Sugar Labs/FAQ

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What is Sugar?

Sugar is an educational software platform built with the Python programming language and based on the principles of cognitive and social constructivism.

Who is doing Sugar development?

Sugar is a community project where all work is done by volunteers. You can get an idea of the people involved from the Development Team/Release/Modules page.

What makes Sugar different from other educational software platforms?

The Sugar interface, in its departure from the desktop metaphor for computing, is the first serious attempt to create a user interface that is based on both cognitive and social constructivism: learners should engage in authentic exploration and collaboration. It is based on three very simple principles about what makes us human: (1) everyone is a teacher and a learner; (2) humans by their nature are social beings; and (3) humans by their nature are expressive. These are the pillars of a user experience for learning.
Sugar also considers two aphorisms: (1) you learn through doing, so if you want more learning, you want more doing; and (2) love is a better master than duty—you want people to engage in things that are authentic to them, things that they love.
The presence of other people is inherent to the Sugar interface: collaboration is a first-order experience. Students and teachers engage in a dialog with each other, support each other, critique each other, and share ideas.
Sugar is also discoverable: it can accommodate a wide variety of users, with different levels of skill in terms of reading, language, and different levels of experience with computing. It is easy to approach, and yet it doesn't put an upper bound on personal expression; one can peel away layers and go deeper and deeper, with few restrictions.
Sugar is based on Python, an interpreted language, allowing the direct appropriation of ideas: in whatever realm the learner is exploring—music, browsing, reading, writing, programming, graphics, etc.—they are able to drill deeper; they are not going to hit a wall, since they can, at every level, engage in debugging both their personal expression and the very tools that they use for that expression.

Using Sugar

Who can use Sugar and how do they benefit?

Sugar is a free software project, freely available to anyone who wants to use it or improve upon it.
The Sugar platform was designed for young children (K–6), but it is finding applicability in a number of different venues where the simplicity of design maps is an enabler, e.g., mobile applications, the elderly, etc.
Why Sugar? Sugar will engage even the youngest learner in the use of computation as a powerful "thing to think with." They will quickly become proficient in using the computer as a tool to engage in authentic problem-solving. Sugar users develop skills that help them in all aspects of life.
  • Sugar comes with hundreds of tools for discovery through exploring, expressing, and sharing: browsing, writing, rich media, etc.
  • Sugar comes with a built-in collaboration system: peer-to-peer learning; always-on support; and single-click sharing.
  • Sugar comes with built-in tools for reflection; a built-in portfolio assessment tool that serves as a forum for discussion between children, their parents, and their teachers.
  • The Sugar learning platform is discoverable: it uses simple means to reach to complex ends with no upper bound on where you can reach.
  • Sugar is designed for local appropriation: it has built-in tools for making changes and improvements and a growing global community of support.
  • Sugar puts an emphasis on learning through doing and debugging: more engaged learners are to tackle authentic problems.
  • Sugar is available in a wide variety of forms: as part of GNU/Linux distributions; LiveUSB/CD; and in virtual machines or emulation.
There is a further summary of the Sugar benefits here.

How can I get online with the LiveUSB/CD, and what can I do then?

The LiveUSB device must be inserted into a USB port on your computer, the LiveCD must be in your CD-ROM or DVD drive, when you start your computer, and your BIOS settings should be set to first look for an operating system there on the USB or CDROM device. If the settings are okay, the LiveUSB/CD will boot.
After a little while, you will be prompted for a name and you will get to choose the colour of your avatar. This is a small X, like the arms and legs of a human, with an O as the head above the X. This is "you".
Wait a little longer, and you will see "yourself" in the middle of the screen. Just below "you", is your journal, where everything you do is recorded.
In the top left corner of the Frame is a circle of smaller circles. This is your Neighbourhood-circle. At the moment, only nearby wireless access points are visible as small coloured circles - more colour inside means better signal strength. Let your mouse pointer hover above a circle to see the name of the wireless network. A small padlock means you need to supply a username and password to access the network. Click the circle you would like to access. It should be a wireless network you know will grant you Internet access once you are connected. If the network is protected with a padlock, you will be prompted for a valid username and password at this point, so give these and click the OK-button. If everything is okay, you are now connected.
You should soon see many small avatars like your own in your neighbourhood. Hover your mouse pointer above them to see what they are called.
In the top left corner next to the Neighbourhood-circle, is your Friends-circle. You don't have any Sugar-friends at the moment, so this will be empty. Next to the Friends-circle is a circle with a single dot - that's right - it means you. Click the You-circle, and you will get back to you and your activities.
Surrounding your avatar on the Home screen are many activities, so click the one that looks like a cartoon talk bubble to start the Chat-activity or some other activity - like the Paint-activity or the Calculator-activity. After a little while, the new activity opens. In the top right corner of all activities is a small menu, which says "Share with:". Click this to unfold the options, and choose Neighbourhood by clicking on it.
Click the Neighbourhood-circle again, and you will notice that the activity is now visible to everyone in your neighbourhood. If you hover your mouse button over an activity in your neighbourhood, a small menu will unfold where you may choose to join the activity by selecting "Join" from the activity's menu. Remember, your neighbourhood is the entire world! People in other parts of the world may be working or sleeping when you start sharing your activities, so be patient - it might be many hours before anyone is available for a chat. Enjoy! :-)

Does Sugar run on {GNU/Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu, Suse, MAC OS, Windows, etc.}?

