Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 16th May 2011 14:21 UTC
Linux How can you run a full range of current applications on older computers, netbooks, thin clients, and mobile devices? One way is to install a lightweight Linux like Puppy, Lubuntu, or Vector Light. Select the distro with the apps that meets your needs while matching your computer's resources.
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Comment by erdraug
by erdraug on Mon 16th May 2011 14:47 UTC
erdraug
Member since:
2007-05-25

Seems objective enough for me to drop a link in the puppy forums.

Reply Score: 1

Best review I've seen on PuppyLinux.
by tfosorcim on Mon 16th May 2011 14:57 UTC
tfosorcim
Member since:
2008-07-14

This is a great article. I've never seen 'Puppy' explained as lucidly as this. I've known about it for a long time, but now it's going to be installed on several of my older, 'useless' computers, thanks to this superb review and explanation.
Keep up the great work.

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

I second your opinion. Great article.
And if I'm not mistaken, Howard is the most active non-editor author. I appreciate your involvement.

Reply Score: 3

benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

I get tired of "why I like my distro" articles.

I like this one because it gives FACTS showing what distinguishes this distro from others.

Kudos.

Reply Score: 4

Live USB install
by fran on Mon 16th May 2011 15:05 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Which specific ISO file do I download to make a Live USB disc? There are a lot of download options and I'm not sure.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Live USB install
by egon_spengler on Mon 16th May 2011 15:36 UTC in reply to "Live USB install"
egon_spengler Member since:
2005-11-20

Puppy will install to a USB drive/thumb drive from any of the isos using the "Install" icon from the desktop. I have it installed to a 1 gig Corsair thumbdrive.

Reply Score: 1

Package management
by Temcat on Mon 16th May 2011 18:23 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

For some reason Puppy's generic package manager never worked correctly for me.

Reply Score: 2

v Watch your language!
by ndabaningi on Mon 16th May 2011 21:21 UTC
RE: Watch your language!
by haydenm on Tue 17th May 2011 02:57 UTC in reply to "Watch your language!"
haydenm Member since:
2006-10-29
RE: Watch your language!
by RogerBryce on Tue 17th May 2011 13:41 UTC in reply to "Watch your language!"
RogerBryce Member since:
2008-07-07

I don't know if WordWeb is in any way authoritative, but it does contain an entry for performant:

http://www.wordwebonline.com/search.pl?w=performant

Reply Score: 1

ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

I do like Puppy, and use it on my netbook. However, one feature that seems to impress the author of this review so much - the ability to install Ubuntu *.deb packages - doesn't really work so well. The big problem is that, in Puppy Lucid, dependencies aren't resolved unless you are using the native *.pet repositories. In Ubuntu (and all the Debian derivatives), apt-get installs everything you need to run a certain package.

So with Puppy, trying to install a package from the Ubuntu repositories leads to the infamous "dependency hell" problem that we thought was vanquished years ago. You try to install, let us say, Gwenview, you get hit with an error message to install five other packages. When you try to install those, you get hit with requests for another eight packages, and when you try to install those....ad infinitum.

So I pretty much found this feature useless. I'm not alone in this opinion. You hear grumblings on the Puppy forum that the previous version 4.x was better. I also think so. I wish that more effort was placed on adding a few more useful packages using Puppy's native *.pet system.

Of course, I realize it's all a volunteer effort, and as they say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I greatly appreciate the work that's been done by the developers. Anyway, just want to point out that the much hyped feature of being able to install Ubuntu packages on Puppy is a lot less useful than it sounds at first.

Edited 2011-05-17 01:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

666philb Member since:
2011-05-17

hi ozenhole

in the lucid puppy package manager, there is the ability to turn on access to the ubuntu repos. Then when you click on an ubuntu package, you get the option to 'examine dependencies'. Clicking this, resolves and allows you to install all dependencies for the chosen app automatically.
I've had a lot of success at installing ubuntu packages in puppy, you need to remember though that puppy is puppy, and not ubuntu, not every ubuntu package will work without a bit of tweaking, and more complex stuff, like the entire gnome desktop will always be problematic! It's amazing how many people try to do this and then moan when it doesn't work. However as a feature, it opens up a whole new world for puppy, and is a huge step forward from the puppy 4 series.
The new puppy being developed will be slackware based, and will have access to the slackware repo's.
I think that having an operating system, that has access to another operating systems repo's is a pretty cool thing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by toomuchtatose
by toomuchtatose on Tue 17th May 2011 03:27 UTC
toomuchtatose
Member since:
2011-05-15

How does puppylinux compare to tinycorelinux?

