Sailfish Community News, 18th January - Community Event

Sailfish OS update from Jolla

As previously communicated in the community newsletter of Nov 30, 2023, a whole new chapter was opened for Jolla, Sailfish and the community in end of 2023. Ever since we’ve been working hard on the transition and we’re thrilled on the new opportunities this opens for all of us!

As noted already back then, we want to work closely with the community for finding the right new strategy for the company and the community. We want to discuss with the community on what kind of products and services we should invest into and build in the future.

Also this year, we will be very present at FOSDEM in Brussels and you can find us at Linux on Mobile stand (Building AW level 1 group A).

Further, we’re happy to invite the community to the first new era Sailfish Community Event to be held in connection of FOSDEM on the eve of Saturday February 3, 2024! In the event we will be discussing our early tech & product ideas for the new Jolla and how we think to utilize AI and RAG models focusing on open ecosystems and privacy aware solutions. We very much welcome and value lively community discussion on these early ideas!

The event is preliminary limited for first 30 persons enrolled, so please enroll by replying your name/nick with a message that you’re joining. If we get heavily over, we’ll see if we can still find enough room for all ideas to flourish. Details and the venue will be confirmed closer the date accordingly.

Welcome and wish to see many of you in Brussels!

Repository roundup

The covered timespan is a bit longer than usual and even if it encompasses the end of the year holidays, the number of changes in the various Sailfish OS repositories is really large. Let’s highlight some of the changes that will likely be part of the next release:

  • many library updates, fixing CVEs, like in libtiff or bluez5 ,
  • connectivity fixes in IPv6 networks with the work on CLAT in connman ,
  • a new “in-line” way to reply to notification (see changes in the repositories related to the user interface),
  • immediate locking of the device when taping on the lock icon in the top menu,
  • and for developpers, version upgrades of different base tools, libraries and compilers. If not yet merged in, definitely worked on are a GCC update to 10, a glibc update to 2.38, an LLVM update to 15, a rust update to 1.75 and glib2 update to 2.78.

About version updates, this repository roundup is not mentioning enough the work of flypig (and many other contributors) on updating the browser to ESR91. Finally, a special mention also to attah who’s contributed to a significant amount of package upgrades in the past weeks and months.

Telephony stack

Communication services


User interface

  • lipstick , the home screen code (open source parts), pvuorela introduced a new hint to be able to store the priviledge level of notifications.
  • commhistory-daemon , the daemon handling call and message history, pvuorela changed the reply method for SMS, switching to a inline text one.
  • sailjail-permissions , the configuration files for system-wide sandbox permissions, pvuorela dropped the legacy org.nemomobile.qmlmessages D-Bus service exposed by the messages application.
  • nemo-qml-plugin-notifications , QML bindings to the Freedesktop notification system, pvuorela added support for a hint called “resident”, so notification is not automatically discarded when an action is done, but need to be explicitely removed by the user or the sender.
  • mce , a framework exposing hardware status of display, buttons…, spiiroin provided a patch to use the kernel time to filter multipress of the power button, instead of an internal timer. This pull request also changes the display off command to use a bitmask instead of values, adding a mask asking to lock the device, see the commit message. As explain in that commit, this mask is now used by default, meaning that tapping the lock icon in the top menu will actually immediately lock the device and not just turn the screen off. It is possible to get back to the old behaviour with mcetool --set-display-off-override=disabled .
  • nemo-qml-plugin-devicelock , QML bindings for device lock access, spiiroin ensured that the manual locking is properly honoured and don’t start a timer.

Low level libraries

Developper’s corner

App roundup

As we head through January and the depths of winter, where in my small part of the Northern Hemisphere we’re experiencing crisply cold weather with frosts and ice, it’s a good time to be warmed by words of wisdom and good conversation.

And the apps in this fortnight’s roundup reflect this. We have a couple of apps that claim to offer wisdom of both the secular and religious variety. And a couple of other apps in case you don’t find what you need there and have to phone a friend to get the words of wisdom you’re after (or maybe just a good chat).

First up is Wisdom from chrisadol. It’s not a new app to the Jolla Store, but for any recent converts to Sailfish OS, this might be the first time you’ve had the opportunity to make use of it. The latest update, apart from adding Sailjail support, also brings with it 64-bit support. The Jolla Store will only show you apps that have compatible packages for the device you’re using, so if you’re on a 64-bit device, it won’t have appeared until now.

There’s a simplicity to the app that’s appealing and a clean execution too. Bring up the app and it will throw up a quotation, displayed nicely with minimal user interface, as is the Sailfish way. The settings allow you to choose between Bible quotes, which tend to be uplifting, or computer quotes, which tend to be more cynical. I’m not sure what that is. Either way, there’s definitely some wisdom to be found here.

The quotes appear on the cover and there’s also the option to export them from the app. My initial reaction on discovering that quotes are exported as image files was bafflement, but the way they’re presented is so clean and attractive that it won me over. I’m not sure where you’d make use of these exported images, but they’re great to look at.

One downside of the app is that the quotes are short and rather context-free. If there’s a quote that piques your interest, you might want to dig further into it. If it’s a computer quote you’re out of luck, but for Biblical quotes we have a solution.

That solution comes in the form of the Bible app from zuyev, which recently received an update fixing some minor bugs. Although the app doesn’t itself come with any content from the Bible, it allows you to make use of downloaded ZefaniaXML files. The link in the app takes you to a SourceForge page where you can download a myriad different versions in a huge number of different languages. It’s an impressive collection and great to see this flexibility in the app.

