Puppy Linux : A Linux distribution that runs completely on RAM
Over years size of software along with processing power of computers have increased considerably , i still remember the first Linux distribution i used was Red Hat Linux 5.2 came on a single CD , now RHEL or Fedora comes on a DVD or 5-6 Cd's , even Windows has grown tremendously in size , memory requirement have zoomed the latest Windows Vista requires almost 2GB of Ram and a fast processor to run flawlessly. Now here is a shocker Puppy Linux is a Linux distribution that is only 28-70 Megabytes in size and come fully featured Graphical Desktop with Web Browser , Word Processor , Download
According to Puppy Linux Website the goal of Puppy Linux is to create a Linux distribution that is user friendly , quick to run and include all the applications that user needs .
Installing puppy Linux is not all that difficult download the ISO's from their website and burn it on a cdrom now after this boot from the cdrom on booting puppy Linux it asks a number of questions regarding Hardware Configurations , Video Card and Monitor and stuff ,after completing these steps Puppy Linux boots into impressive graphical desktop in less than a minute . You dont have to enter these information everytime you boot they can be saved on hard-disk or USB Flash memory or burned on a cd so that you dont have to enter these information everytime you boot Puppy Linux . Now i have to admit i wasn't expecting such a good graphical environment on puppy Linux considering it is only 70 Megabytes in size . The user interface was extremely responsive helped by the fact it was running entirely on RAM and it wasn't accessing data from hard disk frequently which is significantly slower than accessing data from RAM .
Now Puppy Linux since aims to be a distribution for newbies so icons were very logically named write , draw , connect and other user friendly captions were provided for different programs , So that new Linux user dosen't have any problem recognizing programs which he might have not seen earlier .
This is how Puppy Linux Desktop Looks : -
What is included ?
Some of the important Application that are included with Puppy Linux includes : -
1. Sea Monkey Web browser
2. AbiWord Word Processor
3. Ghostview PDF Viewer
4. Axel Download Accelator
5. Dillo Web browser
6. Gxine Media player
7. DVD Video ripper ( :) )
8. Gnumeric Spreadsheet Program
9. Inklite Vector Editor
11. A collection of small games
and other programs
Now i access Internet through LAN , i had no problem installing LAN on puppy Linux it provides a very useful graphical tool for configuring Internet connection through LAN or modem .
The Web Browser that is included with Puppy Linux is Sea Monkey which is based on Mozilla code base same as Mozilla Firefox. I Did not encounter any problem in using Internet through Sea Monkey most of the website rendered without any problem . Even Macromedia/Adobe Flash Extensions was installed by default this is really wonderful packing in fully functional web browser with Macromedia flash plug in along with other applications in 70 megabytes .
USB Flash Memory drives through graphical wizards , When you log out of puppy Linux you have a option of saving your work , modifications , setting and documents on the CD itself if it is multi session disk since puppy Linux runs entirely on RAM you can write these data on puppy Linux CD itself or you can store it on your hard disk ,USB Flash Drive .
Now Gxine in Puppy Linux comes with number of codecs though w32codecs package is not installed by default so some audio/video files may not play well but most of the popular ones did play without any problem i tried playing avi,mpg ,Video CD's and other files all played well with minor adjustments .
Even though Puppy Linux comes with wide array of application you can install more application from puppy's application repositories , Puppy Linux uses (.pup) files for applications and if you cannot find particular installation file you can also use debian packages for installing applications on Puppy using alien . Puppy Linux uses different file format for installing application since Puppy Linux is not based on any other Linux distribution but was created from scratch by Puppy Linux creator Barry Kauler.
If you are feeling bored there are collection of neat games that comes with puppy linux enabling you to have fun on puppy Linux .
Article written by : -
Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj(at)gmail.com)
for Linux on Desktop , (C) 2007