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From Chuck, via Chih-yu.

                    One Laptop Per Child
      Highlights from 'community-support' Usergroup
                          chuck418@ from all the
Compiled by chuck 2.0
members of the List. Thank you all for your patience and help.
Section One:
Keystroke Description Sugar/System
 Ctrl-Tab (Try Alt-Tab) Cycle forward through running
 Shift-Ctrl-Tab Cycle backward through running activities
Ctrl-Tilde Cycle forward through running instances of the
current activity Shift-Ctrl-Tilde Cycle backward through
running instances of the current activity
Ctrl-c Copy to clipboard
Ctrl-v Paste from clipboard
Ctrl-x Cut (and copy to clipboard)
Ctrl-q Quit activity
Ctrl-Esc Quit activity
Alt-Enter Toggle full-screen mode
Alt-Space Toggle tray visibility (works in Browse but not in
Ctrl-u View source in Browse
Fn-Space View source (system wide, although not enabled in
all applications yet)
Ctrl-Alt-Erase Restart Sugar
Alt-1 Screen capture saved to Journal
Ctrl-Alt-F1 (F1 is the Neighborhood key) Console 1
Ctrl-Alt-F2 (F2 is the Friends key)
Console 2 Ctrl-Alt-F3 (F3 is the Home key)
X Windows Esc-Frame-Right Arrow-Fn (the four corners keys
on the keyboard)
Recalibrate touchpad (AKA Four finger salute); Fn should be
pressed last.
                  Sugar Command Questions
I hope this thread will become a good place to locate Sugar
command information. Question: I selected "Full Screen" in
the browser window. How do I unselect "Full Screen"?
In Sugar is there a command to unmount the USB or can it
simply be unplugged? has some
good info including this: Alt-Enter toggles full-screen.
Section Two:
Return XO to Original State, Redo First Boot,
Change Name, Color, etc.....and Updating Builds
and Firmware
First things first, How do I access command prompt?
For a Linux command prompt, run the "Terminal Activity" .
This is a pre-installed program found in the Activities taskbar
at the bottom of your Home View. You need to scroll through
the Activities taskbar (at the bottom of your screen) to find the
icon.      It’s on the 2nd set of toolbars at the bottom
Another way to bring up the Linux command prompt is by
pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Neighborhood keys at the same time.
The Neighborhood key is represented by a circle with 8 small
At the prompt, type "root" for username and (generally) leave
the password blank and press return. BEWARE: As user "root"
you now have full control to destroy all software!
If you want to remove the name and color chosen, then,
before you shutdown:
   1. Alt+Ctl+Mesh
   2. Login as root
   3. cd /home/olpc/.sugar/default
   4. rm config
   5. rm owner.*
   6. power off (to shut down)
If you want to change just the name:
   1. Alt+Ctl+Mesh
   2. Login as root
   3. type 'nano /home/olpc/.sugar/default/config'
   4. change the name in this file; then hit Ctl+X to exit
and type 'yes' to save
   5. to test this, use Ctl+Alt+Erase for a quick reboot
   6. hover over the XO and see that it has the new name.
   7. power off
I read in the online User's Guide that the first time the user
turns on their new XO the system will ask for the child's name,
allow them to select an icon color for the mesh display, and
take their picture. Is this how the G1G1 units work also, and
is it possible to rerun this routine if the wrong user turns the
unit on the first time?
 As I understand it, the G1G1 units will also work this way.
Resetting the name, color, and photo should be a matter of
deleting a few files from the "/home/olpc/.sugar/default"
directory ("config" and "buddy-icon.jpg", I believe). So it's
currently a bit technical, but it's possible. Color and nick
might also be changeable via the command-line Sugar
and they are planned
<> to be in the
user interface control panel, which should make changing
them easy
                  change machine's Nickname?
Launch the Terminal activity from the Home View as described
in the section above. A summary follows: scroll through the
Activity taskbar (along the bottom of your screen) to the right
by pressing on the button on the bottom right of the Frame.
When you find the Terminal icon, press it once to launch the
Terminal activity.
At the Terminal's text-based command prompt, type the
following just for kicks:
   sugar-control-panel                    (press "Enter")
   sugar-control-panel -l                 (press "Enter" to list
To change the nickname on the machine type:
   sugar-control-panel -s nick "My New Nickname"        (hit
Aha! I didn't try /usr/bin/. Awesome.
How can I (permanently) change the name of the machine that
I see in the bash prompt? 'hostname' only lasts till the next
when you are using a space in the name then use quotation
                 Upgrade the Activated Laptop
difference between 650 and 653 Builds
Spanish Laptops come boot up with English
- Datastore corruption occurred in Uruguay
- WPA support for G1G1 recipients
- Wireless firmware upgrade to 20.p47 (to allow more than 20
laptops to connect)
(To put the latest signed image on the laptop, follow these
   1. Create a USB stick with the os{number}.img and file
at the root. A smaller USB thumb drive formatted in FAT with
no other files is best.* You can get these files from official
releases, see
es and
And download from
   2. With the USB stick inserted, power up while holding all
four game buttons on the right side of screen.
   3. When it says 'release the game keys', release all buttons.
         * This will re-write the nand image.
   4. Once done with the nand re-flash, the laptop will reboot
   5. Next, the laptop may update the firmware, if necessary,
and reboot itself.
   6. After done with the upgrade(s), the laptop will either boot
to the prompt for a name (if you have an ak flag), or fail to boot
because it's not activated.
   7. If your laptop failed to boot, insert the USB stick with
lease.sig on it, and boot the laptop. (So, can this be the same
USB stick?)
         * This should get you to the prompt for a name.
   8. Go to the terminal, and check that the laptop is at the
version you wanted.
   9. type root, enter, and poweroff to shut down the laptop.
tried update to build 653: 1st time installed but boot failed.
use game key O to get back to previous build discovered I had
old olpc-update software. used procedure to update to version
2.0 tried update to ship.2-653 - would not boot need developer
key tried update to 653 - also need developer key
seems 650 is latest official build - true? (as of Jan 9,2008, yes,
I believe)
                      upgrading your firmware:
1. Make sure your battery is charged !
2. Plug up the XO on external power ! (yes, it’s a must)
3. Open the Terminal activity
4. wget
5. su -
6. cp /versions/boot/current/boot/
7. reboot
The laptop will then reboot twice more on it own. Once to
enable writing to the flash and then a 2nd time after its done
step 4 can also come from a USB key if you don't have
networking available
Steps 1 and 2 are NOT optional. The XO will not upgrade
system firmware unless it has a battery and external power.
To do unsafe firmware upgrades you have to have developer
key. If you lose power during a firmware upgrade you will
brick the laptop.
Rather than try to find out what firmware you have I would
just do the upgrade and not worry about what version was
there previously. The XO will only upgrade the system
firmware if it finds that the current version is earlier than
whats in
You can also just wait for Update.1. Update.1 will have
Q2D08 (unreleased as of now) system firmware.
If you wish to verify that you have really upgraded your
firmware then open up the terminal activity and:
cat /ofw/openprom/model
You should see the string "CL1 Q2D07 Q2D"
I wanted to try to update from 650 to 653, but don't seem to
have the olpc-update binary on my machine! I'm going to try
'yum update' to see if that gets it for me - hope it doesn't break
anything else!
Yes, it seems to have gotten me a bunch more utils that start
with olpc- ... now to try the update! It needs to be
olpc-update ship.2-653
That update was ... painful and scary looking, with a
"Contents manifest failure at line 377" ... but it recovered all
by itself (sweet!). Except that I got "boot failed".
Ah, I just learned about holding down the O game key to get
back to the old build. Phew.
help in understanding how to correctly enter the commands:
cat /boot/olpc_build
su -
olpc-update 653 --OR-- olpc-update ship.2-653
yum update
I am not sure exactly what it did but it seemed happy.
             Very Detailed Instructions -corrected:
> 1st, I'm on Build 653, having downloaded the 2 files on
another computer, put them on a flash drive (thumb drive)
formatted in FAT (not FAT 32 or NTFS) and plugged it in before
turning XO on. I held down all 4 buttons on the lower right of
the screen until it said let go, and it updated itself.
