XS Community Edition


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NOTE: The contents of this page are not set in stone, and are subject to change!

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Early testing has begun! Use cases, teacher suggestions, network topologies, roadmap & FAQ coming soon. Welcome all to the http://schoolserver.org community!

Thanks much those who joined us in person at http://olpcSF.org/summit (Oct 19-24's global community summit also including our SugarCamp++ hack sprint) to meet many of this project's contributors and build out this ongoing experiment.

Please revisit this XS Community Edition page regularly as progress accelerates. Open education contributors most welcome! For now:


Q: What server hardware works?
A: For now XO-1.5 (i386), XO-1.75 (ARM) or larger/conventional i386 or ARM servers or almost any kind, if it runs Fedora 17. Later XO-4, x86-64 and other architectures will be supported when/if hardware is found to spin basic RPMs. More detail @ Install Recipe.

Q: What "large disks" are recommended when installing on XO-1.5 or XO-1.75?
A: XO-1.5 and XO-1.75 work with many SD cards up to 32GB. For much larger storage, consider a 2.5-inch hard disk connected by USB, ensuring it uses less than 2.5W / 500 mA (USB spec). Larger 3.5-inch hard disks generally consume too much power. Discuss your specific desires/recommendations/results on mailing list! Of course, hard disks are far more prone to drop damage as compared to SD cards -- take precautions physically securing your hard disk whenever possible. As of Nov 19 2012, partitioning of external disks (SD, USB memory sticks, USB hard drives) is being fine-tuned; this should be working [soon!]

Q: Tim Moody & Jerry Vonau (similar to Sameer Verma) ask what XO services are genuinely used or needed:

Activation Server?
Presence/Chat Server?
Activity Server?
Moodle Content?
Moodle User Management?
DHCP/Name Server/Routing?
Content Filtering?
xs-rsync? (used by olpc-update)
| Squid or other proxy?
What do XOs do when there is no server?

Use Cases

In addition the scenarios listed in Sridhar's Design Doc, and Release Priorities for Early 2013 here are 7 interesting use cases proposed by Tony Anderson:

1. Configure the XS server to handle internet access via a GSM (mobile) network. In much of the developing world, cell phone networks outreach wifi.

2. How to configure the XS server to control XO access to the internet (e.g for the next hour only the 4th grade class) to make effective use of the available bandwidth.

3. In an expensive GSM environment, how to configure the school server to access the internet for updates periodically, e.g. fetch and send email, access rss feeds of news in the local language, get updates from a central server).

4. Configure the server to support an attached printer and to make this printer accessible (under control for paper and ink usage). The current print model in Linux requires each client (XO) to have the print driver installed. The main cost of a printer is the expendables (paper and ink), so schools will have to limit student ability to print.

5. Configure the server to provide email (pop3 and smtp). Make this work in a 'dial-up' internet environment (i.e. internet access is not continuous but intermittent).

6. Currently I am using Django to provide access to a digital library stored on the school server. Pathagar has a similar approach. OLE Nepal is using Fedora Commons and Fez.

7. The school server can be configured with Mediawiki to enable access to Wiki4Schools. There is an alternative based on Kiwix and Wiki4Schools using the Zim format. This has the advantage of providing a search interface. Note: I normally get to Wikipedia via a Google search. The school server does not support such an engine. Incidentally, the school server wiki slice is much larger than that offered by the Wiki Sugar activities and does not tie up space in the XO local store.


DRAFT Install Recipe for XO-1.5 (i386), XO-1.75 (ARM) and larger servers.

Other Fedora 17+ platforms later. Prefab USB images for offline install should also later be provided, for XO-1.5 and XO-1.75. XO-1 is NOT supported as memory/disk are insufficient.

Other reference docs for now: http://schoolserver.wordpress.com (see "Blog" and "XS Installation" pulldown menu especially)

Sep 2012 Agenda

Toronto area hack sprint Sept 16-23, incl public demo Saturday Sept 22.

Oct 2012 Agenda

Working w/ Alex Kleider's model classroom @ http://olpcSF.org/summit & http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugarcamp_SF_2012

Nov 2012 Agenda

Centred around Toronto area hack sprint Nov 10-18:

Expand testing+UX with Anna Schoolfield, Tim Moody & Seneca College students' packaging with York Univ/Seneca College Professor Chris Tyler.

Meet with Anish Mangal and Nathan Riddle near Detroit etc to discuss wider community integration.

Dec 2012 Agenda

Jamaica implementation sprint (DELAYED, hopefully spring 2013)

Jan 2013 Agenda

Priority tracker tuning: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aki16JhXo4mEdEU1MzA5OGJuOERtbGxHSkxzT2ZFSGc

Feb 2013 Agenda

Toronto/Waterloo area Sprint Feb 7-11, please RSVP today!

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