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"This is it, the very first official release of Precise Puppy. Precise Puppy is built from Ubuntu 'Precise Pangolin' 12.04.1+ binary DEB packages, hence has binary compatibility with Ubuntu and access to the vast Ubuntu package repository. Couple that with Puppy's tiny size, speed and ease of use, and this is one incredible pup. It is assigned version 5.4 to indicate its position relative to the other puppies, such as Wary 5.3 and Slacko 5.3.3 (5.4 coming soon). A lot of work has happened at the 'Woof level' since the release of Wary 5.3 in April 2012 - of particular importance to Precise are the many enhancements to the Puppy Package Manager (PPM)."
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
Reliable, small, portable, doesn’t even need a hard disk
May not be secure if installed to hard disk
Puppy’s numbering system can be a little confusing, so first an explanation. Precise Puppy 5.4 is not a successor to Slacko Puppy 5.3.3, or Wary Puppy 5.3, but to Lucid Puppy 5.2.8. Precise is compatible with the Ubuntu repositories, Slacko with Slackware, and Wary is for older hardware. Precise also has a special version for very old computers, as the basic one requires PAE capability, which rules out Pentium I and M, and the AMD K series.
Puppy can load from the CD (or USB memory) into RAM (if you have at least 512MB) to give a fast live session. It can be installed in a conventional way, but if you don’t install, you can save your configuration onto a partition, even a Windows one, as precisesave.2fs. This enables you to install new software, which will kept in the same file. I chose not to install, but to try Puppy as is intended, complete with pup_save.
For a small CD, it offers a lot of software: Seamonkey (browser, mail, IRC), Gnome-mplayer, Pmusic, Abiword, Gnumeric, Homebank, Inklite vector graphics, Mtpaint, and even a few games. I ran them from the CLI without a single warning appearing, a rare occurrence. Media codecs are installed, and everything played, even my ‘mp4 from hell’. Flash is installed in Seamonkey, and it’s an old version which works with AMD CPUs. The only problem I had was that only an American dictionary was provided, but an English one was easily installed with the package manager.
To save space, help files are not included. If you enter ‘man fsck’ in a terminal, you’ll get the appropriate page in die.net displayed in Seamonkey — very clever. This works for some software (e.g. Homebank), but for most programs (e.g. Abiword) you just have to make your own way to their websites.
Although Puppy uses the JWM window manger, it has been made to look and feel like a desktop, and there are lots of graphical configuration tools provided. They can be a little confusing and don’t always work: keyboard shortcuts are not handled by Setup - Keyboard wizard but by Desktop - JMW configuration, and it tells you that Super is ‘P’ (it’s ‘4’) and puts the wrong entry into ~/.jwm/jwmrc-personal anyway. It’s better to do it the old way and edit the file. But the sound control activated my USB speakers, which is more than Ubuntu can do.
One problem with Puppy is that it runs as root. If you use the live image, that’s safe. But if you install it, you are vulnerable. Puppy’s firewall will keep out prowlers, but you can still be attacked via rogue websites. Running from the live image, pup_save could still get infected, but so could /home on a conventional installation.
If you want to install Linux on a very small computer, AntiX will be smaller and safer. But if you want a small portable Linux (or even something for a computer without a hard drive!) this is a good choice. Puppy has been a bit erratic over the years, but this one is right back on form: good dog!
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
It's all good... Fast, reliable, great options, runs off of memory or USB drive or CD no need to install on a hard drive...
Help files could be a bit easier to find and use.... An alternate to SeaMonkey would be great too...
Precise Pup is a fine example of teamwork at the finest... It uses the current Ubuntu repositories and even out does the home team in all areas while still keeping very small and allowing very old hardware some new infusion of life blood letting them see quicker action that they ever had before!!!!
Instant action a big advantages as it runs in the background off of memory of 512MB or more Everything just works. No install need nor even a hard drive.... Great for older machines that you hate to retire completely or for travel as you can take it with you on a USB thumb drive or DVD-RW for ever constant self upgrades and saving your work without the need to clutter a (someone else's or public hard drive/computer)
Very useful over all and everything I tried worked without a hitch... great job by the Puppy team on this build....
Barry will be proud of you fellas...