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Installing Opera

Installing Opera-11.64 (Desktop version)

This works on XO-1 and olpc_build:883, tested 14. May 2012.

These steps you can do in any computer, just move downloaded file to the olpc:

*Go to the page: http://www.opera.com/browser/download/?os=linux-i386&list=all
*Select version of opera (link). Today newest is Opera 11.64
*From dropdown dialog choose: "Other (RPM)"
*Press button: "Download Opera"

You will get file named (something like): opera-11.64-1403.i386.rpm

On OLPC start terminal with root account and run

rpm -i opera-11.64-1403.i386.rpm

Installing the Opera RPM (OLPC Edition)

This installs the OLPC Edition, a snapshot of version 9.12.

Before you begin, make sure you are connected to the Internet via the XO's Wifi Connectivity. Then from the Terminal Activity :

Download and install Opera by typing the following rpm commands (You need "root" privileges, hence the su - command): Note: After typing the su - command, you will have a prompt similar to "-bash-3.2#". Type the rpm command at this command prompt.

su -  
rpm -vi http://snapshot.opera.com/unix/olpc-544/opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en.rpm

After the rpm command, it will display "Retrieving http://snapshot.opera.com..." but you won't get any other confirmation that something is happening. For confirmation something is happening add an 'h' to the rmp command as in 'rpm -vih http://..." for hash marks (#). Give it some time (~5 mins - will vary by connection speed, it seems its a 7mb file) and then it'll say "Preparing packages for installation..." after a bit more, then a final "-bash-3.2#" and you're good to go. Be sure to wait for the final "-bash-3.2#" as that is the signal that the installation is complete.

If you see an error message such as:

error: skipping http://... - transfer failed - Unknown or unexpected error

chances are you are either not connected to the Internet or you made a typo.

If you see an error message such as:

error: can't create transaction lock on /var/lib/rpm/...

you probably forgot to su before the rpm command.

Make sure to exit the root process:


Run Opera by typing:


If you are having trouble with rpm, try grabbing a "tarball" with wget:

wget http://snapshot.opera.com/unix/olpc-544/opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en-544.tar.bz2
tar xvf opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en-544.tar.bz2
cd opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en-544
su -

The first time you run Opera, you will be asked to accept the copyright... so click the I accept button to continue. There is another screen of information, and another click before you are in browsing mode.

You exit Opera by going to the Home view (Image:Home key f3 small.png) and clicking on the Stop entry in the hover menu over the gray circle that appears in the Activity circle.

After selecting "stop" for Opera on the Activity circle, the Terminal activity displays and I got a couple of error messages ".. cannot be preloaded: ignored." but it had happily launched Opera which seems to run fine. (not sure what might not work later...)

ERROR: ld.so: object 'libjvm.so' from LD_PRELOAD can not be preloaded: ignored.
ERROR: ld.so: object 'libawt.so' from LD_PRELOAD can not be preloaded: ignored.

You can follow the instructions below to install Opera as a Sugar activity or run it from the Terminal activity as per above.

Installing the Opera RPM (desktop version)

To learn about the most recent builds of Opera, check the Opera desktop blog and select the statically linked rpm packages for Unix/intel-linux.

Open the terminal activity on the XO, or ssh in from another machine.

  • Opera 9.52 desktop version runs fine on build 711. Run these three commands:
su -  
rpm -vi ftp://ftp.opera.com/pub/opera/linux/952/final/en/i386/static/opera-9.52-2091.gcc4-static-qt3.i386.rpm
  • Opera 9.64 desktop version runs fine on build 802. Run these three commands:
su -  
rpm -vi ftp://ftp.opera.com/pub/opera/linux/964/final/en/i386/static/opera-9.64.gcc4-static-qt3.i386.rpm

If an earlier version of Opera is already installed, it can be upgraded by running the rpm command with the (case sensitive) -U option instead of -i.

Note: Because of conflicts with the updated Rainbow Security system in XO OS 8.2.0 (build 767), you will no longer be able to launch newer versions of Opera (which are non-Sugarized) on current XO OS builds using the the old OLPC Opera 9.12 Activity icon. This versions of Opera have to be launched via terminal: Open up the Terminal Activity, then at the prompt, type "opera &" and hit enter. Opera will launch in a new activity window with a grey circle icon. Once you exit Opera, you will be returned to the command prompt in the Terminal Activity that you used to launch Opera.

You can install the OLPC skin by visiting the following link in Opera: http://my.opera.com/community/customize/skins/info/?id=6116

The latest versions of Opera run at the XO's native 1200x900 resolution so fonts, images and web pages may seem tiny. To remedy this, you may change the default page zoom/scaling as detailed in the Opera Knowledge Base:

Setting the default zoom/scaling of new windows

You can set the default zoom levels by opening Tools (Opera on Mac) > Preferences > Web pages. The default zoom is 100%, but you can choose to have new tabs or windows use a different one, so that all elements (text and graphics) become bigger or smaller. This is ideal to pre-configure the settings for people with visual impairments.

