Registered: Jun 2006
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10
Nothing to tweak
Puppy is small, fast, solid, self-contained, comprehensive and friendly to new Linux users.
Puppy Linux was started by Barry Kauler independently of any other distro. Barry went back to basics and reinvented a much better wheel. Puppy has an informed, diverse, and active support forum, a wiki (with news), and great developers, fanatical followers and its own "Bow-wow" geek speak. The distribution is regularly updated ever 6-8 weeks.
Puppy is a 70M download, reliable, easy to use, and fully featured. Puppy boots and runs from CD faster than other distros boot from hard disk. I have installed it to both a hard disk and a USB keydrive but most experienced users run from CD. Config and extras are saved on hard disk. Puppy saves configuration and data on the hard disk transparently, including XP's NTFS. Even though you're booting from a live CD your data is updated and saved on hard disk or USB thumbdrive if you prefer. If you wish you can leave the hard disk untouched, using Puppy in stealth mode, like some security distros. Effectively, you can have an operating system and a wealth of software up and running on a computer that needs no hard disk, and then remove the media from which you booted, so that there is no trace of its ever having being there. Puppy runs in RAM, so it is fast. It will use a swap drive if you have 32 or less RAM but 128M RAM and above is optimum.
How much is in Puppy, running from RAM? Included are applications such as Seamonkey browser, AbiWord word processor, Inklite vector editor, Gaim instant messenger, Bitorrent, Wizards to connect and burn ISO's, FTP, e-mail client, text editors, media player, sound recorder, and utilities. It is kind of the Tardis of Linux distributions -- more on the inside than one would imagine. It even has its own PuppyBasic built in.
Network, video, audio, Samba client, graphics, word processing, browser, e-mail -- all work. The latest Puppy 2.11 uses Seamonkey browser and there Firefox, Opera and Hv3 are a few clicks away to install.
Puppy is incredibly fully featured for a system that runs entirely in a RAM disk. Barry has chosen applications on the basis of size, speed, and reliability.
One of the aims of the distribution is to be easy to set up, so there are a number of wizards that take users through the process of a range of common tasks. A wizard takes three button clicks to connect to the Internet on my DHCP setup.
I have been using Puppy for over a year. I have the latest versions of Xubuntu on the hard disk but Puppy runs Xfce faster. I still download other Linux distros, install them, see how ponderous and bloated they are, and go back to Puppy.
Puppy incorporates two easy-to-use installers: PupGet and Dotpup. Both are built into Puppy and will be merged in the future dotpet installer. They are both easy to use. DotPup contains more up-to-date or non-essential programs, downloaded from the excellent Puppy wiki. PupGet contains alternative programs or those that did not quite make it into the main release.
Puppy's default Window Manager is JWM, which provides a familiar look. However, I used the Dotpup installer to enable IceWM and Xfce and the other Day KDE and Gnome.
The Multi-Session Puppy, which saves data to a CD-RW disc is a fun idea and I used Lightscribe to print a Puppy logo direct from my DVD writer on an operating system requiring no hard disk. Puppy is always new and exciting. The kennels ("Bow-wow" for the Puppy forum) encourages users to take control of their computers. Woof woof.
Here is what the other doggees say: