I’ve Got an XO!

Posted on by Chris Warburton

Hello, world! I’m typing this from my newly acquired XO laptop, otherwise known as “Children’s Laptop 1” or the “$100 laptop”.

Despite my l33t usage, Sugar’s actually pretty nice to use. I’ve put leafpad, Kazehakaze (browser), XPDF and Pidgin on it, which suits my needs well along with a terminal. I would use the default Sugar apps, but their restriction to interacting only with the Journal database and not the filesystem gets in my way a bit, especially with there being no Journal-accessing terminal.

Getting online at Uni takes the use of a shell script, as the eduroam network doesn’t appear in the Neighbourhood, but it doesn’t bother me one bit that my Free Software XO doesn’t sit particularly comfortably with immoral technology like WPA.

It came with an SD card of Ubuntu Intrepid, which I immediately tried to upgrade to Karmic which broke it. After reinstalling via Qemu and chroot I found the problem was in the init system. Taking apart the XO’s initramdisk image yields a collection of Python scripts and some Pyrex (which needs compiling! That took me a while to track down) which are part of the Bitfrost security system. Since this is always running, spawning sysvinit, it doesn’t work well with Upstart, which only works when it’s PID 1. cAfter gutting Bitfrost, getting Upstart to work but having further problems in the boot, I decided to screw the whole thing since I prefer Debian anyway. After half an hour Debian was up and running, although X still doesn’t come up. Oh well, it gives me something to do next!