Develop without QtCreator

Setting Up Enviroment

Sailfish Os SDK and VirtualBox must be installed (TODO: this part is ommited)

Important Links:

Starting Virtual machines

Important Paths:

Loading virtual box kernel drivers:

sudo modprobe vboxdrv

See if MerSDK and SailfishOS Emulator vms are listed:

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage list vms
"MerSDK" {a1bb4124-9b62-4ee8-95d7-bedb468d7389}
"SailfishOS Emulator" {6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860}

Note: If VMS arent listed registered:

VBoxManage registervm ~/SailfishOS/mersdk/MerSDK/MerSDK.vbox
VBoxManage registervm ~/SailfishOS/emulator/SailfishOS Emulator/SailfishOS\ Emulator.vbox

Start MerSDK VM.

Here you need to put the correct uuid of the MerSDK VM, you obtain it listing the VMS as explaind in 1

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage list vms
"MerSDK" {a1bb4124-9b62-4ee8-95d7-bedb468d7389}
"SailfishOS Emulator" {6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860}

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxHeadless --startvm "MerSDK"
Oracle VM VirtualBox Headless Interface 4.3.20_OSE
(C) 2008-2014 Oracle Corporation
All rights reserved.

Start SailfishOS Emulator.

Here you need to put the correct uuid of the SailfishOS Emulator VM, you obtain it listing the VMS as explaind in 1.

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage list vms
"MerSDK" {a1bb4124-9b62-4ee8-95d7-bedb468d7389}
"SailfishOS Emulator" {6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860}

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage startvm 6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860
Waiting for VM "6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860" to power on...
VM "6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860" has been successfully started.

Check if the vms are running.

The emulator should have display a window, but the mer sdk no. You can check if both vms are running:

[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage list runningvms
"MerSDK" {a1bb4124-9b62-4ee8-95d7-bedb468d7389}
"SailfishOS Emulator" {6b1e1033-4b9f-49c4-92c1-15062b9cb860}

Poweroff the VMS

To poweroff the vms correctly:

VBoxManage controlvm <name/uuid> poweroff


[nickcis@myhost SailfishOS]$ VBoxManage controlvm "MerSDK" poweroff

Connecting through ssh

From “How do I login into the emulator or build engine?”.

Connect to SDK.

ssh -p 2222 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/engine/mersdk mersdk@localhost
ssh -p 2222 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/engine/root root@localhost

Connect to Emulator.

ssh -p 2223 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/SailfishOS_Emulator/nemo nemo@localhost
ssh -p 2223 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/SailfishOS_Emulator/root root@localhost

Using merssh tool

merssh is the bridge between our machine and mersdk’s virtual machine. It is used to run commands in the vm. The idea is to avoid log in throught ssh in order to build our application. QtCreator useses this tool to cross compile and package our project. It is located under the bin folder of the SailfishOS Sdk folder, using the paths of the example: ~/SailfishOS/bin/merssh.

To run this tool, we need the MerSDK VM running. Remember that merssh only objective is making us easier the cross compile workflow, all commands are executed on the vm, not in the host OS.

[nickcis@myhost speech-test]$ /home/nickcis/SailfishOS/bin/merssh
No arguments 

merssh usage: 
merssh <command> 
environment project parameters: 
evironment connection parameters: 

merssh recives only one parameter <command>, and takes all the connection and target parameters through enviromental variables. So, in order to run it correctly, first, you’ll need to set up all the enviroment.

Enviromental variables:

Note: sb2 or scratchbox is a tool used in the mersdk for cross compiling (it allows you to run commands in the crosscompiling enviroment), for more information read the packaging post.

Example of variables:

export MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME=SailfishOS-i486
export MER_SSH_SHARED_TARGET=~/SailfishOS/mersdk/targets
export MER_SSH_SDK_TOOLS=~/.config/SailfishBeta1/mer-sdk-tools/MerSDK/$MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME
export MER_SSH_PROJECT_PATH=~/SailfishOS/examples/componentgallery
export MER_SSH_USERNAME=mersdk
export MER_SSH_PORT=2222
export MER_SSH_PRIVATE_KEY=~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/engine/mersdk

Possible <command>:

[additional parameters/flags] are the additional arguments that we pass to merssh, this tool will pass them to the <command>.


[user@folder ~]$ merssh qmake arg1 -flag1 foo bar

Will execute (in the virutal vm):

[mersdk@SailfishSDK ~]$ mb2 -p $MER_SSH_PROJECT_PATH -t $MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME qmake arg1 -flag1 foo bar

For more info merssh’s source code could be read.

mb2 command

This tools is a wrapper of sb2 used by QtCreator in order to compile and build the project. You won’t have to manually run this command, but, as explained previously, merssh run this command on the mersdk.

usage: mb2 [-t <target>] [-s <specfile>] [-d <device>] [-p <projectdir>]
           [-f <folder>] [-i] [-P] [-x]
           build [-d] [-j <n>] [<args>] | qmake [<args>] | make [<args>] | ssh <args>
           install [<args>] | installdeps <args> | rpm [<args>] | deploy <args>
           run <args>
       mb2 --version
       mb2 --help

  Executes a subset of build commands in the context of an rpmbuild.
  Typically called from QtCreator to perform qmake/make phases of a project.
  Note that any other build steps in the .spec file will also be run.