Please refer to the Supported systems page for an up-to-date list of supported systems.

Is there an image of the OS that can be run on a PC?

You can download a LiveUSB image at Sugar on a Stick and a LiveCD version of Sugar at, or run Sugar natively on a supported system. (The language can be set from the Sugar-control-panel or My Settings link on the avatar panel.)

Does Sugar run on an ASUS Eee PC (or other "ultra-mobile" or "mini" PCs)?

There is a thread on the mailing list about success stories with the Eee: Another pointer is: Many manufacturers are beginning to take an interest in supporting Sugar.

Is it possible to have mesh support with the LiveUSB/CD ?

Q: If I understand this correctly, mesh support means your wireless card functions as both an access point/router and a network node. In short, your wireless computer can pass along packages from nearby wireless computers and the other way round. Do you need special wireless cards for this, or is this a driver/software issue that could be fixed in the LiveCD, so that more people can experience mesh networks?

A: Yes, it will be possible to have mesh support with the LiveCD shortly, provided you have a suitable wireless card.
open80211s is an open-source implementation of the emerging IEEE 802.11s wireless mesh standard. It has been accepted in the mainline Linux kernel and is included in release 2.6.26. The resulting software will run on GNU/Linux on commodity PC hardware.
Open80211s is based on the mac80211 wireless stack and should run on any of the wireless cards that mac80211 supports. At present, September 2008, four families of drivers are supported or partially supported. The ath5k driver supports Atheros WLAN based chipsets, the b43 driver supports the 802.11 B/G family of wireless chips Broadcom produces, libertas_tf supports the Marvell 88W83886 USB device as found in the OLPC XO-1 laptop, and the zd1211rw driver covers a large proportion of USB-wireless devices on the consumer market as these are based on the ZyDAS ZD1211. Several months after the acquisition, Atheros rebranded the ZyDAS ZD1211 chip to AR5007UG.

Sugar Labs

What is Sugar Labs?

Sugar Labs, a non-profit foundation, serves as a support base and gathering place for the community of educators and software developers who want to extend the Sugar platform and who have been creating Sugar-compatible applications.

What is the mission of Sugar Labs?

The overarching mission of Sugar Labs is to support the Sugar platform through software development, and community outreach and support. The purpose of the Sugar platform is provide a software and content environment that enhances learning. Towards this end, Sugar is designed to facilitate learners to “explore, express, debug, and critique.”

What are the principles that guide Sugar Labs?

Sugar Labs subscribes to principle that learning thrives within a culture of freedom of expression, hence it has a natural affinity with the free software movement (Please see Principles page in this wiki for more details). The core Sugar platform has been developed under a GNU General Public License (GPL); individual activities may be under different licenses.

What is the relationship of Sugar Labs to One Laptop per Child?

Sugar was originally developed as the user interface (UI) for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) XO-1 laptop. Sugar Labs was established as an independent entity in order to facilitate the growth of Sugar beyond any single hardware platform. While Sugar Labs has a cooperative working relationship with OLPC, it is by no means an exclusive or proprietary relationship. Sugar Labs is not bound to any specific hardware platform or Linux distribution (Please see Supported systems).
Sugar Labs is the upstream community for the Sugar project. Sugar Labs welcomes a close working relationship with OLPC. Sugar Labs also welcomes cooperation with other laptop and computer manufacturers and software and content providers.
OLPC and Sugar Labs are not diverging, we are on the same page; we are both hoping to fund and support Sugar so that we can continue to provide the best learning experience for children. The Sugar Labs initiative is consistent with taking Sugar to the next level; this is not inconsistent with what OLPC is doing. Any help from outside or inside OLPC should help establish Sugar as a more stable and better product.

Who is upstream for Sugar?

Sugar Labs is the upstream for the Sugar project.

Who is Sugar Labs?

Sugar is a community project, so it is the sum of those of you who participate. Sugar Labs was started by some Sugar-community members: Walter Bender, Christoph Derndorfer, Bert Freudenberg, Marco Pesenti Gritti, Bernardo Innocenti, Aaron Kaplan, Simon Schampijer, and Tomeu Vizoso. We have rules of governance that have been vetted by a process of public discussion.

How do I get involved?

Please see the Getting Involved page in this wiki.

How do I learn more about Sugar Labs?

Please add new questions to the discussion page or send email to press at


Post questions here for the Activity Team.

About the Activity Team

Who is on the Activity Team?

See Activity Team/Contacts for a list of team members.

How can I get in contact with you?

Feel free to write messages on our talk pages, or just drop in on one of our meetings.

Activity Development questions

How can I create a Sugar Activity?

Documentation is available from Activity Team/Resources.

