Sxmo/Tips and Tricks

From postmarketOS
< Sxmo

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

See this writeup to understand how calling works.

Sometimes Modem gets stuck

Sometimes the modem does not respond, stops receiving/sending calls, etc.

Preferred solution: toggle 'Modem Daemons' in the menu under 'Config'.

Reliable solution: reboot.

Sometimes SMS messages aren't sent/received

The latest biktorgj firmware (0.5.3) should address this situation. Alternatively, check for stuck sms and delete them:

  1. mmcli --modem any --messaging-list-sms
    mmcli --modem 0 --sms 0
    mmcli --modem 0 --messaging-delete-sms=##
    mmcli --modem 0 -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 -

Where to Delete SMS


How to call from the command line

Example: 08003301000

How to change SIM pin

From 1234 to 1010:

mmcli -i any --pin=1234 --change-pin=1010


mmcli -i any --pin=1010 --disable-pin

How to activate data

In menu under Networks select Add a GSM. Enter the APN settings for your carrier.

find a list here.

How to find Operator Name and other Infos

mmcli -m any

How to enable Roaming

This is not clear yet.

Test if roaming is enabled with: mmcli --modem=0 --bearer=0

Edit the .connection file and add: allow-roaming=true

How to send USSD

Try something like:

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

How to send AT command


  1. If desired monitor output as root:
    cat /dev/ttyUSB2
  2. In another terminal, send the command, in this example to check the ADSP firmware version:
    echo -ne "AT+QGMR\r" >/dev/ttyUSB2

Through modem manager

  1. Restart modem manager in debug mode:
    sudo /sbin/rc-service modemmanager stop
    sudo /usr/sbin/ModemManager --debug
  2. In another terminal, send the command, in this example to check the ADSP firmware version:
    mmcli -m any --command="AT+QGMR"
  3. Stop modem manager in debug mode, then run:
    sudo /sbin/rc-service modemmanager start

Retrieving signal strength information

See here.

Block Numbers



and add the numbers to block: blockedcontactnumber TAB blockedcontactname

there will be no notifications

Create contacts.tsv 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)

Create contacts.tsv from vcard export (e.g. vcf export from nextcloud)

We can convert an export in vcard format of a contact list to a file, work with with the following commands:

git clone && cd cvf2csv && pip install phonenumbers

Put the downloaded vcard export into the same directory as the script and name it contacts.vcf

See to change the default behaviour of the convert script.

python && cp contacts.csv ~/.config/sxmo/contacts.tsv

General configuration

Set Darkmode

For Gnome apps:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface color-scheme prefer-dark

For Kde plasma-mobile apps:

sudo apk add plasma-integration

sudo apk add qqc2-breeze-style

Get the style file here.

Move it to where it belongs:

mv kdeglobals ~/.config

Now we need to set the environment variables (not sure if we need this, pasted once into terminal):


For Flatpaks

some flatpaks just refuse to run in dark mode, edit the launcher of each flatpak to contain the dark theme like this:

flatpak run --env=GTK_THEME=Adwaita-dark org.gnome.Fractal

GTK Apps can be forced with a prefix:

GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark application 

How change idle/suspend time

Add with your time in seconds:


in ~/.config/sxmo/profile

How to display the percentage of battery

along with the icon in the status bar, add:


in ~/.config/sxmo/profile

on the homescreen, add:

${alignc}${font goto:size=22:style=Bold}${exec echo "Power: "}${exec upower -d | grep -m1 'percentage:' | awk '{print $2}'}

in ~/.config/sxmo/conky.conf

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 change the keyboard layouts? (wvkbd/wayland)?

edit your .config/sxmo/profile and add default command lines options for wvkbd like this:

export KEYBOARD_ARGS="-l full,special -H 200 -fn 'Hack 11'"

To see a list of possible options for KEYBOARD_ARGS, enter:

wvkbd-mobintl --help

Possible keyboard layouts for option -l are: Full, Special, Emoji, Simple, SimpleGrid, Nav, Dialer, Cyrillic, Arabic, Persian, Greek, and Georgian.

