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WindowMaker Interface

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Project Name Short name::Other Interfaces
Project Description [[Description::Finding Other more conventional interfaces than Sugar and putting up instructions for users to be able to modify there laptops to use these new interfaces. This will allow any student from a collage student to a High Schooler to use the OLPC. This will make the OLPC really become the One Laptop Per child throughout the world and make its use more broadened.]]
Contact Person Contact person::NN
Participants Participant::NN, more_needed
Available languages Available languages::EN
Status Project status::2 (Test)
i18n I18n::
Icon Icon::
Last Updated Last updated::2008/09/26
Related Projects Related projects::

This document Is a how to on how to make your olpc into a more conventional Linux laptop used in the modern world. Or another way of putting it is changing your laptop form a kid toy to a Personal Interface => Standard program and Interface Linux laptop.

I Needed a Few things out of my Olpc's sugar interface was frankly not giving me. When I first got the OLPC and started Playing around with sugar I noticed a bunch of differences from the standard laptop including a few startling findings I loved the olpc's portability but the interface was just to strange and different from the standard laptop. The first startling finding was that the title bar and menus for programs had vanished. The second thing that almost rendered the laptop useless was there was no save button on the word processor !!!!! This meant that it couldn't export in different formats needed by schools and standard organizations. There was only one thing that I knew would allow me to unlock the full potential of this amazing little laptop. The capability and versatility of Linux. I knew from that point it would be a challenge but in the end I would make this laptop into a standard Linux box and allow me to use it as a standard school laptop in the US. This document will serve to help others like my self who think they bought a toy into finding out they bought a gold mine in technology!!! One of the best laptops out there in portability !! This is a Instruction book on how I changed my toy into my work horse. I am just a kid of 16 who happens to go to a Cyber School in Pennsylvania. I use it for school documents assignments and other High level School applications. This laptop has become a life saver it has listened my load from 3 heavy bags that I have to Cary to school to two bags. It is also nice as a snatch and go laptop. Its small so I end up taking it all over the place. Hopefully this document will allow other kids in the US and around the world like me to use the olpc to its full power potential that no one thought could come out of a box that looks like a kids toy.

I am a Linux geek and know a lot of advanced things about linux. The window maker interface is great for people that know how to work the Linux terminal and use it that way. If some one in the community could help me develop this idea, with rather the Icewm interface. Which I failed to get working, or the gnome interface which is to fat for this laptop. I would love the help. If any one in the Linux community knows of a nice user friendly GUI that is lighter in requirements than gnome and requires less power than gnome that would be grate.

This idea of other interfaces is not to hurt this project its should help boost it from being a very pacific purpose laptop to one that can be used by a larger audience and allow the kids to learn the computer interface as they will see it later on in life. I needed a better interface to allow me to do standard school work in the US, I am sure others need it for there purposes as well.

I hope the olpc community will grasp the idea I have stated above and help to develop a move conventional interface for the olpc that will allow the students to move strait from the olpc to a job with out to much of a change of interface. This interface or others similar to it will allow the olpc to be used in higher education of kids. I hope the impact of the olpc will have a profound impact on the world but in ordered to do that you need to have a interface that is similar to the wrest of the world's Linux community's. Now that I have explained my point here is how to make one of the many standard and conventional interfaces of Linux work on the OLPC.

What is the Window maker interface? The window maker interface is a windows manager. A windows manager is exactly as it sounds. Window maker is not just a windows manager it also includes some other extra features. This particular window manager has the special capability of displaying information as icon system meters along the right side of the screen. Windows maker also allows for a extremely light which is extremely necessary for the olpc does not have much power to spare in the way of loading and displaying large amounts of data. The two other useful features windows maker specializes in are: large amounts of virtual desktops, and standard looking window. Sugar does not have a standard window interface. This means using Window Maker is a large improvement form Sugar if your used to a more standard laptop.

What you will need for the install of window maker interface:: A 1GB SD card or bigger.

Warning:::: Fallowing these steps will disable the word processor In sugar! If some one in the community can figure out how to install Abiword with out un-installing libabiword this problem will be fixed. This document can still be fallowed just look for the warning on exactly what commands to avoid to keep the sugar interface intact. If you are in need of a word processor that has no limitations like the one in sugar and are willing to take the risk of disabling a limited word processor for a standard unlimited one fallow all the fallowing steps.

First you have to get in to the sugar OLPC terminal activity. You should see a black and white text terminal you will need to use and learn the Linux / uinx / mac terminal during your use of the OLPC to get used to the new interface.

The lines of code typed into the terminal run programs known as commands you may recognize some of them as you endeavor to learn the Linux os that runs the Olpc

nano is your main text editor from the shell you will need to use it to change configurations in the OLPC Linux system.

 First edit /etc/yum.respo.d/olpc-ship2.respo and remove "firefox" out of the restricted packages list.  

Command ==>> nano /etc/yum.respo.d/olpc-ship2.respo

mkdir /mnt/ext

Insert your SD card into the bottom of the screen and run the fallowing command

mount /dev/mmcblkp1 /mnt/ext

   (Wiki Owners) Please insert a link on how to setup wifi manually and a description on how to make a small script that they can run at start up to automatically connect to wireless. 
  edit /etc/inittab and change olpc-dm form restart to once 

Command ===>> nano /etc/inittab

  The fallowing are a list of commands that are needed to be run in the terminal to setup the interface.
  yum upgrade 


  yum remove libabiword
  yum install abiword

  yum install firefox WindowMaker gcc make
  You will need Mplayer so get the source and extract it on your SD card then install the fallowing programs to make mplayer support alsa which runs the active cs sound card in the olpc. The next 3 commands show how to get and extract Mplayer

cd /mnt/ext


tar -xvf MPlayer-1.0rc2.tar.bz2

  yum install alsa-utils alsa-lib alsa-lib-devel alsa-tools
  Now that all the base packages for mplayer's building are ready we have to make mplayer and install it this will take a long time so run the fallowing command and sit back until they finish. 
 cd MPlayer-1.0rc2/
 make && make install
  After all this the last and final step to a final install  is to install the fallowing programs.
  yum install gnome-terminal

Now that you have all the soft where componets installed and setup it's time to test this new interface. First we have to shut down sugar. This is done by hitting Ctrl + Alt + Erase . The sugar interface should Dissapear. Login as root then run the fallowing command.

nano ~/.xinitrc

The editer will pop up. Put the fallowing lines in that file

  1. !/bin/bash


Now write the file and exit the editer.

Now to start the new interface.

type the fallowing command and hit enter.


The window maker interface should pop up and start running

Now right click any where on the desktop a menu should pop down. Click firefox and use a Real Web browser for the first time on your Olpc. .. More documentation on this interface will be created later.