> I went to the Terminal application, which is on the 2nd set of
icons at the bottom after you press the little right key at the
bottom right of the tool icons you initially see.
> Once started, it gave a prompt which has the initials OLPC
in it. You have to click INSIDE the terminal window, as the
cursor starts off in the Title box.
> I went to SuperUser, an account on all machines which can
alter files the regular user cannot by typing :
Lower case "su -". S, u, space, - then press Enter. "root" (and
Enter) is another way to become root. One of them preservers
the paths of the user becoming root and the other switches
them to roots paths.
At the risk of really confusing things. Something else it does,
which is easily tested, (And likely closely related to the paths
change) is change the location. cd (change directory) to
somewhere interesting with lots of stuff to see with a "ls'
command. Then try one of the two ways of becoming root. Do
the "ls" a second time and compare results. Close, and then
reopen the terminal, repeat using the other way of becoming
root. See the difference?
A plain "su" with out the dash is used on systems with a root
password to get it to ask for the password. Not aware of a way
to give the XO a root password.
> I then got a new type of prompt that has the word Bash in it.
 Important difference between the two prompts is the "$" of a
normal user and the "#" of the root user.
> I wrote the command ls -la which means List what is here.
> That showed me what directory I was in.
A "ls" (list) command will show names of all non-hidden files
and sub-directories in the directory your in at the time.
A "ls -a" does the same plus showing all the hidden ("." before
the filename) files.
Adding the "l" is a verbose flag, so it includes a bunch of
information beyond just the name.
> I think I then went to the root or most basic level of the
directory by typing cd ./. That was cd <space> period forward
slash forward slash. I hope this is correct, as I gave the XO to
Eva today and am relying on memory.
Think this wrong, or at least unnecessary.
I was using "cd /" (no dots) to change to the root directory.
Putting periods around the forward slash breaks the command
on the Xubuntu live CD.
> Then I “exit”, closed terminal, and went to the Sugar network
Don't forget the space between "cat" and the first "/". Also
make sure your typing in the Terminal screen and not in the
little box in the top left. You can hit the page down arrow to
move the cursor to the terminal. Probably other ways...
> su -
Again good. There may be other times where you will need to
type "root" instead. Both will cause you to become root,
however there are some differences. Use which ever method
the particular instructions suggest.
> olpc-update 653 --OR-- olpc-update ship.2-653
The second is correct, but as ffm posted, don't! While easier
that the alternate using a USB key, it currently downloads an
unsigned version that will not boot unless you have a
developer key. Hopefully they will have this fixed in a few days.
Further, I would suggest not upgrading to 653 at all. (See my
post in the Fresh restart thread.)
> yum update
You can do this to 650 and gets several minor updates to that
build. "su -" and hit the Enter key first. BTW, all commands
should be 'entered' then wait until if finishes doing what ever
it is doing and returns to a prompt before typing the next
The prompt looks something like;
[olpc@xo-0D-41-F6 ~]$
before 'SU'ing to root. And;
after. The "$" and "#" are the important part that tells you if
you are a normal user or root. The rest may look slightly
diffrent between builds. (And very diffrent on other Linux
> reboot
The firmware is automatically updated when using either
of our supported update strategies:
 'olpc-update' (an incremental updater that preserves user
 'Secure Reflash' (a 'factory fresh install' tool)
The auto reinstallation image material is DEPRECATED and
should not be used.
> > What about firmware? My unit has q2d06 and I see the
latest stable version is q2d07. Do I need this and how would it
be updated?
> The only way -I- know to upgrade the firmware right now is
to have a developer key
( Once you have
> this key, you can follow the instructions here
> ( or here
> ( to upgrade to
> I entered su cat/boot/olpc_build
> also cat/boot/olpc_build
> also with quotes around both of the above.
The command is like this, with a space after the cat:
cat /boot/olpc_build
su -
olpc-update 653 --OR-- olpc-update ship.2-653
yum update
what does that mean to the newby... Also my router says
WRT54G ver.6 does the version thing matter at all. Will there
be a later fix or do I need to buy a new router?
> ?I entered su cat/boot/olpc_build
> also cat/boot/olpc_build
> also with quotes around both of the above.
Try    cat /boot/olpc_build
Note the space between cat and the first forward slash. Cat
and su are commands, /boot/olpc_build is the argument.
Or what the command is going to act on. In this case
/boot/ is a directory in the file structure and olpc_build is
(probably I have not looked) a tiny text file which the
command cat is displaying.
Cats primary function is to concatenate, or join, two files and
display the results. In this case since only one file is specified
no con'cat'enation is occurring, just the displaying part.
Su is a command to switch user. Since cat/boot/olpc_build is
not a user on the system, that command is naturally not going
to work. Su <space> - or "su -" (without the quotes) is a
shorthand way to switch user to root. Please be *very* careful
playing with any command as root. Great harm can be done!
Most commands as a normal user are safe, as a normal user
can only destroy what they own.
And yes, commands are never surrounded by quotes. You
might on rare occasions encounter one that has a quote
character inside for some reason, but quote markers on the
outside are just to show where the command (and any
arguments) start and stop.
I am having the same issue with the update. Others have said
they have been successful. Don't know if they all have
Developer Keys or not.
> How did you load 653?
Via an image on a USB
> olpc-update 653?
> or
> olpc-update ship.2-653?
Not sure which one it is. You are supposed to be able to look
at the version load with [CRT] [ALT] [Neighborhood] but either
my screen is scrolling or it isn't there. I don't know how in
Lunix on a command prompt to scroll back up.
 or did you use the reflash procedure and the USB flash drive
> Do you have a Developer Key or are you a regular G1G1user.
G1G1 so no key is required.
653 is an official signed release and is available from
However, for reasons that are unclear to me, it is not available
through olpc-update in its signed form. Hopefully someone
else can explain why this is the case.
At any rate, 653 is very similar to 650 and was only created to
fix problems that arose during the Uruguay deployment. I
would be surprised (but interested) if it contained changes
relevant to the difficulties you are experiencing.
                  XO won't boot: EC problem --
I've not had any experience in this, but with the configuration
it should work just fine. Since the XO is really a plain Linux
box at heart, any tutorial you have that follows Fedora (we use
version 7 as a base, but different versions should be easily
followed) is likely to work. Other distributions could be used
as a reference, too.
   Since the Firefox –cloned browser is so so,
install Opera using rpm:
sudo rpm -vi opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en.rpm
(clean up)
rm opera-9.12-20070122.10-static-qt.i386-en.rpm
Test the install: run Opera from the Terminal activity:
You'll see a messages scroll by and then Opera should launch.
You exit Opera by going to the Home view (key f3) and clicking
on the Stop entry in the hover menu over the gray circle that
appears in the Activity circle.
Installing Flash in Opera
      Download the flash plugin rpm file from
      and install it: rpm -vi flash-plugin.XXXXX.rpm
[edit] Installing Java in Opera
      Download the JRE from and install it
      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.,
Opera offers keyboard shortcuts that may come 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 open a new tab
   * ctrl l focus and highlight the page url
Tried FIREFOX to see if a new browser would work. This was
likely a stupid decision as the browser with the lap top seems
to work fine (other than the sound) and I cannot yet locate
how to actually open my firefox browser.
To run firefox, try going to Terminal and typing 'firefox &'. I
haven't installed firefox myself, but I imagine it would take a
while to run. Personally, I have been using Opera
( from the wiki page, without
the Opera-activity portion (it doesn't work as of this writing).
Once the Opera rpm is installed, just run it from terminal the
same way, 'opera &' and voila! Tabbed browsing.
                  save an image from the web?
Is there a way to save an image from a web page onto the XO
hard drive, and then get the path to that image so that I can
upload it?
There are really two challenges.
1) How do I / is it possible to save an image from the browse
activity to my XO?
2) How do I /is it possible to either identify its location on disk,
or get that image into the journal? (Using the file selection tool
in blogger brings up the journal on my XO, but all of the
entries in the journal appear to be text files.)
You may be able to enter the direct URL of the image you want
to save, but I have not attempted this with the Browse activity.