  <specfile> will be looked for in the current rpm/ dir. If there is
  more than one it must be provided.

  CWD is used as a base dir for installroot/ and RPMS/ to allow for

  mb2 is aware of spectacle and will update the spec file if there is
  an obvious yaml file which is newer.

  mb2 build [-d] [-j <n>] [<args>]
                     : runs rpmbuild for the given spec file in the
                       given sb2 target. Produces an rpm package.
                     : -d     enable debug build
                     : -j <n> use only 'n' CPUs to build
                     : can use -s -t -p -i -x

  mb2 qmake [<args>] : runs qmake in the 'build' phase
                       Note that this also verifies target
                       build dependencies are up to date
                     : can use -s -t -p

  mb2 make [<args>]  : run make in the 'build' phase
                     : can use -s -t -p

  mb2 deploy --zypper|--pkcon|--rsync|--sdk
                     : runs the install or rpm-creation phase and then
                       copies/installs the relevant files to the device
                     : can use -s -t -p -d -i -f -x

  mb2 run|ssh [<args>] : runs a command (on device if --device given);
                         intended for running gdb and a gdb server
                     : can use -s -t -p -d

  mb2 install [<args>] : runs the 'install' phase to install to /home/deploy/installroot
                     : can use -s -t -p

  mb2 installdeps [<args>] : refresh the zypper cache of the given target and
                             if required installs build-dependencies
                     : can use -s -t -p

  mb2 rpm [<args>]   : runs the install & rpm-creation phases
                     : can use -s -t -p -i -x

  -i | --increment     : increment release number in spec file
  -t | --target        : specify the sb2 target to use
  -d | --device        : specify the device
  -p | --projectdir    : when running shadow build/deploy from another dir
  -s | --specfile      : if the specfile is not in rpm/*.spec and cannot be found using -p
  -f | --shared-folder : the folder where QtCreator shares devices.xml and ssh keys
                         this option is useful if deploy option is used outside of virtual
  -P | --pedantic      : do extra checks
  -x | --fix-version   : use the latest tag from the current git branch as package version

SDK Control center

QtCreator has a SailfishOS tab in its UI that lets you access to the SDK Control center in order to configure and update it, manage targets and use the rpm validator. To access to this control center, you’ll need the mersdk vm running. This vm creates a webserver on the port 8080 which serves the ui to configure to the control center. So, to use it, without running QtCreator, you simply have to open http://localhost:8080/ in any browser. I really do not know how to change that port.

Building custom app

Building a qt project involves 3 steps.

  1. Qmake your project.
  2. Make your project.
  3. Deploy.
Qmake your project:

~/SailfishOS/bin/merssh qmake -r -spec linux-g++

Make your project:

~/SailfishOS/bin/merssh make


~/SailfishOS/bin/merssh deploy --sdk

Note: here you have to first start the SailfishOS emulator VM, set the MER_SSH_DEVICE_NAME enviromental variable to "SailfishOS Emulator" and then run the command.

Other possible flags for merssh deploy:

Making building easier

A simple script could be done in order to have all the enviromental variables setted:

#! /usr/bin/bash

export MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME=SailfishOS-i486
export MER_SSH_SHARED_TARGET=~/SailfishOS/mersdk/targets
export MER_SSH_SDK_TOOLS=~/.config/SailfishBeta1/mer-sdk-tools/MerSDK/$MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME
export MER_SSH_DEVICE_NAME="SailfishOS Emulator"
export MER_SSH_USERNAME=mersdk
export MER_SSH_PORT=2222
export MER_SSH_PRIVATE_KEY=~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/engine/mersdk
export PATH=$PATH:~/SailfishOS/bin

alias build='merssh qmake && merssh make && merssh deploy --sdk'
alias start-sdk='VBoxHeadless -startvm "MerSDK" & '
alias start-emulator='VBoxManage startvm "SailfishOS Emulator"'
alias emu-run='ssh -p 2223 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/SailfishOS_Emulator/nemo nemo@localhost'

This script has to be sourced on the project folder and it will give you a bash terminal with all the enviromental variables setted and the ~/SailfishOS/bin path exported to the PATH. In addition, it will have the build alias which does the build & deploy workflow automatically. Also, you’ll have the start-sdk and start-emulator aliases in order to start the VMS.

In order to run the application, you’ll have to executed manually through ssh, for example:

[user@host-machine ~] ssh -p 2223 -i ~/SailfishOS/vmshare/ssh/private_keys/SailfishOS_Emulator/nemo nemo@localhost /usr/bin/componentgallery

This will execute the application on the emulator, and give you the console output. The alias emu-run makes simpler this task

[user@host-machine ~] emu-run /usr/bin/componentgallery

merssh command allows you to replace qt creator in compiling and deployment of Qt projects. The problem comes when you are trying to build something more complicated or with a different workflow that qmake -> make -> deploy, you’ll have to ssh the mersdk and use sb2 command (For further info about this last: the packaging post.

NOTE: The script enviromental flags assume that you are targeting the emulator. If you want to use it to create the rpm for the phone, you’ll have to change the MER_SSH_TARGET_NAME (to SailfishOS-armv7hl) and MER_SSH_DEVICE_NAME to the corresponding value (i think you could leave it blank). As no rpmbuild or build command exists, you will have to run the deploy command and look for the package in the project folder. I think that the deploy phase will fail when traying to copy the package to the target, as no phone is connected.