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OLPC image with sahana

This guide shows you how to use the sahana olpc image to create a bootable USB disk.


  • Sahana OLPC image - OLPC image with sahana.
  • A USB pen >= 1GB - The minimum requirement is 1GB flash drive and it is better to have a higher capacity flash drive if you are planing to use this system for actual data collection.
  • dd command - You need dd command to flash the usb pen. ( You can find it in a GNU/Linux system )
  • OLPC laptop - If you want you can also use a emulator. For more information on emulating see

Creating a Dedicated USB disk

  • Unzip the images using bzip2 command.
%> bunzip2 sahana_0_6_olpc_build1.img.bz2
  • Plug in the USB pen to your PC and unmount it. Remember you have to unmount the usb not to eject it. Type the following command in a console to do it.
%> sudo umount /dev/<device> 

When you are issuing the above command change the <device> to USB pen's device file ( Ex: sdb1 or sdb2 ).

  • Next step is to flash the USB pen using the dd command. WARNING : By doing this you will loose all the data in the USB drive so back up data before you flash the USB.
%> dd if=sahana_0_6_olpc_build1.img of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

%> sync
  • When the light in the USB stop blinking remove the usb from the PC.

Booting OLPC

  • Plug the USB pen to the OLPC and turn on the machine. The olpc will detect the USB and use it's environment to boot the OLPC.
  • This process will not alter the internal flash memory, all the changes will be done to the environment in the USB drive.
  • Usually the first time boot will be bit slow because some software's need to be initialised.
  • Once the system is booted it will ask for a user name and a theme colour, select them according to your preference.( This happens only in first boot )
  • Then you will be loged in to the suger environment. For more info on suger read
  • Now start the web browser by clicking the icon which represent a globe in the bottom menu.
  • The web browser will start and take you to the sahana installer.
  • Use the installer to install sahana


  • If you need a console to configure the system press ( ALt + = ) This will open a terminal application. Also the ( Alt + Ctrl +F1 ) is available.
  • Click the naberhood icon to connect to a WiFi access point.
  • The system has a openssh server.

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