Where do I find information about implementing X in Sugar?

Check Activity Team/Resources for a comprehensive list of developer documentation, tutorials and support channels.

How do I get my activity to install an external dependency?

You don't! Activity bundles are supposed to be self-contained, and not depend on anything else other than the standard Sugar platform. If you need additional dependancies, you will need to include them within your activity bundle. If your additional dependancies are binary, please be aware Sugar can be run on different machine architectures.

I have a question about Git, or Gitorious.

See Activity Team/Git FAQ for a specific FAQ about Git and Gitorious.

How do I upload my new activity to the Activities Library?

The best guide is Activity Team/How_to_migrate_from_OLPC, since that's where activities are coming from. As the infrastructure stabilizes and we get more new activities, we will post a new page.

How do I get my activity in the hands of students?

The absolute best way to get your activity out into the world is to attend a deployment meeting and suggest it to the deployment representatives. They can test your activity and offer feedback, and will ultimately decide whether it ships within their deployment.
Another good way is to post and promote your activity on

How do I adopt an orphaned Activity, or become an Activity co-maintainer

If you want to take on a maintainer-ship role for an Activity, try making contact and emailing the current maintainer first, they may be busy with other projects, or genuinely missing in action. If you get no response, ask the Activity Team on the Sugar developers mail list, they will try to make a decision within seven days and make contact the Infrastructure Team to change ownership for resources like the bug tracker, git repository, ASLO.

Is there a Commits mailing list?


How do I get a trac component associated with my project?

File a ticket with the request. Please assign the ticket to the trac component, mark it as a task and don't forget to mention the name of your project and the default owner for the tickets.
Or use GitHub issues feature.

How do I analyze my activity's memory usage?

Please refer to these pages for assistance in understanding the memory usage patterns of activities and the shell and for detecting leaks: and

How does one bundle an activity?

Save the file in the top directory of your activity development tree. To make an activity bundle, run the following code:
python dist_xo
An output bundle will be saved in the dist/ subdirectory. See also Activity bundles specification.

How can I find out what version of Sugar I am running?

You can go into the Sugar Control Panel; it is listed on the about-computer panel (which accesses jarabe.config.version).
  1. From the Terminal, you can type:
    rpm -q sugar
  2. or you can:
  3. grep version jarabe/
  4. or:
  5. python -c "from jarabe import config; print config.version"

How do I know if my activity is running on an OLPC XO laptop?

You can test for the existence of '/etc/olpc-release':
  1. if os.path.exists('/etc/olpc-release'):
Or, check the in /sys/class/dmi/id for the 'product_name' and 'product_version':
  1. def get_hardware():
        """ Determine whether we are using XO-1, XO-1.5, or "unknown" hardware """
        if _get_dmi('product_name') != 'XO':
            return 'unknown'
        version = _get_dmi('product_version')
        if version == '1':
            return 'XO1'
        elif version == '1.5':
            return 'XO1.5'
            return 'unknown'
    def _get_dmi(node):
        path = os.path.join('/sys/class/dmi/id', node)
            return open(path).readline().strip()
            return None
Some activities have a file that explains further and supports later models.

How do I tell Sugar that my activity does not write any data to the Journal?

One of my activities is a game that does not produce any document in the journal. How do I inform Sugar?
You cannot do this; there was a way to do it, but it was removed.

How do I run Sugar in a way that matches the proportions of the OLPC XO?

Running the emulator with sugar-runner --resolution 832x624 or, on older versions, sugar-emulator -i 832x624 will give a close match to the XO screen proportions, i.e., the toolbar will be a close match.

How do I use debugging output and how do I set the debug level?

You need to import logging:

import logging
_logger = logging.getLogger('your-activity-name')

and then insert logging statements in your code:

_logger.debug('some debugging output')
_logger.error('some error output')

See for more details.

To set the level of the debugging output that appears in your log file, edit:


Typically, you will want to uncomment this line:

#export SUGAR_LOGGER_LEVEL=debug

by removing the leading #


How do I use the Gtk+ Inspector?

For Gtk+ 3.0 activities, an interactive inspector is available.

On Debian or Ubuntu distributions, install the libgtk-3-dev package;

sudo apt install libgtk-3-dev

Set the GTK_DEBUG environment variable to interactive before running an activity, like this;

cd Activities/HelloWorld.activity
GTK_DEBUG=interactive sugar-activity .

Or, request the feature from your activity, like this;


Because Sugar Gtk+ activities are full screen, use Alt+Tab or Alt+Shift+Tab to switch between the inspector and the activity.

It can help with debugging to set the name property of widgets using program-specific names, so that the widget tree shown by the inspector can be related to the widget tree in the source code.

See also


Please feel free to post questions here for the Deployment Team, and we will try to respond in a timely manner.

What questions do governmental officials ask?

Please see the questions below:

Governmental FAQ

Below are questions commonly asked by governmental officials about the OLPC and Sugar plans, with short answers here and links to longer discussions elsewhere. Please add questions and answers that you have encountered.
Remember, It's An Education Program, not a laptop program. XOs are part of the story, and Sugar on any other supported Linux is another.

