Getting Started

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About Sugar

Sugar is a constructionist learning 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

  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • 64-bit Processor
  • 1 GB System Memory (RAM)
  • The Sugar .iso file from Sugar on a Stick/Downloads
  • 1 GB USB Drive (2 GB Recommended) or a Compact Disk (any)
  • A compatible USB or CD port (any)
  • USB Boot allowed on the BIOS (older PCs)

If your system requirements fall below those mentioned here, or you would like to check for alternatives, see Detailed Hardware Requirements

Installing Sugar

Sugar can be installed as an Operating System installed on a Hard Drive, Live CD, or a USB Drive. Alternatively it supports almost all Debian-based and RHEL based Linux Operating Systems, and can be natively installed as a Desktop Environment. Jump to #Sugar Live CD, #Sugar on a Stick or as #Sugar on a Virtual_Machine

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. In Windows 8 from the File Manager, right click the .iso file and select 'Burn disc image' from the context menu, or use a free utility, like ImgBurn.

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

Sugar on a Stick

Sugar on a Stick (aka SOAS) is the USB implementation of Sugar for its portability and efficiency. There are many methods to create a SOAS. The downloaded sugar .iso from Sugar on a Stick/Downloads is then flashed (a bootable copying process) to a USB. For people who like GUI, there are Fedora Media Writer (Linux/Windows), UNetBootin (Linux, Mac, Windows), Rufus (Windows), etc. For command line interfaces, see livecd-iso-to-disk on Sugar on a Stick/Installation

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:

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

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

See, the Activity Help provided online.

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 an overview of the developing SoaS see Sugar on a Stick/Project sitemap.

Find The Sugar Learning Platform Homepage at

Release notes

Release notes for Sugar 0.112 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 | 0.106 | 0.108 | 0.110 | 0.112 |