Compatibility layer for standard Linux applications

@Jolla & Sailfish community please think about a compatibility layer for standard linux apps written for Debian/Ubuntu or Suse (or whatever), in a similar way as the Android App Support does for Android apps.

This would solve a lot of problems users have with the lack of apps and would open SFOS for the large amount of apps available on Linux distros.


Sounds cool, but the desktop UI is not designed for small screens unlike the Android UI.

There is something from community, maybe it’s not really comfortable but… GitHub - sailfish-containers/harbour-containers: A LXC manager and runner for SailfishOS


Isn’t that just a case of the compositor supporting all the latest wayland protocols?


Let’s see from another point of view.
Can we install apps without a GUI like debauchee barrier?
Answer is YES, as far as we can replace some libraries or recompile it with dedicated libraries to avoid conflicts.
A similar topic was touched in past:


There are more and more desktop app from Gnome and KDE which are now compatible with small screens. It would be indeed nice to see them on Sailfish OS. But I think a lot of work need to be done to add this layer on SFOS.


What applications where you thinking about? Some could be compiled without a gui maybe


I use ghostscript this way to invert colors in pdfs

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Gimp / Libre Office / Seamonkey / Geany maybe? These were running on my old nokia n900 12+ years ago. Using chroot and debian graphic enviroment. I could also show a window from my desktop to the n900 via setenv DISPLAY and xhost (both had X server I think…).

Without keyboard maybe it will be hard to use apps not designed for mobile devices, but on the other hand, give to the people the choice and power! Someone could use a bluetooth keyboard / mouse too!


@nas you found the best words for exactly that what I am thinking of ! :star_struck: :star_struck:


N900 could run Debian desktop apps out of the box

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N900 was a debian :slight_smile:

I learned to do cairo programming to get some apps usable on the N900. Unpleasant.

I think it makes more sense to put effort in adopting KDE plasma apps …


I think it makes more sense to put effort in adopting KDE plasma apps

Is the differences of QT versions not a problem?


Before you wish that for yourself, you should try Libertine on Ubuntu Touch first. IMHO, it sucks hard, especially on phones. But otherwise you’d still have the kernel version problem and the drivers problem. So anything except non-accelerated CentOS-clones won’t run properly some Sailfish HW. The Xperia 10 III has kernel v4.19, the current one is 6.2. Debian bookworm has Kernel 6.1. Browsers suck hard in Libertine on not-so-old phones due to the same problem.

No, you can can have different versions side-by-side. The old wl-shell version will be a problem for some applications and will become worse over the years. All other shells are missing anyway.

If you want that, go with containers from chum.

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Would an app like Gnumeric work thank to harbour-containers? (maybe with a small bt keyboard)
So I could make my bills in he train like I did on my N900?

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Running desktop apps is where making the X10iii external monitor work comes in.

I can’t usefully do much work on a phone screen, but if I could plug a large monitor into the phone, it is certainly more than capable of a lot of what my linux desktop does.

On the N900, it was a pretty useful desktop computer with VNC for writing documents and email. More graphical things and VNC became a bit painful - perhaps it would be a lot better now, but I would really prefer just to have a monitor plug in directly.

My N900 was also formatted as a Suse bootdisk i.e. you could plug it into a PC, and it would usb-boot into a full desktop Linux. This was amusing when I had it plugged into a aircraft entertainment usb for charging, and when they rebooted the entertainment system half way through the flight (quite a common occurence), my seat-back display rebooted into Linux. Oops.


I would use this approach, althoughi think it needs much testing/ tinkering Without a GUI--How to Live Entirely in a Terminal | Linux Journal

“standard Linux applications”.

I didn’t know such things existed! I know ed is the standard text editor (!).

And no, fucking Chrome should be supported in getting to rule the world and turn what’s left of the free WWW into a Google-defined proprietary protocol.
If anything, dev efforts should be put into enhancing Mozilla so we have at least one competing implementation as long as possible.


I’d say some like ‘hate, hate, hate’ but instead, my standard linux:

vserver invidious build   -n invidious -m debootstrap --i-know-its-there \
   --interface  nodev:2a01:4f9:3a:2414::12/64 --context 12 --hostname -- \ 
   -d bullseye -- --arch=amd64 \
   --include=sysvinit-core,sysvinit-utils,sysv-rc-conf,locales,htop,vim-tiny --exclude=systemd;
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Vim is the best text editor :smiley:

Thank you for this!

Many of the tools are already available, I’ll see if I can get WordGrinder running…