Educational Benefits and Other Effects

What's the evidence for XOs and Sugar in education?

Early results have shown gains in academic achievement, personal and social growth, and educational methods. Several trials have shown extremely promising results for immigrants struggling with a new language, and for students with disabilities of several kinds. We have also seen that these results do not occur automatically. Improper deployment can result in poor outcomes, as with any technology. However, several deployments, including Ethiopia and Nepal have returned improvements that astonished participants and researchers.
Further gains are expected when a full range of Free digital learning materials becomes readily available. At this point, computers will cost less than printed textbooks in most countries, particularly when the next generation of lower-cost computers appears.
If you would like to see more specific measures, please ask us. We are in contact with many educational research organizations.

Do I have to buy XOs in order to use Sugar?

Not at all. This is an education project, not a laptop project. Sugar runs on a wide variety of other computers, and on a number of versions of Linux.
The choice of computers depends on your requirements. XOs have advantages where extreme low power is required, or ruggedness, or minimum cost. Other computers may be more appropriate in other situations, or for older students. If you have computers for all of your children now, you can put Linux and Sugar on them in several ways.
  • Install Sugar on your current Linux, if you have one
  • Dual boot with your current software, if you have Windows
  • Run Sugar in a Virtual Machine
  • Boot from LiveCD
  • Boot from Sugar on a Stick

OLPC and Partners

What is One Laptop Per Child?

Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

What is Sugar Labs?

Sugar Labs is the non-profit/NGO responsible for the development of the Sugar educational software platform.
Sugar is the core component of a worldwide effort to provide every child with equal opportunity for a quality education. Available in 25 languages, Sugar’s Activities are used every school day by almost one-million children in more than forty countries. Originally developed for the One Laptop per Child XO-1 netbook, Sugar runs on most computers. Sugar is free and open-source software.

How are OLPC and Sugar Labs related?

Sugar Labs is a spin-off of OLPC. They coordinate their work on XO hardware and Sugar software.

Which countries have one-to-one computer deployments?

What user groups work with XO and Sugar?

This is a partial list.
Are they official parts of OLPC?
No, they are groups of volunteers, sometimes associated with a school, university, or NGO.


What is the XO?

See XO: The Children's Machine.

Does the XO run Microsoft Windows?

Microsoft prepared a special version of Windows XP for the XO-1 (see OLPC:Windows), but has not marketed it.

Why not use Windows?

Windows imposes extra costs at every turn for upgrades and applications, and does not run the Sugar education software.
You may hear the argument that schoolchildren should use the tools that are the de facto standard in business and government offices. There are several objections to this theory, particularly as it applies to Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.
  • Linux, Sugar, and other Free Software comes with source code, so that more advanced students can learn from it and improve it. In particular, it can be adapted to any local language requirements without asking permission from a vendor.
  • It will be 6-12 years before children now in elementary school (grades 1-6) graduate from a secondary school, and either enter the workforce or go on to higher education. If you look at the software of 6-12 years ago, and compare it with what is in use today, you will see that this idea would not have worked well in the past, and is unlikely to work better in the future.
  • The only constant in the world today is change. Children need to learn to adapt, not learn to use only one kind of software.
  • We do not know what will be the de facto standard in business and government 6-12 years from now. Many countries are considering converting all of their operations to Free Software.
  • That isn't how we teach children anything else.

What does the XO cost?

Currently, the cost is $189 in quantity, starting at 10,000 units.

What else will we need to pay for?

OLPC provides
  • XOs
  • School servers
  • Sugar software
  • Creative-Commons licensed learning content
  • Some localization
OLPC does not provide
  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Teacher training
  • Curriculum planning
Open Learning Exchange, Earth Treasury, and other organizations can assist with these requirements.

Other Platform Options

What should I consider when evaluating computers for education?

The first question is, What do our students need? The answer to that question determines what weight to give the rest of the questions.
Children, especially poor children in areas lacking infrastructure, need computers that are
  • rugged
  • safe
  • secure
  • inexpensive
  • environmentally friendly
  • able to run on limited power
  • able to communicate in the absence of the Internet
  • fast enough
  • capacious enough
  • able to run the best education software
  • usable in sunlight
These are not the questions asked by prosperous buyers, who usually want the biggest and fastest computers they can afford. There are, of course, many computers with faster processors, more memory, and more storage than the XO, but no others designed specifically to meet the stringent requirements of children. On the other hand, older students probably should not have to use the very small XO keyboard.


Please feel free to post questions here for the Design Team, and we will try to respond in a timely manner.

Where are design proposals posted for review?

See Design Team/Proposals.


To ask the Development Team a new question, please post questions here.

Are there regular developer meetings on IRC?

Yes there are, every Thursday at 17:00 UTC on irc:// (Please see Development Team/Meetings for more information.)

Where can I find out more about being a Sugar Activity developer?

Visit our Activity Team page.

Where is the acitivities directory in sugar?

It's in $HOME

Where can I find out more about the Sugar GIT and the Sugar release process?

