Support for official Fairphone 3+ port - FairSail -

No need to apologise, perhaps my initial post concentrated too much on the negatives but really I want to get to a point of positives.
I want SF to work and be a viable option,I would not be here on my 3rd licence (I break phones!) if I did not.
I think it should be OK to be constructive and be able ask why we are in this situation with so many frustrated users and perhaps to me a narrowing outlook.

I think you are right in saying that ‘who am I to give direction to the company’ and it sounds so simple to just use Fairphone. The real reasons and the details are of course more complicated.

Maybe if I rephrased my initial post:

  • How can Jolla get to a long term stable hardware base. It feels like the ever changing Xperia X direction is introducing alot of bugs an ruining the user experience whilst adding more work to a limited development team.
    Would Fairphone which has a longer term more stable hardware support be a more viable option for full Sailfish + Alien Dalvik ?
  • Do we know why this is not the case ?
  • Do we thing this is a better direction ?
  • If so how do we influence this ?

@not_just_a_username if a community port is enough, take a look here.
mal will also Support FP3 (as you can see later on the thread :smiley:.
But remember no Android support and other foreign licenced Software on the community port!

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good spot, although a bad name for that thread, many ppl search fairphone forums for fp3 and sfos and cannot find that info!

Hi, as mentioned in an earlier comment I have been working on community port of Sailfish OS for Fairphone 3 and it has almost no known issues but I haven’t yet released it to public. Only some final testing remains to be done but I haven’t had time to do that.


A community port of FPOS is great however I require Dalvik to keep up to date. Banking app, Dutch government “Digid” for all things government related, messaging app (Signal but this has a port in beta). Without these I will need a 2nd phone which is beside the point of this.

There are several discussions/requests e.g. here from community asking Jolla to sell licences to unsupported devices with limited liability? I guess FP ports should be able to use such licence if it ever happen.


So everyone who is posting questions about Sailfish, everyone who shares his/her doubts or frustrations should go to Apple or Google? I don’t believe you are meaning this.This answer neglects the point that not-just-a-username tries to make.

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You can be certain that all the people who are posting their doubts and frustrations really are Sailfish lovers. Otherwise there would be no reason for them to post at all.
There are not many new users, most of us use Sailfish for years now.
Third: you don’t only pay E50 for a license; with the Jolla strategy you have to buy a new device every two years. That is exactly why the EU wants to change these kind of strategies. For it is a waste of precious materials and it is polluting. Many of those materials are mined by underpaid people, often children. These natural materials are limited. In the future we have to reduce, repair and recycle. Also the Big Two have to do that sooner or later.


Do elaborate! (And especially on how SFOS on FP3 would be different) So the old Android Runtime turned out to be a bit of a dead end, but that seems fixed in newer versions. This is really the only obsolescence i can think of here. Apart from that the Xperia X is perfectly usable, and the XA2 is coming up on 3 years - still very much a first class citizen.

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In my eyes Fairphone 3 + is the only viable option. EU based, sustainable sourced, modular (remember Jolla 1 ideas), readily available, spare parts, known chipset SD632, easily unlocked boot loader and most importantly long term support on the hardware side .

I wanted to point another interesting option, Pine64’s PinePhone.
On the plus side:

  • It very community-based, everything is unlocked and opensource either out-of-the-box (main chipset) or in the process of being opensourced (modem and wifi), runs on mainline kernel (no need to use Android driver and libhybris interface between, just runs on Torvalds’ vanilla kernel) and thus supports multiple GNU/Linux distos - not only a community port of Sailfish but a bazillion others such as UBTouch, various Plasma Mobile-based ones, etc. (NOTE that not all of them are smartphone oriented), boots from SD (so possible to have additional OS on removable cards in addition to the eMMC).

The mainline kernel is perhaps the most interesting part. It means that instead of needing to depend on a manufacturer to provide BSP (kernel sources + android blobs drivers), and depending on some organisation to make a compatibility layer atop of that (like Jolla’s baseports), any small community can just download the official Linux kernel and compile it for the device. There won’t be a risk of getting stuck on an older kernel like Jolla 1 (Qualcom stopped providing more modern BSP) or Xperia X and XA2 (Jolla would need to rebuild an entirely new baseport from scratch).

On the minus side compared to Fairphone:

  • is not EU based, not fair-sourced materials, modularity is simpler and closer to the original Jolla (pogo pins with I2C enabling backcovers, such as an upcoming Psion-styled keyboard) and to the first Fairphone, rather than the taken-to-the-extreme of later Fariphone 2/3 (multiple modules that can be individually swapped/upgraded), hardware availability in the shop is slow (due to Pine64 being a small company so parts and devices come and go depending on the upstream components providers).

