SFOS present and future

I cant help but feel that SFOS is getting a bit stagnant in the last few releases. Obviously bugs are getting fixed, small things here and there are being worked on, new APIs and yes i know that things move slowly in general -due to resources- but there is a sense of general calmness.

Some of the big things (ie Qt update) aren’t in the immediate or near term plans but with Jolla venturing into automotive someone would expect things to feel more “active”.

So could someone from Jolla give us an update of what might come in the mid term or what is being worked on in general. Not a road map but a direction of sorts.


agreed. would love to see a blog detailing the plans to update the stack: QT/GCC/etc.

it would be great if jolla discussed the tradeoffs between bringing the stack up to date and their plans for feature development. made up e.g. “we’re really interested in overhauling the VPN stack, but to prevent us having to re-do the work next year we want to build it against openssl3, and for that we need to up our GCC toolchain up to at least v12.1. therefore, we think our timeline looks like…”


We know from the last meeting that a Qt update isn’t coming any time soon.

Q: Does Jolla use the same old QT for their automotive systems?

I’m guessing they’re preparing for SFOS 5 - with a new website, new developer tool, new upgrades, new fancy features, and of course support for 5G. In time for celebrating 10 years since Jolla1 (when was it, November 2013?). My guess is: a couple of more 4.-updates during spring, and then the big drum and release party and whatnot for a brand new SFOS 5 somewhere in October-November. But I’m only guessing here :slight_smile:


I like that, I wish you are right!


And I think I’ll have cappuccino.


I do not concur at all: Do you really want back the situation as of the first couple of SailfishOS 4 releases, when each release brought even more bugs? No, thanks.

It is extremely important for Jolla to keep their software stack up to date and to fix more bugs than they introduce; I am very glad that they started to become good at that recently. Before that there were so many outdated components, that reading “secure mobile OS” just made me laugh.

Yes, that still excludes Qt, where they seem to have a severe management issue: It is either “pay a lot to the Qt company” or “accept GPLv3” (as denoted in detail at FSO, TJC and TMO). It appears to be Jolla’s management, who cannot decide for half a decade, despite the options being obvious right from the start (i.e., when Qt 5.7 was released): fail!


I’d really like to see more team up between Jolla and phone manufacturers like Volla, Shiftphone and Fairphone to get really working devices., especially with useful and working GPS and Android support.


I agree and know Volla is eager to work with Jolla on Sailfish.


Jolla don’t make any money from their Sony agreement. In fact, they undoubtedly lose it but clearly need working phones for internal use and demonstration purposes.

Maybe they can sell App Support for Volla phones but there you’ve got problems if something goes wrong. Probably the best option is to license App Support to Volla. They could get it working on Volla OS too. They may need Myriad’s agreement to do this.


quick question - is the essential QT component that wasn’t opensourced (qtwayland?) which prevented jolla from upgrading to later versions of QT5 now resolved?

i.e. the component is now opensourced, and thus no longer a blocker.

and has this likewise been resolved for QT6 too?

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Why would they need that? Volla “”“OS”"" is Android.


The current android implementation has nothing to do with the old aliendalvik versions which used myriads technology.

@miau, what makes you think so?

BTW, the binaries were just recently renamed (in SailfishOS 4.5.0) and the integration into SailfishOS has been a continuous development, AFAICS.

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Aliendalviik from Myriad was only used in the devices upto the XperiaX. These are also the ones that are stuck at Android 4.x. The newer ones use a different approach which was developed by Jolla(AppSupport - Jolla). Aliendalvik is also not present anymore on Myriads company website.
Only the name is still the same on jolla devices.

While this is (mostly*) true, with an emphasis on “from”, …

The newer ones use a different approach which was developed by Jolla(AppSupport - Jolla ).