See our GIT FAQ and our Release team pages.


To ask the Documentation Team a new question, please post questions here.

What documentation is needed?

See OLPC Publications for a partial answer. This addresses primarily hardware and software documentation for students, teachers, system administrators, and developers, and the separate issue of localization. There are proposals for teacher training and textbooks, but little is available.

What resources are available for creating documents?

and other such locations.

How do I get involved?

See Sugar Labs/Getting Involved for general information. Beyond that, look at what is being done, and offer to write, edit, or test something.

Who is working on documentation?

See Documentation Team/Contacts.


To ask the Education Team a question, please post questions here.
  • The Education Team FAQ is currently empty.


Post questions here for the Infrastructure Team.

How to request syndication on Planet Sugar

If you think your blog might be of interest to the readers of,
send email to <planetmaster -AT- sugarlabs -DOT- org>, providing the following information:
  • Brief introduction of your blog (who's writing and what about).
  • URL of the Atom or RSS 2.0 feed to add.
  • Please ensure that your feed only includes articles relevant to Sugar, Sugar Activities or deployments using Sugar. Use tagging if necessary. Feeds publishing unrelated stories will be dropped.
  • Proposed name or title for the feed. For example, "Sugar in Japan".
  • Attach or link a suitable (content-appropriate) Hackergotchi icon of 100x100 pixels or less, possibly in PNG format with transparency.
If you do not receive a confirmation within 48 hours, ping.
Feeds will be added and removed from the planet at discretion of the Planet Masters.

Local Labs

Post questions here for the Local Labs team.

What would be the mission of a regional Sugar Lab? How would it differ from the global mission?

  • The overall mission of sugar labs has to remain the same in a regional sugar labs, the changes are more related to the way that local organizations and people interact with a regional sugar labs, the regional sugar labs must be a way to foster, and hardening the sugar labs overall mission.

What would regional Sugar Labs like/need from the global Sugar Labs community?

  • We can set up <your-region> as a regional support organization under Sugar Labs.
  • We can help provide you with infrastructure support such as a mailing list and a wiki.(personal mail addresses @region-
  • What sort of financial help are you looking at? Sugar Labs should be able to help with grant writing, etc.


To ask the Marketing Team a question, please post questions here.
  • The Marketing Team currently has no entries in their FAQ.

Math4 Project

To ask the Math4Team a question, please post questions here.

What is the goal of the project?

The goal is to...
  • ...create a complete collection of modular educational activities...
  • ...consisting exclusively of free software and free content...
  • ...each targeted at a defined learning objective as defined by the curriculum framework for 4th grade math as defined by the State of Massachusetts.

What is the goal of a [Math4] activity?

What is *crucial* is the notion that activities -- regardless of how they are built and how they teach -- must be
  • aligned to quantifiable learning objectives (see curriculum framework above)
  • modular (ergo SWAPPABLE)
  • measure mastery of the learning objective.

Who is the target recipient of the activities we create?

Charter schools, Homeschool Associations, poor rural schools -- i.e., underserved markets who are willing to try to use computers to teach kids in nontraditional ways.

Can I work on a Curriculum Topic even if someone has already signed up?

Yes. What we're trying to do is create a dynamic learning system that will teach not just the majority of children, but all children. That means we'll need more than one activity covering each of the points in the frame work. In fact we could need a minimum of 4 for each point on the framework before we'll have a comprehensive system to offer. Visit for info on why a minimum of 4.

I've never developed Open Source Software before. What is it like?

See this Welcome page for a short introduction.

Oversight Board


The mission of the oversight board is to ensure that the Sugar Labs community has clarity of purpose and the means to collaborate in achieving its goals. (See Sugar_Labs/Governance)

The Oversight Board

The current oversight board members are:


  • slobs AT - A private list for the Oversight Board members; all emails that do not ask to be private (or are not obviously intended to be private) will be forwarded to the publicly archived IAEP list.
  • ombudsman AT - A neutral party with whom anyone (member or non-member) may consult privately. The ombudsman will report to the Oversight Board and the community each month that a consultation occurs. Patrica Escauriza is our Ombudsman. Feel free to contact her in confidence regarding any issues you may have with the oversight board or the community.


Next meeting

  • Wednesday, 2020-10-29 at 20:00 UTC, (per agreed motion 2020-06, "meet every two weeks"),
  • on Jitsi

Agenda items

Current draft is published at (which will later become the minutes for the meeting).

Our agenda is typically negotiated as first item of business in the meeting. Add topics by either;

  • write to sugar-devel and slobs at lists dot sugarlabs dot org (the most transparent method), or;
  • write to slobs at lists dot sugarlabs dot org (a transparent method), or;
  • write to a member of the oversight board (a non-transparent method).
  • editing the wiki page for the agenda yourself (before the meeting).

Standing agenda items;

  • pending motions from e-mail,
  • reports from project representative (Conservancy liaison),
  • reports from Ombudsman,
  • reports from project teams, e.g. administrators of Google Code-in or Google Summer of Code,
  • discussion of goals,

Previous Meetings

Minutes from previous meeting can be found at Oversight Board/Minutes. Logs can be found at [1].


