Revision as of 21:54, 10 May 2010 by FGrose (talk | contribs)

With VirtualBox® one can run Sugar on Microsoft Windows, Intel-based Apple Macintosh, or Linux host computers from within a virtual machine window.

The following instructions are intended for new Learners.

(See VirtualBox/Technical for some collected details and the Web site.)

Sugar disc images

Sugar on a Stick

These are instructions for using a copy of Sugar on a Stick, configured to run in a VirtualBox® virtual appliance (a virtual machine disc image ready to run in the VirtualBox host application).

Please be aware that this is still beta quality and not at all ready for production use. You might want to create your own VirtualBox disc image from another snapshot or iso disc file. Instructions to do so are located here, VirtualBox/Preparing a disk image.

Install VirtualBox

on OS X - the Apple Macintosh operating system

  1. Download VirtualBox for OS X from here,
  2. If you haven't done so yet, you should start the download of the Sugar on a Stick vdi zip file (above).
  3. Install it by opening the DMG.
  4. Follow the instructions in the window
    1. Double click VirtualBox.mpkg
    2. If you see a warning about running a program from the Internet, click OK to run it.
    3. Click continue until you see the license popup, click Agree.
    4. Choose location to install, probably something like Macintosh HD, then click Continue.
    5. Click Continue, then Install. Enter password, if required.
  5. Now you can run VirtualBox by opening the Applications folder and double clicking on the icon.
  6. Next Follow the instructions Setup a Virtual Machine for Sugar on a Stick
    You can watch a screencast video of the rest of the process on a Mac below in the Setup section (click the [show] link.)

on Microsoft Windows

Download from

on GNU/Linux

For Ubuntu, it is available in Synaptic Package Manager, once you add the the URI, distribution & components to your 3rd-party software sources or enter the following in your /etc/apt/sources.list.
deb <distribution> non-free
Install dkms, as well, so upgrades to your system will update the kernel modules.
(See the Talk:VirtualBox page for experimental installation variations.)

Setup a Virtual Machine for Sugar on a Stick

You can watch a screencast video of the process on a Mac here:
  1. In VirtualBox click New
  2. Click Next
  3. Enter a name "Sugar"
  4. Operating System: choose Linux
  5. Version: choose Fedora
  6. Click Next
  7. For memory leave 256 MB
  8. Click Next
  9. Virtual Hard Disk click Existing
  10. Click the little folder to the right of the selection box
    1. A new window pops up
    2. Click Add button in the toolbar
    3. Browse to the location where you extracted the .vdi disk image
    4. Click Open
    5. Click Select
  11. Click Next
  12. Click Finish
  13. Select Sugar on the left
  14. Click Start in the toolbar
  15. After a minute or two you should see the Sugar screen asking for you name
  16. Enter your name
  17. Click Done at the bottom of the window. You might have to scroll.
  18. From now on you can start VirtualBox and start the "Sugar" virtual machine


  • Activating the Frame might be a little difficult. The lower 2 corners are easiest and you may want to configure edge activation in the My Settings > Frame panel. With VirtualBox Guest Additions installed (see here), only the bottom edge and corners are available for Frame activation.
  • On Mac keyboards, you might wish to change the Virtual Box default key for switching the Sugar cursor to the normal one, as the default key (control right arrow on Mac keyboards) is trapped by Sugar. (Windows and Linux keyboards use Right Ctrl.) You may do this change in File/settings of the Virtual Box menu.