How to enable Developer Mode

Jolla Care -


Please be advised that in the Developer Mode you can run commands or enable features that, when used incorrectly, can cause permanent damage to your device and/or content.


Turning Developer Mode on

Turning the Developer Mode on is protected by the Security code (if you have set it on).


a) You device has Sailfish OS version 3.2.0 or earlier

You will need the Internet connection and a working Jolla account in your phone to turn the Developer Mode on. Use a WLAN access point if mobile data is not working.

b) Your device has Sailfish OS version 3.2.1 or later

Developer mode is pre-installed to Sailfish OS devices that have Sailfish OS version 3.2.1 or newer. Developer mode can be enabled locally, without any Internet connection. Not even the Jolla account is required.



1) Go to menu Settings > Developer tools.
2) Tap on "Developer mode" to turn it on.  [OS versions 3.2.0 and earlier: The phone will download some packages and install them on the phone. This may take a few minutes.]

The installation is ready when the switch light ("LED") in front of Developer mode is turned on. See the picture below.


3) Now tap on "Remote connection" to turn it on, too. It makes SSH connections [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] to the device possible.
4) Tap on the "Set password for SSH and root access" line and type a password (make it up) - we call it "SSH password" for short now. You can change this password at any time later. Tap on 'Save ' to save it. After saving it the password row has a number asterisc characters (on the left below). The next time you come to this page the password row has the text "Set password for..." (on the right below), however, your previously saved password is still in effect. You can easily change it if you want.


Devmo3.png  Devmo4.png

NOTE: The option "Enable developer updates" is available for Jolla staff and nominated community testers (cbeta) only. Special credentials are required. You can use the Developer tools of Sailfish OS without this option.

5) Close the Settings app.

Your phone is now in the Developer Mode.

Using Developer Mode

A. Terminal application

1) View the application launcher grid. At the end of the grid, you have now the Terminal application, providing the "command line".

- All commands shall be terminated by tapping the Enter key  (circled in red colour - see the picture below)
- Linux command interpreter is case sensitive, i.e. you must type the upper and lower case letters correctly.

2) Get the super-user rights (if you are instructed to get them in other help articles) by issuing the command below in the Terminal


Use your SSH password here. The characters you type are not shown on the screen (see the red arrow in the picture).

Note that you must be careful with the super-user rights or else you might break your phone. Follow our instructions in other help articles and type (or copy/paste) the commands precisely in the same way.


B. SSH connection

Typing complicated commands at the tiny Terminal is error prone and can lead to serious problems at worst. A safer way of entering commands is to do it at a terminal app running on PC, after creating an SSH connection from PC to Sailfish OS device.  You can namely copy the commands (one-by-one) from our articles and then paste them to the SSH terminal.

Read more in the help articles about SSH connection over USBWindows and Linux/Ubuntu.


Warnings related to Developer Mode

  • Do not expose your SSH password and your WLAN-IP address to anyone as somebody close enough to your device (in the reach of WLAN access) might be able to make a connection to your device. Turn Developer Mode off when you do not need it any more.
  • Be careful in writing commands. A misspelt command may cause irreparable damage to the device or the data in it. All commands must be written correctly, including upper and lower case letters, punctuation and spaces.
  • If you are in doubt how to do something with Developer mode, please stop there. Do not take the risk.

Troubleshooting Developer Mode

If you are not able to create an SSH connection or something else unexpected happens, please restart your phone and try again.


Turning Developer Mode off

1) Visit menu Settings > Developer tools.
2) Tap on "Developer mode" to turn it off, so that the switch light in front of it gets turned off.


Advice for SSH connections

We have the following help articles on making SSH connections:

[1] SSH connection over USB from Windows PC to Sailfish device

[2] SSH and SCP connections over USB from Ubuntu to your Sailfish device

[3] SSH connection over WLAN from Windows to Sailfish device

[4] SSH and SCP connections over WLAN from Ubuntu to your Sailfish device

[5] SSH over WLAN from MacOS to your Sailfish device




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