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Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. --

In relation to Sugar, Debian is a downstream distribution project that can be used to run Sugar.

Using Sugar on Debian

There are no pre-built Debian images for Sugar. Sugar is available in Debian. To use Sugar in Debian:

  • install Debian Jessie in the usual way, see,
  • change /etc/apt/sources.list to use the Debian Stretch testing release,
sudo sed -i 's/jessie/stretch/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
  • update the package lists,
sudo apt update
  • install Sugar,
sudo apt install sucrose
  • start a display manager or reboot,
sudo service gdm3 start
  • log in with the Sugar desktop selected.

We use the testing Stretch release because Sugar is not in the current stable Jessie release, as it was not ready. But this has been fixed.

Testing Sugar on Debian

One Laptop per Child has been curating Sugar and Activities that can be used on Debian, and are in some cases more recent than the Debian Jessie stable release, or the Debian Stretch testing release. This will change over time, as package version numbers are kept below Debian versions so that Debian packages will be installed by preference.

How to add Sugar 0.106.0 to a Debian Jessie system:

  • edit /etc/apt/sources.list to add the OLPC archive,
deb [trusted=yes] stretch main
  • update the package lists,
sudo apt update
  • install Sugar,
sudo apt install olpc-activities
  • log out of your default desktop, and then log in with the Sugar desktop selected.

Note: only amd64 architecture is supported. This removes the Abiword support for the Write activity on 32-bit systems.


Packaging of Sugar on Debian is done by a team:

Sucrose packages are usually updated in the unstable release. These packages migrate to the testing release after a while. You can see the current package versions here.

Those interested in developing Sugar software should visit our developer documentation website.


Derivatives of Debian include:

See Also

Debian Live


Point Linux

Point Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution that aims to combine the power of Debian GNU/Linux with the productivity of MATE, the Gnome 2 desktop environment fork.

Notes on install to USB disk

download squeeze_live-i386-iso-hybrid
isohybrid_CD info


dd if=debian-xxxxxxxx.iso of=/dev/sdX

Install Sugar via Synaptic

download squeeze_live-i386-iso-hybrid
Install to HD
start Synaptic
Repositories select all 3 
select Server for USA
click all 3 boxes
Third Party Software 
search for "sugar"
click on all 0.88 sugar packages
how to configure full screen
Browse Activities  (Download the activities you want)

Fixing dependencies in Wheezy

This article describes the process to compile Sugar on Debian testing Wheezy, in order to install sugar-jhbuild.

GTK3 in Debian Wheezy


On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 17:45, Manuel Kaufmann <> wrote: > Do you have a clue about this?

This was my workaround to this problem:

1. /etc/apt/sources.list

  deb unstable main contrib non-free
  deb-src unstable main contrib non-free

2. update the package database

  sudo apt-get update

3. download the source code

  cd /tmp
  mkdir pygobject
  apt-get source python-gi

4. install dependencies

  sudo apt-get build-dep python-gi
  sudo apt-get install python-gobject-2-dbg

5. compile python-gi

  cd pygobject-3.2.0
  wget -c
  git apply pygi-d37680bb9390426f7f58ea3d352c3e5e2106e978_modified.patch
  dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b

6. install compiled packages

  sudo dpkg -i ../*.deb

Now, when I run "./sugar-jhbuild run sugar-emulator" I can see the icons and the toolbar properly.


Where Debian is installed via the Debian installer or virtual machine, Sugar has been reported to run nicely.

Sugar 0.88.0 works nicely in Debian squeeze.

Low footprint versions (eg no Gnome Display Manager) with SLiM and Openbox only, are reported in this link to cause a problem.