Deployment FAQ

Revision as of 09:44, 22 February 2009 by Skierpage (talk | contribs) (What software should I use?: links)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

We're going to put a FAQ here, a la Support FAQ.

Please start by extracting questions and answers from the minutes linked to from the bottom of Deployment meetings. Insert your FAQ into the appropriate heading (or create a new heading) and ensure that you put your answers as briefly as possible, most likely linking off to another location (such as the Deployment Guide).


Where else can I learn about Deployments?

If you are planning a deployment, there are several useful resources available to you. Firstly the Deployment Guide will have some great information, the deprecated Change the World FAQ, information from other deployments may be available from the Deployments page. There are weekly Tuesday deployment meetings (at two different times) where you can talk to people in other deployments from all around the world for peer support and information. There is also a mailing list called grassroots and another one for support called Support Gang.

Also, check this FAQ regularly, as it is updated on a weekly basis based on the experiences from around the world. Ask quick questions anytime over Live Chat here: -- please give volunteers a few minutes to respond! You might also try to email volunteers for Support: Finally, volunteering is the best way to meet real people in the OLPC/Sugar deployment community! Please look over both:

Can I volunteer for a Deployment?

OLPC offers summer Internships in Peru and Uruguay -- if you are proficient in Spanish, please apply by March 8, 2009. There are also Deployments happening all around the world so get in contact with a project and volunteer :)

Software and technical details about the XO & XS

Do I need a schoolserver to deploy XO laptops?

The XO laptops do not require a schoolserver for small numbers, but once you get larger numbers a schoolserver may be necessary. The schoolserver also provides a lot of additional functionality that may be useful to you. More information on the schoolserver section of the deployment guide.

What software should I use?

As of February 2009, XO image 8.2.1 is the correct image to use for XO laptops. Please note, this is different and better than 8.2.0 (build 767). XS image 0.5.1 is the latest stable server image, which is Open Source and can be installed on any computer.

How do I unlock XOs?

Unlocking of a laptop turns off the security of the laptop and requires a developer key. It is only really needed for developer. Activating an XO is for when your XO comes deactivated and has to be activated before it can be used.

Can I make my own image for the XO?

A locked XO needs a "signed" image, and now you are able to sign your own image. For consistency and to reduce your support overheads, it is recommended you use the default released image from OLPC and then make modifications such as the timezone, power options, activities, etc. This means you are not left having to support your own build.

If you want to support your own build - TODO

How do I automate the imaging of large numbers of XO laptops?

There are several options:

  • NANDBlaster for doing multicast rollouts over the network


Can I just use the built-in mesh networking only for my deployment?

The builtin Mesh networking works well for collaboration between laptops directly, but only scales up to about 20 laptops before the communications start to have issues. To scale bigger than that you need a Jabber server to concentrate and scale. ejabberd comes with the School server and it is tested and works well. The Schoolserver can use either an Active Antennae or a typical Wireless Access Point for XO communications.

How can I network many XO laptops over a large area without an ethernet network?

You can use an Access Point functionality called WDS which means you can have multiple Access Points scattered around a school and provide sufficient network access through them all. A documented example is in the Niue OLPC deployment.

Support and Logistics

How do I support for my deployment?

There are a few support options available to you, and regardless of which options you choose, you should ensure that you build a local community of people skilled to provide local support.

  1. Self-support - there is a lot of documentation and communities around OLPC, so look around and help yourself to support your trial.
  2. Community support - Support Gang is a largely community run group who answer support questions. It is advisable that you get some of your technical people to join the Support Gang and then both use and contribute to the already immense knowledge base they have accumulated to support XO users and deployments. Then you'll be able to better support your trial through Support Gang. More information is on the Support Gang page.
  3. Commercial support - you can get commercial support from companies like OLPC Boston, and from consultants. Currently there is no single place to find this information, however please check out the OLPC Marketplace page which will continue to be updated.


Some deployments have created repair centres, staffed by volunteers to take care of repairs of the XOs. OLPC Additional laptops should be purchased as part of your deployment for spare parts as they are easy to disassemble and exchange parts. There is a list of repair centres, so please if you create your own repair centre, add it to the list. In particular the French, Dutch, Lima and Peru repair centres are useful to look at for example.


Where can I find content to deploy on the XO/XS?



What support can I give teachers?

Teachers need local support in terms of using and integrating the XO into their general education curriculum. It is worth looking at the Learning activities and also pointing them to the Sugar teacher community (Sugar Labs people to add content and links).