Installing Sailfish X on XA2 using Linux

IMPORTANT – Do not skip this step

Use your Xperia XA2 some time with Android OS. Check that phone calls can be made and received, that you can browse the Internet with a mobile data connection (turn WLAN off) and that the camera works. You might also want to check the touch display, loudspeaker and microphone.. Use the same SIM card as will be used with Sailfish X.

What you need to begin

  1. A. Sony Xperia XA2 Single SIM (H3113 & H3123 & H3133) or Sony Xperia XA2 Dual SIM (H4113 & H4133) Sony Xperia XA2 Plus Single-SIM (H3413) or Sony Xperia XA2 Plus Dual-SIM (H4413 & H4493) Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra Single-SIM (H3213 & H3223) or Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra Dual-SIM (H4213 & H4233), verified to have an unlockable bootloader.
    B. USB-C cable
    C. Internet connection
    D. Linux Computer
    E. Sailfish X from Jolla shop.

What you need to do

1. Skip the Android update

  • It is not necessary to update your device to the latest version of Android. You can skip the update if prompted.
  • NOTE:
    • Our installation script prevents installing Sailfish X to an XA2 device having Android version 9 in it as this would cause functional problems
    • If your XA2 already has Android 9, please follow these instructions to downgrade it to Android 8.1 first. You will need a Windows computer for this task.

2. Install Fastboot tools on your computer

Here is how to install Fastboot tools on different Linux distributions using terminal:

Debian/Ubuntu/.deb distros:
apt-get install android-tools-fastboot
Fedora:
dnf install android-tools

3. Extract the Sailfish OS .zip file

3.1  You have purchased the Sailfish X license and are hence entitled to download the latest Sailfish OS .zip file from https://shop.jolla.com/downloads/ .  You can download newer versions later, too.

The zip files are like this: SailfishOS-VERSION1-DEVICE-VERSION2.zip.

Examples:

Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h3113-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H3113, H3123 & H3133)
Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h4113-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H4113 & H4133)
Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h3213-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H3213 & H3223)
Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h4213-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H4213 & H233)
Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h3413-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H3413)
Sailfish_OS-Jolla-3.0.0.5-h4413-0.0.7.2.zip (This image can be used for H4413 & H4493)

3.2 Extract this file to a directory: unzip SailfishOS-VERSION1-DEVICE-VERSION2.zip. In that directory you can also find the fastboot binary (file: fastboot.exe) that will be needed in section 4.

4. Unlock your bootloader

4.0 In order to unlock the phone you need to get the unlock key that can be requested from Sony Open Devices website.

– scroll down the page
– select your device  Xperia™ XA2
– scroll down the updated page
– enter the IMEI code (from Settings menu) of your device to the line near the bottom of the page
– Read and accept the first two tick boxes
– click “Submit” and the unlock code will appear
– copy the code to the text buffer of your computer.

After getting the key please follow the below actions to do the actual unlocking.

4.1  Enable “Developer options” by going to “Settings > System > About Phone” and tap the “Build Number” multiple times until you see a prompt saying “You are now a developer!”
4.2. Enable “OEM unlocking” and “USB debugging” from “Settings > System > Developer options” menu.

Note that your Xperia device must have an Internet connection when doing this.

4.3 Turn off your phone
4.4 Connect USB cable to PC
4.5 Press and hold the ‘Volume up’ button gently and connect the other end of the USB cable to your phone and wait for the LED to light up blue. If it turns green then disconnect the cable and try again.

4.6 Open Terminal on your Linux computer. Go to the folder where you unzipped Sailfish OS in step 3.2.

4.7 Run command shown in chapter 4 “Enter unlock key” of Sony instructions. Use the unlock key from chapter 4.0. Do not forget to add the ‘0x’ prefix. Please prepend the command with “sudo”.

NOTE: If the command given by Sony fail, please try using the command below:

sudo fastboot oem unlock 0x<insert your unlock code>
(Example:
sudo fastboot -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xAB34CD56EF89      )
— this is an example where AB34CD56EF89 mimics the unlock code from Sony to you.

5. Getting the Sony vendor binary images

NOTE: With version v17B of Sony vendor image we have observed a decrease in the perceived signal strength of the 5GHz WLAN access points (investigations ongoing). Version v16 should work better in this respect. Therefore we would not recommend flashing v17B for the time being if you use WLAN networks in the 5GHz band.
-The renewed flashing scripts of update 3.0.3.10 allow you to use either of the two versions.
-You can also change the vendor image later by reflashing just the image of your choice (and not Sailfish OS) by following the instructions in here.

5.1 Download one of the the Sony binary images for the Xperia™ XA2 . Version 16 from here. Or version 17B from here. The downloaded files have the following names:

SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v16_nile.zip
SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17B_nile.zip

5.2 Unzip the file you want to use.

5.3 Copy the unzipped file (below) and paste it to the same directory where you extracted the Sailfish OS .zip file.  The unzipped files have the names:
SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v16_nile.zip
SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img

6. Flashing Sailfish X to your Xperia™

Connect your device to your PC in Fastboot mode as follows:

NOTE: If your device is still connected and the blue LED lit from step 4.7 it is ok to keep it that way and skip to step 6.5 below.

6.1 Disconnect your Xperia™ device from your PC
6.2 Turn off the device. Leave it off for at least fifteen (15) seconds.
6.3 Connect one end of a USB cable to your PC
6.4 While holding the ‘Volume Up’ button gently, connect the other end of the USB cable to your Xperia™ device. The LED next to the speaker on the device should light up blue. If green, then disconnect cable and try again.
6.5 Open Terminal in the same directory where you extracted the Sailfish OS .zip file (see step 3.2)
6.6 Launch the flashing script by entering the command:

bash ./flash.sh

6.7 Follow the instructions in the console window. The last two lines at the console should be:
Flashing completed.
Remove the USB cable and bootup the device by pressing powerkey.

6.8 When flashing has finished, reboot your device into Sailfish X!

Happy flashing 🙂

Experiencing an issue with Linux when using a USB3 port? Click here to read our article about it.

7. Booting up to Sailfish X

7.1 Press the Power button. First you will see a reminder of unlocked boot loader (please ignore), followed by Sony logo. Next, Sailfish OS appears.
7.2 Your Xperia starts soon running the first boot up, a.k.a. Startup Wizard, during which it will ask you to:
  • select the display language for the phone
  • accept the End User License Agreement
  • set the security code for the device lock – optional
  • connect to the Internet
  • set the date & time
  • sign in to your Jolla account – the same that you used for buying the license, as this makes the so-called licensed content  (including Android Support) appear in Jolla Store for your device
  • install the default Sailfish apps, Android Support (can be installed later, too) and Aptoide Store
  • run Sailfish tutorial “Learn basics” – this can be skipped by touching the 4 corners starting from top-left in clockwise direction
7.3 You can now install more Sailfish apps from Jolla Store and Android apps from Aptoide Store (and from other Android stores).