Are you programming on XO hardware today? Working on Sugar core or
activities? Porting Fedora or other distros to ARM?
As I write this, XO-1.75 B1 prototypes are being assembled 20 meters
away from me. These are engineering samples — some will go to drop
tests and mechanical and electrical torture tests. Luckier units will
go to the hands of passionate developers interested in helping us with XO-1.75.
To request one, please follow the instructions on the wiki:
We cannot guarantee every request will be satisfied –
unfortunately, we have a limited number of units and we may have to
turn some requests down.
These units will be early samples: expect hardware and software bugs,
and be prepared to report them and help us in the diagnosis and fixing
(it wouldn’t be fun otherwise!). We will be asking recipients to be
very proactive in reporting bugs and using the latest software for
them. And to remember that these machines are /on loan/: offer to pass
on your prototype if it is not being used.
It will be a fun 2011 — our goal is to have a new hardware platform
and OS: XO-1.75 running XO OS-11.3.0, and there is a lot to do between
now and the end of the year.
We’re hoping to hear from you!
The School Server is a key component of OLPC deployments — and one that was somewhat late to the stage. So I am pleased to report that there is a new and improved! version 0.6 available.
The main goal of this release is making installation and configuration easier and more reliable. It is an incremental update on the XS-0.5.x codebase, light on new features but strong on the “it just works” side. And very easy to upgrade for XS-0.5.x users.
What is a School Server, you ask? When you deploy XOs to a school, you want a server to connect them to the internet, serve content locally, provide backup and upgrade services, and more. You can find out more in our earlier story on it, or jump straight into the wikipage that explains it all.
This release brings:
- Easier installation. Mysterious ejabberd commands are gone, rejoice!
- Moodle and the XO authenticate transparently. Register, restart, click the ‘Local Schoolserver’ link in Browse. It just works.
- Better network scalability. Moodle can directly control the neighbourhood view which is controlled by ejabberd. Now traffic no longer swamps the network and XOs.
- Delegated security. You can use time-based security even with disconnected or partially connected School Servers.
- An XO can run as a School Server. Suitable for small schools or groups. This is still experimental, but is running pretty well.
- Want to know more? Read the release notes.
The work for our next release has already started, as people have been working ahead. More after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago, OLPC XS 0.5.1 was released with little fanfare. Everyone was busy — understandably so — and the announcement went unnoticed.
So perhaps it is time to go back and look at it in detail. The School Server is a Fedora-based distro that auto-installs and (mostly) auto configures itself into a server that complements with the XO laptop. Even if it is not obvious, the XO behaves much better when it is working on a network managed by a School Server. And in locations with limited or no Internet access, a School Server with a bounty of educational content makes a huge difference.
XS 0.5.x is a big leap forward from the earlier series. It upgrades the base OS from Fedora 7 to Fedora 9, streamlines instalation and configuration, and is a better platform to build upon. Ah, yes! It also has some cool new features.
So what does the XS do for your XOs?