Getting Started

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About Sugar

Sugar is a desktop environment that is an alternative to the ones typically used in Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X or other GNU/Linux operating systems. It is conceived as a platform upon which children learn with Sugar Activities. The platform provides mechanisms for collaboration, reflection, and exploration. Sugar Activities cover a broad range of applications: browsing, drawing, composing, writing, programming, etc. See this gallery of screenshots.

Introduction to the Sugar Interface describes multiple full-screen views: a Home view, from which Activities are launched; a Neighborhood view, where learners can connect to each other through a Jabber network; a Journal view, which can be used as a lab notebook; and the Activity view, where Sugar Activities are run.


Sugar Activities have no Save menu: everything is saved automatically. While the interface uses very little text, additional information is revealed when the user hovers over icons.

Sugar is Free Software. It is developed in Python and runs on a GNU/Linux Kernel, originally from the Fedora Project, and now from a variety of GNU/Linux distributions.

For an overview of the components composing a Sugar system see the Sugar System Stack.

Developers: Those interested in developing Sugar software should visit our developer documentation website.

Getting Sugar

This section aims to be an introductory walkthrough of some of the methods of installing Sugar covered on the pages Sugar on a Stick/Installation and Supported systems.

Hardware requirements

Before you download, you need to know if you can use the 64-bit version. If your computer says on the box or documentation that it is 64-bit, you may use the 64-bit download version of Sugar called "x86_64". If you have an Intel MacIntosh, you will need the 64-bit x86_64 version. It is fairly safe to say that PCs above Pentium 2 (commenced production end 1995) and meeting the specification below can run the "i686" version. Sticks made with the "i686" version may be more transferrable between different PCs.

Fedora developers reported these minimum requirements for the Fedora 17 distributions.

A 400 MHz or faster processor
At least 512 MB memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended for best performance.

However by Fedora 19 specifications have risen ( http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/19/html/Release_Notes/sect-Release_Notes-Welcome_to_Fedora_.html#hardware_overview ) to:

A 1GHz or faster processor
1GB System Memory - RAM

These higher specifications are probably not critical to Sugar on a Stick made by the Fedora Live USB Creator method. However the LiveCD may not boot on a PC with RAM lower than 768 MB, you may encounter an automated check which causes the boot to abort if insufficient memory is found. Sugar on a Stick/Boot #Troubleshooting #Low Memory, RAM, Hardware describes a workaround.

Lower memory machines may work, the XO-1 runs with 256 MB, but running Sugar from a USB stick in a PC, (x86), environment with 256 MB RAM will be sub-optimal.

You will need to ensure the computer you plan to use is capable of booting from CD or USB.

On older machines, you will probably need to make a change in the BIOS (see your computer's hardware documentation). Change Boot Order, so that Boot from CD or Boot from USB comes before Boot from Hard Drive. Many newer computers detect the USB device as a hard drive, see http://www.pendrivelinux.com/usb-bios-boot-options/

For SoaS the recommended minimum size of your USB flash drive is 2 GB, although a 1 GB drive will also work.

Sugar Live CD

The Sugar LiveCD contains a complete, functioning Sugar distribution and operating system on CD.

The Sugar LiveCD does not alter files already installed on your computer. It returns to its previous state when the LiveCD is ejected and the computer is rebooted. The Sugar LiveCD allows you to temporarily run Sugar; this allows you to explore Sugar and test how Sugar runs on your hardware. Your settings will not be saved between boots, but you can experiment with inserting a USB stick into the computer running the LiveCD, and reading from, and saving work to, the USB stick.

Produce your LiveCD by downloading the Sugar on a Stick .iso image from Sugar on a Stick/Downloads and burning it onto a blank CD.

Many computers have built in software which will convert and copy, "burn", an .iso image to a blank CD. Windows 7 contains a built-in Disk Image Burner http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsexperience/archive/2009/04/13/burn-iso-images-natively-in-windows-7.aspx or use a free utility, like ImgBurn.

To run Sugar, insert your LiveCD into your computer and reboot into Sugar.