Another way.....
Opera ( is what I've been
using, and it seems to work pretty well! You have to install it
and run it in Terminal. Things you need to know:
Opera-activity on that page doesn't work right now.
When you download something in the Browse activity, it goes
into the Journal and in
as a funky filename. Match up the date and filesize, 'cp' it to
your /home/olpc directory, and then erase it from
the Journal. To install an rpm, do this as root: rpm -vi
<filename> To run opera after it's installed: opera &
It gives you a right-click menu and will let you save images.
An alternate approach is to use the tool 'wget' to download
your image in the terminal, e.g.:
  wget -O my.jpg http://some.where/some.jpg
  wget http://some.other/file.jpg
would produce 'my.jpg' and 'file.jpg' in the current directory.
I didn't have immediate luck with the latest Flash plugin from
Adobe, but I had joy with the one that the Opera page specifes.
It appears that you have to close the Browse activity to
"release" the flash linkage and get Adobe's flash to
work, in either browser.
Playing MPEG Garage Band file. Can get to the website ok
but I cannot activate the player.
there aren't many video types the XO will play out of the box.
This is due to the licenses of those codecs. Check out the wiki
page ( for more
information on that.
                     WIRELESS issues:
This has been a big issue on the discussion, complicated
by the number of models of routers, type of connections
and security (none, WEP and APA).
found that iwconfig and other useful commands live in /sbin.
With that and the new build (653, I think) flashed from a USB
thumb drive I was able to get this baby on my WEP enabled
network. It asked for the password, which I supplied after
dropping down the box and choosing ASCII rather than HEX.
I updated YUM, but could not find a list of the YUM packages I
might install, or which might work on the XO. (Got this one
backwards, "yum update". Incidentally, yum is a Fedora (and
related) command, not a Linux wide one as most of the others
are. urpmi on Mandriva, yast on SUSA, apt on Debian based
systems. Linux is wonderful like that, every thing is same only
> IMPORTANT, there is a drop down box allowing you to
choose ASCII rather than Hex, and if your router has WEP and
an understandable password, that might be it. I waited (have
to be patient with an XO) and when I hovered over my network
it now gave the choice of DISCONNECTING. Fired up the
browser, put something in Google, and I was on the net.
We got this far at lappies new home with out all the extra
steps you posted. (Was upgraded to 653 here) However, last I
heard it was not staying connected. Nor is it consistently
asking for password when trying to reconnect.
> Once online, I typed "yum update", which took a while to
figure out how to get it to work (YUM is a package manager for
installing new programs) but as I couldn't find out what was
available or would work on XO, I just installed the special to
XO version of Opera to replace the built in browser based on
Firefox, which has no back key ;>{ Love Foxfire, but it didn't
scale down well.
It goes to google but then will not let us connect. It says page
load error and that cannot be found. my network is
not protected by a firewall or proxy. and we cannot browse
other sites. What can we do to access the internet?
It sounds to me like you don't have connectivity to "The
internet". The "Google" page you're seeing is the "home page",
which is stored on the XO.
So ... are you wired or wireless? If you're wireless, you should
look at this page (from another machine, of course):
If you want to try a wired connection, you'll need a USB-to-
Ethernet connector. That's how I connect, and I got a LinkSys
USB200M yesterday at CompUSA which is working fine.
How can I access the Internet?
First, you must have wireless(*) Internet nearby; second, verify
the network name (SSID) and its password, if it has one; and
third, carefully follow the instructions found at:
How do I find my wireless MAC address and IP address?
1. Start the "Terminal" activity from the Frame; instructions
can be found here. You may have to scroll the icons along the
bottom of the Frame to the right (by clicking on the button at
the right of the Activities taskbar) to find the icon; it is labeled
2. Type the following (and then press the "Enter" key):
/sbin/ifconfig -a
3. Find the hardware MAC address in the first line marked
"eth0". Save this address.
4. Connect your XO laptop to a wireless network; your IP
address can be found in the line right after that.
As of December 2007, WPA security is not supported on the
XO laptop. If you are a knowledgeable Linux user, you can find
instructions here to access the Internet with WPA security by
manually setting up WPA. It may be best for less experienced
users to wait for the next stable XO software release, which
should be available by the end of December 2007.
(*) See below for Wired Ethernet. If a wireline network is
important to you, you should use a USB-to-Ethernet adaptor.
Note: XO laptops were intentionally designed for children in
developing nations, where it is faster and less expensive to
bring wireless connections, rather than a traditional telecom
There are three ways to connect to the Internet:
 • wireless access point (WiFi hotspot);
 • “School Server” mesh network; or
 • “simple” mesh network, which lets you collaborate directly
with other XOs.
You make your connection from the Neighborhood view. Your
current connection status is shown on the Home view. (The
XO was designed for wireless access because in the developing
world, wireless is actually the fastest, most reliable, and least
expensive way to connect.)
Go to the Neighborhood view to connect to an access point.
The Neighborhood view is accessed by pressing the round key
with eight dots, found in the upper-left corner of the keyboard.
Step 2: Choose an access point
Networks (access points) are represented by circles on the
Neighborhood view. Networks can be identified by hovering
over the circles: an access point is identified by its name
(ESSID); a mesh-portal point is identified by its channel
number (1, 6, or 11). You can also search for an access point
by name in the search bar at the top of the page.
Signal strength is indicated by the fill-level of the circle. The
color of the circle is based upon the name of the access point.
Networks that are locked are identified by a badge.
Step 3: Activate a connection
To activate your network connection, click once inside the
circle that corresponds to your chosen access point. (To “click”,
press once on the left-hand touchpad button—the button with
the × symbol at the front of the touchpad.) While the XO is
trying to establish the connection, the inside of the circle will
blink. Once the connection is established, the outside of the
circle will turn white. If for some reason the connection failed,
the circle will stop blinking. Sometimes it is necessary to try
several times before the connection is established.
If the access point requires a key, you will be prompted. Note
that different types of access points require different types of
keys: be sure to select the correct type from the pull-down
menu that is presented. Some access points (such as the
Apple Extreme®) will only work with a hexidecimal value. If
you have a password or passphrase, go to Hex Converter to get
the hex key. Also, with the Apple Extreme you need to set
“shared key”. Most other access points prefer the “open key”
setting when using WEP.
Currently, we do not support WPA-enabled WiFi access points;
we anticipate including WPA support in early 2008.
Step 4: Checking the connection
Go to the Home View—by using the key with one circle found
in the upper-left corner of the keyboard—to check your
connection. By hovering over the circle icon, you will find
details about your connection status.
If you don't specify a network, the XO will attempt to join a
simple mesh network, enabling you to collaborate with other
XOs, but not access the Internet.
                     WEP Security on Router
For what it's worth, a friend of mine had the same problem
with an Actiontec router. His was on channel 9, and I asked
him to switch to channel 6.
He had to reboot the router afterward, but it's now working
(before, the OLPC wouldn't find the router). Perhaps try
changing channels as well via the router's admin interface (I
recommend channels 6 or 11)
"fixed" the problem:
1. I changed the WEP key to 128 bit and tried to logon. That
did not work.
2. I changed the WEP key back to 64/40 bit (because the
laptop would not work with a 128 bit WEP key). This involved
creating a NEW 64/40 WEP key.
3. VOILA! The OLPC connected to WIFI with the first try.
use terminal iwconfig to get around WEP issue
                     WEP connection experiences
> Unfortunately, I have no experience with the Cisco VPN
client. What I would suggest, however, is to search for how to
use the Cisco VPN client in Fedora 7. If by chance there is a
command-line version, I would recommend attempting that
It has a command-line interface and supports linux. But I
failed to install it since it requires kernel headers. I don't
think XO comes with linux src (can you verify that? I am
simply saying that since /usr/src/ is empty) nor gcc (is
it possible to install gnu toolchain on XO?).
> If there is only GUI, you might have to manually download
the RPM, install it (as root) with 'rpm -vi <filename>', and then
manually run the binary (whatever it may be called) from
/usr/bin most likely. The important thing to know is that the
core of the XO is Fedora 7 for the present time, but not
necessarily everything for Fedora may work with the Sugar
window manager :).
