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An Introduction to Puppy Linux

Puppy Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements for the current (Lucid) release of Puppy are:

  • 100Mb core size
  • Can be run directly from a USB Stick
  • CD/DVD drive or USB port (-for installation media)

The Advantages of Puppy Linux

The Lucid Puppy 5.2.5 desktop looks as follows:

The Puppy Desktop

The Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 desktop looks as follows:

The Puppy Desktop

The small footprint - and user friendliness - make Puppy the distro of choice for older hardware that is not capable of running one the "big three" .. distros.

In our opinion, Puppy Linux has four main strengths (-over and above the usual Linux ones):

  • It runs on low-specification hardware - and can run directly (-and usably) from a CD or USB stick - making it the first choice for reviving old PCs

  • It is user-friendly for Linux newcomers, with little need to drop to the command line for day-to-day tasks

  • It's based on Ubuntu, which means that much of the software available for Ubuntu will also work on Puppy

  • It's community based, which means that any Linux developers out there (-and there are many) can contribute to the codebase. Often, this means fixes are available quicker than distros maintained by companies (-such as Ubuntu and Fedora) - which generally only release updates twice a year

The small footprint - and user friendliness - make Puppy the distro of choice for older hardware that is not capable of running one the "big three" (Ubuntu, Fedora and Mint) distros.

The Disadvantages of Puppy Linux

The main drawbacks of using Puppy are:

  • It is not Ubuntu! Although based on it, Puppy differs in many ways from it's sibling, so only a small subset of applications there for Ubuntu will work with it. Also, the latest version of Puppy will not be based on the latest version of Ubuntu: it is invariably some way behind (-e.g. two or three releases)

  • Puppy has a conservative approach to new technologies so, if you like to keep up with leading edge technologies - or flashy desktops - then you may be better suited to a distro such as Fedora instead

Puppy is a great choice for low-specification hardware or occasional use but, if your hardware allows it, we would advise looking at one of the "big three" if you are looking for a serious long-term O/S.

Puppy Applications

Puppy ships with a useful amount of installed applications: to see a short summary of these, please see our section on Default Puppy Applications. Also, see our Useful Linux Applications to see where to go to install our recommended software.

Video Tour of the Puppy Linux Desktop

We have created a 15 minute video of the Puppy desktop in action on our Video Section: why not take a tour of Puppy 5.2.5 or a tour of Puppy 5.2.8?

Puppy Linux Releases

As well as a decimal number, Puppy releases use a name for the release, which normally link it to the Ubuntu codebase it is based on. Unlike the Ubuntu or Mint names, there can be many versions of Puppy using the same name - for example, Puppy 5.2.5 and 5.2.8 are both referred to as "Lucid Puppy" - as they are both based on the same Ubuntu codebase.

Note: there is an alternative version (-called Slacko Puppy) of Puppy based instead on Slackware binaries

Release NameRelease NumberRelease DateBased on Ubuntu
Lucid Puppy5.2January 201110.04
Lucid Puppy5.2.5April 201110.04
Lucid Puppy5.2.8April 201210.04

Installing Puppy

Puppy is unusual in that it can be installed to a USB Stick as well as a hard drive. It can be installed by doing the following:

Links to Puppy Linux Articles

We have created several short articles to allow you to familiarise yourself with Puppy. This should help you decide if this is the Linux distribution for you - before you take the plunge and download it! Here are a selection of the main pages you may want to review:

Installing the OSHow to install the Puppy O/S
The Puppy DesktopAn introduction to desktop and how to use it
The Puppy File ManagerHow to use the Puppy file manager
Installing Applications with QuickPetHow to install and remove application in QuickPet
Installing Applications with PPMHow to install and remove application in the Puppy Package Manager (PPM)

Further Reading:

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