Talk:Software discussion

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Somethings to consider before Editing this discusion page:

  • Bellow all the discusion on this page is the Template for what the software Page will look like in the future, but right now it is in need of work. please help Improve it so we can get it on the Software page faster.
  • Please sign all comments. It makes figuring out whos saying what much easier.

things removed from the article page

Pre-built OS images (easy to install)

We build images of the OLPC Operating System on a semi-daily basis for testing. The OS images page contains links to the most recent Obuild images for testing. It also describes what the various images are for and how to transfer it to a USB key for booting.

The BTest Software Notes are just beginning to be built, as we approach our first BTest hardware build.

OLPC User Interface

Our user interface is a custom built interface designed for the kids using this laptop in groups. The environment is called Sugar. Sugar is largely written in python. You can find early designs and information on building it on the Sugar page.

Additionally, developers can access the OLPC Human Interface Guidelines to obtain more detailed information on the current interface and to learn how to integrate their activities with Sugar.

Hardware Drivers

We have some specific Hardware Drivers that need hacking and updates. Some are part of the kernel, some are part of X.


We're using LinuxBIOS to initialize the hardware and Open Firmware (OFW) to boot the operating system. OLPC-specific information is on the OLPC LinuxBIOS page.

Testing checklist

Our testing checklist is useful to understand the strategy we use for testing the hardware and base software of the OLPC system.

Future Notes

  • We should have a small development environment for you to use soon. While it's possible to use a Fedora Core Rawhide release to do development, you will want to make sure that your code works and compiles in a development environment that only contains the software that will be on the end laptop. This will be your final check before attempting to deploy software.
  • eventually some volunteers will flesh out the information on the OLPC Python Environment to help people set up development environments on their favorite OS.

let the discussion begin

Greetings! I tried out my FOSS application on this platform, and... it WORKED! I'm elated! I think this has an incredible potential. I'm sure there are a few areas where the application can use some tweaks but it's basically there.

Here's the (web) application:

--PaulReiber 5/4/07

Links that need to be included on this page....(feel free to add more)--Stranger 00:45, 14 June 2006 (EDT)

Will there be an olpc emulator for windows?

Now that would be good. A software package to run on a Windows PC to support a wider community of developers of software and content, which software and content is for use on the laptop.
OLPC will support open standards, which tend to be supported under Windows as well, so some level of cross-platform interchange will be available out of the box. We also expect that much of the interation will be initiated through the browser and server, another shared piece of infrastructure. I assume that the application framework will also be ported at some point, but it is not a current priority. Walter 16:25, 27 May 2006 (EDT)
It is possible to run Linux on Windows. is an example of that.-- 16:36, 27 May 2006 (EDT)
a better example is QEMU which runs the OLPC images quite well on both Windows and OS/X. I write some detailed instructions based on my experience of running OLPC images using QEMU. QEMU also supports booting an image off of a USB thumb drive.

revisions to the software page

I'm trying to make sure that the Software page contains a lot of high-value information. Adding an outline without having links to a lot of pages that are more than stubs doesn't help much with helping people find high-value information.

As someone had spent effort being helpful the text has now been moved here into the talk page so that it is not lost from current pages.
It is more helpful to write content pages, and then link them in. Also, the page Categories do connect to lots of high-value information if people know how to use them. Since this page is a gateway page, i.e. one which people will see as their first page in the Wiki, it is worthwhile including some hints about how to make best use of the Wiki.

Projects, Software and Standards

Currently the standard software package on the OLPC will be a derivative of Red Hat's Fedora Core 5 and will be entirly open source. Currently there is much work being done in adapting the software for the OLPC. The main issues that are being Tackled include; reducing system requirements that are needed such as processor time and memory usage, Improving the User Interface so that it is better suited to the laptop and creating a strong collection of programs and material for the laptop.

It may be useful to offer a JavaME (MIDP/CLDC) implementation on the laptop. This will allow many MIDP applications and games which are now available for mobile phones to run on the laptop. Also JavaME is a simple (and thus an easy to learn) programming environment that the children may want to explore. JavaME is in the process to be open-sourced by Sun. The performance requirements of MIDP applications (mobile phone processor, small screen) are similar to the OLPC requirements.

In Addition see the discusion rooms for various conversations about programs that are under development.

Wireless Internet DSL Provider

there is a mesh network protocol to have all wireless laptops meshed together, then you do not need servers. CALLED: B.A.T.M.A.N. (search google in combination with OLSR or freifunk ) it is the followup of

yes, but OLSR is considered to scale better. The freifunk networks run mainly on OLSR. YMMV

Ask OLPC a Question/ volunteers

Getting Started Programing

Question: Python is being used for the SDK but will the laptop come with Python or any other programming language? --OMouse

User Interface


  1. Localization Common Room.

search engine

there is a new p2p search engine, which will index all the web in a decentral way:

(it need java, but you cannot preinstall java, if you have not the agreement of, so speak with them).

Web Browser

mail client

- Thunderbird E-mail client

Word Processing

VOIP Client

For VOIP see the open source client:

open serverless Instant Messenger

a free, open source, instant messenger, which is serverless:

open mediaplayer and codec

- Songbird mediaplayer at (based on mozialla, lookes like itunes) - and: mediaplayer classic - xvid-codec:


  1. eBook feature set
  2. One encyclopedia per child

Open PDF

- ghostscript-pdf (open source at

Educational Software

  1. Application Program: Test of ability with arithmetic
  2. One Graphing Calculator Per Student
  3. Educational ideas
  4. Geography Educational Applications and Appliances


Open Source games for linux are here:


Data file formats



OLPC Google Summer of Code

For this topic see OLPC Google Summer of Code.


there are a few good open source applications:

Maybe you can forward this to the chief of software for the laptop, and maybe he can contact the BATMAN developer to add auto-ip-signement, then all laptops work like peers in gnutella style and can connect without a central server in a meshed network of wirkeless laptops and hoppping to the next wireless ISP. Ask the people in Berlin/Germany to develop this for you till beginning of 2007.

  • there is a new p2p search engine, which will index all the web in a decentral way: (it need java, but you cannot preinstall java, if you have not the agreement of, so speak with them).

  • Open Source games for linux are here: If you lose your laptop, you can now be confident that your data will be safe. The mindSHIFT data protection service initiates a remote data wipe of the machine when it is lost or stolen.

add link to Autoreinstallation_image

there is no link on this page to the now more convenient method for installing