Olin university chapter/installation guide


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Sugar on your computer

To install Sugar on your computer, you have several options. In general, you have the choice of either running emulation, or installing the image directly on your computer.

With emulation, you get the true experience of what it's like to use the laptop; you have very interaction with your host OS, and your IO capabilities are questionable. Half the time, you will have network, for example, and the other half you won't. You'll have a great time fiddling with the programs, but you can't really modify them that easily. File transfer is also a pain, as you can't just drag and drop.

With jhbuild (Sugar running on the OS) you get that greater flexibility, such as easy transfer files, communication with devices, etc. The tradeoff is that it doesn't always install, or takes longer to install.

Generally, the idea is: if you want to play with sugar, get emulation. If you want to program for sugar, get jhbuild (installing straight on your comp).

Also, in the spirit of wikis, if you get an image working with an OS not mentioned here, especially for Apple, please add on your comments/experiences/hints!


The guides on wiki.laptop.org and sugar.laptop.org are actually really nice (shown below). I'm going to list the references for people who want an official resource, and then I will walk through my installation process for my Windows XP, Fedora 10, and Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty).

Sugar on Windows shows how you can build Sugar on your Windows image. (Who would have figured?) Be aware that MOST of this page is instruction for something that is NOT RECOMMENDED; you are encouraged to use emulation for windows. Use this page to find the link for the executable that installs qemu (the emulation) on your computer.

Emulation for Linux shows how you can get qemu and kqemu (emulator accelerator) running on linux distros. The only comment I would really add is that kqemu is REALLY NICE but the installation process didn't work for me that well. This is not required to run the emulation, but if you want to use it, you may require more googling.

JHBuild for Linux shows how you can get Sugar running on your laptop. This is actually nicer than I made it sound in the introduction, and the instructions are definitely very good, albeit somewhat confusing to me. For the beginner, I will walk through it a bit more.

Emulation on Windows XP

You really have very little choice other than running emulation. To be fair, if you want to develop for sugar, you probably will have a ton of compatibility issues if you try coding in Windows, so this option is for people who want to play, not code.

On the flip side, for me, installing on windows is the easiest and most successful option so far. Just download and run this:


Note: I posted this on Sept 24, 2009. If you are looking at this page significantly after this date, please check wiki.laptop.org (using the link supplied in references) for a later version.

Go through the setup process (just hit "next" for everything) and say "yes" for the icon on your desktop. Doubleclick the icon and Voila! You should be running Sugar!

Emulation for Linux systems

First, download the latest image. If the date September 25, 2009 sounds recent to you, go [1], and pick an image. For me, olpc-redhat-stream-ship.2-devel_ext3.img.bz2 worked fine.

Then, navigate into the directory you downloaded it into and unzip the image, eg:

bzcat olpc-redhat-stream-development-devel_ext3.img.bz2 > laptop.img

Both these steps will take a significant amount of time. In the meantime, you can install qemu and kqemu from terminal:

For Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install qemu

for qemu, and

sudo apt-get install kqemu-modules-2.6-486    # if you have a 486/original Pentium
sudo apt-get install kqemu-modules-2.6-686    # if you have a later Pentium
sudo apt-get install kqemu-modules-2.6-k7     # if you have a 32-bit AMD
sudo apt-get install kqemu-common kqemu-source
sudo modprobe kqemu

for kqemu. If you don't know what you have, my guess is you have a 686.

For Fedora The instructions are fairly similar, except you're using sudo yum <t/t> rather than <tt>sudo apt-get.

yum install qemu
yum install kqemu 

I personally did not get kqemu to install. Apparently, I didn't have the repo installed, but while googling for a repo, I couldn't actually find a working link. This could just be me, but if anyone gets this to work, fixing this part of the wiki would make us all love you. yifiy 04:30, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Ok. By now, you've got laptop.img working. To run qemu, you can run

sudo qemu -m 256 -soundhw es1370 -serial `tty` -net user -net nic,model=rtl8139 -hda laptop.img

I included sudo because for me, kqemu didn't initialize unless I was root. But if anyone finds a way around this, please update here! The documentation on laptop.org, for example, doesn't say this is should be the case.

Ok, so check to see if the above line worked. If everything is hunky dory, you can make your life easier by making an alias, so you don't have to type in that really long line every time. The way to do this is the same in Jaunty and Fedora 10.

Open ~/.bashrc in your favorite editor. Mine is gedit. Don't shoot me, emacs friends, but newbie friends who are first timers to Linux, I recommend this.

Go to the very bottom, and add in the following:

#Alias for Sugar Emulation
alias <alias>='qemu -m 256 -soundhw es1370 -serial `tty` -net user -net nic,model=rtl8139 -hda <path-to-laptop.img>'

Close your terminal, reopen it, and run the program using your alias. Did it work? Woohoo!

JHbuild for Linux

These instructions are nearly identical for Fedora 10 and Jaunty, except for Fedora, use yum instead of apt-get. I will type everything as if I were using Ubuntu.

First, get git and svn.

sudo apt-get install svn
sudo apt-get install git

Check out JHbuild from sugar.laptop.org's git repository:

git clone git://git.sugarlabs.org/sugar-jhbuild/mainline.git sugar-jhbuild

Do some updates and dependency checks

cd sugar-jhbuild
./sugar-jhbuild update
./sugar-jhbuild depscheck

The dependency check should list a bunch of things you need to install. Do a sudo apt-get install for all the things suggested

sudo apt-get <pasted gunk dumped by depscheck>

You can do another dependency check to see if everything installed properly. I managed to get everything downloaded for Jaunty, but several packages did not install for m e for Fedora.

./sugar-jhbuild depscheck

If this all works, you can build jhbuild:

./sugar-jhbuild build

And if this all works, you can run it!

./sugar-jhbuild run


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