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Finding and Downloading Scratch[edit | edit source]

Scratch is available without cost from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab at the following URL:

It is available for the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 98/NT/2000/XP/Vista
  • Mac OS X version 10.3 or later
  • Linux - in various 32 bit distribution flavors

A minimum of 120 megabytes of hard drive space are requested to hold the Scratch basic multimedia pack and software.

Screen pixel size should be 1024 x 768 or larger, thousands or millions of colors (16-bit color or greater)

There are some aspects of Scratch where CPU performance can be an issue, but basic computers capable of running any of the above operating systems should work for most simple Scratch projects. Scratch is likely to be on the default installation for the XO-1 computer, to give an example of the kind of computer capable of using this software.

Linux Version[edit | edit source]

A version of Scratch for Linux is available from the scratch website at

This is missing some features of the Windows and Mac versions of Scratch, but you are able to edit, create, and otherwise interact with Scratch using most of the blocks.

Forum threads about the Linux version of Scratch can be found here:

Network (LAN) issues in a classroom[edit | edit source]

Scratch can be installed successfully on a shared network hard drive or other data sharing device that is commonly found in a classroom setting. This can give your students an advantage of being able to share a larger variety of multi media resources, and perhaps even to share project ideas between students. Specific details would have to be worked out with your district network technology specialist.

Several instructors and the Scratch development team have been successful at networking access to the Scratch software, both on a Mac as well as on a PC (Windows) architecture. Some user management software may cause some additional problems, but somebody with some competence at dealing with networking issues ought to be able to resolve these issues.

Scratch forum threads dealing with this specific topic can be found at the following places:

It should be noted that the first version of Scratch (version 1.1) exhibited some buggy behavior in networking environments due to user permission management options. These bugs can usually be worked around, and mainly deal with trying to load or save files when user permission has been denied. The "default" directories for both loading and saving files are sub-directories of the software folder itself. In this situation, you may want to encourage students to load and save through the documents folder. Most of these problems appear to have been fixed in v1.2.1.

Embedding Scratch[edit | edit source]

A Java applet has been written for use with Scratch applications, allowing you to "embed" a Scratch project within a web page. This applet is demonstrated on the main Scratch website, but you can also copy this applet to be used on your own website or blog. If you have uploaded content to the Scratch website, you can click the embed link on the project page and copy the HTML to embed it.

Some information that goes into greater depth about hosting all of the files "locally" on your own web server can be found here:

Scratch Projects on a "Live CD-ROM"[edit | edit source]

If you plan on sharing Scratch projects, you may want to include the Scratch software together with the project you created. As Scratch is an interpreted language instead of something which is compiled, you must include the interpreter together with your projects. All of these files can be found in the installation directory of Scratch.

Mac OS X[edit | edit source]

In addition to the .sb files containing the projects you need

  • Scratch.image
  • license.txt (to make sure that the people who get Scratch know the terms of use of this software... a legal requirement)

The Help and locale subdirectories are probably also important

Windows[edit | edit source]

The following are some critical files that must be kept together with your Scratch project if you don't want to install the complete edition of Scratch on somebody else's computer:

  • Scratch.exe
  • Scratch.image
  • Scratch.ini
  • ScratchPlugin.dll
  • Mpeg3Plugin.dll
  • license.txt (to make sure that the people who get Scratch know the terms of use of this software... a legal requirement)

While not a "requirement", you have a couple of options to make it easier for somebody to start your project right away:

Create a "batch file" for your project[edit | edit source]

All you need to do here is to open a text editor like "Notepad" or "Wordpad" and type something like this line:

 Scratch.exe Scratch.image

Substitute the name of your project that you want to share with the name ""

Save this file with the name "clickme.bat" or some other name that also ends in ".bat". This creates a command line "batch file" which used to be common in MS-DOS, but is still used in Windows.

Create a Windows shortcut[edit | edit source]

Open Windows Explorer and create a new temporary folder where you are going to put all of these files before you put them on your CD-ROM.

Next, use the right mouse button and click in the folder space, selecting the option "New", and the sub-option "shortcut".

When it asks for the name of the file, type in the same information listed above that is inside the batch file.

Click on the "Next" button, and the shortcut file should be created by Windows.

Finally, type in what you want to call this shortcut. Something simple like "Click Me" or "My Cool Project" is suggested.