Wow, I found a couple of vpn client for fedora core. I will try
that and report back if it works.
                     WEP connection success
Loaded 653 and was able to log right into my WEP at home
(LinkSys 11n, so even works with the newer standard). Was
less trouble then I had with my desktop (router is downstairs
at the cable connection).
One person has a theory that WEB works as long as you use a
128 bit HEX key. WEP worked for me right away using 128
HEX key with the "Open" (as opposed to shared option).
Later I tried to connect to my Dad's wireless network where he
wasn't using a 128bit key and I couldn't connect using his key.
So I (actually my brother... sorry about that dad) switched his
encryption over to 128 bit. We entered in the new key and the
XO connected.        Give 128 bit keys a try!
(Note: my own experience was once I got wireless set up I
could find my wireless network, drop down the menu set to
Hex and choose ... the other one (ASCII?) and enter my usual
password and it connected to my WEP router without going
HEX). But it is different for different routers, and the Apple
ones seem to ONLY take HEX.)
The laptop was picking up an incorrect IP for the DNS server.
Not sure how that happened, all my other wireless PCs have
no problems. went in as root, manually set it and so far it
  But if you do get a T-Mobile username, perhaps you can
benefit from my further adventures:
I found a nearby hotspot, drove over and parked in front, and
booted up XO. Hit the button with the circle of dots to display
the Neighborhood, found the dot that was labeled 'tmobile',
and clicked on it. Waited a while, not much happened, so
started a Browse activity and type into the address
box just to see what would happen. Got an error.
Tried this four different times at different hotspots. Finally
connected at a Kinkos, without doing anything differently. I
think some hotspots are just cranky. Perhaps even most of
These repeated failures are apparently enough to drive people
to try all different kinds of wacky things to get it to work, like
trying to install Java or Opera. You don't need any of those
things. You just need to be persistent and find a hotspot
that isn't flaky.
                      WAP Security on Router
What is the channel of your WAP? The XO has trouble seeing
WAP with channel set to Auto, and the channel should be 1,6,
or 11 to minimize interference.
 Does the SSID contain as space? (NOTE: Is it being broadcast?
Might want to disable WAP momentarily to try and get the XO
to recognize the router, notice what channel works, redo the
security and try again with that new information. Most routers
can broadcast on several channels.)
                      Hidden SSID on Router
If your access point is indeed hidden, you can enter it
manually at the top of the Neighborhood display.
If your SSID is hidden, you may want to try to manually
connect to your WAP using :
                         DNS problem
Get your XO so it's connected (green circle with white outer
rim). Then open a Terminal and type this in:
You should see lots of fun network related info. That last part
is what's important. Make sure you see:
IP Address:
Subnet Mask:
Primary DNS:
Secondary DNS: --some other IP address--
If all those IP numbers look good (no's in there)
then do this:
Oops, you already did that - looks good.
Now one more step, fetch the web page with wget:
You'll see wget do a name lookup on It'll look
something like this:
Connecting to|blah... connected
then some more blah with "301 Moved..." and another
Resolving message.
IF THAT MESSAGE COMES BACK with an IP address of then your firmware in your modem is whack and needs
to be updated. The GT700 series modems use Linux
with a whack version of IP6 DNS. Your XO is the first IP6
aware device you've tried on your network so it's the first to
trip the bug in your modem.
So does wget give you
                          Can't connect
I. I can't connect to any network with security; no password
works (they all behave the same as if I typed in anything, ie
the wrong password.)
I have verizon DSL modem/router (ActiontecGT704WG), not
very new. The back of the router says: WEP KEY: followed by
10 alphanumeric characters where the first one is a zero.(This
is my normal password) I can't get into the router to change
the security (don't know how the 168 number is the manual
does not work.)
2. I have been trying to follow your advice to find which
software I have & upgrade the software, but whatever I type in
terminal gets me: no such file or directory; I am a complete
newbie, the terminal says:'[olpc@xo - 0D - 52 - 66 ~ ]$ followed
by a symbol for a box'
                     Common Internet issue
I have tried logging into an unprotected wireless site and also
a WEP password protected site. It will not connect to the first
and keeps rejecting the WEP key for the second. What am I
doing wrong? Just a guess, but are you leaving out the space
between cat and /boot? (Assuming that is the command your
trying to run) Commands must be exact!
Have not tested if this works with the OLPC, but on most
Linux systems, a terminal shell will allow you to cut & paste
commands. Shell meaning it is running under a GUI. A true
command prompt will not...
      Sign in to Wireless router without typing numeric
The XO -should- remember your password/phrase for your
wireless. When you turn on the laptop, does it always ask for
the password? Do you pull the drop-down box down and select
HEX or ASCII depending on what you are entering?
One thing that may or may not be a good idea is to update to
the latest official build (653) if you haven't already. You can
check what build you are using in Terminal with the command
'cat /boot/olpc_build'. You can update in terminal, as
root after 'su -', with 'olpc-update ship.2-653'. Once everything
finishes and you get your Internet back up, go to Terminal
again (as root) and type 'yum update' and finally reboot. This
should get all the latest and greatest that is considered
You should not use olpc-update to upgrade from 650 to 653! It
has not been thoroughly tested at all. The only supported
option is to do an Activated Upgrade
<>, but you will
loose all that is in your journal.
Try changing your password (on the router) to HEX instead of
ASCII. This guide should help you answer some questions:
You will likely need to change your network password, as this
seems to be a recurring issue (a fix is in the way). To do that,
you will need to log into the router and change settings. There
is likely a recovery procedure if you have lost your account
information to do this.
Commands typed into the terminal need to be exact. You can
hit enter several times to clear out any text that might be on
the screen, then immediately type iwconfig with no spaces,
capitals or other text. It should spit a series of tables/text
about your wireless card. Just as an example.
> I have tried logging into an unprotected wireless site and
also a WEP password protected site. It will not connect to the
first and keeps rejecting the WEP key for the second. What am
I doing wrong?
Please visit the support forum
( and do a search
for 'wep' or 'wifi', you will find answers to this and other
Anyway: I was pretty easily able to connect to my wireless
access point (a Netgear wireless router running WEP).
However, attempting to browse the internet, I wasn't able to
get anywhere.
I found ifconfig and determined that I couldn't get
anywhere because I didn't have a locally assigned IP
address. So I ran dhclient and had one assigned to me...
But I still can't get anywhere-- I think I'm getting DNS errors.
I imagine I could sort this out, figuring out the right setup, but
I'm concerned that this is indicative of some other problem.
Shouldn't it just do DHCP setup automatically when I start it
up? Is there something I'm missing?
WRT54G router and need to better understand how to deal
with this issue. When I attempt to connect w/ XO I disable
wireless access for all computers. Obviously this is an
unfriendly thing.
 A previous post said "that is a bug referred to the marvell
wireless chip." Is this the wireless chipset on the router or on
the XO? Not all WRT54G routers are based on this chipset (see Does this mean
that only those routers based on marvell will be affected?
Would it be possible to connect a USB wireless adapter to the
XO and use it to connect? If so, how would this be done?
Some WRT54Gs are capable of supporting open source
firmware. Are there ways of addressing this in firmware.
Does the olpc have plans on addressing this issue generally.
These linksys routers are cheap and pretty popular
> I can't connect to my wireless network but it is security
enabled and even though I enter the key, it doesn't work. It
appears that's because it's not WPA enabled yet.
Hopefully someone with WPA working will be able to answer
this issue, as I do not have access to a WPA encrypted wireless
network. I use WEP, and with the development build of the XO
os that I'm using, I have to manually configure the connection
with iwconfig. You can do a search on the support forum
( for 'wep' or 'iwconfig' to see other posts on this.
Once you've got an IP address, you just need to set up
/etc/resolv.conf in order to get DNS working.
However, you're absolutely correct that NetworkManager ought
to be doing this for you when you connect to your access point
in the Mesh View.
Loosely speaking, developer keys are necessary to boot into
unsigned builds.
