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The Sailfish Platform SDK is the default (documented) option for Hardware Adaptation Development. Further, it can be used for platform development.

Note: Platform development is now more convenient with the regular Sailfish SDK through its command line frontend ‘sfdk’, available on all Linux, macOS and Windows.

Quick start

If you’re in a hurry then this should get you going (if it doesn’t work then read the full instructions carefully!) :

export PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT=/srv/sailfishos
curl -k -O
sudo mkdir -p $PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT/sdks/sfossdk
sudo tar --numeric-owner -p -xjf Jolla-latest-SailfishOS_Platform_SDK_Chroot-i486.tar.bz2 -C $PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT/sdks/sfossdk
echo "export PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT=$PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT" >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'alias sfossdk=$PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT/sdks/sfossdk/sdk-chroot' >> ~/.bashrc; exec bash
echo 'if [[ $SAILFISH_SDK ]]; then' >> ~/.bash_profile
echo '  PS1="PlatformSDK $PS1"' >> ~/.bash_profile
echo '  [ -d /etc/bash_completion.d ] && for i in /etc/bash_completion.d/*;do . $i;done' >> ~/.bash_profile
echo 'fi' >> ~/.bash_profile

Attention: If you chose PLATFORM_SDK_ROOT other than /srv/mer and your SDK version is (check /etc/os-release inside), the following workaround is needed:

echo 'mount_sdk() { sudo mount -o rbind "$sdkroot/srv" "$sdkroot/parentroot/srv"; }' >> ~/.mersdkrc

Once you’ve installed the Sailfish Platform SDK you’ll need to install an SDK Build Target.

It’s recommended that you read sections below for pre-requisites, options and details on installing extra architecture toolchains, tools etc.

Sailfish Platform SDK

The default download contains:

  • Development tools
  • Image creation tools
  • OBS development tools

You can also install :

  • Debugging tools
  • Testing tools
  • Python development
  • Ruby development

Installing the Sailfish Platform SDK

SDK Requirements

The Sailfish Platform SDK will run on most modern Linux machines. It needs:

  • Linux distribution (one in a virtual machine works well), running 2.6.37 or newer kernel
  • About 3 GB of free disk space is the minimum for SDK installation with one build target enabled
  • The SDK must be installed on a standard filesystem and “nosuid” must not be set. (Note: recent ecryptfs will automatically use and enforce nosuid. Automounted usb drives typically have “nosuid” set too.)
  • Generic x86 CPU
  • User must have sudo rights

Installation / setup

The Sailfish Platform SDK is provided as a rootfs tarball that contains essential tools for Sailfish OS platform development along with a helper script to enter the rootfs.

Filesystem requirements:

  • The Sailfish Platform SDK can be installed to any location with enough space - we’ll use /srv/ as per the Linux FHS (feel free to adapt the commands to use any other location).
  • The installation path must contain an intermediate directory called ‘sdks’ which only has Sailfish Platform SDKs inside. eg /srv/sailfishos/sdks/sfossdk/…

To setup the Sailfish Platform SDK:

  • Download the latest stable Sailfish Platform SDK rootfs tarball with the common armv7hl toolchain preinstalled:
    curl -k -O
  • Optionally, you can check the release notes from the Sailfish SDK Release Notes. The SDK Build Engine section also contains the latest changes to the Sailfish Platform SDK.
  • Create a directory for the Sailfish Platform SDK rootfs and extract the tarball as root or with sudo:
    sudo mkdir -p /srv/sailfishos/sdks/sfossdk
    sudo tar --numeric-owner -p -C /srv/sailfishos/sdks/sfossdk -xjf Jolla-latest-SailfishOS_Platform_SDK_Chroot-i486.tar.bz2

Attention: If you chose installation prefix other than /srv/mer and your SDK version is (check /etc/os-release inside), the following workaround is needed:

echo 'mount_sdk() { sudo mount -o rbind "$sdkroot/srv" "$sdkroot/parentroot/srv"; }' >> ~/.mersdkrc

Sailfish Platform SDK control script

The Sailfish Platform SDK rootfs contains a helper script to enter the chroot named ‘sdk-chroot’. The helper script is located in the root directory (/) of the rootfs. It requires you to have sudo ability.

As mentioned, the Sailfish Platform SDK is location independent so it uses the location of the helper script to determine which Sailfish Platform SDK to enter.

Entering Sailfish Platform SDK

Before entering the Sailfish Platform SDK you may want to make changes to your “.bash_profile” file to give you a nice prompt to remind you that you are in the Sailfish Platform SDK. This also reads the bash autocompletion scripts from inside the chroot.

cat << EOF >> ~/.bash_profile
if [[ $SAILFISH_SDK ]]; then
  PS1="PlatformSDK \$PS1"
  if [ -d /etc/bash_completion.d ]; then
    for i in /etc/bash_completion.d/*;
      . \$i

If you use multiple Sailfish Platform SDK instances, you can utilise the SAILFISH_SDK shell variable to determine the absolute path to the Sailfish Platform SDK chroot in use (since Sailfish OS release

To enter the Sailfish Platform SDK rootfs with the helper script run


You should find that you are operating under your normal username and that your home directory is available as /home/<username> and any other mountpoints are mounted under /parentroot/*

You have sudo rights automatically. If sudo fails within the sdk, make sure that the filesystem the sdk is on is not mounted with the “nosuid” parameter. “mount” on the host system gives you this information, add “suid” as parameter in fstab, if necessary.

Useful Alias

If you tend to use a single instance of the Sailfish Platform SDK then this alias is useful

echo alias sfossdk=/srv/sailfishos/sdks/sfossdk/sdk-chroot >> ~/.bashrc ; exec bash

Next Steps

The next step is to look at setting up the SDK Build Targets and installing and using more Development Tools

Updating the Sailfish Platform SDK

You can check your current release version by executing ssu re in the SDK. For a newer SDK release version check out the Sailfish SDK Release Notes. In this example we will use Jolla release

sudo ssu re
sudo zypper ref
sudo zypper dup

Removing the Sailfish Platform SDK

Remove all SDK Targets and Toolings, then simply exit all chroot instances and, using sudo, remove /srv/sailfishos/sdks/sfossdk.


Multiple Sailfish Platform SDKs

You should be able to install and connect to multiple Sailfish Platform SDKs at the same time.

Known Issues

“not enough disk space left” or similar

If you do actually have enough disk then the problem is possible that the kernel on your host is too old. To run Sailfish Platform SDK you should be running kernel 2.6.37 or newer on your host.