The XO-1.5 software plan.
Benjamin M. Schwartz
bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Sat May 16 12:41:29 EDT 2009
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Chris Ball wrote:
> We have some good news: OLPC has decided to base its software release
> for the new XO-1.5 laptop on Fedora 11. Unlike previous releases, we
> plan to use a full Fedora desktop build, booting into Sugar but giving
> users the option to switch into a standard GNOME install instead.
> (This will mostly be useful for older kids in high school.)
> I'm particularly happy about this plan because it will allow us to
> catch up with the awesome work present in the Sugar community's most
> recent release, Sugar 0.84, as well as merging the latest Fedora work
> and including GNOME into the mix for the first time. The new machines
> will have 1GB of RAM and 4GB of flash, so we have enough room for both
> environments at once.
This raises an interesting question: should we still be using a compressed
filesystem? On the XO-1, an uncompressed FS was essentially not an
option. There would be almost no space left for users' files after the
uncompressed system files. Unfortunately, this causes tremendous
slowdowns all over the system, as it causes reads from flash to (a) be
CPU-limited, and (b) compete with the rest of the system for CPU time.
Writes are even worse.
On the 1.5, we will have more space (so less need for compression), but
more system files, and also more CPU to handle it. I think we should
remember to test the final images both with and without compression.
Of course, this equation gets still more complicated depending on whether
we have MTD or FTL flash. Choosing a filesystem will be an interesting
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