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SailfishOS on Sony Xperia XA2 Plus

Posted in hardware, Jolla, opensuse by mschlander on 28/08/2019

Not too much noise has been made about it, but fairly recently SailfishOS for Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and XA2 Plus (finally) came out of beta stage after the initial release last autumn. I went and got myself an XA2 Plus and have been using it for a week now and am very pleased with it. Compared to former SailfishOS devices the Android runtime for the XA2 models is at version 8.x (compared to 4.x for previous devices), meaning a lot more Android apps will run on it.

So if you’re looking for a proper GNU/Linux phone and/or an alternative to the Google/Apple duopoly now is your chance to run SailfishOS on very decent and affordable midrange hardware. Below is a video of the XA2 Plus running SailfishOS (not mine).

you can buy the image here (EUR 49,90) and installation instructions are here.

I unlocked and flashed the device on openSUSE Leap 15.0 using the android-tools package from this home repo

What is SailfishOS?

SailfishOS is a proper GNU/Linux OS for mobile devices based in Finland. It’s the successor of Nokia’s MeeGo so to speak. It has a cool, smooth and efficient swipe based interface. Behind the scenes it’s using Qt, Wayland, RPM, BlueZ, Systemd, Pulseaudio etc. as well as openSUSE technologies libzypp and Open Build Service.

Panasonic ER-SB40 -k Corded Use Hoax

Posted in hardware by mschlander on 08/09/2018

I’m sorry but I have to share a little rant/consumer announcement.

Merely three years ago almost to the day I bought a Philips QG3371 beard trimmer, and for some time already the battery has been worn out causing the machine to stop during trimming even with the AC adapter connected which is annoying and also rather painful.

So I needed a new beard trimmer, and didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. I failed to find any beard trimmer running solely on AC power, but I did find a couple of models that advertised both corded and cordless operation, which I thought would be a long term durable design and I went with the Panasonic ER-SB40 -k.


However the first thing I noticed browsing the manual was that corded use was a truth with some major modifications.


So they got me with planned obsolescence again. So-called corded use or “AC operation” requires the battery to be functional and at least partially charged. So when the battery is worn out not very long from now the entire device will be rendered useless just like the Philips QG3371. The Panasonic has a Lithium-Ion battery which should last a bit longer than the Ni-MH of the Philips at least.

I don’t know if there might be any good technical reasons for this, but e.g. my laptop runs perfectly fine on the AC adapter with the battery worn out or even with the battery completely removed.

SailfishOS on Sony Xperia X

Posted in Jolla, opensuse by mschlander on 12/10/2017

SailfishOS should need no introduction, but just in case someone doesn’t know about it, it’s the successor of MeeGo developed by Nokia and Intel so to speak, i.e. it’s a proper GNU/Linux system, with a cool and efficient swipe based interface built on Qt, it uses a few SUSE technologies such as libzypp and Open Build Service and it sports an Android runtime, that lets you run most Android apps. In short: SailfishOS is made of awesome.

Until now SailfishOS has only been available on sub-par hardware, and sometimes devices haven’t really been available for purchase at all. But since yesterday you can buy a SailfishOS image for the Sony Xperia X (single SIM model, F5121).

I installed it yesterday and so far it’s an amazing experience to run SailfishOS on pretty decent hardware, and the standby battery time appears to be through the roof.


The instructions for unlocking the bootloader and installing SailfishOS are a bit lengthy and technical and for the time being it requires access to a Microsoft Windows PC, but I managed without much hassle, and so can you!

UPDATE: Official installation instructions for Linux were published now.

In other news the Librem 5 crowdfunding reached it’s minimum goal, so overall it’s been a great couple of days for GNU/Linux on mobile devices.

Create two, three, many openSUSE Guides

Posted in opensuse by mschlander on 30/07/2016

I’m often approached by people who wish to translate to their respective languages, which is awesome, but managing translations would be too much work for me. So instead I encourage people to create a derivative work of the guide in their own language – it’s licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License with no invariant sections.

Recently derivatives have been created for Arabic and Spanish by Sadig Osman and victorhck respectively.

Moved to GitHub

I have now made it a whole lot easier for people to fork by putting the guide on github. This also makes it much easier for maintainers of derivative works to keep track of the on-going changes and updates I make to the guide.

The HTML isn’t particularly pretty, and I probably still have some Danish language comments here and there. But please go ahead and fork me.

The World Envies India – New SailfishOS Phone

Posted in Jolla, opensuse by mschlander on 20/07/2016

Intex Aqua Fish

A few days ago the Intex Aqua Fish became publicly available. This is the first 3rd party phone officially running SailfishOS from Jolla.

