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Puppy Linux

puppy linux, puppy linux system requirements
Puppy Linux is an operating system and lightweight Linux distribution that focuses on ease of use3 and minimal memory footprint The entire system can be run from RAM with current versions generally taking up about 210 MB,4 allowing the boot medium to be removed after the operating system has started Applications such as AbiWord, Gnumeric and MPlayer are included, along with a choice of lightweight web browsers and a utility for downloading other packages The distribution was originally developed by Barry Kauler and other members of the community, until Kauler retired in 20135 The tool Woof can build a Puppy Linux distribution from the binary packages of other Linux distributions6


  • 1 History
    • 11 Release Versions
  • 2 Features
  • 3 User interface
  • 4 Package and distribution management
  • 5 Building the distribution
  • 6 Official variants
  • 7 Reception
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


Barry Kauler started Puppy Linux in response to a trend of other distributions being stricter on system requirements with time His own distribution, with an emphasis on speed and efficiency, started from "Boot disk HOWTO" and gradually included components file-by-file until Puppy Linux was completed7clarification needed Puppy Linux started as Vector Linux based until it became a fully independent distribution8

Release Versionsedit

Puppy Linux 430 Puppy Linux 500 Puppy Linux 528 Lucid Puppy Puppy Linux 530 Slacko Puppy Puppy Linux 54 Slacko Puppy Puppy Linux 55 Slacko Puppy Puppy Linux 57 Slacko Puppy Puppy Linux 60 Tahrpup
Version Release Date
Puppy 0 18 June 2003
Puppy 1 29 March 2005
Puppy 2 1 June 2006
Puppy 3 2 October 2007
Puppy 4 5 May 2008
Puppy 5 15 May 2010
Puppy 6 26 October 2014

Puppy 0 is the initial release of Puppy Linux It has no unionfs, extreme minimal persistence support, and has no package manager or ability to install applications9

Puppy 1 series will run comfortably on very dated hardware, such as a Pentium computer with at least 32 MB RAM For newer systems, the USB keydrive version might be better although if USB device booting is not directly supported in the BIOS, the Puppy floppy boot disk can be used to kick-start it It is possible to run Puppy Linux with Windows 9x/Windows Me It is also possible, if the BIOS does not support booting from USB drive, to boot from the CD and keep user state on a USB keydrive; this will be saved on shutdown and read from the USB device on bootup10

Puppy 2 uses the Mozilla-based SeaMonkey as its Internet suite primarily a web browser and e-mail client

Puppy 3 features Slackware 12 compatibility11 This is accomplished by the inclusion of almost all the dependencies needed for the installation of Slackware packages However, Puppy Linux is not a Slackware-based distribution12

Puppy 4 is built from scratch using the T2 SDE13 and no longer features native Slackware 12 compatibility14 in order to reduce the size and include newer package versions than that found in 3 To compensate for this, an optional "compatibility collection" of packages was created that restores some of the lost compatibility14

  • Puppy 42 features changes to the user interface and backend, upgraded packages, language and character support, new in-house software and optimizations, while still keeping the ISO image size under 100 MB15

Puppy 5 is based on a project called Woof16 which is designed to assemble a Puppy Linux distribution from the packages of other Linux distributions Woof includes some binaries and software derived from Ubuntu, Debian, Slackware, T2 SDE, or Arch repositories Puppy 5 came with a stripped down version of the Midori browser to be used for reading help files and a choice of web browsers to be installed, including Chromium, Firefox, SeaMonkey Internet Suite, Iron and Opera1718

Puppy 6 is built from Ubuntu 1404 Trusty Tahr packages, has binary compatibility with Ubuntu 1404 and access to the Ubuntu package repositories Tahrpup is built from the woof-CE build system, forked from Barry Kauler's Woof late last year after he announced his retirement from Puppy development It is built from the latest testing branch, incorporates all the latest woof-CE features and is released in PAE and noPAE ISOs, with the option to switch kernels19


Puppy Linux is a complete operating system bundled with a collection of applications suited to general use tasks It can be used as a rescue disk,20 a demonstration system that leaves the previous installation unaltered, as an accommodation for a system with a blank or missing hard drive, or for using modern software on legacy computers21

