Checklist for issues in installing Sailfish X

Jolla Care -

Did you face problems in installing Sailfish OS? This article with some screenshots should help you.  The focus is on customers using Windows computers as the process is more complex in case of Windows but we have advice for Linux and macOS users, too.

Our official instructions for installing Sailfish X are on this web page. There are separate instructions for Windows, Linux and Mac computers. Furthermore, there is a different set of instructions for Xperia X and Xperia XA2.

 

TO BE CHECKED (notes for the editor):
- Is the USB debugging mode really needed?
- Should the bootloader be restarted after unlocking it?

 


CONTENTS

1. Enablers for unlocking bootloader and changing the operating system of your device

1.1 Xperia bootloader

1.2 This is how your Android device should look like when it is ready for installing Sailfish X

2. Fastboot command

2.1 Linux computer

2.2 macOS computer

2.3 Windows computer

2.4 Troubleshooting the fastboot mode

3 Correct contents in flashing directory (Sailfish directory)

3.1 Xperia X

3.2 Xperia XA2

4 Final check before flashing

5 Flashing Sailfish OS

5.1 Printout from flashing script in successful case

5.2 Troubleshooting the USB connection and fastboot mode

5.2 Troubleshooting the flashing

 

 

1. Enablers for unlocking bootloader and changing the operating system of your device

The status checks of various enablers discussed in this chapter require that your device is running Android. If you have already installed Sailfish OS (but it is failing to serve well) and you would like to run these checks then you should revert the device back to Android.

 

 

1.1  Xperia bootloader

The bootloader normally checks the integrity of the system it is about to boot. Since it only knows about the official Sony Android, it has to be unlocked in order to install Sailfish or to boot Sailfish.

Ensure that the bootloader of your Xperia device is unlocked.  Open the Phone Dialer application and type the following code (as for a phone number):

*#*#7378423#*#* 

A menu pages should pop up. Tap "Service info > Configuration" and seek for "Rooting Status".

If it says there "Bootloader unlocked: Yes", then you can install Sailfish to your Xperia. Jump to the next chapter "Device drivers (Windows)" below.

If it says there "Bootloader unlock allowed: Yes" (or might also be "Bootloader unlocked: No"), then you need to revisit the Sony web pages and unlock the bootlader. Do this by following chapter 4 of our official instructions . Come back here once unlocked and check the rest, starting from chapter "Device drivers (Windows)" below.

Should it say "Bootloader unlock allowed: No", then it is unfortunately not possible to install Sailfish to this device. You should contact your dealer in this case.

 

 

1.2 This is how your Android device should look like when it is ready for installing Sailfish X

The following pictures represent the phone when it is still running Android operating system. Either you are just preparing the device for Sailfish OS, or else Sailfish OS did not work properly and you have reverted the device to Android using Sony's Emma tool (see chapter 1 in our Sailfish X instructions for Windows PC or this help article on reverting Xperia back to Android for a detailed approach).

NOTE: At the time of writing this (May 2019) it is NOT possible to install Sailfish OS to a device having Android v.9 ("Pie") in it (the build number used with Android 9 is 50.2.A.xx.yyy)!

Therefore, if your device has Android 8 or 8.1 now, do not upgrade it. If you already have Android 9 then you cannot flash Sailfish to oyur device. As far as we know, downgrading from v.9 to v.8 is not possible, either.

 

Check that you can see the following views on your device:

A) Settings > System > About phone:

Check that you have the correct device model. All supported models are listed here. Note that there are several different Sailfish X images for the various models. Be sure to download the one matching your device.

Xperia-Android-Settings-AboutPhone-BuildNumber.jpg Xperia_XA2_about_phone.png

Pictures 1a and 1b

 

B) Settings > System

You must enable the Developer options to be able to carry on. Enable them by tapping "Build number" item of picture 1a (or 1b) several times in quick sequence. Then goto Settings > System and find item Developer options
(see below).