Note: The following text needs to be updated

After that, as long as you had Opera launching from an Activity, you should just be able to click
on the Opera Activity and be in the newer version of Opera.  To get the various features of Opera
to be visible, right click on some of the surrounding area in the browser, and choose "Customize".
It looks like the previously installed version of Flash isn't working, so hold off on this if Flash
is a necessity.

Installing the Opera activity (optional)

The Opera activity is not yet packaged as an XO bundle, so the installation process is a bit more complicated than we'd like.

In order for Opera to appear in the list of activities on the Frame taskbar, an extra set of files must be installed. Again, be sure your Internet connection is working; from the Terminal activity :

1. create the directory /home/olpc/Activities

mkdir /home/olpc/Activities

If the directory already exists, you may get an error message, which you can ignore:

mkdir: cannot create directory 'Activities': File exists

2. go to /home/olpc/Activities

cd /home/olpc/Activities

3. download the Opera activity

wget http://people.opera.com/howcome/2007/olpc/opera-activity.tar.gz

You may see similar error messages as described above, for similar reasons.

4. install the Opera activity

tar xvzf opera-activity.tar.gz

5. clean up

rm opera-activity.tar.gz

In order for the change to take effect, restart Sugar (Ctrl+Alt+erase). You should see the Opera icon on the taskbar (you may have to scroll to the right in order to find it in versions > 8.2.0) In versions >= 8.2.0 you might need to switch to "list view" [upper right corner] and add a star next to Opera to have it show up on the ring.

Note: There is at present an incompatibility between the Opera activity and the OLPC Rainbow security system on some builds. If when you launch the Opera activity, the screen goes blank and stays blank, you have likely encountered that incompatibility. The current work-around is to launch Opera from the Terminal activity by typing:


The Opera activity files have been developed by the CERTI Foundation, a R&D foundation in Brazil that is testing the OLPC's XO for the Brazilian government. We are grateful to João Bosco A. Pereira Filho and Gustavo Maestri for their work on this.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Opera offers keyboard shortcuts that may come in handy:

  • q/a navigates up/down in links
  • w/s navigates up/down in headings
  • 9/0 zooms page out/in
  • z/x navigates back/forward in history
  • ctrl t opens a new tab
  • 1/2 cycles left/right through open tabs
  • ctrl l (lowercase L) focuses and highlights the page URL

Note that these are not enabled by default in Opera 9.5 builds. You can enable them by selecting the menu "Tools" then "Preferences". Select the "Advanced" tab (the rightmost one) and then "shortcuts" (the bottom option in the left-hand panel).

Then select "Enable single-key shortcuts".

Alternatively, use this pseudo-link opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableExtendedKeyboardShortcuts from within Opera.

Handheld Mode

To browse effectively with the OLPC in handheld mode, you'll need to configure some shortcuts manually. Click the "O" icon in the top-left corner of the Opera interface, then select "Tools>Preferences". From there, go to the "Advanced" tab and select "Shortcuts" in the pane on the left.

Click the "Edit" button in the bottom set of buttons to edit your keyboard shortcuts. Select "Application" from the list and click the "New" button on the top right to add a key mapping. An editable field will be opened. To add this keymap:

  • Left -> Back (That is, map the "left" key to the "back" command)

type the key descriptor "left" in the 1st field then hit "tab" to go to the second field and type in the command "back". As you type the command a list of all valid commands that include this word will be populated and you can select the command from the list at any time. After the command is complete, hit "enter" to complete the entry. Repeat a similar process starting with the "New..." button for:

  • Right -> Open Link

Next you will redefine some existing keymaps. Use the search box on the top left of the window to find the following keys. Several instances of a keymap will be listed, according to the context. We're interested in redefining the "Browser Widget" keys. Select that entry from the search list and hit the "Edit" button (or double click on the entry) and type the key descriptor to redefine:

  • PageUp -> Navigate Up
  • PageDown -> Navigate Down
  • Home -> Navigate Left
  • End -> Navigate Right

After selecting the command, just click on the search field to commit the previous command.

When you're all done, click "OK". Note that a new "Keyboard setup" set has been added with "(Modified)" added to it. This should be highlighted to indicate it is the active keymap set. The original keymap set should still be in the list and you can always revert to it - whichever is highlighted when you click "OK" is the active keyset.

The end result of this is that the up and down arrows on the directional pad scroll up and down, the buttons on the gamepad spatially select links on a page (try it to see what that means), the right arrow "clicks" the selected link, and the left arrow goes back one page.