Puppy's compact size allows it to boot from any media that the computer can support It can function as a live USB for flash devices or other USB mediums, a CD, an internal hard disk drive, an SD card, a Zip drive or LS-120/240 SuperDisk, through PXE, and through a floppy boot disk that chainloads the data from other storage media It has also been ported to ARM and can run on a single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi22

Puppy Linux features built-in tools which can be used to create bootable USB drives, create new Puppy CDs, or remaster a new live CD with different packages2324 It also uses a sophisticated write-caching system with the purpose of extending the life of live USB flash drives25

Puppy Linux includes the ability to use a normal persistent updating environment on a write-once multisession CD/DVD that does not require a rewritable disc; this is a unique feature that sets it apart from other Linux distributions26 While other distributions offer live CD versions of their operating systems, none offer a similar feature It works particularly well with DVDs due in part to the larger space available than a CDdubious – discuss

Puppy's bootloader does not mount hard drives or connect to the network automatically This ensures that a bug or even unknowingly incompatible software won't corrupt the contents of such devices27better source needed

Puppy Linux offers a session save on shutdown Since Puppy Linux fundamentally runs in RAM, any files and configurations made or changed in a session would disappear otherwise This feature enables the user to either save the contents to a writable storage medium, or write the file system to the same CD containing Puppy, if "multisession" was used to create the booted CD and if the disc drive supports burning This applies to CD-Rs as well as CD-RWs and DVDs

It is also possible to save all files to an external hard drive, USB stick, or even a floppy disk instead of the root file system Puppy can also be installed to a hard disk28

User interfaceedit

Desktop with one of multiple integrated themes with XMMS a multimedia player, mtPaint a painting program for creating pixel art and manipulating digital photos and mplayer running, plus an opened text file under Puppy Linux 215 CE Viz with default WM: IceWM

The default window manager in most Puppy releases is JWM29

Packages of the IceWM desktop, Fluxbox and Enlightenment are also available via Puppy's PetGet package application management system see below Some derivative distributions, called puplets, come with default window managers other than JWM30

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 less effectively, left on the CD

Puppy is fairly full-featured for a system that runs entirely in a ramdisk, when booted as Live system or from a 'frugal' installation However, Puppy also supports the 'full' installation mode, which enables Puppy to run from a hard drive partition, without 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 many wizards that guide the user through a wide variety of common tasks31citation needed

Package and distribution managementedit

wNOP v02 on EeePC: Puppy 301 & Compiz-Fusion Puppy Package Manager showing Slackware 14 indic fonts package

Puppy Linux's package manager, Puppy Package Manager, installs packages in PET Puppy Enhanced Tarball format by default but it also accepts packages from other distros such as deb, rpm, txz, and tgz packages or by using third-party tools to convert packages from other distros to PET packages Puppy Package Manager can also trim the software bloat of a package to reduce the disk space used32

Building the distributionedit

On earlier releases of Puppy Linux, Puppy Unleashed was used to create Puppy ISO images It consists of more than 500 packages that are put together according to the user's needs However, on later versions starting with Puppy Linux version 50, it was replaced by Woof It is an advanced tool for creating Puppy installations It requires an Internet connection and some knowledge of Linux to use It is able to download the binary source packages from another Linux distribution and process them into Puppy Linux packages by just defining the name of that Linux distro33 It is equipped with a simpler version control named Bones on earlier releases but on later versions of woof, Fossil version control is used34

Puppy also comes with a remastering tool that takes a "snapshot" of the current system and lets the user create a live CD from it, and an additional remastering tool that is able to remove installed componentscitation needed

Puppy Linux uses the T2 SDE build scripts to build the base binary packagescitation needed

Official variantsedit

Because of the relative ease with which the Woof tool and the remaster tool can be used to build variants of Puppy Linux, there are many variants available635 Variants of Puppy Linux are known as puplets

After Barry Kauler reduced his involvement with the Puppy Project, he designed two new distributions within the same Puppy Linux family, Quirky and Wary

Quirky An embedded distro with all files contained in an initramfs built into the kernel It has simple module loading management but fewer drivers are included36 Racy A variant of Wary optimized for newer PCs37 Wary A Puppy variant targeted at users with old hardware It uses an older Linux kernel, which has long-term support and the newest applications38