Xperia-Android-Settings-DeveloperOptions.jpg

Picture 2

 

C) Settings > System > Developer options

Scroll down and find item OEM unlocking (which means bootloader unlocking). If the bootloader of your device has been unlocked previously, you will see it greyed out like in the picture 3 below. This is ok and no further actions are then required for this setting.

However, if item "OEM unlocking"  appears black and locked (i.e. the slider is on the left), then you must first push the slider switch to the right to make the unlocking possible. The actual unlocking can then be done as instructed in chapter 4 of all of our Sailfish X instructions, or else your device cannot be forced to the fastboot mode which is mandatory for installing Sailfish X.

Xperia-Android-Settings-DeveloperOptions-OEMunlocking.jpg

Picture 3

 

Scroll further down and find item "USB debugging". Also this is a prerequisite for the fastboot mode. You must enable it to make installing Sailfish X successful.

Xperia-Android-Settings-DeveloperOptions-USBdebugging.jpg

Picture 4

 

 

2. Fastboot command

Android tool fastboot is required for opening the bootloader and for flashing (installing) Sailfish X to your device.

 

 

2.1 Linux computer

Usually the Android tools are ok by default on Linux computers. Fastboot command should work fine. However, if you are facing some trouble in using fastboot, consider installing it again according to the instructions in chapter 2 of these articles for Xperia X or for Xperia XA2.

There is some troubleshooting in chapter 2.4 below.

 

 

2.2 macOS computer

In case of macOS computer you need to first install Homebrew, the open source package management system that simplifies the installation of software on macOS. Install Homebrew using instructions on this link.

Next, install the support for fastboot by following the instructions in chapter 2 of these articles for Xperia X or for Xperia XA2.

There is some troubleshooting in chapter 2.4 below.

 

 

 

2.3 Windows computer

Windows PC's do not have the fastboot tool nor the drivers installed by default. Therefore you must install the fastboot driver to your PC. The tool itself, fastboot.exe, is included in the Sailfish OS zip package. Moreover, it has turned out that these drivers must be re-installed if you connect another Xperia device to your PC.

By following chapter 2 in our Windows instructions (for Xperia X and for Xperia XA2) you will end up in the following view in Windows Device Manager (see the pictures below). If your device manager has different settings, connect your Xperia to your PC in fastboot mode (i.e. blue LED appears) and follow chapter 2 precisely.

Note 1: In contrast to Sony's instructions, Android SDK needs not (should not) be installed to the PC.

Note 2: There is no dedicated driver for Xperia XA2 devices. However, the same driver used Xperia X devices works also for XA2 devices.

Note 3: More troubleshooting in chapter 2.4 below.

 

 

 

Sony-sa0114-ADB-Interface-Driver-en.PNG

 Picture 5:  Sony's fastboot driver installed successfully on Windows

 

 

 

2.4  Troubleshooting the fastboot mode

  1. If the Volume Up key is pressed too hard then the green light appears to get lit. Therefore make sure you press the key gently when connecting the USB cable. If you keep getting the green light, restart the PC and the phone, and try again. If the problem persists no matter what you try, check that the volume keys of your phone work in normal conditions, i.e. when playing music or video with the phone.
  2. If one of the USB ports on your PC fails to work, try another USB port.
  3. Sometimes  USB3 ports fail to work. In such a case try a USB2 port, if available. We recommend trying a USB2 hub if USB2 ports are not available.
  4. Make sure that your USB cable is a data cable (all lines connected) and not a charging cable. You can test this by copying a filed over the cable from the PC to the phone or vv.

 

 

 

 

3. Correct contents in flashing directory (Sailfish directory)

By flashing directory we mean the location on your PC to which you have unzipped the Sailfish OS package.

See chapter 3 of our Sailfish X instructions. Note that there are different instructions for Xperia X vs. Xperia XA2.  Make sure you read the correct instructions!

Check that you have:

  1. The correct Sailfish image for your device
    - there are 2 different images for Xperia X and 6 different images for Xperia XA2
  2. The correct Sony vendor binary
    - there is one for Xperia X and another for Xperia XA2.

