Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's Next?

I was able to make two SD cards boot Xubuntu on the XO yesterday. My good friend Paul Flint always says that there are two answers to all Unix questions:
  1. It's a dash, dash something or other, look it up in the man page.
  2. It's a permissions problem, I'll fix it later.
This turned out to be to be the second one. In copying everything from the SD card to /opt, files that needed to be owned by the olpc user became owned by root. I could have resolved this by using the -p switch with cp, but instead I used tar. Here is what I did from a root prompt:
  • cd /media/OLPCRoot
  • tar czvf /opt/XO_Xubuntu_OLPCRoot.tgz *
Now when I want to create a new Xubuntu SD card, after partitioning and formating the card, I:
  • cd /media/OLPCRoot
  • tar xzvf /opt/XO_Xubuntu_OLPCRoot.tgz
A Few Questions Before Moving On...

I am more than ready to get back into developing Python curriculum materials and learning reStructuredText. The following questions remain to be answered at a later time:
  1. Is 0.82.1 the Sugar version we want to run on the XOs?
  2. Given how immature Sugar still is, can new Activities easily be written that will run on 0.82.1 and the latest version of Sugar?
These questions reflect the problem I've always had resolving the contradiction between two opposing goals: direct contribution to the development of the project (which usually means running the latest version of the software), and enough stability to be able to deliver a usable platform to our student users (which usually doesn't work well at all with the latest version of the software).

I'll have to come back to this in a later post, as teaching duties now call me away...

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