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The Bleeding Edge of Kano OS

How to get the latest updates as we make them.

Want to be a step ahead of everybody and see what will be in the next release of Kano OS? You can set your image up to receive developer’s updates and get them right away, piping hot as soon as they leave our build servers. This is how to do it.

In reality, there isn’t one, but two versions of the OS that our team maintains. The first one, referred to as release, we ship with our kits. It’s stable and tested; we made sure that everything falls in the right places and clicks with the rest. The release version is freely available for download from our website.

The other one is called devel. It’s always one version ahead of release, and it is the image that our team works with on daily basis. We push changes to our code repositories during the day. These will be automatically built and published in an update at midnight (London time), so we can test them when we come back to work the next day.

Tapping into devel

The good news is that these are also public and you can get them too if you configure your OS installation to include updates for developers. This is what you need to do:

1. Find the sources.list.d directory

ls /etc/apt/sources.list.d/

It should contain the following files:

  • kano.list
  • kano-xbmc.list
  • raspi.list

 2. Edit them

Edit the above files, one at a time using your favourite text editor. Make sure to use sudo; admin privileges are required to perform this task.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/kano.list

Add the following line at the end of kano.list:

deb devel main

This line at the end of kano-xbmc.list:

deb wheezy contrib

And this at the end of raspi.list:

deb wheezy main

Save all of them and run the command bellow to update the package lists cache from the servers.

sudo apt-get update

If that worked fine, that’s it. Now you can run the Updater and enjoy all the most recent packages. Make sure to run the updater every day to keep getting the newest work from us.

A word of warning

Before you enable dev updates with your main image, remember that these will often include untested, even unfinished work. Some of the packages may well be broken completely. Sometimes, we end up breaking a few things before we figure out the right way to implement a new feature.

Once you’ve included the developer’s updates there is no easy way back to the original version of the OS. Be prepared to reinstall the card completely to roll back.

For these reasons, it is highly recommended to use a separate SD card to avoid breaking your main system. Additionally, it is best if you don’t login with your main Kano World on this dev system. If something bad happens, that will make sure you don’t lose your progress and high scores!

Written by
Software Engineer at Kano