Archive for the 'ubuntu' Category

OLPC Give 1 Get 1 2008

One Laptop Per Child resumed the Give 1 Get 1 program on Monday, via Amazon, available in the USA and 30 countries in Europe. USA orders can be shipped overnight, so buyers get the XOs much faster than last year. You pay $399, get an XO, and help fund OLPC deployments in developing countries – see where the laptops from last year’s G1G1 went.

The XO rose quickly to #1 on Amazon’s “Bestsellers in Computers and PC Hardware” and is still there.

There are videos on OLPC’s Youtube channel, introducing the XO laptop, OLPC’s mission and how the laptops are used for education.

The XO laptop runs Sugar, a platform and user interface designed for learning. You can run Sugar on various GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora.

You can also run a conventional GNU/Linux distribution on the XO, either by installing onto the built-in NAND flash storage, or from a USB drive or SD card – including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. Amazon also lists Fedora 10 preinstalled on an SD card as a companion product to the XO (for preorder before F-10 is released). You do need a developer key, but then you can simply insert the SD card and boot Fedora without needing to install anything.

Microsoft also have a version of Windows XP for the XO, but this is not available for sale anywhere, as far as I can tell – so you’d need to be in one of two towns in Colombia to run it. “OLPC builds XOs with Linux. OLPC will continue to build XOs with Linux. OLPC has no plans to change this. None.

In addition to the comprehensive description on the Amazon listing, see OLPC News’s buyers guide for more information on buying the OLPC XO.

Ubuntu-ZA reapproved

As Nick Ali mentioned, the Ubuntu South Africa LoCoTeam went through the (now annual) review process with the LoCoCouncil and got reapproved.

As Nick says,

The yearly review gives LoCos a chance to take stock of how a LoCo is doing, what can be improved, and make plans for the future. The LoCo Council is here to make sure LoCos have the resources and help they need to support their areas.

I’m really energised by the increasing participation in ubuntu-za, and I’m looking forward to the coming year. Doing these reviews definitely helps put the focus on sustained activity.

Ubuntu South Africa release parties

Jonathan Carter already wrote about the Johannesburg release party. Here are his photos from that event.

I went to the Cape Town event which was held at Camps Bay High School’s tuXlab – an Ubuntu-powered school lab. We had about 30 people attending, which was awesome, considering that only a few signed up on the planning wiki page.

We distributed CDs, talked about hardware issues, and did several installs. I took some photos, and Reenen Laurie has posted his as well.

Thanks to:

  • Eleanor Lenders of Inkululeko for arranging the venue, posting signs, fetching pizza and going in search of balloons!
  • Rob Burger, the sysadmin of the CBHS tuXlab for spending the whole of Saturday upgrading machines to Intrepid so we could have some freshly installed machines to use – and for burning CDs.
  • Andy Rabagliati for organising the event and handling the complaints about bluetooth so well…
  • Everyone who attended! This community is about you!

It was great to have the event at a tuXlab, and it’s definitely worth holding our release parties at the same, or similar, tuXlabs in the future.

On that note, these school labs are largely supported by volunteers, so if you are available to help, please speak up on the ubuntu-za mailing list.

[ubuntu-za] Ubuntu 8.10 – the Intrepid Ibex is released!

The official release announcement is out – see if you aren’t on the ubuntu-announce list or didn’t see mail yet.

On behalf of Ubuntu-ZA, thanks to the developers behind this release – upstream, debian, ubuntu – you rock!

Thanks also to the many people involved in helping people to get Ubuntu, run it and fix problems. This is a distro for human beings, and we can all contribute to the end result.

Ubuntu-ZA is more than just a user community – because we do more than just use the software. This is the place to get involved, in whatever way you can. Here’s our 5 step plan to success!

1. Check out our website at This is a community site that anyone can edit and contribute to.

2. Join our mailing list: – you can keep up
to date with what’s happening in Ubuntu-ZA, find help, and get involved in Ubuntu-ZA projects.