I know that both are minimalistic, can boot from ram, allows for frugal install, fast...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by toomuchtatose
by j.dalrymple on Tue 17th May 2011 05:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by toomuchtatose"
j.dalrymple Member since:
2011-03-29

Looking at the screenshots, I'd guess Puppy is a little easier to use and gives you more straight out of the box.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by toomuchtatose
by mikeinohio on Tue 17th May 2011 11:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by toomuchtatose"
mikeinohio Member since:
2010-02-21

Tiny Core seems to be more minimalistic than Puppy. While things like web browsing email and word processing can be done with Tiny core, Puppy does those same things in a more polished way.

Or, to put it another way, when you are using Tiny Core, you know you are using a minimalist distribution. Puppy on the the hand has a fuller featured user interface.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by toomuchtatose
by tupp on Tue 17th May 2011 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by toomuchtatose"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Tiny Core seems to be more minimalistic than Puppy.

With an iso of only 10.5 MB, TinyCore is 1/12th the size of Puppy, yet it has a GUI and a lot of native tools.


While things like web browsing email and word processing can be done with TinyCore, Puppy does those same things in a more polished way.

Huh? TinyCore's repository has almost every web browser that works on Linux: Firefox, Chromium, Opera, Midori, Arora, Links, Elinks, Dillo, etc. TC's repository also contains LibreOffice, Abiword and the KDE and Gnome office applications.


Puppy on the the hand has a fuller featured user interface.

How so?

Puppy's default desktop is JWM (Joe's Window Manager).

JWM was the default desktop on TC, but they switched to a modified version of FLWM (Fast Light Window Manager). The FLWM window buttons behave a little differently, but you have a WIMP setup, with icons in a Wbar dock.

Of course, TC has many other desktops/window managers in the repository: KDE, Gnome, XFCE. JWM, Openbox, Fluxbox, Hackedbox, WindowMaker, IceWM, EvilWM, TinyWM, Windowlab, Wmii, Aewm, Compiz, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by toomuchtatose
by tupp on Tue 17th May 2011 19:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by toomuchtatose"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Puppy is a phenomenal distro, and so is TinyCore.

However, TinyCore's iso is only 10.5 MB -- 1/12th the size of Puppy's iso. That's a contemporary OS with a fairly robust GUI that fits into 10.5 MB!

Of course, to keep things small, the TinyCore iso has very few applications included. The user chooses the programs to install.

As someone else mentioned further down in the thread, Puppy runs everything as root, TinyCore doesn't.

TinyCore has more options on how to configure the "persistence" of applications and user data. For instance, in TC, one can choose which applications load into ram, and one can choose whether to automatically save some data in an archived backup file with other data saved in a normal directory on a partition.

Like Puppy, TinyCore has an installer and it can be run live from CDs/DVDs, USB flash drives, flash cards, etc. However, TinyCore can also be installed merely by dragging two files from the iso onto one's hard drive, an then directing the boot loader to those files.

TinyCore is younger and growing rapidly, but most of the major growing pains are behind.

TinyCore also has an even tinier (<7 MB), non-GUI version: MicroCore.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by toomuchtatose
by toomuchtatose on Thu 19th May 2011 08:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by toomuchtatose"
toomuchtatose Member since:
2011-05-15

Just tested out both on vm.

Seems like puppy comes with more applications out of the box, along with codecs, also more user-friendly (for less technical purposes).

Contrastingly, TC feels much more modular and snappy, especially with its "odd" method of retrieving storing and "installing" packages and system directories.

Then comes a problem, I have issues trying to point Grub2 towards TC bootloader to boot automatically from config (and eventually had to manually boot it up), there is also a lack of easy frugal installation facility (I guess it is not a really important feature.)

Puppy in this case has improved (since 2008 when I last used it?) but I hope the boot time can be improved further.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by toomuchtatose
by tupp on Sat 21st May 2011 08:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by toomuchtatose"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Seems like puppy comes with more applications out of the box, along with codecs, also more user-friendly (for less technical purposes).

That is correct. As I mentioned, TinyCore lets the user choose the programs to install. That is one of the ways they keep the iso so tiny.


Contrastingly, TC feels much more modular and snappy,

Yes. It is very snappy.


especially with its "odd" method of retrieving storing and "installing" packages and system directories.

"methods" -- plural. There are a few different ways one can set up the "persistence" in TinyCore.


Then comes a problem, I have issues trying to point Grub2 towards TC bootloader to boot automatically from config (and eventually had to manually boot it up),

Well, it sounds like Grub2 is actually your bootloader, not TC. I can't help with Grub2 too much, as I have avoided it. The Grub folks really screwed up the simplicity that was the menu.lst config file in "Grub <2." I guess that's progress!


there is also a lack of easy frugal installation facility (I guess it is not a really important feature.)

