Xubuntu on OLPC X-1

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Tue Jul 1 06:40:30 EDT 2014

Xubuntu does work on the XO-1 and XO-1.5, but it isn't easy.

I agree with Martin, a better path may be to customise OLPC OS using
our OS Builder, to remove Sugar and add XFCE.  It could probably be
made to look identical to Xubuntu, with some work.

My prior work on Ubuntu for the XO-1 and XO-1.5 in 2010, with a few
changes, was successful in getting Xubuntu desktop running on an XO-1
and XO-1.5.

Here is the method I used:

1.  select an Ubuntu Trusty 14.04 desktop system with at least 8GB
    RAM, and install the debootstrap package:

    sudo apt-get install debootstrap

2.  clone the trusty-minimal branch of my uxo repository:

    git clone --depth 1 --branch \
        trusty-minimal git://dev.laptop.org/users/quozl/uxo/.git uxo
    cd uxo

3.  run the mkuxo script as root:

    sudo ./mkuxo

    This will download the minimal packages, assemble an operating
    system, and put in the built/ directory a uxo-minimal.trusty.img

    This file is a disk image, ready for writing to an SD card or USB
    drive with minimum size 4GB, erasing what is there.

4.  write the disk image to an SD card or USB drive, and boot an
    XO-1.5 or XO-1 from it, (it must be unsecured),

5.  log in at the console with username olpc, no password,

6.  add a USB ethernet adapter, or manually configure the wireless

    sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
    sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid my-open-network
    sudo dhclient wlan0

7.  install the graphics drivers:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install \
        xserver-org \
        xinit \
        xterm \
        xserver-xorg-video-openchrome \

8.  install the Ubuntu standard and Xubuntu desktop packages:

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-standard xubuntu-desktop

9.  reboot

    sudo reboot

This would need further work before users would be happy with it.  In
particular it boots much slower than OLPC OS, and login takes a while.
The screensaver on XO-1.5 turns off video output, which causes the
image to degrade.  There's no network connection applet.

Installing onto the internal storage of the XO-1, instead of using an
SD card or USB drive, is probably possible, but I have not written
that script.

Installing Xubuntu is also very slow on an XO-1, with an SD card,
taking an hour or so.  Including the Xubuntu Desktop package in the
build might speed that up, but there are some bugs preventing that.

I hope that can get you or someone else started, or at least help you
assess the size and scope of the task.

Ask the teachers what parts of Xubuntu they want; the desktop, the
apps, the infrastructure, the security updates, or the name.  ;-)

On developer keys, use the collection stick on our Wiki and send me
the laptops.dat file.  Try just two laptops to start with, and I can
see if a key can be made for them.

James Cameron

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