[SailfishDevel] Howto: Sailfish SDK in Virtual Machines on Mac OS-X

Martin Grimme martin.grimme at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 14:02:46 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I would like to share my setup of how I managed to run the Sailfish
SDK on Mac OS-X. While you could of course run the SDK virtual machine
inside a Linux virtual machine, this would be terribly slow.
Instead, you want to run all three virtual machines, Linux, MerSDK,
SailfishOS Emulator directly on Mac OS.

This setup was tested on Mac OS-X 10.8.2. It may or may not work
similarly on a Windows host.

* Install VirtualBox on your host OS. Give it at least 1.5 GB of RAM.
After the whole setup process, you may push this down to about 500 MB,
if desired.

* Install Linux in a VirtualBox. Ubuntu 12.10 32 bit works just fine.
Don't forget to install the guest additions as well, because we will
have to use shared folders.

* Install VirtualBox on Linux and install the Sailfish SDK afterwards.
The suggested installation path /home/<user>/SailfishOS is fine.
Do not install the SDK into a shared folder as shared folders don't
support creating symlinks.

* Open the VirtualBox configurator on Linux and export the two virtual
machines 'MerSDK' and 'SailfishOS Emulator' by selecting 'File ->
Export Appliance'. This will take some  time. Move the resulting .ova
files to your host OS (Mac OS-X in my case).

* Create a directory 'MerHome' on your host OS, e.g. /Users/<user>/MerHome.
Inside MerHome, create three directories:

 - emulator
 - mersdk
 - projects

* Copy the SailfishOS/emulator/ssh directory from Linux into the just
created directory 'MerHome/emulator' on the host OS.

* Copy the SailfishOS/mersdk/ssh directory from Linux into the just
created directory 'MerHome/mersdk' on the host OS.

* Copy the ~/.scratchbox2 directory from Linux into the just created
directory 'MerHome' on the host OS.

* Open a terminal on Linux and pack up the targets directory:

 cd SailfishOS/mersdk
 tar -czf targets.tar.gz targets

* Move the file targets.tar.gz to your host OS into 'MerHome/mersdk'
and unpack it there:

 cd MerHome/mersdk
 tar -xzf targets.tar.gz

* Open the VirtualBox configurator on your host OS and import the two
recently exported VirtualBox appliances by selecting 'File -> Import

* Edit the shared folders settings of the 'MerSDK' virtual machine:

 home -> <your MerHome>
 ssh -> <your MerHome>/mersdk/ssh
 targets -> <your MerHome>/mersdk/targets

Make sure that you don't change the mount names during this action.

* Edit the shared folder settings of the 'SailfishOS Emulator' virtual machine:

 ssh -> <your MerHome>/emulator/ssh

Make sure that you don't change the mount name during this action.

* You may optionally also want to activate audio while in the
'SailfishOS Emulator' settings.

* Test-run the MerSDK virtual machine on the host OS. Does it come up with the
message 'mounted home and targets successfully'? Then the shared
folders settings ought to be OK.
Close the virtual machine (saving machine state instead of shutdown is fine).

* Add the directory 'MerHome/projects' to the shared folders of your
Linux virtual machine. This may be done while the machine is running.

* In your Linux home directory create an empty directory with the same
name 'projects'.

* As root, add the following line to /etc/fstab on Linux:

 projects	/home/<user>/projects	vboxsf	rw,uid=1000,gid=1000	0	0

Replace <user> with your username and use the GID and UID of the user.
On Ubuntu, the first user normally has GID = 1000 and UID = 1000.

* As root, mount the projects shared folder:

 mount projects

* Open the VirtualBox configurator on Linux and change the host
keyboard key in the global settings to something different than on the
VirtualBox on your host OS.

* Start the two virtual machines on Linux with the VirtualBox
configurator. They will be very slow (as you're running VirtualBox
inside VirtualBox), so you need to have some patience until they're
fully loaded. Fortunately this has to be done only once. You will
later never have to use VirtualBox inside VirtualBox again.

* Record the output of VBoxManage that the Sailfish SDK expects:

 VBoxManage showvminfo MerSDK --machinereadable
 VBoxManage list runningvms
 VBoxManage showvminfo "SailfishOS Emulator" --machinereadable

The names of the record files contain the md5 sum of the command, so
they must match exactly.

* Stop the two virtual machines.

* In the Linux virtual machine, locate your VBoxManage program. On my
Ubuntu installation, this is '/usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxManage'.
Become root and move the file to VBoxManage.orig.

 sudo su
 cd /usr/share/virtualbox
 mv VBoxManage VBoxManage.orig

* Save this script as VBoxManage. It will record the output of
VBoxManage and later replay that output for the Sailfish SDK.

#! /bin/bash

VBOXMANAGE=`dirname $0`/VBoxManage.orig
COMMAND=`echo "$@" | md5sum | cut -d" " -f1`

if [ ! -f ${RECORDFILE} ]; then
  exit $?

* Start the two virtual machines 'MerSDK' and 'SailfishOS Emulator' on
your host OS. Their performance will be far better than inside the
Linux virtual machine.

* Make sure that your host OS runs a ssh server. Find out the host IP
and connect to it from Linux, tunneling the ports used by the SDK.

 ssh -l <user> <host-ip> \
     -L 2222:localhost:2222 \
     -L 2223:localhost:2223 \
     -L 8080:localhost:8080 \
     -L 10000:localhost:10000 \
     -L 10001:localhost:10001 \
     -L 10002:localhost:10002 \
     -L 10003:localhost:10003 \
     -L 10004:localhost:10004 \
     -L 10005:localhost:10005 \
     -L 10006:localhost:10006 \
     -L 10007:localhost:10007 \
     -L 10008:localhost:10008 \
     -L 10009:localhost:10009 \
     -L 10010:localhost:10010 \
     -L 10011:localhost:10011 \
     -L 10012:localhost:10012 \
     -L 10013:localhost:10013 \
     -L 10014:localhost:10014 \
     -L 10015:localhost:10015 \
     -L 10016:localhost:10016 \
     -L 10017:localhost:10017 \
     -L 10018:localhost:10018 \
     -L 10019:localhost:10019

This ssh connection needs to be established all the time while you're
using the SDK.

* Start the Sailfish SDK QtCreator on Linux. It should be able to
connect and use the virtual machines on your host OS now. You cannot
start the virtual machines via QtCreator, though.

* IMPORTANT: Your Sailfish projects must all reside in the projects
shared folder so that the MerSDK virtual machine will be able to find


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