Five Reasons to Make Friends with Puppy Linux

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Dec 17, 2008 GMT
Dmitri Popov

By now, you might have noticed that I'm a big fan of Puppy Linux. I wrote about this tiny Linux distro in Linux (Pro) Magazine, and extol its virtues at any given opportunity. It is the distro I'm running on my workhorse ASUS Eee PC 701 4G netbook, and it helps me to stay productive not only in airports, caf├ęs, and hotel rooms but also at home. But if you are still undecided whether you should give Puppy Linux a try, here are five reasons why this little gem deserves a closer look.

Puppy Linux is not only lean, it's also lightning fast. On boot, the entire system loads into RAM and runs from there. If you are using Puppy Linux on a notebook or netbook, this also helps to increase battery life since the machine doesn't have to access neither the hard disk nor the CD/DVD drive.

Puppy Linux is probably the most versatile Linux distro out there. You can run it as a Live CD, install it onto a USB stick or a memory card, and do a full-blown hard disk installation. Even if you run Puppy Linux from a rewritable CD or DVD, you can still save your settings and data (provided you have a CD or DVD burner).

If you install Puppy Linux on a USB stick or an SD card, the system automatically saves all your settings and data in a single .2fs file, which makes it dead-easy to back up your data and upgrade your system. Moreover, Puppy Linux features its own .pet package format and a package manager which lets you install additional applications with a couple of mouse clicks. Better yet, Puppy Linux supports .sfs packages, so you can install applications by simply copying the .sfs file to the /mnt directory and pointing Puppy Linux to it (see, for example, the OpenOffice.org on Puppy Linux post).

Puppy Linux comes with a raft of lightweight applications and tools for every need. Word processor, personal finance manager, expense tracker, graphics editor, audio and video players, and even a blog engine -- Puppy Linux has it all. It also supports the mp3 format right out of the box.

But the obvious reason for giving Puppy a try is that there is no reason why you shouldn't. Puppy Linux doesn't cost a dime and it's only 96MB in size, so you can download it in a matter of minutes.

Comments

  • Puppy

    I adore Puppy Linux because it is so fast. I am using it on an old machine that run windows like a turtle. I am contented with this OS and very eager to try the new version. More power to the puppy people who burned their brows to come up with a fantastic operating system. Cheers to you guys.
  • puppy linux is amazing

    no words to describe how well puppy linux has rescued old hardware. Such as PII laptops that were used as paperweights. Now they are fully functional workstations. Thank you barry and others
  • Yessir

    Puppy Linux is indeed a handy bit of sack cloth. What's historicaly impressed me the most about it is that it has never failed. That speaks volumes about its reliability. When you consider that along with it's speed, loading to ram for optical drive usage, and Puppy's collection of no BS apps and scripts - well, there's your reasons right there.

    Puppy Linux always has a place in my toolbox and play-pack collections.
  • Puppy on windoze

    I have puppy 4.1 on a usb stick and run it in Qemu. This alows me to either run it from boot up or in a separat window on the windows desktop. It also finds all the networks and drives! An amazing achievement
  • puppy linux ok

    As a server OS it's a little idiosyncratic but ok. I use it to run a dedicated fax server on my network, controlled through a browser. Puppy uses a lightweight web server called monkey ( monkeyd.sourceforge.net ), which has some oddnesses connected to cgi-bin services. I found it difficult to make the machine do a hard shutdown from a web page, for example. Of course, I also modified the startup scripts not to load X11, since I wasn't talking to the video card at all.

    That said, I did get everything running on a vintage 1998 machine with, like, 64MB of memory on it. Pretty impressive.

  • Puppy 4.1.1

    Run Puppy dual boot alongside Ubuntu. Puppy is so elegant, fast, and configurable that the only time now I ever boot Ubuntu is to make sure it still works, about once a month!
    A major plus is the user forum, which I feel is the most helpful, and most knowledgeable I have ever come across. My Broadcom wifi, widescreen display, wifi printer, and Sony walkman mounting all worked out of the box. Brilliant!
  • Happy with Puppy

    Very nice post/article. I was lucky enough to find Puppy Linux when other distributions started to become way too sluggish for my older Thinkpad X30. I wanted to keep this laptop around due to its smaller size because it rides so well when commuting on one of my bikes. I downloaded and installed Puppy and was immediately impressed. Along with the X30, I now run it on my desktop and my Thinkpad T41 laptop. My X30 now gets way, way more use.
  • Qemu

    It also runs well from Qemu, probably other things too, but Qemu is available as a portable app, so you can run Puppy from a usb stick even if you have no rights on that system at all.
  • Puppy Dingo

    I run Puppy Dingo on a Amrel RT686 EX and for its size, its a very versitile operating System. Runs Wireless PCMCIA Dlink card with little configuring out of the box. The 256 ram I have moves the internet, mail, and desktop apps speedily and effieciently. All in all a fine Distro.
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