XS Installing Software 0.4

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Note: This page covers the installation procedures for OLPC XS 0.4 and earlier. From 0.5 onwards, the installation and upgrade schemes are different, please see XS_Installing_Software.

This page describes how to obtain a copy of the XS school server software, load it onto media, and install it onto a system. A more complete description of the software repositories, configuration information, and testing instructions are also available.

Downloading the System Image

You can obtain the latest image from http://xs-dev.laptop.org/xs/:

wget http://xs-dev.laptop.org/xs/OLPC_XS_LATEST.iso

This can be copied onto a CD or DVD using your favorite software.

It may also be copied onto a USB key, using the livecd-tools provided by Fedora 7:

livecd-iso-to-disk OLPC_XS_LATEST.iso /dev/sdb1

where /dev/sdb1 represents the USB key being copied onto.

There is a git repository for livecd-tools if you need a different version of the script, or are on a different linux distro.

Using an XO to create an installer USB key

You can use an XO laptop to create an installer key. First, you will need to install some necessary tools on the XO, then download the image, then transfer it to a USB key inserted in the laptop:

sudo yum install livecd-tools
wget http://xs-dev.laptop.org/xs/OLPC_XS_LATEST.iso
sudo livecd-iso-to-disk OLPC_XS_LATEST.iso /dev/sda1

Installing the Software

Please read the release notes for the version you are installing.

The install from a CD or USB key will eventually be automatic upon booting. While the install is currently mostly automated (not interactive), it is not performed automatically upon boot.

  1. Boot from the USB Key or CD-ROM -- Getting an older system to boot from a USB key can be difficult, but most will do it.
  2. Select "Run from Image" at the initial boot screen.
  3. Note: for most images, the installer will start automatically and proceed to reformat your disk after a few questions. There is currently no option to partition the drive. We're tracking progress on this at https://dev.laptop.org/ticket/7814
  4. You will be prompted for the keyboard type, the time zone, and a root password
  5. If the disk in the system is new, you may be prompted to OK its formatting.
  6. When it has finished installing, you will be prompted to reboot. Remove the CD-ROM or USB key after power-down, but before the boot process begins.

You should now have a school server!

More info on how to configure your hardware to boot from USB.


The default server setup is to connect to the Internet on the first wired ethernet network interface, using IPv4 DHCP. Laptops connect to the server over the wireless mesh using one or more Active Antenna, connected through USB interfaces. Optional second (and additional) ethernet interfaces are configured by default to provide an internal LAN within the school. Traditional WiFi access points, if used, should be located on this internal LAN. See XS Configuration Management for details.

To enable external IPv6 you will have to configure the global address of the machine and setup an IPv6 tunnel.

Installing additional software

If you wish to install packages that aren't part of the default school server distribution, you should first try using yum. The stable and testing school server repositories include all packages included in Fedora, even if they aren't installed by default. For third party software you should follow their installation procedure for Fedora 7 or for the XS Server specifically. For example, to install Moodle, follow these instructions: http://docs.moodle.org/en/OLPC_XS_installation#Install_Moodle_from_the_OLPC_XS_Image


Upgrading a server is done using the yum package interface provided by Fedora.

Over the Internet

If you have an Internet connection, you can upgrade from the default servers at OLPC, or your own mirrors of them. This is done using yum:

sudo yum -y upgrade

From a CD or USB key

If you do not have an Internet connection (or wish to minimize its use), you can obtain a CD or USB key for upgrading an existing system.

More instructions coming soon. Feel free to contribute

See also