Announcing the development of OLPC OS 13.2.1

James Cameron quozl at
Fri Jun 13 18:47:04 EDT 2014

I don't speak for OLPC, but I am working for them.

As we're not producing XO-1 laptops at the moment, I can't really
spend money on XO-1 work when there is XO-1.75 and XO-4 work to be
done.  The new camera is compatible with the XO-1, and it is the new
camera driving the release.

Any deployment wanting what Tony has asked for in a 12.1.1 can ask
OLPC for a quote, or get someone else to do it.  I recommend getting
someone else to do it.

Someone else has already made a customised 12.1.0, called HaitiOS,
albeit without the tools that OLPC recommended, and thus it cannot be

No, I would not sign images we did not build, but I would be happy
to take changes for a future release.

Regarding the 12.1.0 vs 13.2.0 debate that Adam keeps raising, the
underlying problem is more about management of expectations.  The
teachers and students were probably not involved in development,
didn't get an early chance to point out the regression, and so Adam
was burned.

I find 12.1.0 as slow as 13.2.0, so I can't recommend it for XO-1
unless Gnome is used instead of Sugar.

Some have said it was the fault of GTK3 migration, but I don't think
so, as 12.1.0 had GTK3.

I've seen a comparison table of activity startup time that was used to
support Adam's position.  I don't think it is useful, it was not peer
reviewed by developers, it didn't take into account caching effects,
and didn't measure the underlying problem, which was a lack of memory.

And that's what it is.  The problem is entirely a lack of memory.

Adding swap to 13.2.0 fixes all the problems for me.  There's probably
quite a few things that can be done to trim the memory usage further.
I just don't see anybody doing it.  Instead people have repackaged the
politically acceptable upstream version.

Any forward looking attempt to support XO-1 should start with the
Fedora 20 builds by Daniel Narvaez, identify the problems, and work on

Where the storage is insufficient, the build could be installed on
external SD card.  Making that work looks like a trivial technical
problem; rewriting a shell script.  It won't scale though, because of
the problems with the SD controller on the XO-1.

James Cameron

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