Truly great stuff

I grabbed two or three torrents the other day, when I was testing my overworked, underpaid Pentium laptop in its role as rtorrent slave. I mentioned OpenGEU yesterday, which was disappointing because of its heavy Gnome underbelly and overdone desktop glitter. But this one is the complete opposite: function and speed combined with an appearance that underscores its efficiency.

There are a lot of revisions of Puppy Linux, and I don’t know one from the other. I happened to grab the IceWM/JWM “retro” version off, and the results are what you see above, adjusted to my tastes. πŸ˜‰

Personally, I think this is fantastic. I used Puppy Linux a long time ago and liked it then; I like it even more now. And really, what’s not to love? This particular version (and again, I don’t know all the versions that are out there … I just download and install 😯 ) is lightning-fast, finds all the hardware on this machine without even trying, connects to an open wireless network with no more than two clicks, loads completely into memory, has Flash support, plays embedded videos through SeaMonkey and gxine (that’s the blue box in the screenshot up there 😐 ), has desktop widgets, takes up only 100Mb on a disc, is completely customizable, uses only a sliver of memory even while running, has more software than I have space on this blog to list, and has a mascot of a little blue puppy that glows while you browse.


It puts me to shame, actually. This is exceptionally well done, and I feel a little embarrassed by that pear-shaped GTK1.2 thing that I occasionally bandy about. Not that there’s anything wrong with an Ubuntu-based live CD that’s intended for old machines and uses only out-of-date software. Oh no. Nothing at all.

It’s just that the Puppy crowd obviously has done a better job. It’s hard for me to find anything wrong with it at all. Coming off OpenGEU, it’s nice just to have tooltips and labeled buttons so I know what I’m pressing (I never did find the “shutdown” button in OpenGEU). But the variety of controls, options, applications and menus in this little distro is … amazing.

And speedwise it again embarrasses me. I spend days putting together a Crux system to run Openbox with an effective amount of speed. But Puppy Linux, like Slitaz, achieves nearly the same sense of performance without cryptic CFLAGS and hours upon hours of compiling. Obviously, I need to reassess my priorities. 😦

But that’s enough talk. There’s almost nothing I could say that would be as impressive as trying it out. I strongly recommend it, if you haven’t at least tried it once. Put it on something old and tell me how it performs. I have a feeling we’ll both be pleased.

Another gold smilie for Puppy Linux: πŸ™‚


12 thoughts on “Truly great stuff

  1. Michael Douglas

    Puppy is great.

    I just the other day used the script from

    I put Puppy (latest) DSL (latest) UBCD (latest) Slax (latest, customised), Slitaz (latest) the Debian Lenny net-installer on a single CD.

    I now have my choice of options, and it even has options on the boot menu for the cd like the following

    DSL (to ram)
    Puppy (not to ram)

    etc, etc.

  2. zenfunk

    LOL, after asking about the ubuntu remaster to make a customized small distro a couple of weeks ago I finally settled for a remaster of Puppy linux. It’s quite easy to build a remastered version, just run a built in script and there you are. Currently I`m working on a remaster with emelfm as the filemanager and couple of other lightweight apps.

    Cheers, Christian

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  4. magerlab

    i’ve been reading your blog and am surprised that you finally noticed puppy!
    puppy made my linux experience into a funny game where everything works and if i have a suggestion or a question i always get a respond from the community.
    wait a bit ….
    i wonder what would you say after a release of woof!

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I noticed puppy a looong time ago. πŸ˜€

      But it is really great work. It deserves a lot more attention than I have given it. πŸ˜‰

  5. Eyes-Only

    Great review! By the way – I’m writing this from the very Puppy version you reviewed. πŸ˜‰ The one you grabbed was the very latest which, after doing a “7 day refresh” at DistroWatch’s “HPD” counter you’ll see is running at #2, and that’s Puppy-4.2.

    The team really did a fabulous job with this one! A solid round of applause to “WhoDo & Team” – and to you kind sir as well for such a great review!



  6. tux_in_space

    Looks better, has even more apps and stuff than 4.2 official,runs fatser and the ISO size is even smaller πŸ™‚

    Screenshot of Turbopup Alpha 4:

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  8. zenfunk

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with an Ubuntu-based live CD that’s intended for old machines and uses only out-of-date software. Oh no. Nothing at all.”
    Well here’s a Puppy based live CD that runs old, out-of-date software. Nothing wrong with it either. πŸ˜‰

    I just grew tired of installing the same proggies by hand every time I had reinstalled a distro, so I made my own.

    Just wanted to say thank you, because a lot of ideas for software selection were coming from your blog. Especially elinks, htop and gtkedit – they totally rock.


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