The Pick of the Litter

Distro Walk – Puppy Linux

© Photo by Nicole Romero on Unsplash

© Photo by Nicole Romero on Unsplash

Article from Issue 266/2023

Trying out Puppy Linux requires picking a Puppy distribution. We provide a brief overview of some of the most popular Puppy variants.

Last issue, I described the complexities of Puppy Linux [1], with help from project members. Unlike most distributions, Puppy is a collection of sub-projects, and explaining the structure left no room for examining how the sub-projects differ from each other. This month, I am remedying that lack with a brief look at some of the most popular Puppy distributions and how they differ from each other. My hope is that this information might help users trying to decide which one to use.

All the Puppy distributions on the home page [2] share certain features:

  • They all are built with woof-CE, which builds a distribution using another distribution's binary. Several official Puppy distributions are based on long-term suport (LTS) releases of Ubuntu, but are quite different from each other in their selection of desktops and packages.
  • They all use a standard installer that allows a Frugal install, to a single directory, or a Full install, which uses an entire filesystem. A Frugal install is recommended because it allows Puppy to coexist with other operating systems on the same partition.
  • They all load system files into RAM.
  • They all encrypt personal files.
  • They all provide a Quick setup for configuration that can be modified in more detail if necessary.
  • They all offer the option to save the current desktop settings for your next login when shutting down.


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