Sailfish OS

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This article is about the Linux MeeGo Sailfish operating system from Jolla and open internet community. For the tablet, see Jolla Tablet. For the Jolla company, see Jolla. For the Sailfish Alliance, see Sailfish Alliance. For other uses, see Sailfish (disambiguation).
Sailfish logo.svg
Developer Jolla
OS family Linux MeeGo
Working state Current
Source model open source
Latest release / 24 October 2014
Marketing target Mobile and general purpose
Package manager RPM Package Manager[1]
Platforms 32-bit ARM 64-bit
Kernel type Monolithic (Linux)
License Open source for OS, but various for Jolla's proprietary UI
Official website
Hackday with Jolla, Mer and Nemo Mobile in September 2012

Sailfish is a mobile operating system combining the Linux kernel with mer core and proprietary software written by Jolla. Sailfish is being developed by Jolla together with MER project community and open community in internet and companies in the Sailfish Alliance. It is used Jolla smartphone, in upcoming Jolla Tablets by and other licensees.[citation needed] Although it is primarily targeted at mobile devices, it is also intended to support other categories of devices.

Software architecture[edit]

The Sailfish OS and the Sailfish SDK is based on the Linux kernel and Mer.[2][3][4] Sailfish OS also includes a proprietary multi-tasking Lipstick graphical shell built by Jolla on top of Wayland.[5] While Jolla uses free and open-source graphics device drivers, Hybris library allows using proprietary graphics device drivers for Android.[6][7]

Sailfish OS is able to run Android applications through a proprietary Android compatibility layer.[8]

Sailfish OS SDK[edit]

The Sailfish OS SDK was announced in Helsinki at Slush in 2012, and the alpha was published in February 2013. As open source software, it is available for free download from the Sailfish OS Wiki together with installation and coding tutorials. Most users have described positive impressions from using the alpha SDK, however some critical remarks have been reported. Several developers announced porting their existing software from various platforms to Sailfish OS at JollaHQ Twitter channel.

Sailfish SDK uses Qt with a virtual box for development, compiling and emulation purposes, in contrary to simulation method, what is important as gives significantly different possibilities. This technique allows compilation on the Sailfish OS and to test developed software fully in the virtual machine emulating the whole Sailfish OS, but not symulating. This also separate development activities and (side) effects from everything else going on this particular computer, so everything else is undisturbed by developments and tests.

Jolla says that as development with Sailfish SDK is development on Sailfish OS itself, there are no differences between developed software appearance and behaviour in SDK and on end-user machine with Sailfish OS.

The open source nature of SDK allows shaping and rebuilding it for particular and specific needs of any company or any organisation or any group of developers or an advanced developer, which allows creating a context-specific environment. This supports creating a specific personalised coding environment with specific tools for specific needs that is set once and then always ready to work as set, and does not need initial preparation for specific needs every time it is turned on (booted).

The SDK supports many systems like Android, Linux (32- and 64-bit version), OS X (64-bit version only as of March 2013) or Windows.

Application programming interfaces[edit]

Qt APIs (QtQuick, QtWebkit and more) should be used by typical Sailfish OS applications. Also standard Linux APIs within reason for mobile usage will be available.[9]


Responding to privacy concerns in light of the PRISM spying program that came to light in summer 2013, a company representative said the US National Security Agency (NSA) would have no access to Jolla's servers. "Jolla servers are not in US, so we are not subject to any US rules or regulations regarding disclosing information."[10]

Software overview[edit]

Software version[edit]

List of software version and update names for Sailfish OS. Each Sailfish OS version will be named after a Finnish lake.[11]

Software version Name
Initial release Kaajanlampi[11]
v1.0.1.10 Laadunjärvi[12]
v1.0.2.5 Maadajärvi[13]
v1.0.3.8 Naamankajärvi[14]
v1.0.4.20 Ohijärvi[15]
v1.0.5.16 Paarlampi[16][17]
v1.0.7.16 Saapunki[18]
v1.0.8.19 Tahkalampi[19][20]
v1.1.0.38 Uitukka[21][22]

Migration to Sailfish OS and porting software[edit]

A number of projects successful at other platforms are migrating to become native at Sailfish OS. This gives abandoned Harmattan or Symbian projects a new life. In case of Qt written projects often it's a question of a few hours to port a whole project. This process is supported and for this purpose collects and publishes[23] an online compendium of knowledge, links and instructions on:

  • software porting and migration to Sailfish OS
  • similarities and differences between Harmattan and Sailfish
  • guides how to port MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan applications for the Nokia N9 is the Sailfish OS devices
  • porting framework (Qt 4 to Qt 5, SDL 1.2 is SDL 2.0, Debian packaging is RPM packaging)
  • application porting tutorials and examples (QtQuick QML applications, the Flickr application Qt 5, SDL / OpenGL ES applications)
  • Qt Quick Components map to Sailfish Silica

It gathers and links development resources of different kinds and origins.[24]


Jolla has reported that Ubuntu, Sailfish and Plasma Active cooperation for sharing common APIs is in progress and - upon success - will make the platforms compatible on the API level.

Software availability[edit]

Sailfish is able to run most applications that were originally developed for Android, in addition to native Sailfish applications. This was done in collaboration with the creators of Alien Dalvik, Myriad Group.[25]

As Sailfish OS is a GNU/Linux-based operating system, it is also possible to install other GNU/Linux applications on it.

Hardware overview[edit]

Advantages due to Mer standard[edit]

Sailfish OS in general can be used on any hardware with a Linux kernel supported by the Mer core distribution. The list of devices running Sailfish has been created by enthusiasts who have tried that themselves and made it.

