One Laptop per Child

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The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created, which is independent of MIT.

The official project website is located at There is also a comprehensive description of the project in the Wikipedia.

The table of contents for this wiki can be found here.

Laptop Gallery

There is a more extensive image gallery here.

The hardware

The Green Machine prototype, styled by Design Continuum, was unveiled at WSIS, Tunisia by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Nicholas Negroponte.

Fuseproject has developed some recent prototypes: the Blue Machine and the Yellow Machine.

We have several groups looking at different human-power options, including a hand crank, a foot treadle, and a pully system. Our goal is a minimum of a 1:10 ratio of "cranking" to use, e.g., one minute of cranking give you ten minutes of use. Note that we've determined that built in cranks are less efficient and impractical; human powered systems are best done for ergonomic reasons in separate devices. We'll post details of the generation systems as they become available. In the meantime you can look at Freecharge portable charger for examples of how people are already doing human-powered generators.

The hardware specification for the first generation machine is pretty much set. There are many aspects in which this design is truly ground breaking and make this the first of a new class of systems, unlike any other "laptop" in the world.

The software

We are committed to the principle of Open Source for this project. Please refer to our manifesto: OLPC on open source software.

Developing software for this machine is very straight forward, though there are development issues you should be aware of. Our partner in software development is Red Hat. We have begun an OLPC software task list. Please help us refine this list.

Discussion of Instant Messaging Challenges lays a framework for thinking about the different challenges facing the use of instant messaging applications as they exist today on the $100 laptop. Those issues will need to be overcome if instant messaging is to be usable within the environments in which the $100 laptop will be deployed.

Unfortunately, this discussion ignores the fact that IM is already included in the Basic OLPC Software Set. It is also extremely desktop-centric and ignores other models such as European SMS cellular services.

Discussion of eBook feature set is a page in which traditional and nontraditional features are discussed both in abstract and in relation to the different eBook readers out there.

Wiki as an ebook reader is where we discuss the suitability of wiki as an ebook distribution medium, and why it would help solve some of the other challenges that the $100 laptop is trying to address.

Educational content

OLPC is based on constructivist theories of learning pioneered by Seymour Papert and later Alan Kay, as well as the principles expressed in Nicholas Negroponte's book 'Being Digital'. Some background on our approach can be gleaned from David Cavallo's essay, "Models for growth—towards fundamental change in learning environments"

Launch plans

The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of "one laptop per child." Discussions are ongoing with China, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, and Thailand. In addition, a modest allocation of machines will be used to seed developer communities in a number of other countries. A commercial version of the machine will be explored in parallel.

See Category: Countries] for a list of pages for countries that have OLPC groups.

Pictures from the Country Task Force Meeting

Getting involved

There is a page in this wiki dedicated to Getting involved in OLPC, an OLPC Idea Pool page, an IRC channel (, #OLPC), mailing lists for generic OLPC discussions not specific to any Linux distribution, and a Jobs at OLPC page.

There is a Fedora Project for OLPC, where you can get the Fedora software for the OLPC hardware and join Fedora OLPC related mailing lists.

We have had significant quantities of prototype electronics built for people who need early access to the hardware for device driver, power management, wireless, distribution and UI work. The beginnings of notes on using the OLPC developer boards contain information that may be useful to those working on this early hardware. Please get involved in the Developers Program if you have the time, energy and ability to help.

Also, we are doing a OLPC Google Summer of Code.

Help us translate the OLPC website into your native language; please start from either the POT or XLIFF template. We have translations in Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Finnish, French, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Lao, Nepali, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Telugu, Thai, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese.


The official FAQ is on the project website; a more extensive collection of questions (and answers) is here: OLPC FAQ. Please feel free to pose additional questions here: Ask OLPC a Question. There is also a collection of OLPC myths.

A separate page has been created for the History of OLPC to collect information about the genesis of the project.