Activation and developer key draft
| NOTE: The contents of this page are not set in stone, and are subject to change!|
This page is a draft in active flux ...
 What are they?
Activation and developer keys are special files that "unlock" your XO. One major difference between the two is that activation keys are used for large XO deployments as a security feature, whereas developer keys are used by individual developers and testers to run potentially unstable software on their XOs. See the wiki page on each key for a discussion on exactly what each one unlocks, as well as how to get them.
Both activation and developer keys must be requested for each XO you want to unlock. The "keys" are cryptographic files that are mathematically generated for individual laptops - in other words, an activation or developer key will only work for the XO it was generated for.
For a non-technical discussion on why we designed the XO to use these keys, see the page on the developer key philosophy.
 Which one do I need?
If you are running a large-scale XO deployment, you should work with your OLPC technical representative to set up account(s) on the activation server so your trusted team can get their own activation keys for the laptops you will be distributing to children. Your local testing group or technical team may want to get individual developer keys if you plan to test versions of software before they are formally released.
Other people (developers, testers, enthusiastic volunteers) may want to get a developer key to test early versions of code or to help out with the development process. Once you have unlocked your laptop, please join the mailing lists and IRC channels of our growing community of developers, testers, and volunteers to get your questions answered. OLPC's support program doesn't have answers for problems with unreleased software, alternate distributions, or externally installed packages.