Low-Vision Use

If you have low vision then you may also like:

  • Home -> Zoom in, 15
  • End -> Zoom out, 15

which will allow you to use the horizontal gamepad keys to adjust the page's zoom. (Change the number 15 to change tho coarseness of the zoom.) In newer versions, after pressing the Edit button you may have to click on the "Advanced" section and then the "Browser widget" section and edit the existing Home and End entries, otherwise these browser widget entries will override any entries that you add to the main section.

In order to make zoom work consistently (rather than zooming some parts of the page and not others), go to Tools/Preferences/Advanced/Fonts and make sure that none of them are set to Charter. For some reason Opera doesn't seem to be able to zoom Charter very large (if at all). Try setting those fonts to DejaVu Serif instead.

In order to correctly calibrate the font and zoom sizes, you may want to quit Opera, edit ~/.opera/Opera6.ini and set ForceDPI to 200.

If you do not have any links to follow (e.g. you are just reading self-contained texts in the browser) but you do have multiple tabs open, then you may also like to try:

  • Left -> Cycle to previous page
  • Right -> Cycle to next page

so that pressing left and right will switch between tabs (these need to be changed in the Application section of the keyboard shortcuts editor; you might like to search for Tab as a starting point). There is a bug in the current version of Opera (not reported) : if you set this, then pressing left or right will behave as though you'd pressed Control-Tab but held down the control key; the menu of tabs will stay on the screen and no switch will actually take place until you press Control (or Alt) on the keyboard. You can work around this by opening the XO slightly so that you can reach the Control or Alt key (but if you're going to do that then you might as well press Control-Tab).

Known problems

  • Widgets are not yet usable - the transparency doesn't work (9.5 post-beta2 build 2008-05-09)
  • Opera is not fully integrated into the Sugar UI. In particular, the Opera process does not die when the activity is terminated. In order to terminate Opera, open a shell and run a "kill" command; or simply stop it using the stop option from the hover menu on the Activity circle in the Home view.
  • There is at present an incompatibility between the Opera activity and the OLPC Rainbow security system on some builds. If when you launch the Opera activity, the screen goes blank and stays blank, you have likely encountered that incompatibility.
  • When cycling through Activities, Opera may not restart. (Just hangs up.) Go to Sugar window and if there is a Black Circle in the Activity ring, click on that to return to Opera.
  • Due to the high pixel density, one "px" should probably be mapped to two pixels. Opera currently does not do this (what about the zoom feature? you could set default zoom to 200% in prefs). It helps to set opera:config#UserPrefs|ForceDPI to 200 and restart Opera, this will change fonts in the UI that are not previously set explicitly, as well as fonts in websites that are set with points.
  • Interface menu font is too small to be readily usable. You may be able to make the font slightly more readable by going to Tools -> Preferences -> Advaned Tab -> Fonts -> Interface Menu. Choose DejaVu serif, increase font to 16 and select bold for the weight.
  • Setting the Interface menu font (Tools -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Fonts -> Interface menus) to anything greater than 16 causes menu text to become unreadable. If you do this accidentally, you can return to the font menu by selecting the second to last category in the Menu drop down list, and then the last category in the sub-menu. You will be back in the Preference menu.
  • Cannot change main toolbar buttons. Tool bar will disappear and then on relaunching Opera it resets to default.
  • Keyboard (i.e. in writing webmail): accents don't work, é, à ü etc. ends as e´, a`...

Reporting Bugs

You can report bugs using the Opera Bug Wizard. For best results put [OLPC] into the field "Brief Summary..."

Third-party (plug-ins and Java)

Installing Flash in Opera

The official OLPC Opera Activity is based on Opera 9.12 and is not compatible with Flash 10, or even the latter versions of Flash 9. Follow the instructions at the main Adobe Flash wiki entry to install the Flash 9 plugin version that is compatible with the Opera Activity.

If you're willing to put up with the non-Sugarized latest version of Opera that has to be launched via the terminal, Flash 10 works very well with it, and you can do the following to install the Flash 10 plugin:

wget http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/flash-plugin-
rpm -iv flash-plugin-

For more details, go to Adobe Flash.

Installing Java in Opera

  • Download the JRE from http://java.sun.com and install it
    • Note that jre1.5.0_13 has been known to work, while jre-6u3 does not work on the XO. jre1.5.0_15 also works. (See [1] for more on how to install the Java rpm).
  • Then you need to create a symbolic link in opera plugin directory
    • cd /usr/lib/opera/plugins
    • ln -s /path/to/javajre/lib/i386 (e.g., /usr/java/jrel.6.8/lib/i386)
  • I couldn't get the symbolic link to work for update.1, Opera 9.12, and jre1.5.0_13, but this worked for me:
    • In Opera, open the Opera menu, then go to Tools --> Preferences. Click the Advanced tab, then the Content section.
    • Click the Enable Java checkbox.
    • Click the Java Options button, and enter /usr/java/jre1.5.0_13/lib/i386/ in the text field.
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