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Puppy Linux

By Ian Urie

As many of you know, if you read The Crypt regularly, I like the small Linux live distro Puppy.

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It's a relatively small download in these times of broadband, comprising of a 87Mb ISO file.
Yeah, 87Mb!!
I've shown in previous issues that Puppy is a friendly little beast, but I'll recap.

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Puppy, once you've burnt the ISO to a disk lets you boot it up.
Boot up is fast (even for a live disk) and will allow you to remove the CD once you've booted up since it loads completely into RAM .
This allows you to use the CD/DVD drive for other things later on.
Once booted, you can set up your system, adding the Internet connection, mounting any drives you need etc. as shown above.

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There are wizards to set up practically everything on the computer and they all work well on my machine.
I've always found set up a breeze on this distro and version 4 (which is the latest , so far) is no exception.
Bearing in mind, I've shown Puppy off before, what has version 4 got that the rest didn't?
Well, most of the changes are under the "hood".
It looks and feels remarkably similar to previous versions, with ease of use and sheer fun of using it
similar to earlier ones.
It still includes all the practicality like being able to write your settings back to the CD, and ability to save to almost any media.

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As per usual, the GUI is the JWM window manager which works well, uses practically zilch in the way of resources and looks familiar to most Windows users.
Puppy can run in as low as 32Mb of  RAM.
This despite it having burning software, office applications, media players etc.

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Since Puppy is so small and damn handy, keep a copy on a USB stick to rescue a system or  load it via an emulator while in windows (shown in a previous issue),
even just boot from it just to play around with it.

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Right, a few clicks and my Internet connection is set up.
Let's go surfing!

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Straight from RAM, run a browser and watch You Tube.
Puppy is still using Sea Monkey as its default Internet suite but you can load anything you want via the Package Manager.

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Since Puppy is so small, it does require you to download applications if you really want to give it a going over.
It has loads of applications in its menus, but if you're used to a bigger distro, you might find the applications a bit on the frugal side compared with the likes of PClinuxOS , for instance.
Bear in mind, that most things have been chosen because they are small and use few resources.
You can use Opera or Open Office and the Gimp, but you have to download and install them.

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Here's Pburn , which is the default  CD/DVD writing application included, even claims it can write to blu-ray!

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Just checking. Nope, Java is not included with Puppy.
It is included in the downloads available for the distro and the Petget package manager (how you get more applications)
has been rewritten to give an easier interface.




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It now gives even more control of what and where you download packages from.
The kernel has been updated with a choice when you go to the downloads section to get Puppy.
You can now get it with the 2.6.21.7 kernel which is the recommended one, or with a newer kernel
2.6.25 which is only recommended if you have problems with the first mentioned.

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Another grab showing the wizard menu and trying to set up my printer.
I've always found these wizards a painless way of setting up the computer and they generally find all my hardware and manage to load drivers that work.
Another big plus for Puppy.

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Found the Epson D92 with no problems, although Linux doesn't have a specific driver for it and you have to use one from a previous model, same as Mandriva does.

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Puppy 4 continues the excellent capabilities of Puppy and updates some of the interface.
As I said, most of the updates are under the hood, but it all works effortlessly and is small enough to impress all your Windows using friends
when they see the speed of it running from RAM, being able to save all your settings without having to mess with their computer settings.
It's an excellent demo of Linux and a credit to Barry (the creator) which fulfills all the aims he set out to do with it.
Download it and bring the fun back to using your computer while exploring it.



RIYAN Productions

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