Monday, October 27, 2008
Review of Puppy Linux
It was a 'large' 95 Mb download! After downloading you have to burn Puppy .iso file onto a CD before you can get any work done. Restart your PC with the Puppy CD inside the drive. If your PC is geared to boot from CD drive first then on rebooting your PC will boot into Puppy Linux. There are few things to choose, like choosing your keyboard layout, then choosing correct video card. Nothing much to worry about, if your PC is relatively new then opt for the Xorg or else got to the Xvesa.. Nothing rocket science in that.
The default interface is quite bland, although nothing you can't correct with an impressive wallpaper. The thing which impressed me was that despite its small size, Puppy could do almost everything I needed it too do. Puppy is very fast and agile. It boots in very quickly.
I have been impressed by it so much that I have installed it on my hard drive (yup, you read that right) as a quick booting OS. It takes 30 sec to boot and 12 sec to shut down.
Setup: Since Puppy is an OS meant to run from CD or USB, it is very easy to install. There are built in options to install it on USBs and other media.You will have to configure the Network (internet) Settings all by your self though. That is definitely an area which needs improvement. Setting up Puppy is very easy, just look under Menu > Setup > Puppy Universal Installer.
Look and Feel: On looks Puppy could compete head on with Windows 95, however that is not the correct way to look at Puppy . The wallpaper isn't much to drool about, but as I said you can change that. Puppy Linux 4.0 is still using the very lightweight window manager called JWM (Joe's Window Manager) and ROX-Filer as its file manager. The one thing I hate about ROX is that it resizes the window of the file explorer with every level of navigation, it gets very irritating. Puppy doesn't show you the thumbnail preview of the images by default, there is a setting to change it. Here is my desktop screenshot (I have changed the wallpaper).
Applications: Puppy has many applications to fit your bill. These include a fast Mozilla based browser called SeaMonkey (there are extensions for it too), gXine (gives VLC a run for its money), Abiword (document editing application), Fotox (image viewer), Prename (batch file renamer), Pburn (CD/DVD/blu-ray burner), Pnethood (Samba client), Pwireless (wireless scanner), Pfind (file search), Gtkam (digital camera interface), Xsane (scanner interface), ePDFView (PDF viewer), Linux Firewall, Pctorrent, Axel Download Accelerator, Many CD rippers, mhWaveEdit audio editor and more. Hoof...just give me a second to catch my breath.
The funny thing is that Pburn, the burning program can even burn blu-rays. Just try and guess how many copies of Puppy Linux can you fit on a blu-ray? (here's a clue.....many!)
Here is a screenshot of gXine, Why so serious?
Cool Features: Now this particular 'Puppy' has few tricks up its paws. If you are using Puppy from a CD and make any changes Puppy can save those changes you have made on your CD! Obviously the CD has to be re-writable, but isn't that cool?
Final Say: Weighing in at 95 Mb Puppy is a good thing to have in your Pen Drive, 'nuff said.
The download page for Puppy Linux 4.0 can be found HERE.