Sugar is the desktop environment originally developed for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) computer/education project and as of May 2008 being developed under the umbrella of Sugar Labs. Sugar is used on the OLPC XO-1 laptop computer and is also available as a session option on Ubuntu and Fedora. Unlike more traditional desktop environments, it does not use a “desktop” metaphor and only focuses on one task at a time. It is written in the interpreted Python programming language, whereas most other environments are written in a compiled language such as C. Sugar is also referred to as the OLPC Python Environment. It is composed of the Python language, GTK GUI and Gecko HTML engine.
One of the goal is to bring the Sugar OS to any computer, not just the OLPC XO Laptop. And as step one, the team released Sugar on a Stick a while back. Basically, what Sugar on a Stick lets you do is download and install the Sugar OS onto a USB flash disk with 1GB of storage space or more. The end result is a USB stick that you can insert into pretty much any x86 based computer to boot into the Sugar environment.
There are two versions of Sugar on a Stick available at the moment. One is based on Fedora 10, while the other is based on Ubuntu 8.10. I tried out the Fedora version, which also makes it easy to create persistent storage space on the flash drive, which means you can save any changes to the USB stick. In other words, while Sugar on a Stick boots like a LiveUSB, since you can save changes you can treat it like a portable operating system. You can carry it with you and plug it into any computer to pull up your operating environment. I used Sugar USB pen drive on my Dell XPS M1530.
Sugar OS is designed primarily as an educational tool for children, and includes a number of games, and other tools including utilities kids can use to write their own programs. But if you want to see what the buzz is about without buying your own XO Laptop, Sugar on a Stick is the way to go.