Sugar on a Stick

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What is Sugar on a Stick?

Sugar on a Stick is a Fedora® Spin operating system featuring the award-winning Sugar Learning Platform.

Sugar on a Stick will run on

  • any 64-bit Notebook, Laptop, or Desktop computer, with a minimum of 1GB RAM, that can run Linux, Windows or macOS, using a USB thumbdrive or stick, as a Live USB,
  • a 32-bit computer with the TOAST version of Sugar (Trisquel on a Sugar Toast). See Trisquel On A Sugar Toast.
  • a Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, using a microSD card, or;
  • any computer as a virtual machine.

You can use Sugar on a Stick to demo Sugar almost anywhere without disturbing the contents of the computer you use, and if people like what they see, you can install Sugar on a Stick to their hard drives or other sticks from the demo stick.

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x86_64 (64-bit)

Download Mirabell.png armhfp Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, see How to install.

Fedora and the Infinity design logo are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc.

What's new in Sugar on a Stick?

Known bugs

Sugar on a Stick installation instructions

MS Windows


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USB flash drive.jpg
  1. Prepare: Download the Fedora Live USB Creator from FedoraHosted.

  2. Download the latest Sugar on a Stick .iso file.

  3. Load: Insert a USB flash drive (or SD Card) with 2 GB or more of free space into your computer and launch Fedora Live USB Creator to create a Sugar-on-a-Stick bootable image.
    Note: Be sure to set the persistent storage slider to a non-zero value.

  4. Boot: Insert the USB stick into a USB port on your computer. Set the option to "boot from USB" in your computer's BIOS setup, and then start up the computer.

Detailed installation instructions for Windows and booting instructions are available. There is also a guide to exploring Sugar.



Download Mirabell.png

USB flash drive.jpg

  1. Download the latest Sugar on a Stick .iso file.

  2. Prepare: (with root user permissions at a terminal or console command line)
    • Create a mount point directory: mkdir /run/soas
    • Mount the .iso file to make it accessible as a disk: mount /path/to/downloaded.iso /run/soas/
      (Where /path/to/downloaded.iso is the filesystem path, or fully specified name, of the downloaded .iso file.)
      This is the source for the installation, and must remain mounted until the installation is complete.
    • Insert a USB stick of 2 GB or greater capacity into your computer.
    • With root user permissions at a terminal or console command line, use the command sudo df -Th or sudo blkid to get the USB device node name.
    • (Items in angle brackets, such as <MyAccount> are descriptive placeholders.)
       You should see something like the following:
      [<user>@<system> <working directory>]$ sudo df -Th
      Filesystem     Type      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
      devtmpfs       devtmpfs   16G     0   16G   0% /dev
      tmpfs          tmpfs      16G   33M   16G   1% /dev/shm
      tmpfs          tmpfs      16G  1.8M   16G   1% /run
      tmpfs          tmpfs      16G     0   16G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
      /dev/sda1      ext4      123G   17G  100G  15% /
      tmpfs          tmpfs      16G   80K   16G   1% /tmp
      tmpfs          tmpfs     3.2G   10M  3.2G   1% /run/user/1000
      /dev/sdb1      vfat      233G   90G  143G  39% /run/media/<MyAccount>/<filesystem label>
      /dev/loop0     iso9660   942M  942M     0 100% /run/soas
      (The /run/media/<MyAccount>/ path is the standard mount point for removable media.
      /media/<MyMountPoint> is common on other operating systems.)
      [<user>@<system> <working directory>]$ sudo blkid
      /dev/sda1: LABEL="Fedora30" UUID="dddf4ae0-e1fd-43c3-bacc-91acbafb3a34" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="000b2340-03"
      /dev/sdb1: LABEL_FATBOOT="Fat" LABEL="Fat" UUID="D082-05E1" TYPE="vfat" PARTLABEL="Fat" PARTUUID="53132329-808c-4a44-adf6-e98ad17546ff"
      /dev/loop0: UUID="2019-04-26-02-18-05-00" LABEL="Fedora-SoaS-Live-30-1-2" TYPE="iso9660" PTUUID="37f2045d" PTTYPE="dos"
      (Additional disk drive partitions may be listed on your computer.)
      The mount point (Mounted on), Filesystem, Size, and LABEL should help you identify what you want.
    • Unmount the USB device filesystem:
      umount /run/media/<MyAccount>/<MyUSBdiscMountPoint>
      (The /run/media/<MyAccount>/ path is the standard mount point. Other operating systems may use /media/<MyMountPoint>.)
    • (You should have the isomd5sum package installed so that the following installation script can verify the download.)

