Sbuntu 8.10: Sugar for Ubuntu Live USB, updated

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Sbuntu 8.10: Sugar for Ubuntu Live USB, updated

Simon Peter
I have updated sbuntu (Sugar for Ubuntu Live USB) to Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). This solves many issues that were present in the earlier version.

Basically, you just need to add one file to a stock Ubuntu Live USB system made from  the official ubuntu-8.10-desktop-i386.iso and you will have a Ubuntu 8.10 Sugar Live USB system.

Let me address some questions and concerns that came up on the Sugar mailing list earlier:

Caroline Meeks asked:
> Is there a way I can I copy my USB and make the new one bootable
> so I don't have to go through the whole process again?  

If you have more than one USB stick with the exact same size, you can clone the entire stick using the dd command. Boot a Linux distribution, attach the source and the target USB sticks. Find out their device names. In the following example I will assume that the source device is /dev/sdb and the target device is /dev/sdc. CAUTION! These names will likely be different on your system and using the following command is DANGEROUS as it will WIPE the target device. Unmount both sticks. Then as root, run:
dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc bs=8M
This will clone the contents of the source stick (sdb) to the target stick (sdc). This is a standard procedure that should work with any kind of bootable USB stick.

Walter Bender asked:
> I've tried with a 1 GB and a 2 GB USB. In both cases, it complains
> that I don't have enough space. Anyone have any experience getting
> this to work? Also, creating the USB image was **very** slow.

These were known bugs in the liveusb tool, but starting with Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu includes a different tool called usb-creator (System -> Administration -> Create a USB startup disk).

Caroline Meeks asked:
> This particular setup doesn't let you escape out of Sugar
> back down into Ubuntu as far as I could figure out.

Sbuntu is configured to launch Sugar by default. But if you log out from sugar (press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace), you get the Ubuntu (GDM) login screen which lets you choose your session type from the settings menu in the bottom-left corner. Select "Gnome", and login as user "ubuntu" with no password. This will give you the standard Gnome desktop, with the Sugar Emulator available from the applications menu.

Caroline Meeks asked:
> Please provide instructions on exactly what to download.
> I picked liveusb_0.1.1_all.deb
> Then also provide instructions on exactly what the user should do
> to install it.  

This step is no longer necessary since starting with Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu itself includes a tool called usb-creator (System -> Administration -> Create a USB startup disk).

Caroline Meeks asked:
> If you use the persistence option, you need to replace casper/initrd.gz

This step is no longer necessary since the bug has been fixed in Ubuntu 8.10.

Caroline Meeks asked:
> Add the file sugar.squashfs to the directory casper/ on the USB stick
> Again the write protection on Casper made this more of a challenge
> then might be expected.

If you want to modify the USB stick you are currently running from, do:
sudo mount /cdrom -o remount,rw
Starting with Ubuntu 8.10, this will remount the USB stick writable by root.

Tomeu Vizoso asked:
> Have already been any discussions about adding Subuntu to the list of
> official Ubuntu derivatives for the next release?

Sbuntu is a customization (add-on file) to an existing Ubuntu Live system, not a derivative distribution. (This has advantages... you can update the sugar portion by exchanging 1 file, without having to remaster the underlying Ubuntu distribution itself. Also the download is much smaller.)

Caroline Meeks asked:
> Is there an easier way to help people create USBs?

If there is enough demand, one could make a Sugar activity that would clone the currently running USB stick to a blank USB stick.

Please report Sbuntu issues to me, and issues related to usb-creator to

Of course, ideas for improvement are welcome!