Thursday, October 30, 2008

Install Puppy Linux in Ubuntu

Like I said in my last post I have installed Puppy Linux on my hard drive. It did take some knuckle greasing and loads of forum searching, however finally I managed to get a working Puppy to show up in the boot menu. I still am searching for a way to get an Puppy entry in Vista's boot loader. Open source rocks! I have done a Frugal install. It means that Puppy will reside happily with your current OS, without doing any partition or stuff.
So here are the simple steps to get your own Puppy OS. You might want to read this review of Puppy Linux here.

Download Puppy: You should download the latest version of Puppy from here.

Burn A CD: Using any CD burning program you like, burn the downloaded .iso file to an CD. Preferably a shiny new CD. A DVD would work fine too.

Reboot: With the CD inside the CD drive restart the PC. If your BIOS settings are properly configured, your PC would boot into Puppy Linux. If your PC isn't configured to boot from CD and you end up booting in your Ubuntu, follow the simple tips given here. 

Select Proper Configurations: While booting in Puppy will ask you few question. Nothing difficult, just select the appropriate settings such as keyboard and video card. In case of selecting video card, if your PC is relatively modern go for Xorg or else if that doesn't work opt for Xvesa. You can preview the changes which will happen.

Try out Puppy: Before you install Puppy, I would suggest you to stop and take a look around, get a feel of the OS before you install it. 

Installation: All the steps from now on are related to installing Puppy.
1. Goto Menu > Setup > Puppy Universal Installer.

2. Select the appropriate drive. If it is relatively modern go for Internal (IDE or SATA) option if your PC is very old select the Ancient True SCSI option and likewise for other hard drives.


3. Choose which physical hard drive you want to install to.


4. Choose which partition you want to install Puppy onto. If you are unsure about it, don't worry even if you choose the wrong drive you can uninstall Puppy by simply deleting the Puppy folder. You can try later.


5. Sanity Check: Read the things given, if they don't make sense to you, hit continue.


6. Hit OK.

7. Select CD.


8. Choose 'Frugal'. With Frugal install you don't run the risk of losing any data. Puppy won't format your drive and will coexist peacefully with your primary OS.


9. Give any name you want. I have named the folder 'Puppy'.


10. Wait...

11. *Important*:
In order to save hassles later on do this. Goto Menu > Graphics > mt-Paint Snapshot Screencapture.
Take a screenshot of the following window.


12. Okay.

13. *VERY Important*
 Now navigate to the /tmp folder. Look for a file named NEWGRUBTEXT.
Use the file manager for this. Keep this window open. Now click on any one of the several drive icons displayed at the bottom row of the desktop. Now drag the NEWGRUBTEXT file from the tmp folder to the selected drive. Select 'Copy' in the pop-up menu.


14. Restart: Reboot into Ubuntu this time.

15. Terminal: Fire up a terminal, now type these commands in it:

sudo cp boot/grub/menu.lst /boot/grub/menu.backup

This is to backup your Grub, incase you muck things up.

 gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

This will open up the Grub bootloader in Gedit.

If you are on KDE use this command:

 kdesu kate /boot/grub/menu.lst 
If nothing happens navigate to the folder File System > Boot > Grub
Open the file menu.lst.

16. Navigate to the bottom line.

17. Read the step 13. Now go to the folder where you dropped NEWGRUBTEXT and open it.
You will find some text like this:
title Puppy Linux 410 frugal
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
kernel /Puppy/vmlinuz pmedia=atahd psubdir=Puppy nosmp
initrd /Puppy/initrd.gz

18. Copy all of it and paste it in the menu.lst file.

19. Hit save to make the changes.

20. That's it! You have successfully installed Puppy alongside Ubuntu.


  1. Use kdesu instead of gksudo in KDE.

  2. Thank you for the very nice tutorial.
    Previously I thought Puppy frugal install can only be done in windows partition.
    And that install in folder as you described is very convenience indeed.
    Puppy rocks :)

  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  4. Having a few problems. Installing on Linuxmint which I believe is ubuntu,different flavor.....not able to save after copy and paste in menu.lst ........states not authorized to do that. Actually at beginning when attempting to backup menu.lst thru terminal same thing.....denied being able to backup. Also You show cursor alongside +1......copy/paste here or next line down?

