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Fedora 10 on SD Card for the OLPC XO Laptop

by Fedora
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Features

  • Fedora 10 pre loaded on a 4gb SanDisk Extreme III SD card
  • Includes install instructions
  • Insert card to run Fedora, remove card to run Sugar.
  • Live persistent SD does not overwrite Sugar while still saving changes

Product Description

For adults who may not find the child focused graphical interface called Sugar practical for daily use, Fedora 10 allows your XO to behave in a more familiar way.

Fedora arranges your applications and files like traditional Linux, Apple, and Microsoft  computing environments.  The familiar look and feel reduces the learning curve and utilizes familiar applications.

The 4GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card contains a live and persistent version of the Fedora 10 operating system.  This live persistence allows you to save your settings and document without overwriting the pre-installed Sugar operating system. 

Turn the XO on with the SD card inserted to use Fedora, without the SD card to use Sugar. 

The SD also includes 256 MB of swap space bringing the XO up to 512 MB virtual memory when using Fedora and a 320 MB persistent overlay for saving settings and documents in your home folder. 

Product Details

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fedora on XO November 16, 2008
You'd think that running a full featured operating system on such a little laptop as the XO would be impossible, right? Wrong! However, it's also important that you approach this with the right expectations.

Admittedly, it is a little slow, however, it performs admirably well given the limited hardware resources available. Don't expect it to be a replacement for your everyday desktop, but for just using say Google when you're on the go, it works admirably well.

What is on this card is a standard desktop LiveCD, with persistent overlay for storing settings and such, however, the overlay is reset at each boot. If you're technically inclined, you can get around this by editing the /boot/olpc.fth on the card and removing reset_overlay near the bottom.

The reason that this was done is that if you fill up the overlay, which is rather small in this instance, bad things will happen and cause the system to become unstable. Just a word of warning so in case you install something and it's not there on the next boot, that's why.

However, most of the information that one wants to keep is in the /home directory, which is stored on the internal flash, so that all of your settings will remain persistent across reboots.

All in all, a very worthwhile product, and I'd like to thank everyone involved in making it happen!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for conferences November 17, 2008
I have used an XO as my conference computer with good results. I add a small USB keyboard (full-size keys, but no numeric pad) and a trackball. Much lighter than my regular laptop, and it all fits into a smaller bag, but I can surf the Web, take notes, even take pictures. With this full Linux option, many more adults should find the XO worth having and using.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting - but installation takes time December 7, 2008
The first two reviews on this product were published before the product was publicly available. I ordered this product immediately upon release, so my review is probably the first one for the actual shipping product; and it's probably the first for a Linux-newbee. I'm giving this item 4 stars, but this is not an instant gratification product, nor is the FEDORA-based OLPC X0 an ideal alternative to a mainstream computer. I suggest the best way to look at this product is that it gives you an inexpensive way to explore Linux; and once you get the machine set up, you may have a useful little netbook as well.

As is stated in the product review, this is the most recent distribution of Fedora Linux, and this distribution for the OLPC comes on a 4-GB SD card. Since the OLPC only comes with 1 GB of flash memory, just plugging in the card expands the memory 4x. On the card 512 mb is available for swapping and storage according to the documentation, but I haven't confirmed it as a fact. Although the card takes your only SD slot, the OLPC has several USB ports that you can use for thumbdrives etc. Tip: The OLPC's SD slot is hidden under the lid. It is impossible to get to unless you twist the display clear of the base. Once you get access to the card slot, you might find that it takes several attempts to get the card seated properly. On my unit, SD cards are hard to remove, and I had to use pliers to remove the card that I installed when we first got the OLPC.)

In theory, a "live" distribution of Linux should just be "plug and play". In a perfect world, you should just be able to put your SD card in and boot to Fedora Linux. I wish it were that simple. Because of the security measures in the OLPC (necessary,I'm sure), you first have to email for a "developer key".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Problems with Using Fedora 10 on an XO December 12, 2008
Like many others, I like my XO, but would like an operating system that is more familiar and compatible with my desktop machine. So I was excited to see the Fedora 10 for XO and was anxious to try it.

I do have the latest sugar version on my XO laptop, and when I booted up the Fedora 10 it seemed to work well. However, after a couple of boots I kept getting the message that "Nautilus cannot be used now due to an unexpected error from Bonobo." And when I tried to install plug-ins for the FireFox browser, the computer froze and had to be rebooted. This happened multiple times, including a few times when I just wanted to zoom in or out of the browser image.

At the user forums for both OLPC and Fedora 10, I got the advice to take out some unnecessary features from the disk so that it might operate more smoothly, but I'm not a computer geek and have no idea how I might do that. Also, I'm not happy with buying a product that then needs modification in order to work correctly. So I definitely would recommend waiting for another product to substitute for sugar on the XO laptop, perhaps one that is smaller and more suited to the capabilities of that computer.
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