  3. Load: Execute the following installation command, as the root user, in one command line with many options:
    /run/soas/LiveOS/livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr --overlay-size-mb 500 --home-size-mb 500 --unencrypted-home /path/to/downloaded.iso /dev/sd?1
    The '?' in the final parameter represents the target USB device scsi drive node, such as sdb1 or sdc1, etc., and /path/to/downloaded.iso is the location and name of the .iso file.
    The operating system will occupy ~960 MB, and the overlay and home size arguments, 500 and 500, were selected to fit in a 2 GB device. These may be adjusted depending on your preferences and device capacity (see LiveOS image). On a 4 GB device, one might use 1000 and 1600 for the size arguments.
     The installation transcript should look something like the following:
    [<user>@<system> <working directory>]$ sudo /run/soas/LiveOS/livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr --overlay-size-mb 500 --home-size-mb 500 --unencrypted-home /<path to>/Fedora-SoaS-Live-x86_64-30-1.2.iso /dev/sdc1
    Verifying image...
    /<path to>/Fedora-SoaS-Live-x86_64-30-1.2.iso:   bac65eaf45ad370f6e9ddf793f436e33
    Fragment sums: 82358a8de12fab19be3e83c22431837827fbe4b8be6d9be46695f853676f
    Fragment count: 20
    Supported ISO: no
    Press [Esc] to abort check.
    Checking: 100.0%
    The media check is complete, the result is: PASS.
    It is OK to use this media.
    Copying LiveOS image to target device...
        887,312,384 100%  379.28MB/s    0:00:02 (xfr#1, to-chk=0/1)
    Syncing filesystem writes to disc.
        Please wait, this may take a while...
    Setting up /EFI/BOOT
    Updating boot config files.
    Initializing persistent overlay...
    500+0 records in
    500+0 records out
    524288000 bytes (524 MB, 500 MiB) copied, 0.354372 s, 1.5 GB/s
    Initializing persistent /home
    500+0 records in
    500+0 records out
    524288000 bytes (524 MB, 500 MiB) copied, 0.346354 s, 1.5 GB/s
    Formatting unencrypted home.img
    mke2fs 1.44.6 (5-Mar-2019)
    Creating filesystem with 512000 1k blocks and 128016 inodes
    Filesystem UUID: b32a4987-627e-4131-a863-7f6c9bcc2178
    Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
    	8193, 24577, 40961, 57345, 73729, 204801, 221185, 401409
    Allocating group tables: done                            
    Writing inode tables: done                            
    Creating journal (8192 blocks): done
    Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done 
    tune2fs 1.44.6 (5-Mar-2019)
    Setting maximal mount count to -1
    Setting interval between checks to 0 seconds
    Installing boot loader...
    Target device is now set up with a Live image!

  4. Boot: Insert the USB stick into a bootable USB port on your computer. Set the option to "boot from USB" in your computer's BIOS setup, and then start up the computer.

  • To create more Sugar Sticks on other 2 GB or greater USB or SD devices, while running Sugar on a Stick, one may run the Terminal Activity, and execute this command as the root user:
    livecd-iso-to-disk --reset-mbr --overlay-size-mb 500 --home-size-mb 500 --delete-home --unencrypted-home /run/initramfs/livedev /dev/sd?1
Replace /dev/sd?1 with a new device node for the second USB/SD device that you want to load with Sugar on a Stick.

Detailed installation instructions for GNU/Linux and booting instructions are available. There is also a guide to exploring Sugar. GNU/Linux users may also want to install the Sugar packages on their favorite distro, apart from Sugar on a Stick.

Apple Mac OS X


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USB flash drive.jpg

The instructions below are based on the Ubuntu Web page at <>.

  1. Prepare: These instructions are for 32-bit and 64-bit processors.

  2. Download the latest Sugar on a Stick .iso file.

  3. Load:
    Here is a simple way to load a bootable USB on a Mac.
    1. Enter the Terminal: /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
    2. Type diskutil list. You should see all the disk drives you have inserted into your computer.
    3. Insert the disk drive to which you want to write Sugar on a Stick.
    4. Type diskutil list again. You should see that your USB drive has been added to the list. If not, wait a while and repeat.
    5. Type hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o <Sugar on a Stick image file>.img <Sugar on a Stick image file> to convert the image into a bootable format.
    6. Type sudo diskutil unmountDisk <device name> to unmount the disk (it will not be ejected).
    7. Type sudo dd if=<Sugar on a Stick image file>.img.dmg of=<device name> bs=1m. sudo will ask for your password, and then dd will start writing the disk file.
    8. When dd finishes writing the disk file, type sudo diskutil eject <device name>.
  4. Boot: Insert the USB stick into a USB port on your computer, then reboot and press and hold the Option key while rebooting. You should see a list of all the EFI-recognizable USB drives that can be bootstrapped. If Sugar on a Stick is not one such drive, it cannot be bootstrapped: you need rEFInd (a fork of rEFIt).

