One Laptop per Child: Software

The XO laptop runs on Linux, a free and open-source operating system. OLPC's commitment to software freedom gives children—and their teachers— the freedom to reshape, reinvent, and reapply their software, hardware, and content. The XO laptop's revolutionary interface, Sugar, also promotes sharing and learning.



The Neighborhood view displays all the connected XO laptops within a child's community, and what activities they are sharing. Each child is represented by a different color. If there is a shared document or activity being collaborated on by a number of children, it will show up within this view.



The Friends view shows the child, their friends, and their activities, such as chat or a shared project. Again, every child is represented by a different color.



The Home view shows the child and his or her activities, a clipboard, and the application launcher.



The Activity view displays the particular activity, or application, that a child is currently working within, such as Write or Draw.



Browse is a simple Web application that allows children to access and search the Internet and share slide among their friends.



Calculate provides a generic calculator with a simple, straightforward interface. It is designed to be intuitive and readable enough for even the youngest children to use, while also supporting more complicated mathematics.



The Chat activity provides a simple environment for discussion, whether it is between two individuals or an entire classroom.



Memorize is the classic memory game of finding and matching pairs with a twist: a pair can consist of any multimedia object, such as images, sounds and text. The memory game allows children to play existing games as well as create new ones themselves.



EToys is a media-rich authoring system aimed at helping children learn by doing. They can explore their ideas by creating models, simulations, and games complete with text, graphics, sound, and video. Children can also share desktops with other EToys users in real time, encouraging immersive mentoring and play. EToys has a worldwide community of users and developers who are working to create content, curriculum, and examples.


The Journal

The Journal activity is an automated diary of everything a child does with his or her laptop. The Journal can be used by children to organize work or revisit a past project, and by teachers and parents to assess a child's progress.



Measure is a tool that allows children to explore and learn by connecting and observing physical phenomena and real-world events. With it, children can measure and log data and create graphs.



The NewsReader activity provides an interface for viewing news (RSS) feeds.



The Draw activity provides a canvas for a child or a group of children to express themselves creatively. Children can draw free-form images with a paintbrush and pencil, and use the dedicated toolbar to play and experiment with shapes. Text support, image import functionality, and an interactive placement system give children limitless ways to explore their creativity.



Pippy is a simple and fun introduction to programming in Python, the dynamic programming language underlying much of the software on the laptop.



The Record activity provides a simple way for children to take pictures, view slideshows, and record video and audio—all content that can be shared via the mesh network.



Designed for older children who are ready to venture into more sophisticated sound design, SynthLab is a mini-lab for acoustic- and electronic-circuit construction.



TamTam Jam is a fun, powerful way to perform music, play multiple instruments, and collaborate musically with other children.



Simple enough to be used by even the youngest ages, TamTam Mini is a fun, powerful way to perform music and play instruments.



TamTam Edit is an intuitive environment for composing music. Children can create, modify, and organize notes on virtual "tracks" which allow for virtually limitless variations in musical styles.


Turtle Art

Turtle Art lets children program a Logo "turtle" to draw colorful and complex artwork. Simple programming elements easily snap together, allowing children to bring their art to life.



Write is a basic text editing application featuring straightforward tools and a simple interface. It provides an easy way for children to write a story, craft a poem, or complete an essay, as well as more advanced features like image insertion, table creation, and layout operations. It also features collaborative real-time editing, so a group of children can work together to edit text easily and seamlessly.



You can measure the distance between two laptops by measuring the length of time it takes for sound to travel between them. Along with the measure and record activities, there are many ways to use the laptop to explore the phyiscal environment.


Read an eBook

The laptop has a built-in eBook reader. The screen folds over the keyboard and the screen rotates, enabling you to read a book while holding the hanlde. Read your favorite book on the laptop while sitting outdoors in the sunlight.



Along with the applications built into the XO laptop is an growing array of downloadable content and built-in access to Web-based applications. This includes Google applications, SimCity, GCompris (a suite of award-winning educational software for children), and hundreds of others. Thousands of software developers around the world are currently developing content for the XO. For more activities, visit

For details about your system, or to download an update, see the release notes.

To modify the operating system or other parts of your laptop, apply for a developer key.