Checklist for issues in installing Sailfish X

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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.

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.

Most of the pictures in this article concern Xperia X devices. However, Xperia XA2 models have almost similar menus.


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


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):


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 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).

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).


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 our Sailfish X instructions, or else your device cannot be forced to the fastboot mode which is mandatory for installing Sailfish X.


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.


Picture 4



2. Fastboot command

2.1 Linux PC

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, for instance, check chapter 2 in this article Installing Sailfish X using Linux .

2.2 Windows PC

Android tool fastboot is required for opening the bootloader and for flashing (installing) Sailfish X to your device. If you do this with a Windows PC then you must install the fastboot driver to your PC. Moreover, it has turned out that these drivers must be re-installed again if you connect another Xperia device to your PC.

Chapter 2 in our Sailfish X instructions results in the following view in Windows Device Manager. 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: If the Vol 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.

Note 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.

Note 5: Sometimes a certain USB port on the PC may not work. In such a case try another USB port.




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


3. Correct contents in flashing 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). 


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 as an example there).


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 as an example there).


Picture 7: Example of the flashing directory of Xperia XA2


4. Printout from flashing script in successful case

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

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




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