I got it to work, and I was able to sign my XO onto a Starbucks
tmobile hotspot last night.
to manually configure it you should be able to
do something like this (assuming no WEP is set):
   /sbin/iwconfig               # should show you which device
is the wireless one
   /sbin/iwconfig [dev] essid any # [dev] should be whatever
you found above
That'll setup the wireless part. The next part is to run the
DHCPclient. I'm not sure which one will be installed on your
machine, so you can try both these commands and see which
   /sbin/dhclient [dev]
   /sbin/dhcpcd [dev]
And that'll hopefully get an IP from dhcp. See if you can run
ifconfigto verify if you specify the path:
And see if you got the right IP. wget often lives in
/usr/bin/wget soyou can try the path for that too. When you
su to root you often get amore restrive path, which may be
why you are having trouble running the commands.
> Why is sshd enabled by default?
This is just a guess, but possibly to attempt to gain remote
access to the machine should something go wrong with the
console. In addition to SSH being enabled, I've seen builds
that have a serial console enabled in the boot options.. even
though there is no serial port :) (There is, it is hidden within
the machine, some disassembly required, not recommended)
The biggest problem I had is that I can't figure out how to
paste into the Terminal Activity - so I used ssh from another
host so I could wildcard.
> Is there a kb shortcut for "back" in the browser? I can't find
one, and West doesn't work despite mention in the wiki.
I did not find one either. The Browse activity is very limited,
from my perspective (not to say it's not great for a learning
child!), and I opted to use Opera
( instead (without the opera-
activity stuff).
Linksys router
Can anyone explain why the laptop does not work with
Linksys WRT54G routers? I saw that in a wiki FAQ and of
course that's the router I have. I can see the
router in my neighborhood. Strong signal. Security is disabled.
I'm connected to it, getting valid IP address and can ping it.
Can't get a web page though. (NOTE: DNS problem if you have
connectivity but no web)
that is a bug referred to the marvell wireless chip.
I can't connect to my wireless network but it is security
enabled and even though I enter the key, it doesn't work. It
appears that's because it's not WPA enabled yet. I tried the
manual workaround ( but
that didn't work. When I entered in the code, it said file not
A few startup questions
> I can't find ntpdate, even to install - just rdate, which is OK,
too. It would be nice to have the option to turn one of those on
at boot time!
Fedora 7 (the underlying distro) has an online package
manager dealie called Yum. My ntpdate is in /usr/sbin/
(which isn't in the olpc user's path), but I may have done a
'yum install ntp'. Also, you can do 'yum update' if you haven't
already. --------
                     Double Flash in Browse
I uninstalled flash and it went back to one flash window.
I installed opera, then reinstalled flash, and it works fine in
opera. I guess I'll just have to stick with opera for those sites.
I am setting up the XO for my daughter, who loves club
penguin. It only runs the adobe flash plugin--obviously it uses
some proprietary bits of the code.
I entered su cat/boot/olpc_build ( NOTE: need a space
between cat and the forward slash)
also cat/boot/olpc_build also with quotes around both of the
I get back user cat/boot/olpc_build does not exist
I seem to be having no problems and am slowly learning my
way around intuitively with the help of the tutorial (this is
Any idea on how I can delete Firefox? I think I just want to use
what is here for awhile and be careful what I download.
                 Battery and Power Issues
> It seems that I'm not the only one who's laptop is DOA (dead
on arrival). I received my XO on the 17th of December,
unpacked it and connected it according to the recommended
procedure. I inserted the battery, connected power supply and
switched it on via power button.
Result: NOTHING!! No beep, no display, no other boot activity.
few things I'd like you to try:
Step 1 is to see if the EC is booting. Repeat the remove-all-
power step Ie no battery and no external power. Then try 2
different variations.
1) just insert the battery
2) just hook up ext power.
In both cases I want you to watch the battery status light
when you power up the XO. When the EC boots it briefly
flashes the battery light yellow.
If that works then see if the EC is continuing to run by
inserting a battery and then plugging up external power. You
should either see a green fully charged battery light or a yellow
charging indicator.
display says 'Battery discharging 96%' when plugged in.
Hi, I received my X0 a few hours ago. I plugged in power
adaptor. This has been 3 hours and the battery indicator still
says 'Battery discharging 96%'
I powered off, removed and re-inserted the battery, but sill no
change. Is it a bad battery? Dirty connections?
XO won't boot: EC problem --
        remove       all power and restart
display says 'Battery discharging 96%' when plugged in.
My battery doesn't work. I used it the first day for about an
hour and then shut the xo laptop off. When I tried to turn it
back on a few hours later it did not turn on. Now I can only
run my xo laptop when plugged in. I also noticed the Battery
Life is "stuck" on 79% even after charging it overnight. I
called the support line and I'm hoping for a call back. I hope I
can get a replacement battery and I hope that solves the
Try this: Power on the laptop without ext power and let it
shutdown from low battery. Then plug up ext power you
should see the light go yellow, then leave it until the light goes
green. It should go green within 3 hours.
Ok, Now lets try to see what's up with your battery. The
laptop ships with a utility called 'olpc-logbat' which will
monitor some of the battery parameters.
Do the following: Note the commands are inside the ' ' you
don't type the quotes. <hit enter> means press the Enter key.
Plug up your XO with the AC external power adapter.
Boot sugar and startup the terminal app. When you get to a
prompt that looks similar to this:
[olpc@xo-0C-F0-8B ~]$
'su -' <hit enter>
This will make you the root user. your prompt should look
something like:
Now type:
'olpc-logbat' <hit enter>
Now the system is logging battery info every 10 seconds and
writing it to the terminal. Each line consists of 6 numbers and
2 words all seperated by commas like:
The key for these lines are: (each line corresponds to a column)
date in seconds,
charge %,
Bat Voltage in uV,
Bat Current in uA,
Bat Temp,
Bat charging status,
Bay level status,
I'm interested in what is happening with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th
 Now while olpc-logbat is running please remove the battery
and wait 10 seconds for a sample. You should see a lot of
stuff about "No such device" This is normal. Now plug the
battery back in and watch what happens with the 2nd, 3rd,
and 4th numbers. In particular whats going on with the 4th
number as thats the battery charge current.
olpc-logbat will store all this info into a new logfile every time
you run the script. This file is stored in the /root directory
and is called:
If you know how to mount a usb disk manually (or you have
your XO networked) then you can copy that file on to the disk
and send it to me.
  But just watching what the numbers are doing and reporting
that back will work as well.
External Charging
B1 systems have a hardware problem that prevents them from
charging batteries that have discharged to very low levels. To
bring the battery capacity back up to a level that a B1 can
manage, external methods are necessary. "
I wonder if the battery is just too discharged to get going
The EC code shipped in G1G1 sometimes gets
charging/discharging confused. I've got it fixed and it should
show up in the update.1 release.
Unplug you battery and replug it back in and it should clear
up. In general you can trust the battery LED. If its green then
you are fully charged. Which is anywhere between 90 and
power adapter :
Input 100-240V ~0.8A 50-60Hz
Output 12V 1.2A
Outer connector is negative, inner positive.
                            Editing a WORD
How do I access the stick from the Journal.
(The file was put on the stick by Windows.)
1. plug it in
2. go to Journal
3. wait for a while (if there are a lot of large files in your stick,
this might take a few minutes because the Journal is trying to
index all the files in the stick)
4. a USB drive icon should appear at the bottom of the screen
5. the files that can be opened by the laptop activities should
be listed in the journal entries
6. click on the journal entry of interest
edit a Microsoft EXCEL document
Can I edit a Microsoft EXCEL document
Suggestion - Use Google doc apps
Also, use Ctrl+c to copy, Ctrl+v to paste, no Print yet
Also... with an external USB 3 button or wheel mouse
use the traditional *NIX copy paste method from activity to
activity. highlight to copy by using left mouse button. Paste
by using middle or depress (don't spin) wheel.
Tab completion also works. Just type the first couple letters
and try using the TAB key to see if it will fill it in. If there are
two or more possibilities, a second TAB will display the
                       USB Drive Limitations?
