[Sugar-devel] Maintaining the sugar-live-build

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Fri Oct 23 19:21:51 EDT 2020

Thanks for the patch.  I've merged and reviewed it.  I like your
plan.  This is good.

The good is not the enemy of the perfect.

However, if you want to explore the perfect; ask Debian Project to get
Metacity fixed in Buster so that Sugar works properly in Debian and
Sugar Live Build.  I've not tried this yet.

mentions the known bug and a commit in Metacity that fixes it.

Also, to ensure the next release of Debian has less bugs, please test it
and report bugs.  Debian Project tend to fix things faster that way.

Further reply in context below.

On Sat, Oct 24, 2020 at 12:27:56AM +0200, Martin Guy wrote:
> Hi all, first post here. Old Unix hack, new to live-build and Sugar.
> Short version: The cheapest used laptops are 32-bit but all Sugar Live
> images require a 64-bit CPU. Only sugar-live-build can easily be
> rebuilt without much technical knowledge, but when built suffers from
> a metacity bug which makes it unusable unless you know the F3 trick.
> Manpower is lacking to maintain it fully, and I am looking at stepping
> up to do this.
> Long version:
> I'd like to be able to make cheap OLPC-clones for kids here out of the
> cheapest and most plentiful used laptops, which are mostly 32-bit
> WinXP systems, but all the live images I've found (sugar-live-build,
> OLPC OS 20.04.0, Fedora Sugar on a Stick) are built for 64-bit
> processors and none of them boot into an immediately working system,
> which is what I want.
> Fedora Soas boots into a lightdm login screen without ever telling you
> that the required username is "liveuser". Also, Fedora SoaS seems to
> give no source code or build instructions, just a binary 64-bit blob
> (isn't that against the GPL?) and Fedora doesn't have a 32-bit kernel
> any more, just 32-bit rpms.
> OLPC OS unpacks an Ubuntu ISO image, injects sugar into it (in
> solution presumably :) and repacks it, but it doesn't start Sugar
> automatically.

That would be nice.  It used to, but the method broke, and I haven't
had time to fix it yet.  In case you are interested, I've pushed my
master branch for the builder.


However, Ubuntu doesn't focus on 32-bit either.

> The sugar-live-build distribution images work properly, but it turns
> out that they are not build from vanilla sugar-live-build, but with
> some magic to work around a bug in Debian-buster's version of
> metacity, which makes the Journal open up full-screen instead of
> iconified, thereby obscuring the Activities page, with no apparent way
> out (unless you can guess to press F3). I'm seeing with quozl about
> making a fix to this, but he's already up to his eyes in other work
> (though very generously with help for my technical questions, bless!)
> So, as I'm a retired Unix wizard with spare time, I'm looking at the
> idea of offering to maintain SLB.

Yes, please.  Although I'd prefer to keep the name as Sugar Live Build
so that my mail searches continue to work.  ;-)

> The directions I'd like to go in are:
> - to modify SLB to update metacity to a working version (3.34 instead
> of Debian buster's 3.30), probably by downloading it from
> snapshot.debian.org, which should be as secure as the rest of the
> Debian that it downloads


> - to make a 32-bit images of it available as well as the 64-bit one.


> Or just make a 32-bit one as that would work on 64-bit CPUs

Some 64-bit systems don't boot 32-bit images, it depends on the firmware.

> I can't see Sugar making much use of more than 4GB of RAM as the
> XO's are 1 or 2GB machines.

You are right about Sugar, but the Browse activity may do so; it is
based on WebKit and web sites are so demanding these days.  ;-)

> - to include more Activities in the default build than just the base
> and demos, to make it more appetizing, in the style of Fedora SoaS for
> example, with Maze and other trinkets.

My purpose in creating Sugar Live Build was to support developers, and
the Fructose set of activities are what we focus on.  I don't mind if
someone publishes a build with more activities, but I don't want the
project bogged down with bug reports and fixes for those activities.

If you're willing to support a larger set of activities, that's great.

However, if you only need the more activities for your own use, best
not to publish your own builds.

> I'd be interested to know what other users/developers think about
> this, and how to proceed if it seems like a good idea

You have made a contribution.  Now get Sugar Labs membership, then ask
for a shell account.  I've seen your other work in other projects.
Nice to see someone who knows who Delia even is!

> Best wishes & thanks for a wonderful alternative to the ubiquitous
> 1970's desktop
>     M
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James Cameron

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