3. Join Ubuntu-ZA by joining our team on Launchpad: Launchpad is Ubuntu’s infrastructure for support, bug tracking, translations, interfacing with upstream software, building packages from source, bzr repositories, source code mirror and many more things. If you want to contribute to Ubuntu, Launchpad is a key.

Our community team is up for review during November, and getting our members on launchpad is a great way to show that we are serious about being a local Ubuntu community. We’re up to 73 members on Launchpad, but there are 289 of us on the mailing list, so please join up!

4. Sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct: – this makes you an Ubuntero and is the next step on the journey to Ubuntu Membership.

5. Get involved! lists some great ways to contribute, whether technically or not. Our own page lists ways to get
involved locally too. Consistent involvement leads towards Ubuntu membership:

A further reminder about our release parties on Saturday: – come along and meet fellow Ubuntu enthusiasts, get a copy of Intrepid, bring your system to install – let’s celebrate the new release.

Ubuntu South Africa Release Parties

We have two confirmed release parties so far for Ubuntu 8.10 in South Africa: Cape Town and Johannesburg. Both are happening at schools equipped with tuXlabs – Ubuntu computer labs set up with donated/funded hardware.

Thanks to the Inkululeko people for arranging the venues!

Sugar/OLPC jabber server with Ubuntu Intrepid

Debian and Intrepid now have the required shared roster patches in ejabberd for Sugar presence and collaboration, so no more need to build from source!

This is great news for OLPC and Sugar deployments which want to roll their own infrastructure instead of using the XS school server – for for community jabber servers.

I’ve written up the configuration process at

Sugar on Ubuntu

Sugar, the learning platform and user interface originally developed for One Laptop Per Child, is better than ever in Ubuntu. However, we need your help in testing and making it work well!

The best place to start is the Sugar on Ubuntu page on the Sugar Labs wiki.


The Ubuntu Sugar Team, which I (cheer)lead, has finally synced Sugar 0.82 from Debian into Intrepid. There are probably a whole bunch of bugs to be discovered in the packaging and setup, so if you’re interested in Sugar, and running Intrepid, please install, test, file bugs, and we’ll get them sorted out ASAP before Intrepid releases. The Sugar Team’s TODO list is on our Packages page. If you want to get involved, contact me or show up in #ubuntu-sugarteam on freenode.

Launchpad now has a Sucrose project, representing the Sugar components as well as some of the packaged activities, which gives a nice overview of what makes up Sugar.

Thanks to Luke Faraone (FFM) and James Westby for the help!


I’ve updated Sugar and some of the packaged activities to the latest stable 0.82.x releases in the Sugar Team PPA. If you’re running Hardy this is the repository to use for the freshest Sugar experience this side of building from source!

I should have the rest of the activities updated in the next few days.

Join Ubuntu South Africa!

We’re now using Launchpad for membership of Ubuntu South Africa, so please join the team at – even if you’re on the mailing list. The Launchpad team will give us more visibility.

If you are new to Launchpad, you’ll get the following benefits from registering:

  • Being able to log bug reports and comment on them
  • Being able to ask support questions and provide answers
  • Being able to translate Ubuntu, and other open source projects
  • (many other things!)
  • And now… membership of Ubuntu-ZA!

Ubuwiki Live released to mark Software Freedom Day

David Robert Lewis, one of the ubuntu-za crowd, announced this today:

Ubuwiki Live, a digest of free content specially formatted for Ubuntu, has been released to mark Software Freedom Day. What is unique about the Internet bundle available from, is that it exists entirely within a self-contained XHTML file. The application is the result of work carried out by the Wiki on a Stick (WoaS) project in conjunction with Indlovu, a South African Intermediate Technology initiative. As the person responsible, I can say I am quite pleased with the result and hopefully similar such offerings will be on the way to enliven the Ubuntu experience. However,  I’ve probably destroyed Windows in the process and life is never going to be the same.

Download it at:

Bash tip: $CDPATH

I heard about bash’s $CDPATH recently and it is an awesome productivity tip. Enjoy!


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