How to type Umlauts & Special Keys

Umlauts: Cmp followed by the according letter.

e.g. ä => AGr + a

F keys with AGr-N

e.g. F10 => AGr + 0 (F11 + F12 don't exist)

=> AGr + -

£ => AGr + =

How to change the size of the virtual keyboard?

edit KEYBOARD_ARGS in your ~/.config/sxmo/profile and add "-H <height>" to change the portrait height, "-L <height>" to change the landscape height.

How to launch programms on startup?

If you run dwm, edit:


If you run sway, edit:


Instead, you can also copy

cp /usr/share/sxmo/default_hooks/start ~/.config/sxmo/hooks/start and edit that file.


Make sure to make it executable chmod +x ~/.config/smxo/hooks/start

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!

If in dwm:

pkill dunst

If in sway:

pkill mako

A simple way to share Internet through USB (aka "USB tethering")

Select 'Networks' in the menu and add a USB hotspot.

On your connecting device, you may need to configure IPv4 configuration Manually, as your pmOS device is not going to act as a DHCP server by default. Set "Addresses" to, and set Gateway to (which is your pmOS device's address). If you're running DNSmasq, you may also use that for DNS server, otherwise set DNS server to your favorite server.

Where can i read logs for sxmo?

try less /home/user/.local/state/tinydm.log or tail -f /home/user/.local/state/tinydm.log

or logread -f for the generic pmOS log, that also displays some of sxmo deamons (modemmanager, etc.) information

Move sxmo's bar below your phone's notch

Find the bar entry in ~/.config/sxmo/sway and add a gaps configuration to it.

bar { gaps 42 0 }

See and

Working around the Notch

By filling in some useless items in the notch area. If not already done,

cp /usr/share/sxmo/default_hooks/ ~/.config/sxmo/hooks/

then add a few ooooo between the battery and the wifi symbol just above the line containing

sxmobar -a -f "$fgcolor" -b "$bgcolor" -t "$style" \

with adding this line to the hook:

sxmobar -a notch 22 oooooooooo

Then disable tray icons in swaybar:

nano ~/.config/sxmo/sway

Scroll down to the Status Bar: section and just below position top add tray_output none

Then reboot and enjoy.

LED blinking not working with feedbackd

When postmarketos-default-camera is installed, it adds a udev rule that changes ownership of the LED devices to the feedbackd group. This means the default user won't have permissions to use the LEDs on a clean install. This only occurs on devices with a working camera (i.e. PinePhone).

The simplest workaround is to add your user to the feedbackd group:

sudo adduser $(whoami) feedbackd

An alternative option is to add a udev rule to override this behavior.

Create the file /etc/udev/rules.d/99-sxmo-led.rules with the following contents:

ACTION=="add|change", SUBSYSTEM=="leds", DEVPATH=="*/*:status", RUN+="/bin/chgrp input /sys$devpath/brightness  /sys$devpath/pattern /sys$devpath/repeat"
ACTION=="add|change", SUBSYSTEM=="leds", DEVPATH=="*/*:indicator", RUN+="/bin/chgrp input /sys$devpath/brightness  /sys$devpath/pattern /sys$devpath/repeat"

This was discussed in this mr and there were not any ideal solutions discovered.

Applications specific

Set default applications

e.g. Define which app opens images:

sudo nano mimeapps.list




make sure you create a desktopfile for loupe in:

nano ~/.local/share/applications/loupe.desktop


Desktop Entry]

Osmin, Pure-Maps, Mepo

To use navigation properly, first enable GPS:

mmcli -m any --location-enable-gps-nmea
mmcli -m any --location-enable-gps-raw 
mmcli -m any --location-get 

get userscript here

Then start /usr/libexec/geoclue-2.0/demos/agent and finally launch a navigation app.

get launchscripts here

Pure-Maps comes with osmscout-server, after install, execute osmscout-server-gui and download some maps. In Pure-Maps you need to get API-keys by registering on all the map provider services and enter them in settings, it takes a moment, but is easy. For Offline Navigation, first launch osmscout-server, wait a few seconds, then launch Pure-Maps.

