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I'm a G1G1 guy. I gave three and got three. One of those went to an 11-year-old friend. One went to my 4-year-old kid, and one went to me. So two of them are around the house for me to play with.

I live in Arizona, and have so far only once gotten together with other XO owners.

I've detailed my XO setup, plus moderately-detailed instructions on how to get the same setup yourself. Or it can just be a pointer for one or two modifications.

I'm sticking to the standard system, using the standard Fedora OS, and Sugar. I'm using the current stable build, which is 656 right now. As much as it seems reasonable to me, I'm also sticking to Sugar activities rather than branching out to novel applications. I hope that by doing so I can be part of making the standard system successful. There are exceptions where I use other software.

I'm not a novice or proficient. My XO is the first Linux machine I've ever been intimate with. I have been a professional programmer, but I've always hated system administration.

If you're new


You'll want to be in touch with other XO users. For me, the best online community seems to be the OLPCNews forum

You should also ee if there is a local.

I haven't done so myself, but if you're able (probably after you've gotten your XO all configured) you might want to hook up with a Community Jabber Server.

Of course, related: If this XO is for a kid, you'll want to think hard about online safety. A wiki can't provide complete guidance on this, since it depends on you and the kid and how the computer is used... But there is some discussion at Online threats and security.

Brand New XO

(or old one, starting from scratch)

OK, you've got an XO. It's smaller than you expected! Damn, it's cute! Argh, I'm supposed to type on this?!

Things to note:

  1. There's no human-powered charger included. Drat! The argument is that we don't need them as much as kids in rural areas. I have an outlet within reach most of the time.
  2. The stylus isn't enabled. That wasn't a disappointment for me since I didn't know it was part of the specification before I received it. It's suppposed to be implemented later. When it is, you won't need any special XO-stylus; anything properly pointy should work.
  3. The trackpad should work fine. It doesn't allow for tap-click, which suits me fine because I've always hated that.
  4. The Journal is weird. It's probably what takes the most getting-used-to for someone familiar with standard computers. I'll leave the warning at that for the moment. Read the Getting Started Guide for some help. I'll try to give more useful advice when I've figured it out.
  5. The XO will likely be slower than you expected. Try to not run many programs at one time.

Don't worry too much about the name and colors you select. If you change your mind later, you'll be able to change them.

You might notice the "Register" option in the drop-down menu which has "Reboot" and "Shutdown". Odds are that you should ignore that. Register is only for XO's which are intended to hook up with a school server.

Getting Connected

The XO has no built-in way to plug in to a network by wire. It assumes you can connect wirelessly. If you need to be wired, check out USB_ethernet_adaptors. I haven't tried any of those, so can't offer advice.

If you have an open wifi network available, you're set. Use the advice in the Getting Started Guide to connect.

If you have a secure network at home, you might want to go somewhere (public library or T-Mobile hotspot, or whatever) with an open network so you can do the initial updating stuff first before going through the secure connection rigmarole.

Connecting to Secure Wifi


Sugar Activities

You can find a bunch of activities on the Activities page here on the wiki.

The simplest way I've found to add new activities is really simple. Use Browse rather than any other browser. Click on a link to a *.xo file. You will see in the upper-right-hand corner a countdown as the activity downloads. After it's downloaded, you'll be able to select "OK" or "Open". Choose "Open". That won't run the activity--it will install the activity. It will then appear on the activity bar at the bottom of the Home view.

Oddly, right after you download and install an activity, it will appear as the last thing on the far right of the activity bar. The next time you start up the XO, it will probably appear in a different order.

Using Browse

Browse is likely the first thing you'll want to replace with a non-Sugar application. It's really not a full-featured browser yet. I still use it a bit, though.

One very confusing bit about Browse is the bookmarks. They aren't bookmarks as you think of them. The main use for them appears to be for sharing links. So, for instance, I can bookmark a page and if you and I are hooked up, you can then see what I've bookmarked. But bookmarks don't survive from one session to another. For remembering places, you'll want to use the Journal.


Your XO should be pretty self-contained, since that's part of the idea. I find that I really want two accessories:

  • USB stick: This almost goes without saying. A USB stick almost goes without saying these days, but I'll say it anyway. You want one which is at least 1G to be able to do an activated upgrade. I recommend 22G, since that should allow the upgrade and a full XO's worth of backup on one stick.
  • USB mouse: I prefer a real mouse over a trackpad with any machine. With the XO, you get extra benefit of having a mouse with a mousewheel-button. That allows copy-and-paste in the Terminal.

Tweaks I want to do

I'm starting a list, primarily for myself, of User:Tdang/notes for Sugar coding.

Abort activities which are stuck starting--see thread at forum.

"Delete all" on clipboard

Get LaTeX working in a Sugar environment. Use Read (or whatever tool Read uses) for preview. Use a Sugar-environment text editor. Which editor would be best? Possibly work from Develop? It seems like using a pretty straight editor would be better than using Write. Plus, a development environment should already have contextual coloring.

My Scratchpad