Sugar on a Stick

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Revision as of 09:45, 22 February 2009 by Marcopg (talk | contribs) (Removing note about Simon blog. I posted mail about making sure to keep this link updated. Also removing the note about OLPC images since this is a SoaS specific page.)
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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. At the time of this writing, the latest Fedora images are the recommended version to use if you want something that is the most stable.

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

You will need to download current version of Sugar that we are testing for Sugar on a Stick:


From Windows

To create a Fedora based Sugar from a Windows machine:

Download that file to a windows machine and install it.

  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.

From Linux

You can use the shell script

Ubuntu based Sugar on a Stick

Ubuntu based Sugar on a Stick from Windows

(Note that these instructions work on Fedora as well, and also can be run from any Linux distribution or Windows)

  1. Download the stock ubuntu-8.10-desktop-i386.iso
  2. Download UNetbootin for Windows (or Linux) and run the application
  3. Supply the Ubuntu 8.10 desktop ISO file in the "Diskimage" option, select your target USB drive, and press "OK" to make an Ubuntu Live USB
  4. Add the file sugar.squashfs to the directory casper/ on the USB 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 have 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 - <-- Mick is working on this
 * Create a boot helper CD that lets Macs boot from the stick
 * 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
 * Create a design for a CD sticker to put on boot helper CDs

See Also