Platform Team/Guide/Sugar via Sweets

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This guide describes how to run Sugar using Sugar Packaging Management System, Sweets. See also introduction page and more detailed Usage guide.


Fedora specific instructions:

sudo yum install gnome-packagekit
Important notes for XO users:
Some XO images might mount /var/cache/yum to the tmpfs. With this limited cache capacity, it will be mostly impossible to install anything of large size from the Fedora repositories. To work around this limitation, become a root user and enter the umount /var/cache/yum command in the Terminal activity or a console. To persist this change for subsequent boots, remove the corresponding line from the /etc/fstab file.

Debian, Ubuntu (starting from 11.10), Trisquel (starting from 5.5), Mint (starting from 12) specific instructions:

sudo apt-get install gnome-packagekit

Ubuntu (before 11.10), Trisquel (before 5.5), Mint (before 12) specific instructions:

sudo apt-get install packagekit-gnome

Then, in all environments:


After installing PackageKit, you need to restart the DBus system bus. The easiest way is to just restart the machine. If PackageKit was already installed, you need to relogin from X session at least.

See also Supported platforms notes.

Installation logs & tests

What Sugar to launch

There are two types of Sugars that are accessible via Sweets:

  • sdk/sugar, for pristine Sugar;
  • dextrose/sugar, for Sugar based on Dextrose.

Both Sugars can be used in the same way. This guide uses dextrose/sugar.


To launch recent stable Sugar in emulator mode, type in Terminal activity or in any other terminal:

sweets dextrose/sugar:emulator

To make it possible to have additional dependencies involved, e.g., to run Browse activity, use -S command-line argument:

sweets -S dextrose/sugar:emulator

To run a particular, but not the latest, e.g., 0.88 version:

sweets dextrose/sugar:emulator = 0.88

To get information about what exact versions are provided, use status command with -v argument:

sweets status -v dextrose/sugar

Running sugar from X session

To start Sugar in the session mode, i.e., not from Xephyr, it will be useful to add a new X session. Place sweets invocation into your ~/.xsession file:

sweets sdk/sugar

and create a /usr/share/xsessions/sweets.desktop desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]

After getting a login screen, Sweets session should be present in the sessions list.


To upgrade Sweets itself, type in Terminal activity, or any other terminal:

sweets upgrade

To update information about new Sugar versions that come via Sweets, use -R command-line argument with any sweets launch variant, e.g., with status command:

sweets status -R dextrose/sugar

Supported distributions

The list of GNU/Linux distributions where Sugar sweets has been tested.

If there are problems with the following distributions or you need to run Sugar in another distribution, let us know. For new distributions, there are major requirements:

  • PackageKit needs to be supported;
  • Human help is needed to populate appropriate package names databases and for testing new sweets.


  • Wheezy
  • Polkit authentication doesn't work with xdm display manager, use gdm3, at least, instead.
  • Suggested dependencies, i.e., -S sweets command argument, don't work for now.


  • Oneiric (11.10)




Getting involved

  • Submit your bug report or feature request.
  • Subscribe to the sugar-devel mailing list and email with the subject prefixed with [SWEETS].
  • Ask your question on IRC channels, #sugar (not logged) or #sugar-newbies (logged).