 

 

 

 

3.1 Xperia X

Extracting the zip package brings in everything necessary, except for the Sony binary image SW_binaries_for_Xperia_AOSP_M_MR1_3.10_v13_loire.img which you need to download as instructed in chapter "5. Getting the Sony vendor binary images" of Sailfish X instructions.

Check that the contents of the flashing directory are like in the picture below (we have OS release 3.0.2.8 as an example there).

Xperia-X-flashing-directory.JPG

Picture 6: Example of the flashing directory of Xperia X

 

 

 

 

3.2 Xperia XA2

Extracting the zip package brings in everything necessary, except for the Sony binary image SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img  which you need to download as instructed in chapter "5. Getting the Sony vendor binary images" of Sailfish X instructions. Note that the zip file name has the version id "17B" whereas the "B" does not appear in the img file name.

Check that the contents of the flashing directory are like in the picture below (we have OS release 3.0.2.8 as an example there).

Xperia-XA2-flashing-directory.JPG

Picture 7: Example of the flashing directory of Xperia XA2

 

NOTE: Some connection problems in the 5 GHz band of WiFi networks have been reported when using Sony vendor binary v17. Instead of v17, it is also possible to use the previous version, v16, which should work better in this respect.  You can install v16 either together with Sailfish OS (by replacing v17 in your flashing directory) or afterwards without affecting Sailfish OS.  Please read this help article.

 

 

 

 

4. Final check before flashing

Here we check that fastboot really works and that the bootloader is unlocked.

  1. Connect your device in the fastboot mode (blue LED) to your computer with USB.
  2. On the computer, open the terminal and change directory to your flashing directory (see chapter 3 above). This is crucial in case of Windows especially, as we rely on fastboot.exe in this directory.
  3. Give the following command
    NOTE for Windows: We recommend using the default command shell of Windows instead of PowerShell (of Windows 10) as the latter may have an incomatible configuration and the command syntax below would not work.
    fastboot getvar all
    It should print 20+ lines of text, including:

    - (bootloader) unlocked: yes
    - (bootloader) secure: no
    - (bootloader) version-baseband: 1311-2918_50.1.A.13.83 (for example), where "50.1.A.13.83" is the Build number from your phone (see chapter 1.2 A above).

If you get a result like this, proceed to the next chapter. However, if the command failed then check again everything is chapters 1 to 3 above and retry. If the command indicated that the bootloader is not unlocked (i.e. is still locked), then you cannot install Sailfish OS to this device (unless you are able to unlock it).

 

 

 

 

5. Flashing Sailfish OS

The flashing instructions are in chapter 6 of our Sailfish X instructions. Note that there are different instructions for Xperia X vs. Xperia XA2.  Make sure you read the correct instructions!

 

 

 

5.1 Printout from flashing script in successful case

This attached PDF files shows the output from running the flashing script successfully.

  • Example 1: OS version 2.1.3.7 to an Xperia X (F5121) with a Windows PC: PDF1.
  • Example 2: OS version 3.0.2.8 to an Xperia XA2 (H4113) with an Ubuntu PC: PDF2.

 

 

 

5.2  Troubleshooting the USB connection and fastboot mode

  1. If the Volume Up key is pressed too hard then the green light appears to get lit. Therefore make sure you press the key gently when connecting the USB cable. If you keep getting the green light, restart the PC and the phone, and try again. If the problem persists no atter what you try, check that the volume keys of your phone work in normal conditions, i.e. when playing music or video with the phone.
  2. Make sure that your USB cable is a data cable (all lines connected) and not a charging cable. You can test this by copying a filed over the cable from the PC to the phone or vv.
  3. Sometimes a certain USB port on the PC may not work. In such a case try another USB port.
  4. Sometimes  USB3 ports fail to work. In such a case try a USB2 port, if available. We recommend trying a USB2 hub if USB2 ports are not available.
  5. Linux: flashing Sailfish to Xperia XA2 gets interrupted in message " FAILED (remote: 'unknown command')"
    - read this help article.

 

 

 

5.2 Troubleshooting the flashing

 (to be written if need arises)

 

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