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The new Slacko Puppy 5.3 is compatible with Slackware-13.37 binary packages and built with Linux kernel 184.108.40.206. Slacko is aimed at reasonably modern machines up to six or seven years old. It may run on even older hardware. There is also a later kernel compiled with PAE HighMem support, for machines with up to 64G RAM. This is recommended for the latest machines, less than a year or two old.
Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4
Difficult to install and configure
Starting the live session, I was warned that my SiS video might pose problems, and offered a reconfiguration to avoid them. Unfortunately, it was the reconfiguration that crashed X: the basic system worked fine.
The software provided is excellent, with only one program generating a serious warning when launched from the CLI. There’s also a surprising amount of it, considering this is only a CD: Seamonkey, Gnome office, Mtpaint, Inkscape light, Gnome-mplayer, Homebank, and several more. Unfortunately, this is partly achieved by leaving out the help files!
Installing Puppy is often something of a struggle. If using an old partition, you must reformat it first, otherwise the installer will attempt to install into a used partition, even if it's nearly full. Installation of the bootloader is done with a separate program, which did not appear to work. I then installed Grub manually, but no configuration file was created, so when I rebooted I was given a Grub prompt to boot the OS by entering commands!
To test package installation, I tried to get the missing help for Abiword. I had to select a mirror manually, as several did not work. When the Abiword documentation package was installed, I still had no help visible in the program.
I also tried some configuration. There is no tool or readily available documentation to enable one to set up subpixel smoothing, or keyboard shortcuts using the Super key.
When Puppy was first released, it fulfilled a need. Now, if you have a small computer, AntiX and Vector Light are both smaller and more reliable. If you want the Slackware repository, Slackware is probably less trouble to set up. The various versions of Puppy seem to be turning into hobby projects for their developers, rather than usable distros.