I also notice that after I use the usb stick to copy something
from or to the journal, I cannot unmount the drive with the
unmount button in journal. I tried going out of the journal
and starting a terminal, but that would not start.
Then I found the keyboard shortcuts and did Ctrl-Alt-F2 (the
Friends button) and got a terminal. I logged in with root and
no password and could then do 'umount /media/Udisk-
whatever' I am very happy to see that we have Tab completion;
so I could do 'umount /m [TAB to complete media]/U[TAB to
complete the name of the drive]'
This freed up the journal and allowed me to remove the usb
stick without rebooting or restarting sugar.
If I plug in a USB thumb drive I have to reboot before the
system recognizes it. Also, I've tried dragging .txt and .jpg files
into the journal but it can't seem to read them (they appear in
the list but I don't see anything--no preview). (NOTE: put
thumb drive in before booting to have it mount automatically)
> I also notice that after I use the usb stick to copy something
from or to the journal, I cannot unmount the drive with the
unmount button in journal.
I've now tried this with 3 usb devices. The Lacie usb hard
drive is working as it should. A PNY U3 Smart also works fine.
The problems are with a PNY Attache. In general it does not
unmount from the journal and once I look at it
in the journal, I cannot look at the regular journal. Clicking on
the journal icon does not revert the listing back to the journal
All of them work as expected on my Ubuntu laptop
My SanDisk Cruzer 4.0GB usb thumb drive and I can't
unmount it via the Journal either.
I stuck a 16GB SD card into my XO.         It works.
I went to Project Gutenberg and downloaded a PDF of 'Pride
and Prejudice'. Been wanting to re-read that for a while.
Opened up the Journal, dragged that entry onto the SD card
icon at the bottom.
Then opened a terminal and cd'ed into /media, found the
mounted SD card volume, looked inside, found the PDF file.
df -h told me how much space was left on the card. It appears
I only have room for 20,000 more books.
The problem started when I was testing to see if my new XO,
build 650, would mount a flash drive. After using it for a day
with no apparent problems, I happened to boot with a flash
drive inserted which, later, I discovered was a FAT32 format,
not a FAT (if that makes a difference?). The screen suddenly
blacked out, then flashed white with hundreds of black specks
scattered over it like pepper. I took out the offending flash
drive and rebooted. The screen still blacked out about midway,
after the tenth white dot. Wondering if somehow
a flash drive had corrupted the operating system, I followed
the procedure on the Stable Upgrade page to upload a new
operating system, build 653 (was 650), from a flash drive, this
time a FAT drive. The automatic boot seemed to be
successful because I was relieved to see the complete circle
drawn of all white dots. However, after powering down and
rebooting again, the same blackout repeats. It lasts for 20
seconds. Then the screen paint s white for 28 seconds. Then
the home page is finally displayed. Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Mesh
displays the boot sequence log. There is a reported error just
after the "Hello (children of the) world!" message: Node CRC
failed on node at 0x___, Read 0xffffffff, calculated 0xa0___.
Sometimes there are two bad nodes reported.
> If I plug in a USB thumb drive I have to reboot before the
system recognizes it. Also, I've tried dragging .txt and .jpg files
into the journal but it can't seem to read them (they appear in
the list but I don't see anything--no preview).
It seems that with the ship build (650), the USB stick does not
automatically show up right away. This may be a bug, but it
will be undoubtedly fixed with upgrades. I am running a
developer build, and the USB stick shows up in Journal
as soon as I insert it. Someone else with Build 650 said that
their USB stick
wasn't showing up right away, but once he plugged AND
UNPLUGGED a USB keyboard, the USB stick started to show
up in Journal. Perhaps you can try duplicating this :).
                        Jumpy mouse problem
One Possible solution:
updating to build 653?
In terminal, type 'cat/boot/olpc_build'. If it says 650, do this
as root (to be root, type 'su -' without the quotes):
 olpc-update -r -f ship.2-653
> > > If the update is successful, it should reboot the laptop on
its own. If not, it'll try again.
Perfect. It loaded build 653 and rebooted just as you said.
After rebooting, the mouse problem has not recurred. Let's
hope this does it. I'll keep this forum posted if the problem
comes back.
Unfortunately, the day after I installed build 653 the problem
of the jumpy mouse has recurred. I did not turn off the OLPC
last night, just closed the case and left it plugged in. When I
opened it this morning, the mouse pointer was very hard to
control and, after a few minutes, it started jumping all over the
screen even when I was not touching the touchpad. When it
became impossible to control, I restarted the computer, but
shortly after that the mouse pointer was again jumping all
over the screen.
this is a bug that has been known for some time, although no
one else has mentioned the pointing jumping all over even
without anyone touching the laptop.
> Just to complement, this is a ''hidden'' bug that is being
worked out.
since I've signed up for a developer key
( and have
updated to Q2D07 firmware and Joyride 1431 build (developer
builds), the problem has not come up since. I have it on
basically all the time, IRCing and web browsing.
Another thing you should do before anything else is, as root,
type 'yum update'. This should update a few system files, but I
don't know if it will address the issue (it's certainly worth a
Holding the O game key on power-up caused the XO to boot
up on the previous build, essentially negating the update you
we have boot2 version listing instructions on the wiki?
Is it the bcdDevice in these
Linux and sugar seem to have different ideas about timezone
(/etc/timezone vs sugar-control-panel). Sugar wins, but it's
Why won't the time stay set? I have enabled ntpd and thatfixes
it eventually but not right after boot. I have rdate and may
stuff it somewhere. But I'm concerned that the date is always
wrong after a reboot...
> It has a command-line interface and supports linux. But I
failed to install it since it requires kernel headers. I don't
think XO comes with linux src (can you verify that? I am
simply saying that since /usr/src/ is empty) nor gcc (is
it possible to install gnu toolchain on XO?).
There is no source/headers shipped on the XO because of the
limited space (1GB). There is definitely, however, plenty of
information on development for the XO on the developers wiki
page ( Several people
on IRC have mentioned they installed gcc via 'yum install gcc'.
After you are sure your timezone is correct and you fix your
date with ntpdate, do 'hwclock --systohc'. This will set the
hardware clock to the system time. This is just the way linux
does it.
the system clock is about 13 hrs fast.
It's already tomorrow :D I tried a conventional linux date -s
command to reset the time, but it replied with an error that I
could not do that. Is there another way?refer to
There are two steps required. First, you have to set the time
zone. Open up the terminal activity and type "sugar-control-
panel -h timezone|more". This will page you through the list of
all the possible time zones. The space bar goes to the next
page, and a carriage return/enter goes to the next line.
Once you find the one you want, do a "q" to get out of "more".
Then type "su" to become root. Do *not* type "su -" -- this will
mess up the path settings. Then type "sugar-control-panel -s
timezone <your time zone goes here>". To check it, type
"sugar-control-panel -g timezone".
OK ... *now* type "su -". Then type "ntpdate". The
machine will sync to the time standard server. That's it.
                          stuck' Alt key
an intermittent bug that surfaces as a 'stuck' Alt key.
In write mode for example I will type an 'r' and instead of
getting a letter on the screen, the screen rotates 90 degrees -
an Alt key function.
Sometimes pressing the Alt key will bring back normal
functioning, but usually not.
               lights next to screen rotation button
I can't find any explanation of the two lights to the right of the
screen rotation button. I assume they have something to do
with connecting the internet but I can't find an explanation
anywhere as to how they work.
The lights are for wireless activity.
Take a look at this annotated picture which is
part of the
hardware description at
                      Journal does not load
During boot up the journal does not load, and the journal key
is not responsive. If an activity is selected, the icon assumes
the 6 o'clock position on the home page, the message is
"starting..." but the load never occurs.
A second problem, preceding the non-loading issue, some
journal entries could not be deleted. That is now moot pending
getting the journal to load.
Am I the only one who has "lost" the journal?
Without loading journal, the xo is unable to function.
Your error report makes it sound like the Journal (and all
other activities are crashing on startup).
The simplest way we might be able to fix the problem is to
reflash the laptop to factory defaults. Instructions on how to
do this can be found at
(Just ignore the remarks about activation leases - all the
G1G1 laptops are pre-activated.)
