Sugar is a different desktop environment to what is normally used in Microsoft Windows, Apple's OS X or other Linux operating systems. It is conceived as a tool to allow kids to learn interactively. The first thing that a child sees, therefore, is not a hard disk or a trash can — it’s the other kids in the “neighborhood.” Programs and Applications are called Activities, many of which allow for collaboration between users who are connected to each other by Wifi or through a Jabber network. Sugar developers are encouraged to write activities with collaborative elements that are automatically enabled.
Sugar is developed in Python and runs on Linux Kernel 2.6.22 and the Fedora 7 base environment.
You can explore the Sugar interface in the Getting Started guide.
Connecting to the Internet
Connecting to the Internet is something that somewhat falls between the cracks of Sugar and the computer it's running on.
On the XO laptop, there are three ways to connect to the Internet:
- Wireless access point (WiFi hotspot);
- “School Server” mesh network; or
- “simple” mesh network, which lets you collaborate directly with other XOs running Sugar.
From a conventional laptop running Sugar, connecting through an access point works. (Mesh support is becoming available on more machines.) Depending upon which Jabber server you are connected to, you'll see different collections of "neighbors" in the Neighborhood View.
Read the Connecting to the Internet page for detailed instructions.