Developers/Getting Started

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  english | Copy "{{subst:requesttranslation}}" to español HowTo [ID# 256293]  +/-  

This document attempts to guide you through the first steps towards using your new XO as a development platform, and to point you to resources for project ideas and programming APIs.

Request a developer key

If your XO laptop has security enabled, request your developer key so that it will be promptly available in the future should you ever want it, for example, to help improve development builds. (Why use a developer key? See our philosophy page.)

Communicate! (by mail, irc, etc.)

See Developers/Communication.

Find a project

The easiest way to find a project to work on is to "dance around the edges", looking at existing projects that people are working on, observing how development is carried out, learning from the development that other people are doing, and identifying significant bugs or missing features that aren't getting attention. Soon enough you'll find a number of ways to contribute. Here are some hints on how you might get started:

  • Communication: Watch our communication on IRC and on the mailing lists. Figure out what we're working on, what are our current challenges, watch how we solve specific issues and learn how that fix was made.
  • Testing: take our latest development software image, install it on your XO, look for bugs and issues. Report those issues as bugs, attempt to fix them, watch how they are solved by others and attempt to understand the solution and the processes used to get the solution shipped in our software.
  • Trac: is a gold-mine for interesting looking projects and unsolved bugs. It also contains many stale tickets which should be closed or reclassified. Looking for projects or starting a cleanup effort will probably result in you coming across something of interest.
  • Possibly stale, Projects and proposals and related pages list some interesting projects.

Report some bugs

You'll probably find some stuff that doesn't work right. Our Reporting bugs page tells how to let us know about it. If you're in a hard-core mood, our bug-reporting site is (we use the Trac bug-tracking tool), and most of our source code can be found at Have at it!

Have fun!

All work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy. Hook up with XO roadshows, contribute to a developer miniconference, write yourself a profile, and have yourself some fun. If you can think of something it would be great for us to have, go ahead and make it. One Laptop per Child relies on thriving local communities to succeed.