Rather than designate a specific reference hardware platform, a VirtualBox implementation with the Sailfish OS SDK is available for development on most popular OSes like Linux, OS X, Windows, and this VM contains the whole Sailfish OS isolated from local resources to enable comfortable work at any particular PC. This allows evaluating coded or ported software behaviour and performance in future on any real device and safe experimenting de facto on Sailfish OS itself.

Devices running Sailfish OS[edit]

Sailfish runs on the Jolla Tablet and Jolla phone.

Sailfish has also been ported to devices like:

OS development status[edit]

Sailfish OS is promoted and supported in many ways with the open Sailfish Alliance established in 2011, a movement established to unite OEM and ODM manufacturers, chipset providers, operators, application developers and retailers.[39]

On 16 August 2012, the user interface was reported as ready to go. Jolla's CEO Jussi Hurmola stated in a ZDNet interview: "(...) Our UI is ready now, we haven't released it yet, we will save it for the product launch and the platform is getting up now so the project looks pretty nice. (...)"[40]

The next day, Jolla's CEO Marc Dillon tweeted that they had reached the first development target.

The Sailfish was presented for the first time by the Jolla team, including a worldwide internet stream, as a demo of the OS, as well as the UI and SDK during the Slush event in Helsinki, Finland, on 21–22 November 2012.

The Sailfish OS SDK in the alpha stage was published at the end of February 2013 and available for free download.

On 16 September 2013, Jolla announced that its Sailfish OS is now compatible with Android applications and hardware.[41]

The first phone with Sailfish OS was launched on 27 November 2013 at a pop-up DNA Kauppa shop in Narinkkatori, central Helsinki, Finland. The first 450 phones were sold on this event, while the rest of the preordered devices were shipped shortly after.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Packaging Applications for Distribution". Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "". 
  3. ^ "What is Sailfish OS? 5 Things to Know". 
  4. ^ "". 
  5. ^ Holwerda, Thom (30 January 2014). "From Providence to Lahaina: the Jolla review". Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jolla Brings Wayland Atop Android GPU Drivers". 
  7. ^ "". 
  8. ^ "Jolla OS Will Run Android Apps Says CEO Jussi Hurmola". 
  9. ^ "QA". SailfishOS. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  10. ^ Isom, Aran (5 July 2013). "Sailfish OS – When, Where And Why You Should Care". Coolsmartphone. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Suomalainen, Aleksi (28 November 2013). "Jolla system updates will be named after a Finnish lake". The Jolla Blog. Retrieved 24 April 2014. [unreliable source?]
  12. ^ Wachter, Bernd (9 December 2013). "[SailfishDevel] [Update] Changelog for SailfishOS update 1 (". devel mailing list. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  13. ^ Wachter, Bernd (27 December 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Maadajävri". Jolla. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Wachter, Bernd (31 January 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Naamankajärvi". Jolla. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  15. ^ bijjal (17 March 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Ohijärvi". Jolla. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  16. ^ bijjal (11 April 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Paarlampi". Jolla. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  17. ^ Wachter, Bernd (24 April 2014). "[hotfix] MMS changes for Paarlampi (". Jolla. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  18. ^ bijjal (9 June 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Saapunki". Jolla. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  19. ^ bijjal (14 July 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Tahkalampi". Jolla. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  20. ^ bijjal (6 October 2014). "[Release Notes] Security Hotfix for Tahkalampi". Jolla. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  21. ^ bijjal (23 October 2014). "[Release notes] Software version, Uitakka". Jolla. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  22. ^ bijjal (24 October 2014). "[Release Notes] Hotfix for opt-in Update9, version". Jolla. Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ -, -. "Porting/Harmattan". Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  25. ^ McAllister, Neil. "Jolla's Android-aping Sailfish OS smartphones to land in November". The Register. Situation Publishing. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  26. ^ Sfiet_Konstantin, -. "Sailfish on an Acer Iconia tab W500". DMCA. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  27. ^ vgrade100, -. "Sailfish on Exopc #merproject". vgrade100. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  28. ^ vgrade100. "SailfishOS for Android on Nexus One". vgrade100. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  29. ^ Jonne Eilimö. "Video: Sailfish OS running on a Google Nexus 4". Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  30. ^ vgrade100. "SailfishOS for Android on Nexus 5". vgrade100. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  31. ^ Carlos_Gong (产品观察家). "Retrieved 15 July 2013". Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  32. ^ a b "Sailfish OS su Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy S3 e Xiaomi Mi2 - MWC 2014". Retrieved 21 Mar 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  33. ^ beidi. "[August 3rd]SailfishOS for Galaxy Nexus (Alpha)". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  34. ^ Igor Deordiev. "Sailfish OS boot-up on Samsung Galaxy Nexus (i9250)". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  35. ^ a b "Sailfish". Mer Wiki. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  36. ^ Adam Pigg. "Adam Pigg on Twitter: "#sailfish on the HTC Desire HD! @JollaHQ @lbt_ @vgrade"". Adam Pigg. Retrieved 5 Sep 2014. 
  37. ^ Simonas Leleiva. "First #hwkbd phone #DesireZ! Fancy porting mobile #Linux? Waiting for #Jolla in your country?". Simonas Leleiva. Retrieved 23 Sep 2014. 
  38. ^ vgrade100, -. "Sailfishos running on O2 Joggler. Modesetting xorg driver on gma500_gfx kernal driver with mesa-llvm". vgrade100. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  39. ^ "Jolla". Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  40. ^ Tung, Liam. "Jolla's MeeGo UI is ready to go - and it's on the hunt for mobile talent". 2012 CBS Interactive. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  41. ^ Bhushan, Amarendra. "Jolla Sailfish OS Now Supports Android Hardware And Applications". CEOWORLD Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  42. ^ "First Jolla Phone with Sailfish OS to launch on November 27th". 

External links[edit]