Sxmo/Tips and Tricks

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Here is a growing list of tips, tricks and configuration snippets for using Sxmo.

This pages is intended to focus mostly on "non-core" issues, such as running apps and everyday usability. The core configuration issues should end up in sxmo doc, as discussed on

Calls, SMS, Modem

Sometimes Modem gets stuck

Sometimes the modem gets irresponsive*, stops receiving/sending calls, even when toggled. Rebooting sometimes doesn't change this situation as it seems the modem then needs a hard reset.

It seems it may happen when device gets out of battery, and/or when attempting to activate the modem when under 10% battery...

Preferred solution: restart eg25-manager*, then modemmanager

for instance running *as root*

rc-service eg25-manager restart


rc-service modemmanager stop;

  • (make sure to check it didn't fail via i.e. rc-status, if it did, restart it again, and only then modemmanager)

Note that such reset/restart functionality is already in sxmo, however, they don't work as reliable as they should (2021-09-04)

You can check dmesg for the modem registering once again if your attempt was successful. If it was not successful, check for a failure of either daemons and retry, or move on to the next method.

Reliable solution: reboot.

Sometimes SMS dont get sent/received

It may be a problem with MMS getting "stuck" in the pile, not being processed, and blocking further processing of SMS.

One solution involves mmsd-ng

Another solution is to manually use Modem Manager to delete the incriminating mms:

mmcli --modem 0 --messaging-list-sms

mmcli --modem 0 --sms 0

mmcli --modem 0 --messaging-delete-sms=##

mmcli --modem -r

(the identifying number of the modem may vary, being incremented upon toggles and sometimes reboots. you probably also can use --modem any)

How to send an SMS via command line (or ssh)

cat mysupersmsfile | +33123123123 -

How to call from the command line

Example: 08003301000

How to send USSD

try something like:

mmcli -m any --3gpp-ussd-initiate="*100#"

Retrieving signal strength information


Create contacts.tsv for Sxmo from Android data

This assumes you have developer mode enabled on your phone and usb debugging using adb.

I messed around with different API calls, I store the contacts locally on the device, what worked for me to get the full set of phone numbers was:

adb shell content query --uri content:// --projection display_name:data1:data3:data4 | grep '[0-9]\{10\}' | grep -v gprofile > raw_contacts

`` depends on python package `phonenumbers`, please install it.

then run on the terminal

python3 raw_contacts | sort | uniq > contacts.tsv

For completeness, entire content of the python file ``

import csv, sys, phonenumbers as p; with open(sys.argv[1], 'r') as file:

 reader = csv.reader(file)
 for row in reader:
   name = row[0][str(row[0]).find("=") + 1:]
   for match in p.PhoneNumberMatcher(str(row), None):
     number = p.format_number(match.number, p.PhoneNumberFormat.E164)
     print(number + "\t" + name)

General configuration

How to easily change the size of the text, system-wide?

Change the value in: /usr/share/sxmo/appcfg/xresources_xft.xr (try 160!)

Xft.dpi: 192

(chaning it in ~/.Xresources works as well)

if you remove the dpi line there you can set dpi on the fly via

xrandr --dpi x

How to activate data

Something like this:

nmcli c add con-name "modem" type gsm ifname "wwan0qmi0" apn "" .

Please replace `wwan0qmi0` by your device, and `` by ur apn


How to launch programms on startup?

The easy way is to edit the following file (you can also edit it via the config > edit configuration entry):

vi .config/sxmo/xinit

and add your programms somewhere. Warning: they have to execute quickly and/or not stay in foreground, or the window manager won't start (don't forget to add "&" at the end)

mount /tmp/ in RAM, to save write cycles on storage device

add the following in /etc/fstab

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs rw,nodev 0 0

Help with adding cronjobs

You can edit your crontab via

crontab -e

This website has proven useful in making cronjobs.

If using mnc, make sure that commands run via


55-59/2 7 * * 1-5 /home/user/script

How to customize the colours/fonts of the interface?


Get example in the alpine blooms theme by Tetrakist, as entries to add in /home/user/.Xresources


  • .config/sxmo/sway
  • bemenu parameters through BEMENU_OPTS env variable. for instance in .profile:

export BEMENU_OPTS="--fn 'FiraMono Nerd Font 13' --tf '$MYCOLOR' --tb '#00000090' --nb '#00000090' --nf '$MYCOLOR' --hb '$MYCOLOR' --hf '#000000' --sb '$MYCOLOR' --sf '$MYCOLOR' --scb '#000000' --scf '$MYCOLOR' "

  • mako config in .config/mako/config

Some notifications stay stuck on the screen!

pkill dunst

A simple way to share sxmo's connection through USB (aka "USB tethering")

  • launch nmtui (a rotated screen is usually better)
  • add a new connection, type "ethernet" for interface "usb0", in ipv4 settings chose "shared".
  • you may want to uncheck "automatically connect", so you can manually activate it later, when you need it, in the "networks" dmenu.
  • activate that connection.


Applications specific

What to use for cartography/navigation?

Pure-maps sort of works (using OpenTopo or Sputnik tiles), as well as Marble (QT/KDE, heavy...). Unsure yet how to make the GPS work for both of these, but it has reported being feasible...

Apparently a good start to enable GPS should be:

sudo /etc/gpsd/device-hook "" ACTIVATE

See for geography applications.

QT app (vlc-qt, etc.) doesnt fit the screen!

try adding the following in your .config/sxmo/xinit


(change the factor until it suits your need)

Extra features, advanced tweaking

A Wayland version of Sxmo, really??

Many dreamt of it, it seems to be in the pipes, under heavy/advanced development!

To try it out **at your own risk**, according to some well-informed participants in the project:

git clone

cd sxmo-build

./ --wayland

See also

In case of a problem, try to completly remove your build dir and run the build script again (