Jolla Unveils Sailfish OS based on Meego and Sailfish SDK

Last July, a company called Jolly announced it would design, develop and sell smartphones based on the Meego operating system. This is now closer to reality as a demo has been showcased running on Nokia N950, except the operating system is now called Sailfish OS.

Sailfish OS Running in Nokia N950 (Source: KickNetwork Video)

Internally, Sailfish OS is built on top of the Mer project and Qt. The UI is built with QML and QtQuick and the standard QtMobility APIs are supported. For software development, you’ll need to use a special version of QtCreator. The development flow  looks very similar to what you would do to develop applications for Symbian or Harmattan phones. More precisely, the Sailfish SDK consists of QtCreator, a virtualised Mer Platform SDK and Sailfish components. Code is developed in Qt-Creator on the host device, then the code is passed to the virtualised Mer SDK where it compiles inside the Virtual Machine.

If you want to have a look at the user interface, watch Jolla promo video below.

This is still early development and binaries are not available, so you have to build the OS and the SDK by yourself. If you want to try, check out the instructions to build (Mer) QtCreator. At the moment, getting started seems to be tricky (build is difficult and documentation is lacking), hence you may have to ask for help on IRC if you #mer and #nemomobile. Developers looking want to contribute or looking for further information can visit

The FAQ is also an interesting read, and you’ll learn hat HTML5 and many Android apps should run without modifications in Sailfish OS, although implementing those apps with Qt should provide better performance and provide a better integration with the OS.

Finally, ST Ericsson has just announced they would fully support Sailfish OS with their Novathor processor, so hopefully with some silicon manufacturers behind the project, we should be able to see Sailfish OS smartphones sometimes next year.

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[…] Sailfish OS is a new mobile operating system based on the Qt platform that will soon end-up in mobile phone near you. Until now it was possible to build the SDK yourself, but it was pretty challenging since the documentation was lacking, as Jolla, the company behind Sailfish OS, focused on development. The good news is that you don’t need to build the SDK yourself anymore, since Jolla has just released Sailfish SDK Alpha for Linux 32-bit & 64-bit, and Windows & Mac OS versions will come later. […]


[…] a teaser tweet in July 2012, Jolla officially announced Sailfish OS in November 2012, and today, they’ll announce the first Jolla Smartphone, which is available […]


[…] One way to get started with libhybris is to port a device to Ubuntu Touch, but this may take a while. However, I’ve found a faster and easier way to play with libhybris thanks to Martin Brook (vgrade) who wrote a tutorial on how to use libhybris with Mer on the Cubieboard. Mer is an open source mobile Linux distribution powered by Qt/QML and HTML5, that’s born from the ashes of Meego, and is now used in the upcoming Sailfish OS. […]