Sugar (GUI)

name = Sugar

caption = The Sugar desktop after booting
developer = Sugar Labs
latest_release_version =
latest_release_date =
programming language = Python
operating_system = Linux
genre = Desktop environment
license = GNU General Public License
website = []

Sugar is the graphical user interface originally developed for the One Laptop per Child computer/education project and as of May 2008 being developed under the umbrella of Sugar Labs. Sugar is used on the OLPC XO-1 laptop computer and is also available as a session option on Ubuntu and Fedora. Unlike more traditional desktop environments, it does not use a "desktop" metaphor and only focuses on one task at a time. It is written in the interpreted Python programming language, whereas most other environments are written in a compiled language such as C. Main contributors to the project include Christopher Blizzard and Marco Pesenti Gritti, Eben Eliason, Tomeu Vizoso, Simon Schampijer, Dan Williams, Walter Bender, Christian Schmidt, Lisa Strausfeld, and Takaaki Okada. The FOSS community has also contributed greatly to Sugar.

Sugar is also referred to as the OLPC Python Environment. It is composed of the Python language, GTK GUI and
Gecko HTML engine. [, from]

Design principles


The OLPC XO-1 has a 1 GB NAND flash drive and 256 MB of memory. Since there is no swap space and storage space on the laptop, only a limited number of activities can run concurrently.


The laptop's hardware limitations have led to much more compact program design harking back to the early days of the computer. The project's stated goal is to "avoid bloated interfaces", and "limit the controls to those immediately relevant to the task at hand". [, from]

Current status

Sugar is still in development. In May 2006, its creators described it as primarily a “tool for expression,” thus plans are in place to include multimedia and social networking features. [ [ Christopher Blizzard's weblog] , May 2006]

As of early 2007, Sugar could be installed (with some difficulty) on a variety of operating systems, including several Linux distributions, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Instructions are available on the project's wiki. [ from]

As of mid 2008, Sugar is available on the Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora distributions of Linux, e.g., as of Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), Sugar can be installed from the official Ubuntu universe repositories. []


External links

* [ Sugar Labs] project wiki.
* page on the One Laptop per Child wiki.
* [ Pie Menus for OLPC Sugar User Interface] by Don Hopkins
* to which Sugar adheres
* [;a=tree Browser for the current Sugar code]

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