Sailfish X (Sony Xperia X) Build Instructions Released
A few months ago, Jolla and Sony teamed up to bring Sailfish X, a port of Sailfish OS, to the Sony Xperia X as part of the Sony Open Devices Program. Coming officially on September 27th, it will cost €49.90, roughly $60, and have quite a few problems which we’ll get into in a bit. For those unfamiliar with Sailfish OS, it’s an operating system for mobile devices combining the Linux kernel, Mer core stack of middleware and a proprietary UI made by Jolla. Many developers have taken on the challenge of porting Sailfish OS to popular devices, including the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One.
If you’d rather not pay for a compiled flashable image of Sailfish X (which by the way, Jolla suggest using a Linux computer to flash it to your device if you purchase it), then you can actually compile it yourself! Jolla has released build instructions if you’d rather build it yourself, however, the process will seem slightly convoluted if you are a beginner. What’s more, the list of problems that are currently in the OS is quite alarming with a launch imminent in just a few days. If you still want to try and build it for yourself, you can check it out here.
Some things you should keep in mind:
- Fingerterm input is very slow (fix available, ask on IRC or wait for the next Sailfish OS update).
- Bluetooth does not work (we have a solution for partial functionality and are busy integrating it)
- Sensors not working: fingerprint, barometer, step counter
- Internet sharing (tethering) does not work
- Issues with video playback and video recording (being worked on)
- Only two CPU cores are enabled by default. There’s no special allocation of the two performance cores for foreground apps.
The issues marked above are scary, especially when coupled with the fact that readers are told frequently throughout the list of issues to “ask on IRC for more info”. But of course, this is not a mass market product – it’s something that’ll appeal to tinkerers and enthusiasts – it’s still good to have the option to build it ourselves for further experimentation.
The general idea of the project is to allow developers to help contribute to the development of the operating system, and also for developers to have the challenge of porting them to other devices in the Sony Open Devices initiative. Yes, you can build the OS for free instead of paying for a compiled image, but that’s not the point. By building it yourself it’s expected that you’re contributing to the development somehow, either by improving the experience or porting it to a new device. You’ll also get early releases as a result! What’s more, you are also relying on supporting yourself for any issues that you have. Finally, it gets people trying it. You’ll probably be able to download a compiled image very soon which you can flash to your device, which may interest you and entice you to pay for a properly supported version.
Xperia X HW Adaptation Source Code Blog Post