New user with various questions

Hello all,

I am a new user in the process of moving to SFOS and there are a few things I don’t understand. My device is an Xperia 10 III with SFOS I am coming from Windows phones and have never owned an Android, what I know about Linux comes from the Mint installs on my PC and laptop. I am not much of a CLI guy though, I just use the OS and look up what I need to do in case of problems.

With regard to SFOS, I know that there are guides but I am having a hard time figuring out what is outdated and what is current so I decided to ask here.

  1. F-Droid - When I first booted into SFOS I was asked if I wanted to install F-Droid, which I did. Then I read here that I should have installed it with the apk instead, so I removed the Jolla Store version and installed the apk one. Then I realised that the guide was probably outdated, so what is the best version to keep? Is there some cleaning that needs to be done after the uninstall?

  2. MicroG - although I never had an Android I sort of understand what MicroG does and my question is: what is MicroG replacing in SFOS? Or better, if in Android it substitutes the Google Play bits that apps rely on for various stuff, what services do Android apps use in SFOS if MicroG is not installed? Is it worth installing it in SFOS for personal data protection?

  3. Repositories - With Storeman/Openrepos, Chum and the Jolla Store I don’t know where it is best to get apps from. Is it on a per-app basis? I’m checking the description of all apps to find out if they are discontinued on a given platform or which one has the most recent version. (I have only installed Storeman)

  4. Once you have installed an app through, for example, Storeman, does Storeman also act as the update manager like a store would do? Or is there a separate update manager like in Mint (that I can’t find)?

  5. Is there a package manager like apt/Synaptic in Mint? And how do you check for and eliminate orphaned dependencies?

  6. How are permissions managed? So far I can only grant them all when an app is installed.

  7. I need a Telegram client but this is a question that applies to any service with native and Android versions. What do native SFOS apps have over the official Android versions? Do they work better?

  8. I am having a few difficulties with the browser, several websites I tried just are not displayed correctly. I thought that maybe it was set to desktop mode but it wasn’t. I read that it is based on an old version of Firefox so are there alternative native browsers with newer engines or should I go for an Android Firefox?

  9. I don’t know what it’s called but in WP8/WM10 the keyboard allows you to type words not by hitting every single key but just by moving the finger across the screen over the keys you need in a single move. My description is terrible but is there a way to have the same functionality in SFOS?

I know it’s a lot of questions, thank you for any answers and your patience :slight_smile:


Hey and welcome aboard! :slightly_smiling_face:

Great questions (maybe some of these could be added to the official SFOS FAQ?), I’ll answer the ones I can.

I find Chum to be the simplest to use (no need to add different repos, like with Storeman) and it has a wide selection of apps. But yes, per-app basis is a good approach.

Jolle Store is most restricted in terms of APIs and therefore some apps in Jolla Store won’t have all the features they have in e.g. Chum.

When you open Storeman and open the “Installed applications” tab it will show you the available updates. Chum has a similar function in the front page of the app.

There is pkcon (the cli client for PackageKit), but you can install zypper (devel-su pkcon install zypper) to gain more functionalities. If I’m not mistaken, handling orphaned packages is beyond complicated, but this is something I don’t know enough about. Basically, you can install, remove and update all the apps via their respective stores.

I can’t say I’ve tested the performance differences between native apps and Android apps. The native apps utilise the swipe-based Sailfish interface (that is great!) and they respect the ambience you have chosen. Also, native apps show relevant information and offer one or two functionalities on the home screen on their app covers. Bear in mind, that some native apps may not support all the features the official Android apps do. Fernschreiber (the native Telegram client) supports almost all the features.

If the Sailfish browser doesn’t fill all your needs, you could install Firefox or Fennec. Updating the browser engine is a huge amount of work, so currently there are no native alternatives for the official browser.

There is OKBoard, but unfortunately it doesn’t support all the officially support devices. I haven’t used it myself, so I can’t tell you much about it.

  1. Not sure, but when in doubt, always use the official way, so I’d go to F-Droid and check their installation instructions instead of relying on store version.

  2. MicroG isn’t replacing any part of SFOS, it’s an open implementation of Google Play Services which most Androids apps rely on. Most apps won’t send notifications without the services. Without MicroG a lot of Android apps will be suboptimal.

  3. Jolla store is the official package store and thus has some QA. It’s also pretty strict in what the apps can do so many interesting apps are just not possible in the Store. Storeman/Openrepos is a community solution where each developer sets up their own repository. There are no restrictions, release schedule is entirely up to the developer so no waiting for some governing body approval. I use it probably the most. Chum is another community solution which contrary to Openrepos has all apps in a single repository. The other differences are technical and IMO not important for the end user. I use all 3 of them, the official store the least. I recommend the same.

  4. Yes, you update Chum packages via Chum and Openrepos packages via Storeman, Jolla store packages via Jolla store.

  5. Like apt yes (pkcon and zypper), I’m not aware of any graphical UI app.

  6. Exactly like that AFAIK. You can see app’s permissions in settings.

  7. They’re usually less bloated, open source and without tracking. Generally speaking native apps are from community members to community members, no one is trying to mine any data or make any money off of you. Also they look more consistent with the system theme.

  8. Go for Android Firefox.

  9. It’s usually called swiping, I’m not aware of it being implemented in SFOS but I haven’t really checked if it’s possible at all.


Thank you both for your replies, I’ve got things clearer now :slight_smile: I’ll try out a couple things tomorrow.

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Yes, it sure is, because Jolla switched (TJC) to read-only years ago, but you just have to read until its very end:

P.S.: The original source of this guide is at and is rendered better there (e.g., its formatting, especially enumerations across paragraphs) than at TJC (except for the TOC and the line spacings in this footer).


Hello there sailor, welcome aboard :slight_smile:

Check also the ease keyboard, it’s wonderful

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I think it is best to install an APK from the official F-Droid website, since this is probably the most current version. There are also alternative F-Droid Clients like Droid-ify and NeoStore.

Like already mentioned, microG doesn’t replace any SailfishOS parts, it acts like the Google Play Services. You need to decide/check for your own if the Android-App(s) you want to use work without microG or not. From my, experience, most of the apps also “work” without microG, although most of them cannot send notifications. I’m also not sure how privacy-friendly microG is, since I assume it still sends some data to GOOGLE-servers (?).

Where to get the apps is entirely dependent on where the apps are available, some are only in the Jolla Store, some only in Openrepos/Storeman and some are only in Chum. You need to search all of them to find the app you are looking for. Some apps are on the Jolla Store and one of the others at the same time. In this case, the version NOT in the Jolla Store has more features most of the time.

Both Storeman and the Chum GUI act like a traditional store and therefore also provide update-functionality

As far as I know, you can only grant/decline EVERY permission the app asks for.

Apart from being open source and integrating with the SailfishOS design, native Sailfish Apps sometimes also have the advantage that they can provide system-functionality the Android-apps can’t provide

I also loved this Feature on my former Windows Phones, now on Sailfish, I use OKBoard for that which works perfectly fine on my Sony Xperia 10 III (You might need to install a seperate package for your language)


Jolla Store is the official way of downloading apps but it is restricting some features so you might as well install storeman installer and chum. Sfos is about the right of choosing. MicroG and Fakestore with signature spoofing are required to have optimal experience with whatever android apps. Those requiring gsm for location ect/ the cool thing is that Google doesn’t have your data’s, it’s an open implementation :joy::+1::+1: then, I’d also install Huawei AppStore, because it brings me the bank app that relies on hms and they are free for anybody to install. Not privacy best option, since back to Huawei there’s china, but I “”””slightly””” trust more China then US.

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