From Fedora Project Wiki

Fedora Sugar Session


Sebastian Dziallas is the founder of Fedora's Education SIG and was part of a team working on OLPC's operating system for the G1G1 program in December 2008. He currently coordinates logistics and support for local deployments with OLPC machines and is the engineering manager for Sugar on a Stick, ultimately accountable to the Sugar Labs Board for all technical work on the project, including the recruitment and training of developers and testers. He is graduating from high school in Germany in June 2010.


How much time, effort and resources does it take to go from prototype to production in your current IT paradigm? Would you like to reduce that time while cutting costs via The Open Source Way? This session will use Sugar, the highly acclaimed learning platform as seen on the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) laptops, as a case study; in just one year, Sugar went from radically innovative code prototype to something in classroom production use, reliably deployable on RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), and sustainable by the part-time, after-school efforts of a single high school student. The secret is leveraging open source communities, and Sugar Labs' Sebastian Dziallas will show you how.

We will cover the various tools (all open source) and processes used to build a thriving community around Sugar, and give recipes for both the technical and social deployment of these practices on your own projects. No specific technical skills beyond basic familiarity with Linux are required; the use of specific software tools such as git and bodhi will be discussed from a process/practice perspective, and self-teaching resources for those wishing to learn the specifics of deployment and usage will be provided at the end. Attendees with a system administration background or prior experience developing code within open source communities will find knowledge of IRC, wikis, version control, etc. to be helpful. It is suggested that attendees spend 30 minutes before the session skimming the section of Teaching Open Source's Textbook that is of the most interest to them.

You will leave the session with a game plan for leveraging the power of community for one of your current projects - within your organization, outside it, or both - a list of self-teaching resources for the various software collaboration tools you'll need to know, and a round of introductions to existing open source community upstreams and the people involved in building them.

General Point

This is the power of community and The Open Source Way. How much time/effort/resources would it have taken to get to this level of deployability for a radical software experiment under *your* (big company's) current IT paradigm?


  • history: Greg DeK started the effort to get Sugar into Fedora (ref: OLPC relationship)
    • Sugar got into Fedora, became accessible for people not having XOs
  • about a year ago, I started maintaining Sugar on a Stick, based on Fedora
    • started talking to folks at conference, got involved quickly
  • {work description goes here}
  • Sugar became actually deployable
    • successful v1 launch in June {press coverages go here}
    • same for v2 launch in December
    • more examples; successful deployments (Berlin & Boston)
  • is now even available on RHEL, the enterprise solution
    • you can have Sugar on your rock-solid systems
  • all of this happened in one year, pushed by an 18 year old high school student who was 16 at that time
  • what projects do you have that you'd like to test and make more deployable?
  • evaluate on the power of remixing, of different targets
  • skills I had to learn in order to get this to happen (and how to learn them)
    • packaging
    • build system
    • spins process
    • feature process (roadmaps & stuff)
    • how to engage with the community (culture of asking for feedback, accepting patches, etc)
    • bug reporting and issue tracking
    • version control
    • wiki
    • documentation
    • IRC