Unfortunately the phone is only for sale in India currently, for the price of 5.499 rupees (roughly 80 (eighty) USD!). If you are in India you can get it from one of these outlets:

I’m told that build quality and camera are pretty decent, especially considering the price. The performance is very good, as you would expect, SailfishOS 2.0 is running very smooth even on the Jolla Phone which has much lower specs than the Intex Aqua Fish.


SailfishOS stands out because of:

  • Very elegant and efficient swipe based UI great for one-handed use
  • Long battery life
  • The Android runtime letting you run most Anodroid apps
  • Real multitasking
  • Proper GNU/Linux system underneath including use of SUSE technologies like libzypp, zypper and Open Build Service.
  • It’s based in Finland and started by ex-Nokia people.

Other options

Recently Jolla sold a few hundred identical phones aimed at the developer community, but they sold out in a matter of hours. So for the time being the rest of us not in India, are left jealously waiting for the Turing Phone to become widely available or for Fairphone to officially offer Sailfish as an option. Or hoping for Intex to start offering the phone globally, or for some other entrepreneurial people to start exporting it.

My Jolla tablet

Posted in Jolla, opensuse by mschlander on 17/03/2016

You may have heard about the crowdfunded Jolla tablet, sporting the very cool proper GNU/Linux based SailfishOS, and also that things went a little sour because of an unfortunate set of circumstances, meaning most tablets will never be shipped (I got my e-mail regarding a refund a couple of days ago).

However by an uncharacteristic stroke of good luck one of the few Jolla tablets that has indeed been shipped, has come into my possession via the second hand market – and at a very reasonable price too. Thanks a lot to the altruistic Jolla supporter who was one of the first to pledge for the crowdfunding, and who sold it on to me after only a few days of ownership. It’s the 64 GB version including the quite elegant LastuCase of real leather and wood, which doubles as a stand.


Since the Jolla tablet isn’t widely available, there’s not much point in giving a lengthy review, so I’ll keep it short. The packaging is very slick and smooth. The tablet casing is plastic, but the build quality feels quite solid nevertheless. The display is very crisp and beautiful. At 7,85″ and 384 grams the physical dimensions are perfectly balanced. I can hold it in one hand quite some time before getting tired.

SailfishOS performs extremely well on this tablet. I had been wondering if the excellent gesture based UI which encourages one-handed usage would work as well on a tablet as it does on the phone. But it most definitely does – anything is only a flick of the finger away.

Of course not everything is perfect, the default web browser is a bit more crashy than it is on the phone, and far from all the native SailfishOS apps have been ported to the Intel based tablet – understandably so given the number of tablets in circulation and of course you can run most Android apps via the Android runtime. Another ill side-effect of the tablet is that it is so great that it makes the Jolla phone feel a little slow and crammed in comparison.

Speaking of the phone, it’s been well over two years since I bought and I still couldn’t be happier with it. Luckily more SailfishOS devices are to be expected very soon like the Intex Aqua Fish and Turing Phone. And Fairphone 2 and Mi-Fone also on the horizon.

Hopefully for the rest of you, another SailfishOS tablet will also become available fairly soon.

openSUSE 13.2 release and other goodness

Posted in Jolla, opensuse by mschlander on 04/11/2014

Today happens to be my birthday, I’ve taken some days off work and there’s a lot of good stuff going on.

Tumbleweed is dead, long live Tumbleweed

Earlier today Richard Brown informed that the planned merge of Tumbleweed into Factory has been completed. So starting from today the “old” Tumbleweed is dead, and Factory will continue as a rolling release distro under the name openSUSE Tumbleweed.

Black Other Half

As a birthday present I got the Keira Black Other Half from the Jolla Store for my Jolla. Which of course isn’t just a cover, it’s a smart cover which also adds a cool ambience including ringtones etc.


Kickstarter for TOHKBD

The Kickstarter crowd funding campaign for TOHKBD (The Other Half Keyboard, scroll down on the link for videos and more). A physical QWERTY keyboard for the Jolla smartphone, has kicked off today, and so far gotten off to a flying start.


openSUSE 13.2

Of course most importantly openSUSE 13.2 was released minutes ago.

This is the first release based on the stabilized rolling release distro Factory (well, Tumbleweed, starting today). It features a greatly improved installer, Plasma 5 as a tech preview, QML based NetworkManager plasmoid, Btrfs+XFS as default filesystem. See here for a detailed list of new features.

Also the nice and stable, feature frozen KDE 4 workspace should be mentioned. A lot people who used KDE 3.5.x back in the day, will remember the joys of a stable and feature frozen desktop environment only getting bugfix and polish. Also 13.2 comes with a new, light coloured desktop theme.

Of course openSUSE-Guide.Org has been updated for the 13.2 release.

And, as always, remember to join our community and help make 13.3 even better than 13.2!