Five Reasons to Make Friends with Puppy

Why you should give this Puppy a closer look


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, cafés, 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 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.

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  • puppy linux and security

    typing sudo before a command doesn't make it more secure folks.
  • Puppy as root

    Do not forget - Puppy runs in RAM. Even if a compromise occurs with it running as root, the file system is recreated on boot - so no worries!
  • security

    Oh look at that, that user before me seems to have answered my security question.

    So puppy runs everything as root? Screw that, that's why I switched away from xandros.

    Looks like I'm sticking with ubuntu eee.
  • bow wow

    Hey how is puppy for security?

    I'm running ubuntu eee on my eee pc right now -- and it runs everything I need it to and it seems to be secure but it's slow as a mofo.
  • Puppy is all of those things but...

    Puppy is as you decribe but the fact that everything is done as root is too much like a bad nightmare from 1995. Did we learn nothing from the army of Windows zombies that are so easily compromised becasue the default user was Administrator? Even Microsoft knows better by now.
  • me again

    hey guess what? i had an older laptop (400mhz, 400mhz, 160ram) that ran puppy beautifully. i love puppy. make no mistake. but it has its time and place in the scheme of things. puppy is amazing with older hardware. especially the "retro" version. i installed it on a 200mhz. machine and it ran good. now i know where to go for my legacy needs.

    on another note, a friend of mine has puppy installed on his relatively recent laptop, doing just fine. to each their own, worrying which distro you use is like worrying about which type of cancer you have. it'll all kill you in the end.
  • hey

    yes, puppy is awesome and does alot of things that other distros don't do. (like load quick and do everything yesterday) but it has its place. it won't replace debian on my desktop, but for a quick fix, puppy is hard to beat. considering it is only 90mb or whatever, puppy continues to amaze me. it does wireless, codecs, etc. without a problem. good stuff.
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