Installing Sailfish X on XA2 using macOS

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

A. 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. Mac 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.

2. Install Fastboot tools on your computer

Install Homebrew using instructions on this link.
brew tap caskroom/cask

brew cask install android-platform-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 the ‘Volume up’ button gently and connect the other end of the USB cable to phone. The LED next to the speaker on the device should light up BLUE. If it turns green then disconnect the cable and try again.

4.6 Open Terminal on your Mac 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.

The bootloader is now unlocked, allowing you to install Sailfish X to your device.

5. Getting the Sony vendor binary images

5.1 Download the Sony binary image named SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17B_nile.zip  for the Xperia™ XA2 here.
5.2 Unzip the SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17B_nile.zip file.
5.3 Copy the SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img extracted from the zip and paste it to the same directory where you extracted the Sailfish OS .zip file. Once done, you should have SW_binaries_for_Xperia_Android_8.1.6.4_r1_v17_nile.img in the same directory with fastboot.exe, flash-on-windows.bat, sailfish.img001 and some other files.

NOTE: do all the steps above regardless of the Android version you got while updating it, also in case of Oreo (Android 8).

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
6.6 Launch the flashing script by entering the command:

bash ./flash.sh

6.7 When flashing has finished, disconnect the USB cable, reboot your device into Sailfish X! You will first see a reminder of unlocked boot loader, followed by Sony logo. Next, Sailfish OS appears.

Happy flashing 🙂