Sunday, January 5, 2014

Using Sugar Learning Platform on Ubuntu

Sugar makes learning fun. There are many activities that encourage children to develop critical thinking skills. The Sugar user interface was developed for One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project.

In this blog post, I'll share instructions to setup Sugar as alternative desktop environment on Ubuntu. Perhaps schools will adopt this setup to provide different desktop environment for students of various ages groups. At home, parents can share the home computer with their children.

Installing the Sugar Environment

These instructions were prepared on Ubuntu gnu/Linux 13.04 operating system. Please read this wiki page for further instructions.

# Download the sweets installer shell script 
$ wget

# Add executable bit to the script
$ chmod +x

# Run the scripts with sudo program. 
$ sudo ./ 

# Check the status of 'sweet-distribution' program.
$ sweets-distribution status

Selected repository:

Packages to sync:           
   (import GPG keys)

Available repositories:

-- Hint: Use "sync" command to synchronize packages

# Select 'Factory' as default distrubution channel.
$ sudo sweets-distribution select Factory

# Download the package descriptions. 
$ sudo sweets-distribution sync 

# Now install all the packages using apt-get package manager.
$ sudo apt-get install sweets-desktop

# Test the deployment by launching Sugar emulator.
$ sweets-sugar-emulator

Unfortunately there aren't many Sugar activities packaged for Ubuntu. Let's start with installing browse activity. Download browser activity and save to your ~/Documents folder or external flash drive. To install open the downloaded .xo file with Journal activity in the Sugar emulator.

You can now use the browse to download and install more activities from You can learn more about installing activities by reading the Sugar manual.

That's all. Now you can select Sugar at the graphical login screen. Do share your experience using Sugar Learning Platform.

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