Accessing the contents of your Sailfish device over WLAN using MacOS X & SSH

Jolla -

Currently, it is not possible to browse the contents of your Sailfish phone over a USB connection. This is due to limitations in Mac OS X’s support for the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). It is possible to browse the contents of your phone by forming an SSH connection over WLAN, however. Here are the instructions for setting this up.


You must unlock the device lock and the encryption of your phone with the security code before you can make an SSH connection to the phone. See these articles: device lock and encryption.


Make sure you have the Developer mode enabled on your Sailfish device. If not, see this help article.
If you have not defined any SSH password yet (or you have forgotten it) create it now in "Settings > Developer tools > Remote connection". You will need it soon.


Note that there different usernames on the phone depending on the Sailfish OS version. On 3.3.0 and before, there was only nemo. On 3.4.0 or later, there are two possible usernames, nemo and defaultuser. Only the correct one works. You can check it from the prompt of the Terminal app on the phone or with the command below (before getting root rights).

echo $USER

It replies either nemo or defaultuser. If you should get root then do exit first and try again.

Create the SSH connection with the correct command (matching your username) below.


On your Mac OS X computer

1. Acquire the app called “Cyberduck” (it is not free, probably). It can be found from, for emaple.  Make sure that you download the version designed for Mac.
2. Download the file and decompress it. Start “Cyberduck 2”.
3. Click on “Open connection” in the top left corner.

4. Click on the text “FTP (File Transfer Protocol)”, and change it to “SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)”
5. Check the WLAN IP address of your Sailfish phone in "Settings > Developer tools". Both your computer and your Sailfish OS device must be connected to the same WLAN network (SSID).  On Mac, type the same WLAN IP address to the “Server” field.

6. Type the correct username -- either nemo or defaultuser
7. The password is the SSH password you defined on the phone at  "Settings > Developer tools > Remote connection".
8. Press “Connect” and wait a moment.
9. If you receive a notification of having to allow something, press “Allow”.

Now you should be able to see the contents of your Sailfish phone in Cyberduck. Transferring files to and from your phone should now be possible in Cyberduck. 


Further reading:




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