Development Team/Resources

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Please note
See this developer documentation website for the sugar-build development environment.

Are you looking for documentation on how to create Sugar Activities?

Regular X applications
Non-Python Sugar Activities
(Etoys, Simcity, Mono, etc.)
Sugar shell
(desktop window, panel, Journal)
Python Sugar Activities
Sugar toolkit (Python-only)
Datastore service
Presence service
Matchbox window manager
(We are in the process of switching to Metacity)
GNOME-ish Linux desktop
X11, HAL, D-Bus, NetworkManager, GConf, Telepathy, etc

Sugar is built on top of the GNU/Linux desktop: GTK, X11, D-Bus, Network Manager, Gconf, Telepthay, etc. We use the Matchbox window manager (but are in the process of switching to Metacity). Sugar provides a data-storage service and a presence service that are accessed through D-Bus, thus Sugar Activities can be coded in any language. The majority are written in Python, which takes advantage of binding in the Sugar-Toolkit. The Sugar shell manages the desktop and the Journal.


PyGTK developers will find a collection of Tutorials available, from very simple Hello World projects to an in-depth description of the development of Block Party.

Pygame developers will likely want to start with:

Etoys/Smalltalk developers will want to start with [olpc:Smalltalk_Development_on_XO|Smalltalk Development on XO]].

Other developers will want to read about Sugarizing non-Python applications.


You can also run the pydoc script on an XO in order to have browseable pydoc documentation locally. To do this, open a Terminal activity and run:

 pydoc -p 8080

then open a Web Browser activity and go to the url:


to view the documentation. This approach works best with Python-coded libraries which have spent some time on their docstrings (and generally requires that you know English, as most docstrings are written in English).

Beginner's tools

Link to Andrew's course in the Overview chapter of the Extending Sugar section of the FLOSS manual for Sugar (

  1. The Byte of Python (
  2. How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python, 2nd edition (
  3. Python for Fun (
  4. Python Bibliotheca (
  5. Dive into Python (
  6. Hands-on Python Tutorial (
  7. Snake Wrangling for Kids (
  8. PyGame (scattered throughout the site) (

Please feel free to add other suggested resources to the ones already there and to add some feedback, e.g., good for beginners/experts, etc.


The OLPC:Developers/FAQ is large enough to merit its own page in the Developer's manual.


As with most Open Source software projects, we have difficulties with documentation. We are very interested in finding people interested in documenting the system. If you are too shy about your coding skills to write code, helping us document the code-base would be an amazing and valuable contribution.