  5. Hi Anonymous!
    Thanks for asking, here is your solution:
    First open up a terminal and type in "sudo nautilus", now enter your password. A new Nautilus explorer window will open up.
    In it navigate to File System>boot>grub>menu.lst
    and manually copy the same file under different name to create a backup.
    Now open the original file 'menu.lst'and copy the "title Puppy Linux 410 frugal
    rootnoverify (hd1,0)
    kernel /Puppy/vmlinuz pmedia=atahd psubdir=Puppy nosmp
    initrd /Puppy/initrd.gz" thing below the +1 line.
    Here replace the "title Puppy..." thing with your own NewGrubText.
    Hope that does it!

  6. Thanks for your help. No luck.Did get the name to show in the menu with ubuntu 8.04.1,windows vista,linux mint 2.6.22-14 earlier today but after clicking on puppy linux 411 frugal got error15! Gparted shows boot in vista sda1.Might add I tried frugal install in ubuntu also today.Same results. I didn't even get the name to show in menu when placing under +1. Appreciate your response though.

  7. Yeah, I know it sucks when it doesn't work, so here is my advice, just forget about it for few weeks and then give a new try later and start from the beginning, I am sure it would work then. As of now just replace the current menu.lst with the backup copy you created yesterday. Give it a shot few weeks later, it'd work then!

  8. is there a reason steps 15-20 should not be done with puppy linux?

  9. @Anonymous
    Yes, there is a reason, actually from step 15 onwards we edit the Grub boot loader which can only be done in Ubuntu. Boot loaders is the place where you can decide which OS to select.

  10. "if your PC is very old select the Ancient True SCSI option and likewise for other hard drives"

    Do you know *anything* about computers, hardware, or Linux? Seriously, every article you post you seem to show your ignorance. Of course everyone has to get their start somewhere, but here with this blog you are purporting to be some kind of authority when you clearly are not! Go learn a thing or two before you continue this blog anymore!

    And for anyone else, "Ancient" SCSI is only used for actual SCSI drives, which are used primarily on expensive servers and workstations. The vast majority of older computers still used good, old IDE drives, and so you should still select the IDE driver.

  11. "Yes, there is a reason, actually from step 15 onwards we edit the Grub boot loader which can only be done in Ubuntu. Boot loaders is the place where you can decide which OS to select."

    but doesn't puppy let you mount the ubuntu partition? i was able to make the change to the grub menu file (on the ubuntu partition) within puppy. i didn't think i would be able to because of permission issues; however, i was. i guess puppy gives users root privileges.

    regardless, your post was very helpful. thanks, j.

  12. @jmexia oh brilliant!
    however i have installed Ubuntu using Wubi, so that is the reason why i didnt try your method

  13. Just as a note (at least on version 4.1.2 and 4.2(.1), both of which I've used) Puppy Linux won't format your drive during any installation, not just under a frugal install. (Your comment about no partitioning under a frugal install implied to me that full would.) You'd have to do that yourself, perhaps with GParted, included with Puppy, if you wanted any formatting done. It doesn't happen automatically.
    As a result, you can safely install Puppy to a drive with existing files- just make sure thery're in a directory Puppy won't install anything to. "/Personal_Files," for instance, has worked fine for me. This comes in real handy at times.
    Alright. Done with that nitpick.

    By the way, what's the point of this? I've had so many conflicts between Ubuntu's GRUB and Puppy's that I don't bother anymore, and since Puppy can run frugally from a USB disk just as well, why not do just that instead?

    @jmexia: Yeah, you actually do run as root nearly all the time. Certain, select servies get special users, but they're the exception in Puppy.

  14. hai, I have installed puppy 511 in ubuntu with frugal. but couldn't able to find menu.lst in ubuntu 9.10.

    can you share how to edit grub in ubuntu linux 9.10?


  15. before starting my work, willl it also work in same ways on Xubuntu? I just installed newly Xubuntu on my Pentium III and it seems to me very slow thinking of changing it to Puppy. I'm just wondering if this operation would make some problems unexpected...


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