The app itself allows you to hone in on the text you want in multiple ways. You can select the book and chapter number, where you can see all of the verses in one go. Searching for a particular phrase works well and if there are particular passages that you may want to return to you can also bookmark verses to appear in the bookmark list.

Cross-referencing quotes from Wisdom in Bible give good results, perhaps not surprisingly. But it was nice to see.

Version 0.14 of Wisdom is available exclusively from the Jolla Store. Version 1.1 of Bible can be found in the Jolla Store and OpenRepos.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in one of these two apps maybe you’ll need to get some human insight instead. In that case we have a couple of messaging apps to recommend. Both have featured in previous newsletters, but both also receive regular updates and so we think deserve returning to periodically.

First up we have Fernschreiber the Telegram client from Sebastian Wolf (WerkWolf). The app provides a very effective native interface and probably offers the most complete functionality of any native messaging app on Sailfish OS; quite some achievement. In my experience the app is solid, both in terms of having very few bugs, but also offering a very stable interface with the backend Telegram servers. If you’re a Telegram user then this app comes highly recommended.

The Whisperfish app from Ruben De Smet (rubdos) and Matti Viljanen (direc85) offers access to the competing Signal messaging service. It’s a completely different app in terms of both the front-end and backend, but there are also important similarities between the two.

Both have a main screen showing conversations in a scrollable vertical list. Avatars and unread message counts make it easier to pick out the right conversation; selecting one will take you to the conversation page for that app. These are spiritual successors to the Messages app, with text entry at the bottom and the history running backwards in time as you go further up the page. It’s all as you might expect.

While Whisperfish — with its ability to password protect the app at start up and strong cryptographic credentials — puts privacy at its core, Fernschreiber provides a alight step up in terms of functionality with better support for reactions.

Although as an end-user it makes little practical difference, from a technical perspective it’s also worth mentioning that Whisperfish is the driving force behind development of the Rust Language on Sailfish OS, which makes it interesting in its own right.

The latest 0.17 release of Fernschreiber brings in a whole host of improvements, including updated translations from the amazing community of contributors that support the app, general improvements to the user interface especially in portrait mode, multiple bug fixes, and improvements to both notification and reaction handling. It’s available from both the Jolla Store and OpenRepos.

Whisperfish on the other hand sees an update to 0.6.0-beta-22. It’s hard to keep track of all the changes that go into Whisperfish as it seems to operate on an almost rolling release basis. My own experience is that it gets better with every release, both in terms of functionality and the robustness of its operation with the backend Signal servers. It’s available from OpenRepos or hot off the press from the CI pipeline on GitLab.

That’s it for this roundup. As always we’ve showcased only a tiny fraction of the releases this fortnight, if only there were time to try them all. I was personally keen to test out RetroArch from smoku but it didn’t quite make it in this time. I’ll try to get some thoughts about it into the next newsletter.

If you’re one of the army of developers creating all these amazing apps for Sailfish OS then thank you for your tireless development efforts. As users we’re all better-off as a result.

Please feed us your news

Thank you for reading! Like always, we’d like to hear your suggestions for future topics - feel free to write them in the comments below.

As reminder the next community IRC meeting is scheduled for 1st February


peperjohnny and I’d like to attend the event!

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szopin, would like to attend


love to all the work updating the core libs underpinning SFOS.

the project is moving forward, it lives and breaths as a solution for tomorrow - not merely yesterday.


Yes please, I’d love to attend :slight_smile:

Speaking of attending, @direc85 and I had a little secret code sprint last weekend in Brussels. Here’s us waiting for some burgers.

We were definitely on a roll, and given some very nice things we did during said weekend, beta 23 should be right around the corner. Our initial aim was to get something like a release candidate out, but that’s still quite a bit further ahead than we hoped.


I’d love to attend!: Erik Winkels / @aerique

edit: retracted my request since I decided not to go to FOSDEM

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Thank you for the news - it sounds exciting! I am so curious but I won’t make it to Bruxelles (although I like Bruxelles a lot and thus there would be two good reasons to be there)

I wish all sailors and community members a great event! I will stay tuned for reading all the reports and news to come.


What a treat! I would also love to attend the event. :wink: @rainemak / @ljo


Just a note about Wisdom app and the exported images.
You can always use the OCR app Textractor to extract text that you want to use elsewhere.


@Nokius would also like to join :slight_smile:


Carol Chen (@cybette) would love to join the FOSDEM event :raised_hands:


And by proxy, Nokius asks to add @steph and Carsten Munk :laughing:


I, Sebastian Wolf, would like to join the community event in Brussels.


Sign the @poetaster (aka. Mark) up for the community event. I’m assuming this is instead of dinner? Or will there be a dinner also?


Great to hear! I (@Saaientist/Tom) would also love to join the event!


It’s been awhile since been in this forum or Fosdem, but yeah ( @veskuh ) signing up for the event.


While updates on the “small” stuff/libs are nice and welcome i’d love to know if there is any work done or planned on the big stuff of SFOS.

LIke the compositor, maybe systemd, and that lot.


@pasik I’d like to join the event!

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I @Louis would love to join the FOSDEM community event on Saturday together with a friend Daniel (not on this forum).

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seems like everybody forgot about Dre pulseaudio
I remember being told that J upgrades on even versions, but we have v17 now and SFOS is on v14