Part of the book: The KWLUG User Reviews Compendium
Note: This review was originally submitted to the KWLUG website by user rarsa (firstname.lastname@example.org) and all writing credit belongs to them. I have moved it from the old site to the new one.
Puppy linux is a fully functional light weight distro that can run from CD, from HDD and from Flash RAM (USB pen).
- It'z blazingly fast. Works 100% from RAM if you have 64 MB or more. If you have less you will need a swap partition. (although a swap partition is always advisable)
- Works really nice in old systems. Works awsome in newer systems. (I've tried in a P133, Pentium 1.7 GHz, Celeron 2.8 GHz)
- I was surprised with how many apps come bundled in 60 MB. Network, video, audio, samba client, Graphics, word processing, browser, e-mail, etc. All worked out of the box, MP3, AVI, etc.
- It even recognized the wireless PCI card on my laptop! out of the box no configuration what so ever. Just press a button to acquire the IP through DHCP.
- It is Portable! You can carry it around in a USB pen: OS, applications and documents. Just for the fun of it I actually installed it to the flash ram of my digital camera (64 MB) and booted my computer from there. I also installed it to my son's MP3 player (128 MB)
- It comes with very simple but helpfull configuration tools.
- It has a nice package manager.
- It comes with the Fvwm95 window manager as a default but installing IceWM and IceWM themes takes a couple of seconds (really). It took me minutes to configure it to look very visualy appealing.
- If you don't have a USB pen you can boot from CD and save your files to HDD. Even to a NTFS partition!
- Do yu have a CD-RW? Great! because puppy can write back the configuration and files back to the CD-RW as if it was a HDD. Ain't that awsome?
- It comes with an very simple utility to remaster the LiveCD. This means that you can configure it however you like and then create the iso image with your particular preferences.
- The light display manager it comes with only works at 60 KHz but for low end systems I don't think it's an issue. I use it on a laptop so refresh rate is not an issue.
- It has a small selection of applications available through the package manager. (On the bright side it has most of what a normal user would need)
- You cannot compile applications within Puppy. You have to set up a separate Distro to compile kernel drivers and applications. (On the bright side the instructions provided are quite clear)
- The configuration utilities are not very visually apealing although they are simpler to use and do the job better than many other tools in other distributions.
- The Display manager works with root privileges. It is better if you work behind a firewall.
Haven't found anything ugly yet. If I do I'll update this review.
Puppy has many features that other grown-up distros are still lacking
Wether you want to use Puppy as a primary distribution in a low end system, as a secondary distribution to cary your linux around or as a live CD to show to your friends, It is worth trying it.