Persistent developer key firmware

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Persistent developer key firmware disables the security system of an OLPC XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 or XO-4 laptop. Install the firmware if you are unable to obtain a developer key. This is especially relevant to laptops sold to Uruguay and Argentina, but also works with all other OLPC XO laptops.


  • a USB drive with at least 4 MB free space,
  • an internet connection,
  • a charged battery in the XO laptop,
  • external power for the XO laptop,
  • about ten minutes.


  • create a new folder named boot on your USB drive,
  • in the table below, select your XO laptop model and download the corresponding file
model version download
XO-1 q2p01
XO-1.5 q3p01
XO-1.75 q4p01
XO-4 q7p01
  • if you are doing this for an OLPC XO-1 with possibly old firmware, rename the file to, (because the recognition of the zero suffix was added in a later release),
  • save the file to your USB drive in the folder named boot, (do not expand the file, it must remain as,
  • safely remove the USB drive,
  • shutdown and turn off your XO laptop,
  • make sure the battery is in place and locked,
  • make sure the power cord and adapter are plugged in, the battery indicator must be on,
  • insert the USB drive into the XO laptop,
  • hold down the X game key while pressing and releasing the power button,
  • wait for the message asking you to release the game keys, and then release the X game key,
  • wait for update messages to be displayed,
  • wait for the XO laptop to reboot.


If a USB drive is ignored by the XO:

  • check that the USB drive has a folder named boot,
  • check that the boot folder has a file,
  • check that the USB drive has a partition table type of "DOS MBR" rather than "GPT", see also supported combinations,
  • try a different USB drive,
  • try a different USB port,
  • check that the firmware actually needs upgrading; the USB drive will seem to be ignored if the version on the drive is equal to or earlier than the version on the laptop.

If the XO is faulty, firmware upgrade may not begin:

  • if the display does not light up, or the XO icon does not appear, see fix clock for upgrading firmware using a serial adapter.

Getting Help

You may write to if you have problems with these steps.