Test Config Notes


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Builds & infrastructure

Step 0: get a developer key and do disable-security

Instructions for this are available at Activation and Developer Keys


This section has been moved to Olpc-update.

Firmware notes

To install a new firmware version: Manual Firmware Install

Fixing XO clock data

From build 693 on (maybe earlier), the time is set automatically the first time you connect to the network.

From build 641 on (maybe earlier), if you have a good internet connection you can set the date/time by logging in as root and typing:

 ntpdate pool.ntp.org

~~ You can find out the current date and time in a terminal window by typing "date". There is currently no way to get the clock to be on the "desktop" or home screen; but you could write that in Python as a change to Sugar-shell, and submit the improvement to the XO team! Let Love Flow Listen~~

On unupgraded early Give One Get One laptops, ntpdate may not be installed. You can set the date/time manually by logging in as root and typing:


which will show the laptop's current time and date. Using the same date and time format returned by the date command, type:

 date --set "Mon Apr 1 etc. etc."

Some pre-test machines don't have valid manufacturing data. This isn't too much of a problem, but they also have clocks which are set to crazy values, which is. To fix this, boot and press Esc when prompted to get an OFW prompt. At the 'ok' prompt type:

clock-node @ iselect  decimal   00 40 16   14 09 2007  set-time

The numbers here are the time and date: second, minute, hour, day, month, year. You can substitute the current time and date if you like, but the machine will activate correctly as long as it has a somewhat-sane date. You can use the date above, for example.

Steps to fix bad clock value on write protected machines

Customizing a NAND image

Internationalization testing

All the information for Quanta to put into SPI flash to ensure a laptop will come up using the appropriate keyboard and language is described here: mfg-data

Kernel changelog analysis

At http://dev.laptop.org/~bert/joyride-pkgs.html is the joyride changelog. In it you'll see the version of the kernel. An example of a Kernel change is in joyride build #258, and the new version of the kernel for joyride build #258 is kernel.i586 0:2.6.22-20071111.5.olpc.c1d02f5e6853b99

You can find that information for _any_ kernel by running 'uname -r'.

That 'c1d02f5e6853b99' uniquely identifies the version of the kernel. You can look it up in git (or gitweb) and see the changelog for precisely that kernel: http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=olpc-2.6;a=log;h=c1d02f5e6853b99

From that page, you should fairly easily be able to work out whether the patch you're interested in is included or not.

Sugar & Activities

See Activities.

Check which activity version you have

In Release notes/8.2.0, the Home view in List view mode displays the version of each installed activity.

In any release, each activity's activity.info file has this information.

 cat ~olpc/Activities/Activity_name.activity/activity/activity.info 
    • There may still be activities in the old location /usr/share/activities/
  • Look for the activity_version setting.

Turning suspend/resume or screen saver off

You can turn off suspend/resume by typing:

 touch /etc/ohm/inhibit-suspend

To turn off power management:

  • For one boot (till the laptop is rebooted):
     /sbin/service ohmd stop
  • For all reboots:
    • As root, type:
     rpm -e ohm

To turn off the screen saver, type:

 xset dpms force off

Control panel

Keyboard shortcuts

Wireless & network

Removing network config settings

  1. Open a virtual terminal
  2. rm /home/olpc/.sugar/default/nm/network.config

Connectivity to Apple Extreme

  1. Goto: http://www.corecoding.com/utilities/wep2hex.php and convert the password into a hex phrase.
  2. Click on the AP in the neighborhood mesh view
  3. Choose Hex input for the key; and choose 'shared' key instead of 'open'.
  4. You should be able to associate and authenticate now.

Matrix of Wireless AP - Volunteer test results

Testing of different connection configurations

  1. Under a Tree
  2. Connected to AP
  3. One Laptop acting as MPP
  4. Same Mesh Same Server

Test the network and mesh details

Modify the mesh discovery sequence

You can put the following values in /etc/NetworkManager/mesh-start

  • school-mpp
  • infra
  • xo-mpp
  • local

These will control where the mesh device starts. Since the mesh device is the first device that gets picked at startup, this affects the immediate connection search of the laptop.

Remember, the current automatic connection cycle is this. You can jump to a specific step in this cycle by putting the string above into mesh-start.

/* Steps:
 * 1. For each channel in [1, 6, 11]:
 *    a. try DHCP
 *    b. if DHCP times out, try next channel
 *    c. if DHCP response includes a non-link-local IP address,
 *      then CONNECTED/DONE
 * 2. Try last successful AP connection
 *    a. if success then CONNECTED/DONE
 * 3. For each channel in [1, 6, 11]
 *    a. try DHCP
 *    b. if DHCP times out, try next channel
 *    c. if DHCP response includes a link-local IP address,
 *      then acquire autoip address and apply DHCP settings (except for
 *      IP address), CONNECTED/DONE
 * 4. Jump to channel 1
 *    a. acquire autoip address, CONNECTED/DONE

Update the wireless firmware

Please note that you do NOT need to get newer versions of wireless firmware if you are running a released version of OS. All releases include an appropriate, tested version of wireless firmware. These notes are for testing purposes only.