Board actions and decisions are found at Oversight Board/Decisions.

Additional roles within Sugar Labs

The Oversight Board is responsible for appointing delegates with executive functions. Any Sugar Labs member can be appointed by the board. Existing delegates include:

Former Board Members

We'd like to thank the follow former board members for their contributions:



Sugar on a Stick

Post questions here for the Sugar on a Stick project team.

What is it?

Sugar on a Stick is, in essence, a Sugar Labs project to design, distribute, and deploy the Sugar Learning Platform software on inexpensive USB and SD flash storage devices, which people can easily carry from home to school to library to clubhouse to boot or run on any computing device for seamless continuation of their learning Activities and collaborations.

Is it - learning games, homework help, search engines?

Sugar on a Stick provides a consistent, child friendly environment with learning games, software for music, graphics, text, and software creation, a calculator and physics modeling Activities, an Internet browser and chat programs, an electronic book reader, and a tool for teachers to select and package web-based content for students for offline exploration. Additional learning software is available for download in the Sugar Activity Library. The software on the portable memory device allows students to have the same learning tools at school and at home. The teacher can use it to assign homework, but it does not in itself provide homework help. The web browser can be used as a search engine.

What do I have to obtain to make it work?

The software can be run on must personal computer systems, but at this point, Sugar on a Stick in-school deployment is in Beta testing stage. After learning from its first pilot deployment at a school in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, we would welcome other pilot deployments, but this is still technology in its early stages. At this stage, one might need a technical person who can interface with the Sugar community to make it work. Re: Sugar on a Stick/TODO
You will also need at least a 2 GB stick for each student. If updates or large activities will be installed, however, a 4-GB or larger stick is recommended.

How much does each stick cost?

(Note that Sugar Labs does not sell hardware, software, or services.) Check your local computer store for prices. Right now, it's about $8 USD for a 2 GB stick. To deploy on a large scale, you will also need either very dedicated volunteers or a bulk copy device. We are using one from NeXcopy that retails for about $1200. You should also budget for some USB stick loss. See this page section for a commercial source of USB sticks or SD cards with Sugar on a Stick installed.

Can I try some of it out?

The full software package can be downloaded from Sugar on a Stick/Downloads. You can use this download to install Sugar on a Stick onto a USB flash memory drive and test it out.

Is it the whole Sugar Learning Platform?

Not entirely. You will need a computer to run Sugar on a Stick, and for school deployments, you will also want an administrator's computer for the School Server. We refer to the Sugar Learning Platform as platform because it is a complete software environment for learning. The server software is free, but also in a Beta testing phase. The School Server does not need to be high powered: a $500 to $1000 server hardware budget should be sufficient for a pilot program.
Current versions of the Sugar on a Stick software package have a basic set of learning software, and is designed to be customized by the learning team to provide the specific learning tools appropriate for a given setting.

Is it an effective learning tool?

Please see the first question on this FAQ, Government FAQ.

What answers can you provide to common questions about deployments?

Please see this FAQ list, Government FAQ, prepared for common questions from governmental officials.

What hardware is it known to work on and what are the known hardware-related bugs?

computer comments
OLPC-XO-1 Works (but doesn't support all XO features, such as power management, special keys)
Intel Classmate Works great on the Magellan version
HP Compaq 6715b Works great
Acer Aspire One Works great; no access to SD slot in sugar
Toshiba Satellite Works great; boots very quickly
IBM Thinkpad X60 Works great
IBM Thinkpad T43 Works great
IBM Thinkpad Transnote 2675 Boots from CD; no network, touchscreen, graphics pad, or sound
Eee PC 900A Works great
Dell Latitude 600 No network due to proprietary driver
Dell Latitude 610 Network with Intel Pro Wireless works
Dell Latitude 630 Wired and wireless networking works
EeePC1000HE No Wireless ; Wired works, use VMPlayer for wireless
Please add your results to the table above.

Do all the activities (including collaboration) work reliably on SoaS these days?

Collaboration on SoaS is as robust as collaboration anywhere. Sugar 0.88, 0.90, 0.92 (SoaS Mirabelle, Mango Lassi, & Coconut) have progressively improved on this front, although there remain collaboration issues with particular Activities, networks, and server versions.
There are some Network Manager issues that need to be worked out in general regarding Sugar on non-OLPC kernels, but these are issues of connectivity.
We saw some problems at FOSSVT with some laptops and netbooks accessing wireless, while others worked great.
As you pointed out development is going very quickly right now. As we take this out into the world we are finding and fixing bugs. Our main goal right now is to get volunteers to help us do this and keep track of what hardware is working.

Does SoaS allow for power-management to kick in on netbooks?

Yes, but currently not the special OLPC XO-1 features.

Are there networking or audio issues?

AFAIK, any audio problems were fixed in the Beta release. There is a discussion upstream about the best way to handle csound support in Fedora.
We had found some issues with connectivity with a small number of machines--this seems to be a Fedora issue, not a Sugar issue, and is being worked on upstream.

