How do I download and install a Sailfish OS update (system update)?

Jolla -




2.1. Finding an update

2.2. Preparations for the update

2.3. Downloading the update from Jolla Store to your device

2.4. Installing the update



4.1. The update path and Stop Releases

4.2. How to update using the menu

4.3. Updating at the command line



7. Updating by re-installing Sailfish OS



1. Prerequisites

Before starting an OS update, ensure that the following crucial matters are as they shall be:

  • Always read the release notes of the OS version you are going to install. The release notes are here in, the latest on top of the list.
  • Check that you have a working Internet connection. Use Sailfish browser to check this. Note that the size of the update may be up to hundreds of megabytes. Prefer WLAN to download it. If you use mobile data, make sure that this will not incur a cost to you.
  • Check that the date and time of your device are correct.
  • Check that you have a working Jolla account in your Sailfish device. Launch Jolla Store application and try to install any application from the Store. If this works then your account is okay. Should there be any trouble please read this article.
  • We recommend keeping the device connected to a charger throughout the whole update process.
  • Make sure you have that you have enough free storage space (disk space) in the device: the user data "Used" shown on menu page Settings > Storage.
  • If you have installed applications from OpenRepos service, then see chapter OpenRepos in the end of this article. If you have never heard of OpenRepos, no worries, please skip this step.

NOTE: Xperia and Gemini device must have a valid Sailfish X licence, or else they won't get any OS updates.

The following instructions are especially important in case of Jolla Phone (a.k.a. Jolla 1).

  • We highly advise freeing up memory space by moving unnecessary/big files away from device prior to taking an update. Please see here.
  • We also advise reading chapter 5 of this help article and acting like instructed.
  • Make sure you have that you have enough free storage space (disk space) in the device: the user data "Used" shown on menu page Settings > Storage (available on recent OS version) should not preferably exceed 10 GB (this value concerns Jolla 1 device) . If it does then delete some video clips or pictures from Device Memory - see this article.



2. Updating the operating system



2.1. Finding an update


Recommended way:

  1. Visit menu page "Settings > Sailfish OS updates"
    [on some very old Sailfish 1 versions the corresponding menu page is "Settings > Info > About product"]
    - see the picture below on the left.
  2. Open the pulley menu and take action "Check for updates".

Alternative way:

Notifications on available Sailfish OS updates appear in the Events View which you can make visible by swiping sideways from beyond the left edge of the device to the right (on old OS versions swipe upwards from the bottom of the display).  See the picture below on the right. Touch such a notification in the Events view. Jolla Store application will launch automatically.  You will end up to the menu page explained above under "Recommended way".

Update-via-UI.jpg  Update-via-events-view.jpg



2.2. Preparations for the update

A good amount of free storage space is required for a successful OS update. Sailfish OS will do its best to make space for the update by running an optimization task as soon as an OS update has been detected. The text "Preparing update" indicates this. Once done, the view with "Update available" with the download size will appear.

On some Sailfish 1 versions, the optimization was not started automatically. Instead, there was the button "Start optimising".

 OS-update-prepare.jpg OS-update-available.jpg



2.3. Downloading the update from Jolla Store to your device

  • Select "Download" in the pull-down menu.
  • Wait until the download gets completed - the scenery at the top of the display will turn lighter starting from the left, indicating the download progress. There will be further instructions on the screen for the install phase.
  • Should the download get interrupted due to a connection problem you can start over. Sailfish OS knows how to continue from the point it had stopped at (the progress indicator always starts from the left, though).
  • The pictures below show how the download goes:

    update_02_eng.jpg update_03_eng.jpg update_04_eng.jpg




2.4. Installing the update

  • Installing the update will not delete contacts or other user data in the device. It will not affect the memory card or the SIM card, either.
  • Never try to interrupt the install as this would very likely break your device. Do not turn it off (unless several hours have passed without getting the job completed)
  • Make sure your device is connected to a charger. Your device must not turn off during this phase.
  • Start the process by selecting "Install" in the pull-down menu.
  • The Sailfish logo will appear on a black background during the installation. There is a progress indicator line below it.

    NOTE: If the user data of your device has been encrypted (Sailfish OS 3.3.0 or later - see this article) then you will need to type in the Security code to make the Sailfish  logo on the black screen appear.

  • Wait patiently until the update is installed - DO NOT TURN OFF the device (in fact, the Power key is disabled at this point). The red LED will be lit in the end. Let the device restart itself - you will eventually see your familiar Lock Screen. At this point the install is over and the device is ready for use.
  • It takes usually about 10-20 minutes to install an update. In the case of Jolla Phone, even longer.



3. If you do not find notifications about updates

1. Visit menu "Settings > Sailfish OS update"

2. Select "Check for updates" in the pull down menu

  • After some moments (given the Internet connection is ok) there should be a notification about a Sailfish OS  update appearing at the top of the screen.
  • Return to 2.2 Preparations for the update (above).



4. Updating from early Sailfish OS versions


With "early versions" we mean Sailfish OS updates of generations 1 and 2.