  • You can check what version you are running with: ethtool -i eth0
  • Next download the latest Libertas firmware, (non-released, released), and unzip it with: tar xzf <filename>
  • Move, delete or rename the 'usb8388.bin' file that is currently being used in /lib/firmware/'
  • Copy the new 'usb8388.bin' file from where you unzipped it into /lib/firmware/' (if the .bin file has a name other than usb8388, change it to usb8388.bin)
  • You could Reboot, or simply rmmod usb8xxx ,then modprobe usb8xxx ; then check the version with: ethtool -i eth0

Turn on wireless debug

Instructions on how to enable driver debug can be found here.

Turn your XO into a sniffer

  1. Install tcpdump ('yum install tcpdump' will probably do it)
  2. killall NetworkManager
  3. ifconfig msh0 down
  4. ifconfig eth0 down
  5. echo ${TRAFFIC_MASK} > /sys/class/net/eth0/lbs_rtap
  6. ifconfig rtap0 up
  7. tcpdump -i rtap0 -w outputfile.dump
  8. when you done capturing traffic type ctrl-c


  • Data frames: 0x1
  • Mgmt frames but beacons: 0x2
  • Beacons: 0x4

Capturing wireless data

Instructions for capturing wireless data can be found here.

Turn on MPP Capability

In build 693 and later, automatic MPP (mesh portal) is turned off. If you want to turn it on, edit /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/mpp.py and remove the line near the start which says 'exit 0'. Next time you connect to a network, the mesh portal will turn on.

In build 570 or so, automatic MPP (mesh portal) is also turned off. If you want to turn it on in these early builds, log in as root (either from the VT with Ctl+Alt+F1 or 'su -' from the Dev Console in sugar), and do:

 /sbin/chkconfig --level 345 NetworkManagerDispatcher on
 /sbin/service NetworkManagerDispatcher start

Next time you reboot (or the next time you click on an AP) the mesh portal will come back on.

Warning: Laptops in MPP mode will not participate properly in sharing with other XO laptops.

MPP with ppp or eth0

To make an XO into an MPP with PPP (modem) or Eth0 (usb-eth dongle): XO_with_USB_Cellular_Modem

Mesh and WDS

Some information on issues related to bad interactions between Linksys wireless routers and the XO can be found here.

Setting up Jabber server

Ejabberd Configuration


Activation and developer keys

To learn about activation and developer's keys and how to un-secure a laptop, see Activation and Developer Keys.

How to pre-activate a laptop: Pre-Activate an XO

Turning on/off activity isolation (containerization)

In Update.1 (build 630+), isolation is enabled.

To turn off isolation
rm /etc/olpc-security && reboot
To re-enable isolation
touch /etc/olpc-security && reboot

In earlier joyride builds, to play with activity containerization, you should:

  1. rainbow-daemon
  2. touch /etc/olpc-security
  3. restart sugar (e.g. type Ctrl-Alt-Erase)
  4. try out various activities; perhaps examine the output of rainbow-daemon
  5. rm /etc/olpc-security
  6. restart sugar

Note: it is important that rainbow-daemon be running when Sugar restarts. Therefore, rainbow-daemon should be started either on a virtual terminal (i.e. after htting Ctrl-Alt-F1 [F1 is the mesh-key]) or over SSH.

Please direct questions and comments to me: --Michael Stone 13:02, 17 September 2007 (EDT)


What logs go with which bugs

  • Activities
    • All activity logs are located in /home/olpc/.sugar/default/logs
    • Activity logging is turned on by default in builds after 650/joyride 350
    • These logs will contain any warnings and or errors with tracebacks, which should help the developers debug their activity
    • Also, the shellservice.log will sometimes contain information as to why an activity failed to launch.
    • Note: each time you restart X, the old logs will be stored in a directory in the same location, and new ones will be generated.
  • Journal
    • There is a journal log in /home/olpc/.sugar/default/logs
    • Also, the datastore.log file often has implications for problems with the journal.
      • Especially with problems resuming files or transferring files to/from USB keys
  • Network/Collaboration Problems
    • /var/log/messages
      • This is a circular buffer, which contains a lot of low level debugging information
    • in /home/olpc/.sugar/default/logs
      • presenceservice.log contains higher level network debugging information
      • telepathy-gabble.log/telepathy-salut.log (logs for salut and gabble; the collaboration software)
  • Kernel Problems
    • dmesg (another circular buffer, which contains low level debugging information)

Turn on all logs

To turn on full kernel logging

  • cd /boot
  • modify olpc.fth
  • add ignore_loglevel inside quotations

Get version info

See How to check the OS and firmware versions.

School Server


Reformat a bad USB drive

See more details.

Basic Linux commands

(See )

Manufacturing data

Manufacturing data describes the hardware of a laptop as well as its activation setting. mfg-data

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