How do I set the keyboard map for a non-US keyboard?

Hover the pointer or right click the Learner iconLearner.svgin the Home view, and then click on the 'My Settings' item on the pop-up menu.
  • Sugar on a Stick uses by default the English (USA) keyboard layout.
    From the My Settings control panel you will see a 'Keyboard' control tool that will allow you to change the default keyboard layout.


To ask the BugSquad a question, please post questions here.

As a non-programmer/non-developer, how does one go about verifying bugs?

Please see the BugSquad/Triage Guide -- Erikos

If I'm running Ubuntu, where do I report Sugar bugs?

  • If you are running sugar-jhbuild, or the bug is in an activity which you downloaded as a .xo file, please report it in the Sugar Labs bug tracker.
--Morgs 18:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


To ask the Translation Team a question, please post questions here.


How do I find the Sugarlabs pootle projects?


I have a question that is not answered here - how do I contact you?

You can find us on IRC at irc:// We also have a mailing list to discuss localisation related stuff. You can subscribe to the list by visiting You can also #ask a question.
If you face a problem that is affecting the way in which you (or others) would normally work, please mail, stating the problems you are facing. The request will get logged in our Request Tracker installation.
You should use for things like
  • Forgotten passwords
  • Error messages in Pootle
  • Pootle being unresponsive
Requests like addition of new languages, addition of new projects, etc, follow the old workflow, and they should be done via Trac at
The Pootle developers also have a mailing list for Pootle discussion - you can subscribe and or search the archives at - however please post your questions to the SugarLabs/OLPC localization list above, as they may not be relevant to the larger Pootle community.

Things that you should initially try to resolve your problems

  • Log out, and log in again, with the language choice at log in time being set to "Default"
  • Avoiding searching or uploading for large files (e.g. Etoys). If you need to upload/merge a large file, mail

Where do I find a list of language teams and their administrators?

A current list of language teams, along with their administrators (if any) is available at olpc:Pootle#Sign-up.

There are so many projects. Which one do I start off with?

It depends on the decision of the language team you are a part of. We recommend that you translate at least Glucose, Fructose (and Terminology, to ensure consistency) before moving on to the other projects.

I don't understand the nomenclature of the projects. Could you explain it to me?

Here's a table for your reference:
Project Name Description String Frozen
Etoys The entire Etoys package (excluding the example projects) No
Fructose A set of core activities which follow the Sugarlabs release schedule. This is the bleeding edge, development version, which will be stabilized every six months No
Fructose 0.84 A set of core activities which follow the Sugarlabs release schedule. This is the 0.84 release Yes
Fructose 0.82 A set of core activities which follow the Sugarlabs release schedule. This is the 0.82 release Yes
Glucose The core Sugar libraries. This is the bleeding edge, development version, which will be stabilized every six months No
Glucose 0.84 The core Sugar libraries. This is the 0.84 release Yes
Glucose 0.82 The core Sugar libraries. This is the 0.82 release Yes
Honey Non fructose activities (do not follow any regular schedule) No
Terminology A set of common terms and phrases which occur in Sugar, useful for maintaining consistency and for defining a standard. Yes
OLPC Content Strings related to OLPC PR materials Yes
OLPC Software Packages specifically for the XO Sugar - GNOME desktop switching Yes

You can also refer to this page for more details.

What do you mean by "string frozen"?

First and most important is that "string freeze" is a restriction on developers and not translators. String freeze means developers need to stop changing UI strings so that translators can do their final work prior to release, in other words, string freeze is a start signal for translators to perform their final reviews and commits of PO files, not a stop signal, even the release date itself is not a stop signal for localization.
Second is that even after a release is made and declared final and stable, localizers can complete their work and a deployment team can make a customization stick for a deployment that includes the post-release localization work, so you will not "miss the boat" for providing a localized UI environment for your deployment if work on your language is not complete by the next release date. This is part of the beauty of separating the code (release) from the strings (PO/MO files).

Is it possible to edit more than one string at a time?

No. For on-line translations you can only edit one string at a time. Each project/language administrator has the power to enable off-line translations, but that needs to be coordinated and controlled; currently we lack the man-power (read administrators) to guarantee that workflow.

Can we use translation memories?


Can I translate off-line?

Depends. Initially, Pootle's ability to import PO files is not enabled, and it will be up to each administrator (language/project) to decide if it will be allowed, who will have said ability and set up the appropriate workflow.

How do I see/test/check my translations in action?

There are several methods to do that. See Translation_Team/Testing for the details.

I am translating for a deployment of OLPC XO laptops. What version should I translate?

As of this writing (Feb. 2010) you are most likely looking at deploying the 0.84 versions of Fructose / Glucose as the details of deploying the very latest version of Sugar on the XO have not yet been fully worked out (at least to a level that is stable enough for a live deployment), although there is ongoing work on that. Version 0.84 Fructose / Glucose strings will not be changing and the string freeze for those was a long time ago, so they are a stable target.