  • Have a MacBook? Consider these options:
Usb1.png MacBook Persistent SoaS v5 USB EFI Boot
Bootable CD of Trisquel 4.5 for MacBook Air
See other installation variations at Sugar Creation Kit
Apple.gif Burning a CD from an .iso file on a Mac

Alternative installation instructions for Mac OS X. Also, these older installation instructions and booting instructions may be consulted.
There is also a guide to exploring Sugar.

Advanced users

Do you have an OLPC XO?

  • Experiment with Updating XOs to the latest Sugar on a Stick release.

Some alternate installations

  • Once you download, and then burn or load a Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) .iso file, and boot it, the running Fedora 34 SoaS Live CD/USB may be used to install Fedora with Sugar to a hard disk or a 4 GB USB stick with the liveinst command.
- You start with a SoaS LiveOS image, and then load an uncompressed version onto the hard disk or USB stick.

Want to contribute to Sugar on a Stick?


You're in the right place! This page is a contributors portal to the project, and contains everything you need to get started in becoming part of the Sugar on a Stick community.

New contributors start here!

Welcome! We're excited that you want to help us bring the Sugar Learning Platform to children around the world. No prior experience with computers or educational technology is required - in fact, we actively encourage a diversity of backgrounds, ages, and perspectives. See the Joining Sugar on a Stick page for instructions on how to get started.

What can you do?

There are three main ways you can contribute to the Sugar on a Stick community. We work closely with our upstreams, Sugar Labs and the Fedora Project.

Get Activities on the Stick

We're always looking for help with all aspects of the Sugar on a Stick release process. Here are a few things you can do:


Get Sticks into Schools


Deployments all over the world need many different types of help as they work through the Sugar on a Stick deployment process - we need help building resources for all deployments to use, supporting those deployments, and helping new deployments start, as well as gathering stories and feedback from deployments so that we can make the next version of Sugar on a Stick even better.

Some things you can do to help:

  • "It's a wiki: Edit away!" is often said in open source communities. Almost nothing is set in stone and can't be undone. So if you've got ideas how to make instructions clearer and more accessible, just go for it!
  • We produce official documentation such as the Creation Kit or the Customization Guide. If you've an idea how to make them better, why don't you jump in and create a patch? Creating these nifty text files is simple - instructions live in the Documentation SOP.
  • Unofficial documentation for unsupported workarounds for installation and customization need to be edited, tested, and submitted for approval for official support. Check them out and leave comments and improvements; just jump in and edit the page.
  • Interested in starting a deployment or helping a specific one (with anything from pedagogical design to technical support to funding logistics)? Introduce yourself on the deployment lists for Sugar Labs and One Laptop Per Child and we'll get you connected with some teachers on the ground.
  • We're looking for some people to help us assemble tools for our support team to use. Email the Sugar on a Stick mailing list if you're interested.

Get Contributors

Contributors are the lifeblood of the Sugar on a Stick community - we work hard to bring a playful mindset of teaching, learning, and meaningful work to the children we aim to reach, and we aim to keep that mindset in our own work and community as well. Welcoming and teaching new contributors or all types, building the resources they need, and teaching them how to empower others in their turn is one of the most important things you can do; it is everyone's responsibility to help build our community, one person at a time.

Some things you can do:


What's happening?

Sugar on a Stick/Beta

Contributor stories

To find out what other contributors are doing, check out Planet Sugar Labs, where contributors to Sugar Labs and the Sugar on a Stick project aggregate their blogs. You can also add your own blog to the Planet.


Communication through the Sugar on a Stick mailing list has replaced regular meetings.

We once had weekly meetings on IRC - see Sugar on a Stick meetings for more information, including logs from past meetings.

Related work

While the projects listed below are not part of Sugar on a Stick, we watch them closely and try to work with them when possible (or at least we're trying to learn!)

  • For deployments lacking easy Internet access, one can turn a computer into a Sugar on a Stick Creation Station. The Sugar Creation Kit includes the materials you need to create Live USB sticks sticks and to install additional Activities, along with documentation and previous versions of Sugar on a Stick.
  • Older portable Sugar distributions based on other Linux distributions .
  • The undiscoverable is an unofficial FAQ for tips, tricks, and solutions to common problems that may otherwise be tricky to find. These are being considered for inclusion in the official SoaS documentation.

Previous versions and other subpages index

Earlier versions of Sugar on a Stick and other project pages can be reviewed at these pages: