all PC-users): Recover or reset a device that is stuck / in boot loop)

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I could not find a plain article about how to reach just "devel-su" in, so I created one. It is for linking purposes in the future. If this is a duplicate, please let me know.

Manatus ( 2014-03-08 13:35:29 +0200 )edit

polished it and changed to wiki

chemist ( 2014-03-08 14:04:32 +0200 )edit

Thanks! :)

Manatus ( 2014-03-08 14:31:03 +0200 )edit