Content bundles

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Sugar supports content bundles, a distributable archive of content to be made available under Sugar.


The most popular use for content bundles is to provide an easy way for deployers to pre-install content (e.g. textbooks) on all the Sugar installations in a deployment. The content is either provided as HTML documents and images, or an HTML index to other media is provided.

Another option here would be for deployers to create an activity that provides a browseable index to the content being distributed. However, technically, this is a major step up in complexity. Content bundles have simplicity on their side, and basic HTML is a widespread skill. Python is not.

So, as Sugar does not provide a better answer for the frequently asked deployer question "how can I ship a load of textbooks on all these Sugar installations?", content bundles have actually become rather popular in the field.

Creating a content bundle

Currently, the "launcher page" for your content bundle must be a HTML document.

In a new directory for the files to be included in the bundle:

  1. Create an index.html file that acts as the front page of your content, or that provides an index to the content you wish to make available
  2. Add all the content to the directory structure (i.e. the things you link to from index.html and any resources that they require)
  3. Create a library subdirectory and place a file there

Now zip up the directory structure from one level up, and rename the zip file to have a .xol extension. Content bundle complete!

If you were to examine the contents of the zip file for a content bundle named Dictionary, you would now see the following directory structure:

Dictionary/                     (directory)
Dictionary/index.html           (index page)
Dictionary/page1.html           (content linked from index)
Dictionary/page2.html           (content linked from index)
Dictionary/grammar.png          (an image resource shown in page1)
Dictionary/library/             (directory)
Dictionary/library/icon.svg     (icon image)
Dictionary/library/ (detailed below) specification

The most complex part of creating a content bundle is creating a metadata file that gives Sugar some basic information about your content (title, etc). This is done in a .ini style format, in a file that must be placed at location library/ inside your content bundle.

On the first line, place the section name which must be:


The remaining lines are used as key-value pairs, in the format:

 key = value

The available keys, some of which are required, are:

name (required)
The (localized) name of your content bundle.
global_name (required)
This is the unique content bundle identifier. It's as if you were to write a domain name backwards, perhaps with more specific information at the end. Think of it as something like this:
  • If your email address is, then you could use com.somemailhost.yourname.YourContent.
  • You could set up a web page on a free hosting service with information about your content, and use a name derived from its URL. For example, if you create a page at for your content, then com.geocities.www.xotumusica is a reasonable global_name.
  • If nothing else is available, even Activity Page Title is probably a reasonable global_name, provided that you create the 'Your Activity Page Title' page. Remember, global_names should be unique, so you should double check that the 'Your Activity Page Title' page doesn't already exist (and then create it) before using this as your global_name.
Tech talk: The name should conform to the D-Bus spec - in particular, hyphens are not allowed. It is recommended that Java package naming conventions are used when chosing bundle identifiers, to ensure uniqueness. The reversed domain name part is supposed to be rooted in some actual DNS-rooted namespace. You don't need to own this domain; you just need to have a reasonable claim on some unique name at that domain.
library_version (required)
The version is a single positive integer that refers to the version of the collection. Larger numbers are considered "newer".
host_version (required)
The host version is a single positive integer that refers to the version of Sugar which the collection is compatible with. For now, the version is 1. Do not use a different value.
icon (required)
The filename of the icon within the 'library' directory of your content bundle. SVG is the recommended format, but PNG and JPEG will work as well.
This field names the license used for the content bundle. The contents of this field should conform to the same guidelines as the License: field of an RPM package; consult the Fedora Licensing Guidelines for more information. A 'license' field naming an entry or entries in the "Good Licenses" table for Content Licenses at Fedora's Licensing list is required for any content distributed by OLPC.
This is the ISO code for the language of the collection, in lowercase, followed by an underscore, and then its localization information (also represented in ISO code). For example, US-localized English is represented as en_US. UK-localized English, for example, would be represented as en_UK.
It is possible to indicate language but not localization information. An example would be:
locale = es
It is also possible to indicate multiple languages and/or locales. An example would be:
locale = en_US;en_UK;es_PE;es_AR;
Note that values are separated by semi-colons, and that the final value must end with a semi-colon as well.
For a list of ISO 639 language codes, see For a list of ISO country codes, see
This refers to the start page of your content bundle. The default is index.html.


Collections tend to rely much more heavily on text than code, and the usual way to localize content is to make a separate bundle for each language. Indicate the language of your collection in the locale field of the file.