Sugar Labs @ NDSU

Building a smarter computing culture in Fargo, ND

Sugar in a Virtual Box on a Stick (SiaVBoaS?)

Davin, the computer science undergrad working on our project, just showed me Sugar in a Virtual Box on a Stick. It failed on my netbook (only 1GB ram) but worked beautifully on his super-powerful gaming laptop.  He is also running it off an 8GB USB, but we ordered 4GB USBs for the project, so he is going to scale it down a bit for our smaller sticks.  We saved about $5 a stick going with 4GB rather than 8GB, about $2500 for our order of 500. The size of stick needed to run the SVBS might be a bit of a cost inhibitor for some.

We don’t know if the school Netbooks have 1 or 2 GB ram.  Obviously we made some avoidable mistakes–not getting the full specs from the school, not talking through the full implications of 4GB vs 8GB.  But if we can get SVBS working consistently in our project, and have it available for the Sugar community to download and burn, this might be a big step forward for students and teachers who find the boot from drive to be a barrier to Sugar use.


3 comments on “Sugar in a Virtual Box on a Stick (SiaVBoaS?)

  1. Peter
    October 9, 2011

    Why are you looking to run Sugar on a Stick on VirtualBox on Netbooks? Why not just use SoaS on USB sticks directly?

    Also depending on the age of the netbooks its quite possible that Virtual Box won’t run on the netbooks due to lack of CPU HW virtual extensions.

    I’m the maintainer of SoaS, let me know if you need any assistance.

    • Peter
      October 9, 2011

      Also note that 1Gb running native on the HW is more than enough for Sugar.

      I also suggest you review how you deploy the images on the stick to minimise overlay FS issues

    • kab13
      October 10, 2011


      The boot from USB drive strikes us as a usability challenge that will keep many students and educators from trying SoaS, so we thought we would try SiaVBoaS to “solve” that problem. As we have found, and you have noted, our solution runs in to its own set of problems. We will be doing some usability testing in our after school program, and will update the community with our findings.

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2011 by in Sugar, team update.


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