Five Reasons to Make Friends with Puppy

Dmitri Popov
12/22/2008 04:08 pm

By now, you might have noticed that I'm a big fan of Puppy Linux. 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.