How can I update the Sony vendor image for Xperia (XA2)?

Jolla Care -

Sony vendor image is a binary file that contains device-specific firmware from the device vendor, i.e. Sony.

This article explains how the vendor image can be reflashed (installed) without reflashing the actual Sailfish OS. This means that you can change the vendor image while keeping your data and apps untouched. In other words, you can replace the vendor image without reflashing the Sailfish OS.

This article was first written for Xperia XA2 but it probably works for other Xperia models, too.


Sony keeps updating the vendor image every now and then. The image for XA2 has been upgraded from version 16 to version 17B in March 2019.

UPDATE on 2019-04-24:

With  v17B  of Sony vendor image we have observed a decrease in the perceived signal strength of the 5GHz WLAN access points. Version v16 ( should work better in this respect.

Therefore we would not recommend flashing v17B for the time being if you use WLAN networks in the 5GHZ band.



1. How to check the current vendor image

It goes with the following command (Xperia XA2, Xperia 10):

devel-su grep ro.odm.version /odm/build.prop


2. How to upgrade the vendor image

Chapter 3 explains how to downgrade the vendor image.


1. Download the zipped vendor image file v17B to your Sailfish X flashing directory. It has the name "

2. Unzip it there. The resulting file is "SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img"  (so it has "_v17_", i.e. there is no "B" in it - this is expected).

3. Connect your XA2 to a USB2 port (as on USB3 it may fail) of your computer so that the blue LED gets lit on your XA2.

4. Give one of the following commands.  They have the most recent file (as of March 8th, 2019).



sudo fastboot flash  oem_a  SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img 

Windows command terminal:

fastboot flash oem_a SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img 

Windows 10 PowerShell:

.\fastboot.exe flash oem_a SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img 


sudo fastboot flash oem_a SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img 


This is the expected output from the command:

  C:\FLASH\XPERIA\Sailfish_OS-Jolla->fastboot flash oem_a
  target reported max download size of 536870912 bytes
  sending 'oem_a' (210888 KB)...
  OKAY [ 4.885s]
  writing 'oem_a'...
  OKAY [ 0.002s]
  finished. total time: 4.900s



3. Downgrading the vendor image

Downgrading the vendor image back to v16 goes in the same way. Simply use the v16 image file in the commands above - we show the case of the Windows command terminal below as for an example:

fastboot flash oem_a SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v16_nile.img


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