Sugar on a Stick

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About Sugar on a Stick (SoaS)


The goal of the Sugar on a Stick project is to give children access to *their* Sugar on any computer in their environment with just a USB key.

We are still in preAlpha on this project. It is not ready to use with children yet.

Creating a USB Stick

The basics of creating a Live, bootable USB are you download a '.iso' image. Then you use a USB creator program to copy it to a USB, create a space for users to store files on the USB (if required) and set it to be bootable.

In practice this means the first thing you need is a Live USB creator.

We are working with live USBs based on both Fedora and Ubuntu (these are different distributions of Linux), you can try either or both.

If you are helping us with testing, please be sure to use one of the Sugar .iso's from this page. Please keep notes on which you got and when. Please report bugs to and finally, please join the Moodle Class where we are coordinating testing.

This is still in testing, its not ready for production use yet.

Fedora based Sugar on a Stick from Windows

To create a Fedora based Sugar from a Windows machine: broken link??

Download that file to a windows machine and install it. (I couldn't get it to run in wine... --Walter 17:40, 3 December 2008 (UTC))

Next download current version of Sugar that we are testing for Sugar on a Stick:
  1. Plug in a 1GB or larger USB stick into your computer.
  2. Open "liveusb-creator.exe"
  3. Use "Browse" to select the iso file that you just downloaded.
  4. Set the Target Device to your USB device
  5. Move the slider to set some persistent storage (hint, set it high then it will tell you how much space there is and you can adjust it to the right point)
  6. Click "Create Live USB". It will take a few minutes.

How much persistent memory you set will depend on the size of the .iso and the size of your USB but make sure you have some so people can save files.


I tried to do this and was able to create the files on the stick, but when I try to book on a Toshiba Tecra M4 (which can boot from USB sticks) I get

SYSLINUX 3.72 2008-0925-25 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2008 H. Peter Unvin
Could not find kernel image: linux

Ubuntu based Sugar on a Stick

Using Sugar on a Stick

The trick is to set the BIOS to boot from USB. Unfortunately this is slightly different on each computer. Try Google on BIOS your computer model and explore the setup screen for your system.

If you have trouble try creating a "Boot Helper" CD using the .iso below. This will start the boot from the CD then read files from the USB.

You can also use the 'PLoP Boot Manager' to create a boot floppy for machines without the ability to boot from CD or USB, see

VirtualBox and Sugar on a Stick

At our pilot school for Sugar on a Stick the teachers has MacBooks. Our plan is to have teachers run Sugar in emulation mode on their personal Macbooks, while the students use the USB to access a variety of computers.

Instructions for using a preconfigured VirtualBox disk image with Sugar on a Stick Sugar on a Stick VirtualBox

Cloning Sugar on a Stick

The vision is that an adult will be able to create a Sugar on a Stick, add activities, set the language and the collaboration service and then "clone" the stick to create Sugar on a Stick for all the students in a class or a school.

Specs for Cloning Sugar on a Stick

Join the development effort

We are coordinating work on this project on Sugar Labs Moodle system. Please create an account and join the Sugar on a Stick Class.

Report Sugar on a Stick Bugs

Use the Sugar Trac system at to report bugs. Use the "SoaS" component.

Project Goals

  • Sugar on a Stick as 1 to 1 computing in an elementary school
  • Sugar on a Stick to empower middle and high school students to help test Sugar as Service Learning
  • Sugar on a Stick for conferences to let people try Sugar and collaborate with other conference participants

Sugar on a Stick ToDo List

Create an Easy Emulation for Boston School teachers macbooks - Install the latest version of Sugar on a Stick, pick an activity and test it Create a system for tracking activity testing Solicit USB stick donations from companies

See Also