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Installing Puppy Linux

What is Puppy Linux?

Puppy Linux is a lightweight Linux Distro: the kernel is small enough for most PCs to read it all from a USB Stick straight into RAM memory and keep it there - and this makes it quick. We tend to use it for troubleshooting problems on non-Linux PCs or where the O/S will no longer boot for some reason (-for example, it is experiencing drive problems) and we need to investigate. It is also great for resurrecting old PCs with limited processing, RAM and storage.

.. the [Puppy] kernel is small enough for most PCs to read it straight from a USB Stick into RAM .. this makes it quick

In this chapter, we show you exactly how to setup a USB memory stick that you can use to boot any PC into Puppy Linux.


Installing Puppy Linux to a USB Drive

Once you have downloaded your desired distribution and used it to create a boot disc, then use the latter to boot your new PC (-or indeed, you can use a surrogate PC without harming it). The boot process will temporarily pause to allow you to enter specific boot commands before continuing with the boot process. You can either click "ENTER" or wait a few seconds to continue the boot process:

Puppy Boot Screen

Once booted, Puppy will display the GUI desktop (5.2.5 shown) below:

Puppy Desktop

To install Puppy, first click on the “Install” icon:

5.2.5:Install Puppy Icon 5.2.5 5.2.8:Install Puppy Icon 5.2.8

The following dialogue box should open up:

Puppy Installer

To install to a USB drive, click on the lightning flash icon next to "Click button to run bootflash USB Installer". This should open another dialogue box:

Puppy BootFlash USB Installer

Choose the default option ("USB-HDD") and click "OK". Another dialogue box will display:

Insert USB Drive Prompt

Insert your USB stick into a suitable USB port on your computer. Check if your USB stick is automatically mounted (-normally this is shown as the icon having a green (or red) spot over the icon as shown below):

5.2.5:Mounted Puppy Drive 5.2.5 5.2.8:Mounted Puppy Drive 5.2.8

If your USB drive icon has this green spot image, then right click over it's icon and choose the "Unmount (if currently mounted)" option:

Unmount Drive Dialogue

If all went well, you should see the green spot disappear from the icon on the desktop and you are OK to continue:

Unmounted Puppy Drive

Back in the dialogue box, click on "OK" to continue:

Insert USB Drive Prompt

A new dialogue box will open. Select the USB drive you wish to use (-assuming you have more than one attached) and click "OK" to continue:

Choose which USB Drive

A new dialogue box will open asking you to confirm this is the correct USB drive; click "OK" to continue:

Confirm USB Write

Whilst the drive is being formatted, you'll see the following message:

Formatting Drive

Once complete you'll see the following dialogue; click "Install Puppy" to continue:

Confirm Bootable

Navigate to the .iso file on the boot disc and click "OK" to continue:

Select .iso File

Whilst the files are being copied, you'll see the following message:

Copying Files

Once complete you'll see the following dialogue; click "OK" to close the wizard:

Install Complete

If you now open the USB drive, you should see the Puppy files listed:

Installation Files

Note: if you are using a brand new (unformatted) USB drive, you may be directed to use the Puppy Universal Installer instead:

Puppy Universal Installer

Once opened, just follow the directions given by the Puppy Universal Installer to format the USB stick so it is bootable


Booting Puppy Linux from the USB Drive

Insert the formatted USB stick created in the previous step into an available USB port on your new PC and then reboot it. Once booted, Puppy will boot and display it's desktop again:

Puppy Desktop

Note: USB sticks are not normally the default boot device (-normally, it is a CD ROM) so check your BIOS manual for the correct key to press to enter the boot priority menu. See the standard boot procedure section for further details

.. you can now boot any PC .. into Puppy using this USB stick ..

Note: you can now boot any PC (without harming it) into Puppy using this USB stick. That's what makes Puppy Linux great for diagnosing and recovering failed hardware


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