See for geography applications.

Mepo also needs mepo-scripts to be installed, otherwhise menu will not work. To make the menu bigger, rotate 3 fingers on the screen.


Works very well for image editing.

Load this custom workspace to ~/.local/share/krita/workspaces/ and select in krita in landscape view: Windows => Workspaces => krita_phone.kws

Launch krita without splash krita --nosplash

if you customized an even nicer workspace, please contribute.


When it is not availiable via repo, install it via flathub!

For video editing in portrait mode, you need to do following modifications:

Go to View => Manage Layouts and import the phn layout.

Make sure to delete all other layouts to get space for the menu.

Turn your phone layout to landscape (you might prior switch scaling to 2) and go to:

Settings => Configure Toolbars => TimelineToolbar

In the right window, remove:

  • Track Menu
  • Timeline Edit Menu
  • Separator

Remove everything after the Timecode 00:00:00:00

After the Spacer Tool, add:

  • Favorite Effects
  • Delete Selected Item
  • Insert Track...

Under the View menu, enable only:

  • Media Browser
  • Clip Monitor
  • Project Monitor
  • Project Bin
  • Timeline

Now give it a try. The File => New dialog is still challenging and might need scaling:

QT app doesn't fit the screen (scaling)

with sway, scaling can be achieved via cmd line:

 swaymsg output \"DSI-1\" scale 2 

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


(change the factor until it suits your need)

You can also copy to ~/.config/sxmo/userscripts/

Cmus: the application related bemenu is not loaded as soon as a song is played.

change the title of the terminal in the cmus config file $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cmus/rc to contain the string "cmus":

echo "set format_title= %a %t %c cmus" >> .config/cmus/rc


If you use Flatpak apps, you probably will have problems with sound. That is because Flatpak requires a PulseAudio-compatible sound server, but SXMO uses by default only ALSA. To install and setup PipeWire as well as its PulseAudio implementation, please refer to SXMO's documentation.

NB: it seems that as of latest (1.8.2 at time of writing), pipewire now comes as default in sxmo

Flatpak File Permissions

Fractal and others can not save any content to the device until you give it permission:

flatpak override org.gnome.Fractal --filesystem=/home/me/


Tab top edge to make the menubar visible,

Telegram Desktop

The onscreen keyboard may overlap the text input field on Wayland. See . As a workaround set the scaling to 1.75 or less via SXMO_SWAY_SCALE in $HOME/.config/sxmo/profile.

Additionally the window decorations can be removed via Telegram Settings > Advanced > System Integration > Use System Window Frame > Enable (restart required).

Extra features, advanced tweaking

Lockscreen / Screenlock

By default there is no lockscreen, you can manually add Peanutbutter.

If you use the x11 version you can use instead. It should be started in hook because it will take input and therefore you cannot exit screenoff state (no touchscreen).

Make sure to have installed.

Notifications can be displayed above and you can use the gesture to open the OSK.

Notification for all apps

You can have notification in menu with the green led as for texts/calls. For example using a simple script you can have matrix notifications:

#!/bin/sh random nheko none "New matrix message"

Replace nheko with your client.

You need to trigger it with something, I used dunst. This is the section that I added to ~/.config/dunst/dunstrc:

   appname = nheko
   summary = "*"
   format = ""
   script =

A Wayland version of Sxmo, really??

Yes. Really! It's the default now. Use WM Toggle in the menu under 'Power' to toggle between dwm and sway.

How to Add Apps to the List?

Copy /usr/share/sxmo/default_hooks/ to ~/.config/sxmo/hooks/ and edit that file.

List all available icons for the hook entry

cat /usr/share/sxmo/default_hooks/

Customize Gestures

Mdify gestures/swipes and button presses in:


more details about this topic here.


after an upgrade

if something is not working anymore after you updated the system, for example errors like: Error: Connection activation failed: No suitable device found for this connection (device usb0 not available because profile is n..


sudo apk fix

and then reboot.