Monday, October 27, 2008

Review of Puppy Linux

Just out of curiosity I downloaded Puppy Linux and gave it a try. Now both Puppy and Damn Small Linux are petits, however I decided to give Puppy a go because it has few essential things like Java and flash pre-installed. It also comes with proprietary media codecs. So it truly acts as an 'Just Works' OS as compared to DSL where you'd have to configure those things.

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).

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!)

The best thing is that you can always install every other softwares, like Firefox, Open Office whenever you want to by installing small .PET files
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.


  1. CD doesn't have to be re-witable...

  2. Great review, it's not hard to fall in love with Puppy. I've used it since it first worked on a floppy. I still pass out Multi-Use CDs to people around the world. Old computers come to life for next to nothing with Puppy Live Multi CD. No Hard Drive required and a inexpencive Ram Stick to save data on and you have a fully functioal Descktop / Laptop. The people I work with can use the money saved from a new Hard Drive (most of the computers I restore only need a Power Supply or Hard Drive)to get online for many hours or a used CD-Writer.

    I now use Puppy on a ram-stick in many remote parts of the world, No airport hassles and I always can find a computer to plug into. Plus any computer I plug into I've always been able to get online easly.

    If you like VLC and a load of other programs try MiPuppy :o)

    Puplets are fun to play with and they come in all sizes and flavors or cut one of your own, puppy makes it easy to remaster.

    Give MiPuppy, ChurchPup, Lighthouse, and Vesta (Very Nifty) a spin. Get on the Puppy Forum and look at all the excellent work guys like Lobster, Pizzagood, Caneri, Tazoc, and so many others have done. Free as in "Free to Choose".
    Thanks to all on the Forum 8o)

  3. Nice review. Puppy is what got me back into Linux. Pentium II 233 Mhz system with Windows 98 on it. I had bought a new computer and wanted to give it to Goodwill. Even though the system only had 64 MB of memory, Puppy ran fast on it. The new system I bought was an Athlon X2 Dual Core with 1 GB of memory. It came with Windows XP pre-installed. I left the XP system sitting in the box for 3 days. I was so impressed with Puppy and all that Linux could do on such an old system. I submitted your review to Digg for you. I did my own review of Puppy 4.0 a few months back. It is at


  4. Do you really find the network manager that bad? I think it's one of the best I've seen.

    Puppy is extremely useful to have on a USB stick. It has saved me many a time. Very handy when someone decides to wipe your bootloader.


  6. @Anonymous
    Why so seriouz?


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