                        non-booting journal
I've tried entering : Is/ofw/mfg-data/ after I entered "su
root" to determine whether I have a lease or pre-activation, as
instructed on the instruction sheet. It returned "No such file or
directory." Ergo, I can safely proceed with the upgrade. Or not?
Also, should I add the other files from the linked webpage to
my USB as well?
Sorry for the type-face confusion.
The command you want to run is:
  ls /ofw/mfg-data
That's with a lower-case L, not an I.
However, as I alluded to in my email, you should be fine
skipping the 'check for activation lease' instructions. All the
G1G1 machines are supposed to be pre-activated (ie 'AK' flag
set in the mfg-data.)
Sugar, home view, register?
When I'm in the home view, if I hover over the child in the
middle, I see my nickname, Reboot, Shutdown, Register.
All obvious except "Register", which does nothing (as best I can
tell). I can't find any mention of this in the wiki...
helpfully says "none of this is documented" ...
Register is for children that are connecting to a School Server
              Installing Java on Linux (OLPC Sugar)
Apart from the memory hogging issue, is it even possible to
install Java on my XO? The site gives four options
for Linux: Linux RPM 17.74MB, Linux 18.23MB, Linux x64
17.24MB, and Linux x64 RPM 16.82MB. Linux Sugar is not
mentioned. My interest in Java would be using PageBuilder to
edit my site in I am more curious than hopeful
because even an Apple computer has problems with
PageBuilder. Second question: I am new to this forum. Is
there a way to search for topics by keywords such as "Java"?
                       install Watch & Listen
 I've downloaded it. The wiki instructions tell me this:
"Then just unzip the activity in /usr/share/activities. Restart
It's an .xo file. What is the command to unzip it, and to
extract it to /usr/share/activities
Restarting Sugar I think I can deal with.
:-) Just to clarify, if I plug in the USB thumb/flash drive and
reboot with the drive in place, the system recognizes it. Now if
I can just locate a USB keyboard and figure out why the
system is not recognizing my .jpg and .txt files.
> You are supposed to be able to look at the version load with
[CRT] [ALT] [Neighborhood] but either my screen is scrolling or
it isn't there.
Just FYI.. Neighborhood is F1, the one to the right of that is
F2, then F3, etc.
                           "virtual terminals
In Linux, you can switch "virtual terminals", and the XO has a
total of three. When you are in Sugar (the GUI), CTRL-ALT-F1
and CTRL-ALT-F2 will switch you to
the first virtual terminal and second virtual terminal,
respectively. The GUI is on the third virtual terminal (ALT-F3).
During boot, all of the scroll and info go to the first virtual
terminal. That's the stuff you saw when you switched to it. If
you press Enter, it will re-display the login prompt and show
you the build version.
Also, if you switch to the second virtual terminal (ctrl-alt-F2),
you will see
just the login prompt without a bunch of boot info :)
Sugar is the window manager, the core distro is Fedora 7. This
page ( has
some stuff about installing Java at the bottom.
> Is there a way for me to control the idle timeout on the
backlight? There seems to be one, but I have no idea just how
long the time is, or if I might change it.
> I know that I can turn the display brightness down from the
keyboard, but I don't always remember to.
There is a file, /etc/ohm/plugins.d/timeouts.ini, that has two
lines in it, those numbers are in milliseconds, I believe.
I've extended mine to 125000 momentary and 130000
Full automatic power control is not going to be enabled until
Update.1. Its in the works.
> It's an .xo file. What is the command to unzip it, and to
extract it to /usr/share/activities
>From what I've noticed, if you click on an .xo file in Browse
activity, it will automatically install it. Just fyi, .xo files
actually are .zip files. You can 'unzip' them, or even copy
them to a USB stick to rename and open with Windows,
it's up to you :).
> Now if I can just ... figure out why the system is not
recognizing my .jpg and .txt files.
Here is something I wanted to tell you earlier but couldn't
verify until now (I just got my activities working again). I
plugged in a USB stick with a txt file on it, selected the USB
stick in Journal view, dragged the txt file to the journal icon at
the bottom (now txt file is copied to the XO), clicked back onto
the journal icon (the txt file was in the list), clicked on the txt
file. The first time I did it, it seemed like it wanted to open
Write, but this time it didn't. I had to click on the icon at the
top of the journal entry. Then, when I closed and opened that
journal entry again, it had a screenshot image :).
Probably you'll have to install wvdial (yum install wvdial), use
wvdialconf to recognise your phone, and then dial out to
establish a connection.
1) how can I get to read the file extensions of the files stored
either on my SD or USB? Or, are they all zipped xo files,
without extensions (if so, how does the system know what
activity to open)?
2) how can I change the assigned activity that the lappie has
given to a file? E.g., it has opened audio files in "toy" and a jgp
file in browse.
               recognizing USB drive and files on it
> 1) how can I get to read the file extensions of the files stored
either on my SD or USB? Or, are they all zipped xo files,
without extensions (if so, how does the system know what
activity to open)?
I don't believe Journal will show you file extensions, just an
icon based on the extension/type. You can find your media
(USB or SD) mounted in /media on the filesystem.
> And in Linux, can't one have multiple windows in each
virtual terminal?
Maybe you're thinking of multiple desktops? If you hack a
multiple desktop pager into Sugar, let me know! :) You might
not even have to 'hack' one in. Just find one and install/run it.
> Is there any other way to delete files (projects), other than
tediously clicking on each one singularly, then clicking on the
erase?        not at the moment
I found info on suspending here
>From reading this my understanding is that if I close the XO
lid with the monitor facing the keyboard the laptop should
When I close the lid, the power light and wireless lights keep
flashing and the battery seems to drain at the same rate as if I
was using the laptop. Thus I don't think its actually
1) Is closing the lid the correct way to suspend the XO? If not,
is there a way to suspend? (Note: go to Home View, click the
Activity in the circle around the central figure, choose Shut
2) What should the XO behavior be when it is suspended?
LED indicator behavior on the monitor back, battery life etc...
An unmount option appears if you mouse over the usb icon in
the journal.
I copied some java source files to my thumb drive and hit the
road assuming that i could open them and edit them with my
new xo.
I see the files from the journal, but I am not offered the write
activity as an option for opening the files. In fact I am not
offered any activity for opening the files. copying them to
clipboard does not appear to open them and extract the
text either.
Do I have any way to get at my vanilla text files without taking
my thumb drive to a real computer and renaming all of them
with a different extension?
> There is a file, /etc/ohm/plugins.d/timeouts.ini, that has
two lines in it, those numbers are in miliseconds, I believe.
> I've extended mine to 125000 momentary and 130000
Well, I'm not sure. I tried to find documentation on ohm on the
web, but the ohm wiki isn't very helpful!
What do "momentary" and "powerdown" mean? Backlight off
and laptop suspend (which doesn't work in 650), perhaps?
Several of my RSS feeds are not loading. I get a msg "Waiting
for first poll."
When I click on "Full Entry" at the end of the error msg,
nothing happens.
I tried adding a feed from NPR, but get the same msg.
you can use the terminal activity to unzip the .xo on your
if you install it through the journal watch and listen will only
work if security is disabled on your xo. if security is enabled
the activity must be in /usr/share/activities
I have just discovered that the screen will not black out during
boot, and all 24 white dots will form a complete circle, if the
system is powered off gracefully, by going to Terminal and
entering "poweroff". If the physical power switch is simply
pressed to shut the machine down, the next boot results in
CRC node error messages.
   From the Home View :
over the XO symbol at the center of your screen, and press
"Shutdown." Or depress the power button briefly until the
green power light goes off.
Is there any way to untangle openfirmware and the operating
system? I want to try to make a minimal puppy linux install
image using the stock xo kernel but I can't get past this weird
/versions and /boot|/boot-alt setup.
At the very least is there a breakdown somewhere of the
rationale behind this design?