… this is not: Jolla simply bought the right from Myriad Group to continue development of Alien Dalvik on their own, because Myriad Group obviously had ceased to do that for their only remaining customer of Alien Dalvik (i.e., Jolla). BTW, the Myriad Group’s principal marketing name was “Myriad Alien Embedded”, but it always meant the same product, i.e., the one called aliendalvik-….rpm on SailfishOS until SailfishOS 4.5.0.

It is actually quite easy to retrace this, if you look at the copyright information and comments of non-binary files (systemd units etc.) which are part of Alien Dalvik at the various stages of its development, i.e., on old SailfishOS releases and the three different device classes WRT Alien Dalvik (Jolla 1 → Jolla C, Jolla Tablet, Xperia X→ Xperia XA2 models with their initial SailfishOS release) .

But Jolla overhauled Alien Dalvik significantly after they bought the right to continue developing it, updating the AOSP utilised from v4.4 to v8 and running it in an LXC container instead of a chroot environment. But the basic design was always the same and the integration into SailfishOS a continuous development, up to and including “Android App Support” nowadays.

Aliendalvik is also not present anymore on Myriads company website.

Yes, for very long: Myriad Group stopped active marketing of Alien Dalvik in 2015, IIRC. Funny to see, that “Android App Support” has become Jolla’s principal product since the demise of Aurora OS (end of 2021 / early 2022).

*: Only “mostly” because Jolla did most of the integration of Alien Dalvik into SailfishOS right from its inception (i.e., starting in 2013). This can also be easily seen in non-binary files, which are part of the Alien Dalvik installation.


I personally feel a bit conflicted with the new focus on Android AppSupport. I understand that selling Android App Support to car manufacturers is seen as a good revenue stream and that money is needed to keep the company afloat.

On the other side, I felt a bit dissapointed when the highlight of the 4.5 release was the updated Android App Support. I did not flee from Android to Sailfish OS to run Android apps really well. I’ve always seen it as a way to ease the transition from Android and I would have rather seen more effort put into Sailfish OS than in Android App Support. My end goal would be to be able to uninstall Android App Support one day.

Nevertheless, I am enjoying Sailfish OS 4.5 greatly and I really do appreciate the work the developers have put into it.


I always thougt that Myriads AlienDalvik was an alternarive to the original Dalvik VM. Since Android switched from DVM to ART in 5.0 this approach was no longer working. Later the Anbox approach was used, which isn’t possible on older devices since the kernel doesn’t support the needed features.

Nope, that former product of Myriad Group was called “Dalvik Turbo” and was an alternative and supposedly faster Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to Googles Dalvik JVM. This was a product for Android < 5.

Alien Dalvik always was an emulation layer (see below) to run a stripped down AOSP (Android Open Source Project) on foreign (“alien”) operating systems.

Since Android switched from DVM to ART in 5.0 this approach was no longer working.

This is also not true, there was no “switch”: Dalvik JVM is still there, pure Java apps need it. Google only added the “Android Runtime (ART)” interface (often also called “native interface” and the apps using it “native apps” in contrast to Java apps) for compiled apps written in C++, C etc. If there would have been a “switch” Android 5 had been without any apps, initially.

Later the Anbox approach was used, …

Alien Dalvik predates Anbox (which became Waydroid much later) and they are completely unrelated (e.g., carry incompatible licenses, GPLv3 for Anbox / Waydroid), except for the basic concept of running an ASOP para-virtualised on something else. It is all about emulating the missing interfaces (bionic instead of libc etc. etc.) on that “something else”. Not that hard, if one uses a classic Linux distribution (as SailfishOS) as underpinning, but IIRC Alien Dalvik was also offered for WinCE (aka Windows Mobile etc.), WebOS etc.

Wait, didn’t I write all this before?
I did:

… which isn’t possible on older devices since the kernel doesn’t support the needed features.

Well, the technically correct answer is Android App-Support Update? - #13 by olf

P.S.: Please search first, and do not present guesswork based on the similarity of (badly chosen) names as facts.