4.1. The update path and Stop Releases

There are several Stop Releases in the Sailfish OS update path. A stop release brings in some critical changes that make it possible to install the subsequent updates.

Stop releases are mandatory intermediate steps in the update path through which the update process must traverse if the current OS version of the device is from the past. The reason for the current version being from the past would be that you have performed the factory reset which automatically reverts the system to the original OS version installed to the device at the production line or that your device has been to the repair service.

The Stop Releases (so far) are:

  •   Maadajävri
  •  Yliaavanlampi
  •  Björnträsket
  •  Eineheminlampi
  •  Saimaa
  •  Mouhijoki
  •    Lemmenjoki
  •  Torronsuo 
  •  Pallas-Yllästunturi  (this is the latest stop release as of December 2020)

Hence if you start from release (that was published before any of those listed stop releases), your device will have to download and install all of the stop releases before it can get the latest OS version. If you start from 1.1.6, then there are six stop releases to install, first fo them being

Sailfish OS automatically suggests the next stop release for you in Settings > About product (or on very old OS versions in Settings > Info > About product).

NOTE: DO NOT install any apps or sign in to your accounts (except for Jolla account) before you have completed updating the OS to the latest version!



4.2. How to update using the menu

Seek for updates as explained above. The first applicable stop release will be offered. Note here that it is recommended to use WLAN connection for the download and turn mobile data off. Check that your Jolla account really works by first installing an application from the Store, and if it succeeded, then download the OS update. If the download of OS update gets stalled and/or you see the notification "Problem with Store" then check your Internet connection again. Retry the download. Should the update keep failing, contact Jolla Customer Support.

As soon as the first stop release is installed to the device, seek for the next one. Carry on in the same way. Once the last stop release has been installed, the latest Sailfish OS version will be offered. Download and install it.



4.3. Updating at the command line

If the device keeps failing to indicate the availability of Sailfish OS updates, it may be possible to get them with the following commands (this requires the Developer mode, SSH password and Terminal app  (see "Settings > System > Developer mode" or "Settings > Developer mode"). Should you need help with the commands below, read this help article on Developer mode or contact Jolla Customer Support.

The way of working here is to download and install the stop releases one by one with the command set below (an example), and then eventually the latest public release.

devel-su              ## Your SSH password is needed here.
ssu release
## Set the next STOP RELEASE (*) here.
version --dup ## This will download and install the release above.
reboot ## The device must be restarted.

(*) NOTE: Use the next stop release counted from the current OS version of your phone. Note that the procedure explained at step 4.2 above is also valid for updates on the command line, i.e. you MUST traverse through all stop releases, and only after the last one of them you can "version dup" to the latest OS version. Otherwise, there is a great risk of breaking your device.

Q: What is my next stop release?
A: Check the current OS version of your device in Settings > About product (or Settings > Info > About product on some very old Sailfish 1 releases). Then look at the list of stop releases above in chapter 4.1. If your current version is let's say 1.1.6, then the next stop release would be

Q: If I have OS version in my device which steps do I need to take to update it to the latest version?
A: Unfortunately, all of the following:


ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release
version --dup

ssu release <the latest OS version>
version --dup


You can disable Developer Mode now if you wish.




5. Open Repos

If you have not heard about OpenRepos or Warehouse, you can ignore this chapter.

OpenRepos is an application store that contains lots of nice and useful apps for Sailfish OS and other operating systems. This store is independent of Jolla. Many developers publish their work in OpenRepos for feedback before trying to get them accepted to Jolla Store (to become so-called Harbour apps).

This chapter is here as a disclaimer. It has turned out that some (a minority) of the Sailfish apps in OpenRepos are not fully compatible with Sailfish OS. We have been reported a number of issues which may make Sailfish OS updates fail, partly or completely. Therefore, please follow the advice below prior to trying to download and install a Sailfish OS update.

  • If you use Phonehook or Callrecorder from OpenRepos, uninstall it before upgrading
  • If you use oFono from OpenRepos, revert to the official oFono before upgrading
  • If you use Patchmanager, revert all applied patches before upgrading.
  • If your Sailfish device has the WareHouse app installed (i.e you are using OpenRepos), disable all openrepo repositories before attempting to upgrade your device. Else, you risk breaking the device. Read important-steps-to-do-before-updating and how-to-disable-openrepos-repositories posts for more information. Should you need help from Jolla Customer Support, please do it here.
  • If you use Defender, remove it as it will probably prevent your Xperia 10 (at least) from booting up. See this, please.




6. Warning about downgrading

Sailfish OS does not support downgrading. Never try to downgrade the OS version (using the command line) as this could brick your device.

The only way to "downgrade" is to use the factory reset. This will revert the OS version back to the initial one put in when flashing the device the previous time (at the factory or in repair service).



7. Updating by re-installing Sailfish OS

If getting or installing a Sailfish OS update keeps failing for unknown reasons on an Xperia device the please consider re-installing Sailfish OS to the device.

Having a valid Sailfish X licence for the Jolla account, one can download the latest Sailfish OS version from and re-install it.  We recommend using the latest available OS version.

Our help article for the whole procedure is here.



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