Translating OLPC software

The core OLPC software is developed at using the GIT source code management system.
For the tasks of the translator, one needs to look into the different projects and locate any po/ subdirectory. The existence of this subdirectory show that the piece of software is internationalised (=can be translated).

For example, the core component sugar can be translated. In the main sugar page, and locate the po/ subdirectory that shows up. Click on it and you get the sugar po/ subdirectory with a few translations. Specifically, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Italian. The italian translation is sadly useless. The translator made a mistake; he saw

msgid “Hello”

msgstr “”

and changed to (WRONG)

msgid “Ciao”

msgstr “”

instead of (CORRECT)

msgid “Hello”

msgstr “Ciao”

Normally, one would need to regenerate the Template PO (POT) file before translating, instead of working on one of the existing translated files. To do so, one needs to download the source code of sugar using the git tool and then use intltool-update -P to create the fresh sugar.pot file.

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  1. Simos, is there any way to runs OLPC OS in our existing OS, using emulator like qemu maybe? Is there any.. uhm something like images or iso for OLPC OS? I’ve heard that most apps are based on python, can we deploy our ready made apps (which built with python gtk in linux, just a simple Indonesian language tenses tutorial) on Sugar? I’m getting interested with this cute lil’ gizmo since Jaya brought it to asian source 😉

  2. Diki, you can indeed run the OLPC using an emulator. In the screenshots of my previous post I use qemu. VMWare (VMPlayer)/Parallels are also supported.
    For instructions and the location of the images, see

    And yes, you can use Python from your workstation to write applications for the OLPC. See
    Just the interface has to be a bit child-oriented 🙂

  3. Ah ic, I missed the wiki. Complete information though, thx simos.

    • George on March 7, 2007 at 01:26
    • Reply

    Simos hi
    I have just installed OLPC in a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop on an intel core 2 duo based mac. The installation was completed succesfully but there is a problem. I reach the initial page of Sugar (the OLPC interface) where I am asked to give my name, a buddy picture and choose my “icon” colors and I can actually complete all these form elements, but I cannot get any further than that. The next button on the bottom of the screen doesn’t seem to work.

    I don’t know if you can help with that so I just ask.
    Thanks in advance

  4. George, you may have stuck on a bug, or the same problem I faced.
    Once the interface is up and running, you get a seemingly blank screen. If you move the mouse to the top-left, a set of options appear on the top and bottom of the screen. At the bottom you get the available applications.

    Other than that, have a look at for more help.

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