TinyCore does have an installer, but it really is unnecessary -- the method of merely dragging the two files to the hd is much easier.

Reply Score: 2

Puppy is also easy for Windows users
by darrelly23 on Tue 17th May 2011 07:18 UTC
darrelly23
Member since:
2011-05-17

Excellent article. I am an advanced Windows user(since DOS 6.11) and a Linux Mint(Isadora) newbie.
I downloaded Puppy(5.2.5)recently and installed it on a CD and a flash drive. I tested it on a ACER netbook with I gig of RAM.
Puppy, to me, is an excellent distro. It ran fast from RAM and should be easy for most Window users. It also allowed me to download Firefox 4.0 which ran very fast on the web. Page loads (to non-cached sites) were 1 sec. or less even to site with much java script. I watched HULU movies in excellent quality with very little or no delays for buffering. The choice of APPS is very good. Best lightweight distro I've used and its also fun.

Reply Score: 2

lproven Member since:
2006-08-23

Um. There wasn't an MS-DOS 6.11. It went 6.0 -> 6.1 -> 6.2 -> 6.21 -> 6.22.

Of course, some OSnews posters used 3.2, 3.3, 4, and 5 as well. Doubtless there are some 1.x and 2.x users around, too. :¬)

Reply Score: 2

wazoox Member since:
2005-07-14

Hi, I had a Sirius running MS-DOS 1.0, no directories, no hard drives, tough times ;)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by j.dalrymple
by j.dalrymple on Tue 17th May 2011 08:15 UTC
j.dalrymple
Member since:
2011-03-29

My only problem with Puppy is that they don't seem to pay much attention to UX. It's still quite ugly in some ways and most of the dialogues aren't very nice...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by j.dalrymple
by lproven on Tue 17th May 2011 13:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by j.dalrymple"
lproven Member since:
2006-08-23

My chief problem with Puppy is a lot bigger than that, although you're absolutely right.

It's that the suggested, recommended and supported mode of operation, last time I looked (which was at Lucidpuppy), was still to log in and run as 'root'. This is *unforgiveable*.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by j.dalrymple
by erdraug on Fri 20th May 2011 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by j.dalrymple"
erdraug Member since:
2007-05-25

I've seen this conversation repeat itself a hundred times already but this time i'll answer, just because the article seems objective enough that i'm planning to use it as a reference in the future when explaining to others what puppy is.

If i understand correctly, the idea behind running as root is that (i) if you're running puppy you have already opted for the hands on approach (ii) since you're running your OS from a liveCD there's not much harm to running as root.

That said (iii) running as root is now an option being considered: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=67885

More reading here: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=67213

YMMV.

Reply Score: 1

The problem with Puppy
by Gullible Jones on Tue 17th May 2011 17:23 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Can be described in two words... It barks.

I am not kidding. The live CD makes your computer bark, like a dog, when the boot process is finished.

Now don't get me wrong, I think the distro is an absolutely wonderful idea despite its security flaws - in today's world of resource-heavy desktop environments, it's nice to know that someone's still working on a functional distro for older machines. But I suspect that Puppy's cutesie nature makes many would-be users gag.

Reply Score: 2

Great for old PCs indeed - Even a P-233
by rhomboid on Wed 18th May 2011 00:09 UTC
rhomboid
Member since:
2005-08-26

I was very surprised how well it runs on my old Micron Transport Trek 233 with 64MB of RAM. I'd even call it a "useable" computer again, albeit for simple tasks. I used it for a few months in my back room as a print server for an old parallel LaserJet and light tasks like checking my Gmail and remoting to other boxes while I was working in there. Not only did it run impressively smooth but it also was very pretty even on that old, dim LCD.

Good, informative post as well. More like this and fewer "why I hate" rant posts (contrasted with this waste of anyone's time: http://www.osnews.com/story/24535/Debian_6_Squeeze_Not_Good). +1.

Reply Score: 2

how about language support?
by Paulhekje on Wed 18th May 2011 05:57 UTC
Paulhekje
Member since:
2007-10-03

How good is puppy with multiple languages?

Last time I tried several linux distributions for an old computer, only OpenSUSE LXDE was easy to configure with an other language (dutch).

Reply Score: 1

Gonna fire up that old p-2 with Puppy
by kateline on Fri 20th May 2011 05:19 UTC
kateline
Member since:
2011-05-19

Good article, I'm gonna get that old p-2 out of the attic and try it with Puppy. Should be fun to see if I can really do all what this artidcle says.

Reply Score: 1