Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is a Live CD Linux distribution that is very small and focuses on ease of use. If the computer has at least 256 MB of RAM, the entire operating system and all the applications will run from RAM, allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system starts. Applications such as SeaMonkey, AbiWord, Gnumeric, and Gxine/xine are included. The distribution is actively developed by Barry Kauler and other active members of the community.


Puppy Linux is a full-fledged operating system bundled with application suites covering a wide variety of tasks which can be used productively by general users. However, because Puppy is small-sized and can boot from many media, it is also useful as a rescue disk, a demonstration system, or for reviving old computers. Puppy can boot from:
A USB flash drive/keydrive or any other bootable USB storage device (flash-Puppy)
A CD-ROM (live-Puppy), with six flavours to choose from.
A Zip drive or LS-120/240 SuperDisk (zippy-Puppy)
An internal hard drive (hard-Puppy)
A computer network (thin-Puppy)
An emulator (emulated-puppy)
A floppy boot disk that loads the rest of the operating system from a USB drive, CD-ROM, or internal hard drive

Puppy Linux features built-in tools which can be used to create bootable USB disks, create new Puppy CDs, or remaster a new live CD with different packages.[2]

A unique feature that sets Puppy Linux apart from other Linux distributions is the ability to run a normal working environment on a write-once multisession CD. (It does not require a rewritable CD.) Puppy automatically detects changes in the file system and saves them incrementally on the CD.[3]When the CD is full, users can easily switch to a new CD while carrying over all their files and desktop environment. While other distributions offer Live CD versions of their operating systems, they do not allow programs to be permanently added nor do they allow files to be written to the CD.

Puppy also features sophisticated write-caching system designed to extend the life of USB flash drives that Puppy Linux runs from.[4]

Desktop with one of multiple integrated themes with XMMS, mtPaint and gxine running plus an opened text file under Puppy Linux 2.15 CE Viz (with default WM: IceWM)

Puppy comes with a choice of 2 graphical servers: X.org (full-featured) and Xvesa (lightweight). A wizard during the start-up process guides the user through setting up a graphical server appropriate for their video card & monitor. At the end of the wizard the user will be presented with a desktop and window manager; the default WM in most Puppy releases is JWM. The 2.15 Community Edition provides the IceWM manager by default.

DotPup packages of the IceWM desktop, Fluxbox and Enlightenment are also available via a link on the Puppy Linux Wiki.

When the operating system boots, everything in the Puppy package uncompresses into a RAM area, the "ramdisk". The PC needs to have at least 128 MB of RAM (with no more than 8 MB shared video) for all of Puppy to load into the ramdisk. However, it is possible for it to run on a PC with only about 48 MB of RAM because part of the system can be kept on the hard drive, or in the worst case, left on the CD.

Puppy is fairly full-featured for a system that runs entirely in a ramdisk; applications were chosen that met various constraints, size in particular. Because one of the aims of the distribution is to be extremely easy to set up, there are a number of wizards that take the user through the process of a range of common tasks.

Package management and distribution management
wNOP v0.2 on EeePC: Puppy 3.01 & Compiz-Fusion

Puppy Linux comes with a specific package manager called PetGet. An older kind of packages, DotPup, were used in previous versions of the system and are still compatible.

Puppy Unleashed is available for creating a custom live CD. It consists of more than 500 packages that are put together according to the user's needs.

Puppy also comes with a remaster tool that takes a snapshot of the current system and creates a remastered live-CD from it.

Puppy Linux uses the T2 SDE build scripts to build the base binary packages.

Posted in |