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08 April 2013, 16:22

SailfishOS SDK arrives

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Two VMs and an IDE
Zoom First impressions of the SailfishOS SDK are positive. Two VMs and an IDE do take up desktop space, though
The developers at Jolla have released the SDKs for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows for SailfishOS, their continuation of the ideas behind Maemo and Meego. Those two operating systems were the basis for Nokia's operating system strategy until it switched over to Windows Phone. The Jolla team have been working on SailfishOS, which combines Mer, a fork and refinement of Meego, with the Nemo project and Qt to provide a UI framework for mobile devices. SailfishOS is destined to power the company's mobile devices which are expected to debut in the second half of the year.

Although described as "a minnow" on the download page, the SailfishOS SDK clocks in at well over 600MB for each platform. It includes Qt Creator, a Mer-based virtual build machine, a SailfishOS emulator, the SDK and SailFish Silica, documentation and other tools. Rather than try and cross-compile to target systems, Jolla has taken a different route with the virtual machine running both a build system and OS emulator separately. Developers work with Qt Creator running natively on their platform and when they build, the build VM takes over. Once compiled, the result is then transferred to the SailfishOS Emulator VM. Although this sounds complex, the Jolla developers seem to have made the process remarkably simple and we were able to get the component palette example up and running in a short time.

The SailfishOS SDK is available for 32- and 64-bit Linux, 64-bit Mac OS X and Windows and is available to download from A Get Started page offers more directions. Licensing is a mixture of open source and proprietary licences with the SDK and higher levels of the Sailfish UI owned by Jolla.


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