Can I see translations in another language?

Pootle can show you the translations in an third language while you translate. In order to see that, select the alternate language from your options page (once you have logged in).

How do I jump directly to the untranslated strings?

From the project page of your language (eg: Fructose for Spanish), click on the Show Editing Function, and for each file, you will get a link called View untranslated which would take you directly to the untranslated strings.

How do I integrate translations into a software release/build?

A language administrator must perform the Commit to VCS action through the Pootle user interface, it is on the Translate tab of Pootle for those users like admins that have the commit PO file privilege. Pootle is directly connected up to the git software repository (git). The language admin's action in Pootle triggers a commit in the software repository; the PO file for that language can be found in the /po directory of the git project's source code tree and after the commit of the PO file, you can see the evidence in the git commit log and in the date stamp of the PO file in the source tree.

Why are strings that were translated in Pootle not showing up in the releases/language packs?

Suggested strings will not appear in the committed PO file and will not be shown to users. Translations marked as "fuzzy" will be committed, but will not be built into activities or language packs; for these strings, as well as ones that have not been translated at all, users will see the English version. There are no functional consequences of partially completed PO files, but as you can imagine, it is not a pretty or desirable result to have mixed language UI strings.
For suggested strings to be incorporated in the translation, they must be accepted. Accepting or rejecting suggestions is done by language admins (or other localizers that may be granted the review privilege in a given language). It is generally part of the review process, which should take place before any commit, to clear up any pending suggestions.

How can I translate Pootle itself into my language?

Especially when working with less technical translators, having Pootle operate in their native language can be helpful. While Pootle supports many languages, some of the language targets for Sugar do not yet have Pootle translations. Previously Pootle used the "live" translations from the Pootle project in the Sugar Labs Pootle server, but this is no longer the case. All translations of Pootle should now be done at - if your language is not listed there, contact the Pootle developers on the translate-pootle mailing list and it can be added. Once the translation is substantially complete, contact us and the translated strings can be copied over to the Sugar Labs Pootle. In general, however, if your translation team is able to use Pootle in English or another supported language, it is better to concentrate on translating Fructose/Glucose/etc. first.


I can't translate! (or) I only get the "Suggest" button and not the "Submit" button

Several possibilities:
  1. Pootle account — by default, anonymous users aren't allowed to translate, so you need to register first.
  2. Pootle language — in order to to have 'access' to a given project you need to have a language in your user options that is associated to the project
  3. Pootle project — you must have the project in your list of projects in your user options in order to be considered as a non-anonymous translator
  4. Language+Project rights — although projects are relatively open (suffices to be registered to be able to translate) those rights are specified by the administrator. If all of the above are satisfied please ask your language administrator(s) or ask in the mailing list.


How do I add a project to be translated ?

If you are using the GIT services on, just file a ticket at under the component localization, mentioning the name of the GIT repository. If your project is hosted somewhere else, please file a ticket detailing how to access your project's version control setup, and we'll try to figure out a way how to best integrate your project's translation related files.

Basic steps for hosted projects:

  1. /po/ directory set up in top-level of git repo containing the .pot file produced by gettext.
  2. user:pootle granted commit priv to the repo
  3. Ticket opened in requesting hosting of project PO files in Pootle, please provide link to git repo.

How do I start a translation team for my language ?

File a ticket at with your name, email address, Pootle username (if you have already registered), language name and language code. We will setup the relevant accounts and permissions for you. You should file the ticket under the component localization.

Do you have any document/guide for a language coordinator ?

The people have an excellent guide about Pootle - you can read it online at

Ask a question

Have a question that is not answered above? Add it below, subscribe and send an email to, or try the irc:// IRC channel.

Faster navigation
  • I would thank a way to go directly to the "need to translated" parts. In this moment I need to "travel" (clicking and clicking) trough all the "translated" parts until I reach the "not translated". I know: easy to say... hard to do. Just letting you know (for the records). Javier Rodriguez, Lima. Peru 3 March 2008.
This is possible with Pootle (although in the past it has sometimes failed due to timeouts for very large projects like Etoys). From a project translation page (e.g. the Spanish terminology page), click on Mostrar Funciones de Edición (Show Editing Functions) and then you will have an option to Ver No Traducidas (Show Untranslated) which takes you directly to the parts that have not been translated (or have fuzzy translations). You can use the Regresar/Saltar buttons (Back/Skip) as well as the others next to those to go to the next untranslated item without having to page through parts that are translated. Note that if you use direct navigation to edit another entry, you will lose the extra restrictions embedded in the URL (translate.html?fuzzy=1&editing=1&blank=1) and the buttons will now just back/skip to the immediately preceding/following entries, whether translated or not. To recover the restriction, go back and re-click the Show Untranslated link or just add &fuzzy=1&blank=1 to the current URL (or just reload the page if those are already in the URL). --@alex 00:05, 18 April 2008 (EDT)


Post questions here for the Wiki Team.

How do I get in contact with a wiki administrator?

You can find a listing of administrators (sysops and bureaucrats) on Wiki Team/Contacts.