Sailfish as Linux Server?

I’m considering buying a second hand Xperia 10 and purchasing the Sailfish OS for it. But I’m wondering how much of a Linux experience Sailfish can provide. For example, one of the things I’m hoping I can do is to use the Xperia as a WiFi hotspot for my other devices. I’d like to be able to install a Nextcloud server on the phone, along with Adguard, and syncthing and make my other devices clients. Is this possible with Sailfish, or is it just crazy talk?

Another possibility is to connect the Xperia to my Raspberry PI, with the phone acting as the internet connection and let the Pi handle the server stuff with Yunohost. I’ve tried this with Android but I can’t get the other devices to connect properly because I can’t do things like open ports or port forwarding on Android. Would this setup be possible on Sailfish?

It being a real Linux distro makes many things quite possible - though being a nonstandard distro, it may take some leg work on your end.

That’s some random mainstream app that does not sound like it would do any good running in the Android container. No real Linux version from what i can tell.

If you need a mobile router for something advanced and/or permanent; just get a purpose-built one and be done with it.


I do so since years, using a dedicated Xperia 10 as Internet gateway for everything in the house that needs an internet connection. VPN included. That’s one of the few things in SFOS that really works good.


My gut feeling says that it’s possible to get NextCloud running, but you’ll gonna need a more powerful device than the Xperia 10 (mostly more RAM). How hard that is and what packages you have to compile yourself, are another questions altogether.

But yeah, it’s a “standard Linux” all right. I have multiple times yoink’d a .spec file from OpenSUSE and hammered it for a bit to produce a Sailfish OS compatible package. Definitely give it a shot!

Edit: One thing to point out is that SFOS uses BusyBox to pretty much its fullest extent. That means several binaries are GNU, but BusyBox “alternatives” instead.

Interesting use case - is this hotspot sharing a cellular data connection or do you have some ethernet usb dongle?

What would the range of this hotspot be compared to a larger router with antennas in your experience?

Third: if connected to VPN, does sailfish route the hotspot traffic through it?

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Thanks for the reply. Adguard is a fairly standard app for self-hosting on Raspberry-Pi or other home server solutions.

Sounds interesting, do you have any links to more information about how you can set this up?

Ok, thanks for the reply!

LTE connection only, I haven’t had a landline connection in 5 or 6 years. The range ha always been good enough for me because I just take my phone wherever I take my laptop.
Not sure about the VPN question as I don’t have Sailfish yet.

No I have no links. Simply insert a SIM, switch on mobile data, go to settings/mobile access point (Tethering, Internetfreigabe) (the 4th item in the 2nd block of settings), give a network name and a WPA preshared key, and turn it on.

VPN should be set under VPN in settings. There you can choose from 5 protocols, including OVPN (an .ovpn config file is needed, otherwise it will be complex).

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It’s totally possible, SFOS being a fully valid GNU/Linux “distro”. It uses libzypp for package management, which is native to OpenSUSE iirc.

WiFi hotspot functionality is already built in (I’m using it right now).

I’d stay far away from trying to integrate app support into this project.

But these aspects worry me:

  1. Battery life - all this takes a lot of energy. I imagine over time you’ll get a battery that only works for a few minutes and a phone that needs to stay connected to a charger non-stop
  2. Security updates - unlike normal Linux distros, SFOS is not always at the top here. Normally that’s OK, but if you open your device to accept incoming connections over the internet, you will get all sorts of hacking attempts.

Honestly I’d love to see this: maybe disable the GUI completely, and energy management (sleep) - could be really cool.