There is a lot of documentation about the system and it's
rationale on the wiki. You'll need a developer key to boot any
non-signed operating system images, so you could start at
The Security features discussion starts at
I'm attempting to open up a 1.9 meg rtf file using Write. I've
tried via USB, SD and the hard disk but each time I attempt to
open the file Write is stuck in "starting" mode and I can't
access the file. I've even converted the file to txt format
(coming in at a whopping 1.8 megs)
Is the file simply too big to open? are there other alternatives
so that I can read the file via my XO, aside from vi?
I am beginning to work with Python.
I want to place a project in a directory called pyProject on my
SD card.
I know how to add a directory to the exiting path:
    import sys
I do not know how to specify the SD card and directory in the
path statement.
The SD card would be mounted under /media or /mnt
depending on the build. However, it is only auto-mounted if
present at boot-up. If you insert it while the XO is running,
you'll need to mount it manually.
Opera gets installed and invoked from the command line in
the Terminal Activity.
Details here:
It is possible to install it as an Activity but there are issues
with it not closing properly. The only caution I would give is
not to open too many tabs, because it really slows down the
whole system.
After I downloaded Watch and Listen in the Browser I opened
the Journal activity and clicked on the little gray button at the
far right of the Journal entry for the download.
Nothing appeared to happen, but I was able to see Watch and
Listen on my activity list when I returned to Home and it
popped right up when I opened an .ogg file on my thumbdrive.
you can rename the files on your thumbdrive using the
Terminal Activity.
If you are not familiar with the Linux command Line I would
suggest checking the Linux Documentation Project for some
introductory info or try typing "mv --help" at the command
Aw, heck, step by step as close as I can remember
Open Terminal Activity (rectangle with a $ sign in it)'
Click with the mouse inside the window to get the proper focus.
Type 'cd /media' -- change directory to /media
Type 'ls'             -- List files and folders in the current
directory, you should see the name of your thumb drive
or sd card in blue
                            --change directory to your card
 Type 'cd yourDrive'
Type 'ls'      -- so you can see what you're working with,
bash is case sensitive (note ls –la will give you more info)
Type 'mv oldname newname.txt' --This will change your
file to a .txt file, you can use the same name again if you
I installed Xfce on mine using yum, and it works great. Plus,
even after installing Xfce, Opera, AbiWord (the real thing),
Pidgin, and some other necessities (nethack, anyone?) I still
have more than 500MB of flash storage free.
Out of the box, there's about 700 MB of free space on the main
flash drive. That's way more than I'll need -- all I really plan to
install on it is Maxima, gForth and the Linux-ported OFW
It takes a long time (several minutes) for my 4 GB USB stick to
be fully recognized and cataloged in the journal. But once
that's done, I was able to open the PDFs on it. It's my "portable
reference library". It has hundreds of performance and other
papers, dozens of programming books, etc., on it -- about a GB
Should I be going back to previous sessions in the Journal
instead? Should I assume that's the XO way to get back to
Generally, that's how it works. But, as people have mentioned,
you can install something with more traditional bookmarking.
To retrieve the bookmarks, please refer to:
If you are interested in why Journal works this way (and thus
the name), you can get more info at:
Well ... OK ... since you opened up the command line, how do I
start reading a PDF file from the command line? How do I play
a .ogg from the command line? Those are going to be my two
main use cases for the next couple of weeks, so I might as well
assign them an alias in ".bashrc".
as for opening the file. I went to Journal, then selected the
device (USB or SD card), clicked on the file in question and
selected start the Journal can suggest to her those entries
which it feels can be erased.
She will then have the opportunity to review those items prior
to their erasure, if she wishes, and can keep any she still feels
attached to....." This is cool!
Thanks for the link to the OLPC guidelines. It is a very useful
I feel like a kid wandering down the beach picking up shells,
sniffing, poking, listening.... The more I sniff the XO, the more
I come to see that it truely is not about the device. It is about
discovery and re-discovery packaged in a quiet, green, floppy
eared little clam shell.
The Journal will (if not already) delete least-used files when
capacity is reached. That is, keep using your XO and when
you run out of space on the XO, your Journal will clear up
room by getting rid of files you've made but no longer use (a
doodle in Paint from 9 months ago, etc). So even if you have
useless files, worst case, they will eventually be deleted
because you simply don't access them.
Other backup mechanisms (School Server, or even an SD card)
are part of current/future plans, so you never have to lose a
file... even one you never use.
Have you got an encrypted AP? also can you look at this..?
> My wireless base station isn't showing up in neighborhood.
What should I do?
I can create a directory in the SC card for Python modules. I
can successfully add the directory via sys.path.append. The
modules run (or blow up, as is often appropriate) I am using
Terminal and bash as su.
However, the SD directories I create are deleted by the XO
when I kill my activities and shutdown.
I even tried creating SD directories on another machine. It
appears that the SD card can only be used by the Journal
on my XO it takes about 20-30 seconds to open a small .txt
file (< 5KB) with Write.
To Upgrade from a USB stick (<font color=red>will overwrite all
saved data</font>) ==
Copy any files you would like to keep onto another data
storage device (usb key, another laptop, etc...)
First you need to create a USB stick with the latest stable
# Make sure that your USB stick is FAT formatted, not FAT 32,
and only contains 1 partition.
# Go to the jffs2 download page for stable build,
# Download two files to your local computer: (about
200k), and osXXX.img (about 300M); where XXX is the build
#* These files will be found in '''/build_number/jffs2'''
# Put these two files on the USB stick at the root directory.
Remove any other files on the USB stick.
Next, upgrade your laptop:
# Ensure you have both a power adapter and a battery
plugged into the laptop.
# Insert the USB stick into the laptop while it is powered off.
# Hold down all four gamekeys on the right then push the
power button.
# Release the gamekeys when directed.
'''Check the version of code your laptop is running:'''
# Boot the laptop; and wait until you get the sugar home
# Hold down Alt, Ctrl, and 'mesh' (the third key from the left
along the top row).
# Check the version by reading the label just above the login:
OLPC Build 649 (match that against expected build number).
You may have to hit enter once.
# Hold down Alt, Ctrl, and 'home' (the 5th key from the left on
the top row) to get back to [[Sugar]] UI.
                     '''Advanced Upgrades'''
To upgrade to a non-stable release, you must have a
developer's key (or a machine that was never locked down,
such as a [[G1G1]] MP machine). Consult [[Activation and
Developer Keys]] and [[Autoreinstallation]] for more details.
Undo full screen Alt-Enter please also refer to
when I run xfontsel the only font I get is a uselessly-small
fixed, and no other options. "yum install xorg-x11-fonts-
100dpi" ran with no errors but I do not have access to those
fonts, even though they're in /usr/x11/share/fonts/100dpi.
I've added the appropriate FontPath line in xorg.conf and run
xset fp rehash -- even rebooted the machine! What gives?
                           serial port
All builds have the serial console enabled because there _is_ a
serial port and the developers make heavy use of it.
The serial port is just not accessible for the normal user. You
have to disassemble the XO and connect to it with a small
special connector and use a 3.3V ttl -> rs232 or USB adapter.
MP machines still have the male connector loaded on the PCB
so that developers (and interested hackers) can use it.
Sometime in the future we may quit loading the connector as a
cost savings.
 Question for the developers -- some Linux systems will
automatically sync to the time server every time the network
starts up. When you install Fedora, for example, you get the
option to do that. How difficult would it be to enable that
option in an XO?
It should be a trivial task. ntpd is already installed, so all we
would need to do is to rename one file,
/etc/rc.d/rc3.d/K74ntpd to /etc/rc.d/rc3.d/S74ntpd .
Disassembly of the laptop does not void the warranty. Its
designed to be taken apart. This is part of the constructionist
learning that is the core of OLPC.
See here for disassembly instructions and pictures:
Other important sites; to
help out
            OLPC - One Laptop Per Child
Thank you for participating in our Give One Get One program.
Thanks to your generosity, thousands of XO laptops will be
delivered in early 2008 to children in Afghanistan, Cambodia,
Haiti, Mongolia and Rwanda.
You have either received or will be receiving your XO laptop. In
order to help you get the most out of your experience with the
XO and One Laptop per Child (OLPC), here are some
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To find out everything you need to know to get started with
your XO laptop, click here or visit
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Enjoy your XO laptop!
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