Skip to main content

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux Logo
I've been using Puppy Linux quite a bit these days and I like it! My favorite features are the ability to boot from (and store personal data to) a USB stick. You don't need very much space, in fact.
Puppy Linux operating system is a lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use and minimal Memory footprint. The entire system can be run from RAM with current versions generally taking up about 130 MB.

Thinks I Use Puppy Linux For

  • Booting Intel computers from a USB stick with portable settings, including browser preferences, desktop settings, and data.
  • Running an old Dell with 512 MB of RAM and turning it into a performance champ.
 From the Puppy Linux web site, 

Puppy's goals

  • Easily install to USB, Zip or hard drive media.
  • Booting from CD (or DVD), the CD drive is then free for other purposes.
  • Booting from CD (or DVD), save everything back to the CD.
  • Booting from USB Flash drive, minimise writes to extend life indefinitely.
  • Extremely friendly for Linux newbies.
  • Boot up and run extraordinarily fast.
  • Have all the applications needed for daily use.
  • Will just work, no hassles.
  • Will breathe new life into old PCs
  • Load and run totally in RAM for diskless thin stations

Here's what I really like about Puppy

A few features that make it a great option for hardware diagnostics and computer repair.
  • PSI, the PupSysInfo tool, which interrogates the hardware and generates a super handy text only report, great for identifying the drivers you need, whatever you are installing.
  • The related HardInfo hardware information utility, which also performs benchmark tests and generates a nicely formatted HTML report.
  • Lots of configuration utilities, including partition tools, like Gparted.
It's also a great Internet workstation boot option. 
  • The choice of several excellent default browsers, including Firefox and Chrome. I chose Firefox because it uses slightly less disk space (17 MB, compared to Chrome's 24 MB) and disk space is a little tight on my 512 MB USB stick. After I installed Firefox, I selected Help > About Firefox and applied the latest update, and now I'm running version 27.0.1 and my RAM use is down to 179 MB!
There are many versions of Puppy, called Puplets. The Woof utility builds Puppy distros from the source files of other Linux distros, so you can select from an Ubuntu or Slackware based Puplet,. See the index here:

I've worked with several versions:
  • Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8
  • Fatdog 64 6.3.0
  • MacPup
One of the biggest limitations of Puppy and all the related distros is that it's a single use operating system:
Puppy is not a multi-user system as are most other Linux distributions, in which there is a root login plus any number of non-root login accounts.

I think it's best to boot it off of a USB stick, and save your settings to an encrypted save file on the USB stick. This means your data is encrypted and you need to provide a password to log in.

My main complaint with Puppy is that the distros I've looked at don't support anti-aliasing for on-screen type by default. This is a bit of a thing for me, because anti-alisasing increases screen readability so dramatically. It looks like the Chrome installation on FatDog 64, at least, uses antialiasing, and that's where I spend most of my time.



Popular posts from this blog

Virus scan Windows using a Linux live CD

[There's been quite a bit of interest in this post and I've expanded on it quite a bit. Please post any comments or questions to help me improve this guide. - Neil] Keith and I have both run into situations where we want to recover a Windows computer by cleaning it up with a Linux Live (bootable) CD distro. This offers several advantages to cleaning up an infected or compromised computer by booting into Windows: It prevents the malware, if it exists, from jumping from the infected computer or partition we are trying to fix to the repair partition or boot medium.If we boot from a CD, there's actually no way to alter the boot medium, since it's read-only. Naturally, we started with Knoppix -- download it here. Installing and scanning with F-Prot is covered in this discussion thread, Virus Scan from LiveCD, which describes how to install F-Prot from the command line using apt-get. Also, In Knoppix 5.1, you can boot from the Knoppix CD and install F-Prot wi…

1Password on Ubunutu

One of the biggest barriers preventing me from using Ubuntu as my primary desktop OS used to be my favorite password manager, 1Password. I use it on the Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android and couldn't really function without it.

For a while I could use it on any computer running a web browser using the 1Password Anywhere browser only implementation, with Dropbox. But Dropbox no longer supports that option (not sure why, but that's the way it goes).

I was thrilled to discover that 1Password 4.6 for Windows runs quite reliably on Ubuntu via Wine. Even better, the Browser Helper program also runs on Wine, which means I can also use the nifty browser add-ons to auto-fill web logins.

Installation was super easy. I installed Configure Wine from the Ubuntu Software app, and just like that, I could run Windows applications. I then followed the excellent instructions on the Agile Bits support site, Running 1Password for Windows on Linux systems. It worked just as advertised, and now I am …

Webmin on CentOS

We use CentOS for our web servers, and favor Webmin as a way to administer our servers. To install Webmin via yum on CentOS, follow these steps as root or sudo, from the command line (via SSH or at the console). These steps will also work for RedHat servers.Configure the Webmin repository and installWebmin is not available via yum in the default CentOS repository. Follow these steps to add the Webmin repository (repo) from and edit the repository file # nano /etc/yum.repos.d/webmin.repoAdd the [Webmin] section (listed below) to the new repository fileSave the new fileImport the public key: # rpm --import
Install webmin: # yum install webminOpen the FirewallIf your server is protected by a firewall, you won't be able to access Webmin until you open port 10000. Use these steps on CentOSBackup the current firewall settings: # cp /etc/sysconfig/iptables /etc/sysconfig/iptables.bakInstall the Red Hat firewall configuration tool # …