Minus shared with Fairphone:

  • Sailfish OS is a community port, no licensed Sailfish X yet, thus no Alien-Dalvik yet, nor Microsoft Exchange.

I agree, the XA2 and XA2+ still work fine. Therefore I will skip the 10II and wait until a better solution comes.

I would spectualte that @Kea means that well with such a limited audience for Sailfish, a static to narrowing userbase you will sell less user licences each iteration as not everybody upgrades or changes phone. Steady income would require most users whom are on X,XA2 etc to upgrade or replace their phones.

If there was a stable release on a stable hardware platform I would be more willing to pay an annual fee or add-ons if say there was a serious module upgrade on the FairPhone. That feels like a more sustainable marketing direction than the current direction to me also.

For example (made up prices) : Base licence 50E. If in a few years chipset upgrade + 30e fee to fund the software development, a camera upgrade + 5e for SW integration, or higher DPI screen +10e.

I realise this maybe propose a wild direction of pay to use/upgrade software and would garner a wild reaction from some people.

I do not think Jolla is making any money from selling licences, there was in the past a similar discussion, e.g. annual fee, etc. We are just too few to support such scheme in practice, unfortunately.

I like this idea, have suggested it before, with diverse reactions. Really sad that such a nice OS like Sailfish is now a niche OS. It still has potential.

It’s the least niche it’s ever been.

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May I suggest getting back on topic.

  1. What @mal has been doing with his port is very interesting. Thanks! Maybe some of us can help him finishing the required testing and other tasks, e.g works for the update to SFOS 4…

  2. Probably it’s worth taking the question of licenses for community ports to the next IRC community meeting.
    Who’d be willing to do so?


Thank you for bringing this back to my original point. I think there is some sort of consensus here (albeit not quantifiable) that a licence for a community port of SF for say Fairphone is a point of interest.

I raised the issue so I think it is appropriate that I raise the issue in the IRC meeting or at minimum contribute to this. However I have not attended such meetings before nor am I any way involved in software development. My contribution can be from more of a long term user lay-person perspective as I am not as heavily involved in the community as others maybe.

@mal A contribution from you would also be helpful if you see fit. As you are the maintainer of the port.

How would one approach this, could we draft a statement with contributions over a number of interested users here outlining different perspectives ? This way it can be more of a collective type of approach where the overall direction of the question and feedback is broadly agreed.

Other ideas?

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Agreed. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jolla sold Sailfish licenses at cost just to cover their license obligations back to Microsoft, etc for the 3rd party technology used the paid version.

I think the issue is far more on Jolla’s side than on the user’s side. The user doesn’t have to upgrade his/her phone every two years but since Sony change their current phone range with that type of frequency Jolla does have to re-work Sailfish to work on a new phone roughly every two years. They have to do this, not least because if they don’t you’ll never be able to get Sailfish on a current phone and totally new users will be relegated to searching for old phones on eBay to use Sailfish at all. Image wise it would also be a disaster - a modern, currently developing, phone OS, a wannabe competitor to IOS and Android in terms of functionality, security, etc, but only available on old second-hand or very difficult to find hardware. How would that look to new customers?

If they then decide to support a particular phone (as they have done) for many more years than that then they then have to support an ever increasing range of, primarily, old phones. So originally we had the Xperia X range, then we added the XA2 rangle, then the 10 range, and now the 10ii range. What’s next?

We’re always being told how small Jolla is and how few resources they have as reason that things don’t get fixed or done, so the need to support and release new versions of Sailfish on an ever increasing range of phones seems doomed to fail eventually - and that’s when the user will get affected.

So, for example, I believe Jolla have already said that they won’t do 64-bit on the XA2 range - so when they have stretched their resources beyond breaking point supporting both 32 and 64 bit versions of Sailfish across the last 6 or 7 years of Sony phones I fully expect them to withdraw support and development for the 32 bit version - therefore leaving only the 10ii and any potential successors. A re-assessment has got to take place at some point.


It doesn’t have to be a FP3. The point is here that by partnering (in some commercial fashion) with a phone hardware manufacturer with a much longer hardware refresh cycle more of those scarce Jolla software development resources can be focussed on just getting one phone really well sorted (especially with better access to the lower level hardware interfaces and adaptations) and supported (potentially with the advantage of in-model upgrades as well) before having to move onto the next model. Experience has demonstrated that the Sony 2 year refresh cycle has left us with a trail of ‘never quite got there’ phones because no sooner has Jolla got Sailfish ported to one phone they have to move on and do it all over again to the next phone - probably almost immediately and without time to iron out some of those basic bugs with the core functionality that makes the product so frustrating for many.