Sugar Build 703 - Where Did Activities Go?


XO laptop update caution

Are you updating your XO to the newest build candidate-703? If so, be warned that this Sugar build is a "blank slate" - it must be customized with activities and content bundles at installation time. Or as LesleyT says:

Holy disappearing activities, Batman! THAT was a nasty shock.

Now that I am prepared, I really like being able to choose my activities, but may I point out something rather obvious? It's damn hard to install activities in sugar without a browser and/or knowledge of terminal.

I really hope there is at least Browse or XO-Get installed when they ship with this new version. The target audience won't have a computer nearby with a USB stick.

While its One Laptop Per Child's intent for a large XO distribution to install a standard package of Activities before they're handed out to children, G1G1 participants would be smart to follow Walter Bender's advice:
Where did all the activities go? There still seems to be some confusion around the process of loading activity bundles post-Build 703. Please refer to the Customization key for instructions regarding bulk loading of activities.
The customization key allows XO laptop users to install their own Activities on a signed OLPC build. Here's the Wiki instructions:

My laptop Activity bundle

OLPC hosts many Activities and several activity packs including:

To use an activity pack:
  1. Download it.
  2. Unzip it onto the root of a USB key.
  3. Insert the USB key into your XO and reboot. (Hold the X game key while booting if your machine's firmware is unlocked.)
Linux will boot and unpack each of the bundles into place and your XO will be good to go.

Related Entries


Thanks Wayan for posting this (and the old school ESS notification (Email)).

I am curious of the success of folks who have tried. I have had numerous requests from kids who use the G1G1 I have, why can't I play or other such edutainment (flash-based) websites. I will look closely at this build.

Thanks OLPC.

@Dave - search the forums for more information about getting flash working better; as well as check out

@Jon - Thank you. I will. I was able to upgrade my OS and get a WPA network to see my XO so it just takes me time to get various things done.

Thanks. I now have this new build, FreeDoom and Flash to work on. Hmmm, which to tackle first?

Hi Wayan,
I was in #olpc and CJB pointed me to this solution that does not require a USB key.'s_script

Yes, Bert's script is the way to go, but (as detailed on that page), since you don't even have a terminal activity, you need to run it from one of the text-based virtual terminals at Ctrl-Alt-F1 or Ctrl-Alt-F2, which will certainly put your eyesight to the test!

On another topic, BEWARE that build 703 has a very nasty habit of corrupting the partition table on SD cards that are in the SD slot when you close, and later reopen the lid (or initiate a suspend/resume cycle using the power button.) See and . At the very least, it's impossible to boot and run this build from SD card (which is my preference), and most likely you'll need to be pretty handy with fdisk to get your SD card back to a usable state again. has been proposed as a quick fix, though I don't know if the developers will buy into this, fix it right, or ignore the whole mess.

A follow up to Frank's comment regarding SD card corruption under 703. That bug (#6532) has been present in every build after 656. And in 703 in particular, the card gets totally clobbered so much so that fsck and fdisk are unable to recreate the partition to save the data.

Bottom line, in 703, if the SD card gets wiped out, the data on it is gone. (at least it has been the case with the half dozen times it happened to me under 703).

sracer, I was able to save the card's data by first resetting the logical geometry to what it was at the time I originally set up the partition table (using the advanced mode of fdisk), then restoring the partition table to what was originally set up. Did not need to do an fsck. Perhaps I was just lucky. In any case, I'll agree that the XO surely does a job on it!

Why on earth is there not a default activity builder INSTALLED ON THE LAPTOP??

I shouldn't need a USB stick or a connection to the internet in order to replace activities.