[IAEP] Initial tests of Sugar on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Tony Anderson tony_anderson at usa.net
Mon Apr 30 07:43:45 EDT 2018

On April 27, 2018 I downloaded the ubuntu-18.04-desktop-amd64.iso. I 
generated a boot usb drive with dd. The usb stick was used to install 
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS alongside Windows 10. Sugar was installed using sudo 
apt-get install sucrose.

 From http://activities.sugarlabs.org/activities, I scraped a list of 
the most recent versions of each activity. This list contained 714 
entries. However a number turned out to be empty or duplicates. These 
reduced the list to 516 activities.

I them matched each item against the repostories in 
'http://github.com/sugarlabs'. There were corresponding repositories for 
222 of the 516 activities. All of these repositories (.zip) were 
downloaded to the Positivo. One turned out to be empty: 

The 221 repositories were unzipped and an attempt was made to build a 
bundle with 'python setup.py dist_xo'. This process failed with 
activities which included 'from sugar.activity import activity'. These 
have not yet been ported to GTK3. This reduced the number of activities 
to 106. Each of these activities was launched from the Home View on the 
Positivo. Of these 91 executed as expected. The others failed to start 
for various reasons.

The details are in the attached spreadsheet - all normal disclaimers 
apply. The comment 'help' means I didn't really understand how to work 
the activity.

Some general comments. The availability of Sugar on an LTS version of a 
major distribution is an opportunity to demonstrate that the value of 
Sugar is not limited to the XO. Unfortunately, the method to launch 
Sugar is not obvious. You must click on your user panel to show the 
password entry. Below, there is a 'gear' icon. You must click on that to 
choose Sugar. Then you need to enter your Ubuntu password.

On the first run, you are asked about colors, gender and age. In this 
age with every site collecting private information for sale - this does 
not make a good first impression.

Sugar on Ubuntu launches to the (empty) Journal View! Ubuntu itself 
provides a built-in set of welcome slides to introduce its new features. 
Sadly, Sugar launches to a brick wall. The user needs to know to display 
the Home View (using F3 or the Frame - F6).

The Sugar install is minimal compared to what we have become used to. 
The Home View has 5 activities: Browse, Calculate, Chat, Pippy, and 
Write. Installed but not favorites are ImageViewer, Jukebox, Log, Read, 
and Terminal. Presumably users are expected to install additional 
activities from the 91 tested above. However, in general, these bundles 
are not available on activities.sugarlabs.org and require some technical 
expertise to install from github.

On a positive note: connection to the internet and to the schoolserver 
was smooth. The Neighborhood View worked as expected. Downloads from the 
school server to the Journal worked as normal. As far as I could tell, 
the working activities showed normal screen coverage.

On Sugar with Ubuntu, you are your Ubuntu user - not olpc. Activities 
available to all Sugar users on a laptop are in 
/usr/share/sugar/activities. Activities installed by 
sugar-install-bundle are in /home/yourusername/Activities and are only 
available to you. With some technical expertise you can copy an activity 
to the /usr/share/sugar/Activities directory to share it with other users.


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