Sugar on a Stick

Use Fedora Live USB Creator

The page Sugar on a Stick/Installation describes a number of methods of installing Sugar on a Stick. Here we walk through a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) method, suitable for use with a Windows computer. (Fedora Live USB Creator also works on any Fedora system.)

Have a look at the Fedora program you will use: https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/

Follow the instructions on Sugar on a Stick/Installation under the heading

2. Use Fedora Live USB Creator

On completion you will shutdown your PC. Restart the PC with the newly written USB stick in a USB port. See Sugar on a Stick/Boot for extra information.

This method is covered in this screenshot tutorial: Tutorials/Installation/Create a SoaS v7 Live USB in Windows and in this video of an earlier version of this process.

livecd-iso-to-disk

This is the first method described on the page Sugar on a Stick/Installation#with Microsoft Windows

This is a robust method of making a Sugar on a Stick because you are making your LiveUSB from within Sugar, with a LiveCD you have already tested, and all tools are already on the CD.

You do not have to be a paid up member of the Windows community. If you are running a Linux distribution, the livecd-iso-to-disk tool will work from the CD, on any PC which will launch the LiveCD.

You may need to spend a bit of time to become familiar with the Sugar environment using your LiveCD, see Getting Started/Explore. You need to become familiar with the Terminal Activity and how to gain administrative permissions, that is become root. The Help Activity has a chapter on the Terminal.

Futher background reading: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_and_use_Live_USB#Command_line_method:_Using_the_livecd-iso-to-disk_tool_.28Fedora_only.2C_non-graphical.2C_both_non-destructive_and_destructive_methods_available.29

For expert users, from a running LiveCD, Ctrl+Alt+F2 takes you to a console which could be used to run livecd-iso-to-disk.

To proceed with livecd-iso-to-disk, full instructions are here, Sugar on a Stick/Installation#with Microsoft Windows, in the method headed:

1. Burn a CD-ROM disc, boot from it, then run the script, livecd-iso-to-disk

with UNetbootin

It is possible to install Sugar on a Stick with UNetbootin.

There is no persistent storage with this installation method. Software updates, Activities, and documents are not saved between boots, it is recommended mainly for a quick demo of the Sugar Learning Environment.

See Sugar on a Stick/Installation Process

Sugar on a Virtual Machine

The advantage of a Virtual Machine (VM) is that, with the full VM documentation provided online, you follow that documentation to install the VM on your PC or Mac. VirtualBox® is a suitable choice of VM for a first attempt, see their website: https://www.virtualbox.org/

As ever, download the Sugar on a Stick .iso from Sugar on a Stick/Downloads

Open the VM, bind the .iso image to the VM and boot it.

All VMs have excellent documentation on how to boot an .iso and again it is covered on this page Sugar on a Stick/Installation#SoaS on VirtualBox and the method to make a Sugar on a Stick from your VM, is covered here Sugar on a Stick/Installation#with Microsoft Windows in Method 3, Launch a virtual machine with the Sugar on a Stick .iso file, then run the script, livecd-iso-to-disk

Sugar on Fedora

If you have, or create, a computer running the Fedora operating system, Sugar can be installed and launched as described here.

Please Explore Sugar

and take it out into your community

There are two further pages in the Getting Started set.

Once you are able to launch Sugar, see Getting Started/Explore.
If you can take Sugar out into your school or community, see Getting Started/Presentation for ideas on how to demonstrate it to others.


I need more information

For help, see Find help.

The Sugar Labs wiki is a collaboration site for Sugar Labs teams, the Sugar on a Stick project alone comprises over 75 pages or sub-pages. For additional information, you might look at Sugar on a Stick/Project sitemap

There is an introductory overview of The Sugar Learning Platform at http://www.sugarlabs.org/. You can also reach this site from the navigation bar along the top of this page, by clicking the tab labeled "web" at the far left end.

Notice this set of pages also includes an overview sitemap.

Release notes

Release notes for Sugar 0.102 are available here.

Sugar platform release version cycle: | 0.82 | 0.84 | 0.86 | 0.88 | 0.90 | 0.92 | 0.94 | 0.96 | 0.98 | 0.100 | 0.102 | 0.104 |