DistroWatch reviewer Rober Storey concluded about Puppy 525 in April 2011: "A lot of people like Puppy — it's in the top 10 of the DistroWatch page-hit ranking I enjoy Puppy too, and it's what I run exclusively on my netbook Maybe the only thing wrong with Puppy is that users' expectations tend to exceed the developer's intentions"39

In a detailed review of Puppy Linux in May 2011 Howard Fosdick of OS News addressed the root user issue, "In theory this could be a problem — but in practice it presents no downside I've never heard of a single Puppy user suffering a problem due to this" Fosdick concluded "I like Puppy because it's the lightest Linux distro I've found that is still suitable for end users Install it on an old P-III or P-IV computer and your family or friends will use it just as effectively for common tasks as any expensive new machine"40

In December 2011 Jesse Smith, writing in DistroWatch, reviewed Puppy 530 Slacko Puppy He praised its simplicity, flexibility and clear explanations, while noting the limitations of running as root He concluded "I would also like to see an option added during the boot process which would give the user the choice of running in unprivileged mode as opposed to running as root Always being the administrator has its advantages for convenience, but it means that the user is always one careless click away from deleting their files and one exploit away from a compromised operating system As a live CD it's hard to beat Puppy Linux for both performance and functional software It has minimal hardware requirements and is very flexible It's a great distro as long as you don't push it too far out of its niche"41

In December 2011 Howard Fosdick reviewed the versions of Puppy Linux then available He concluded, "Puppy's diversity and flexibility make it a great community-driven system for computer enthusiasts, hobbyists, and tinkerers They also make for a somewhat disorderly world You might have to read a bit to figure out which Puppy release or Puplet is for you Puppy's online documentation is extensive but can be confusing It's not always clear which docs pertain to which releases Most users rely on the active, friendly forum for support" He also noted "Those of us who enjoy computers sometimes forget that many view them with disdain What's wrong with it now Why do I have to buy a new one every four years Why on earth do they change the interface in every release Can't it just work Puppy is a great solution for these folks It's up-to-date, free, and easy to use And now, it supports free applications from the Ubuntu, Slackware, or Puppy repositories Now that's user-friendly"42

See alsoedit

  • Open-source software portal
  • Linux portal
  • Lightweight Linux distribution
  • List of Linux distributions that run from RAM


  1. ^ "Puppy Time Line pre-Puppy Version 1 2003-2005" PuppyLinux Retrieved 2012-05-06 
  2. ^ Kauler, Barry 2015-11-17 "Puppy Linux 63 released" Barry's news Retrieved 2015-11-17 
  3. ^ Fosdick, Howard October 8, 2007 "An in-depth look at Puppy Linux" DesktopLinux Archived from the original on January 16, 2013 Retrieved August 19, 2016 
  4. ^ Kauler, Barry 2008 "Official Puppy Linux Website" Archived from the original on December 11, 2015 Retrieved July 13, 2016 
  5. ^ Kauler, Barry "TahrPup 60" Bkhomeorg Retrieved 2013-08-04 
  6. ^ a b "Announcement and release notes for Lucid Puppy 50" 
  7. ^ "Interview: Barry Kauler, Puppy Linux" DistroWatch Weekly DistroWatch November 14, 2005 Retrieved 2016-08-19 
  8. ^ "Puppy Linux History" puppylinuxcom Retrieved 26 August 2016 
  9. ^ "Puppy Linux History" puppylinuxcom Retrieved 2016-08-16 
  10. ^ "Pupsave file" PuppyLinuxcom 
  11. ^ Kauler, Barry "Puppy 300 Released Updated to 301" Archived from the original on November 8, 2007 
  12. ^ Kauler, Barry "Puppy Linux release notes v300" 
  13. ^ Kauler, Barry "Puppy Linux release notes 400" 
  14. ^ a b Kauler, Barry "package management" 
  15. ^ Kauler, Barry "Puppy Linux 42" Retrieved 6 April 2011 
  16. ^ Kauler, Barry 9 February 2009 "Woof: the 'Puppy builder'" Puppy developer pages Retrieved 2009-02-13 
  17. ^ Puppy Linux May 2016 "Index of /puppylinux/Lucid_Puppy" Retrieved May 14, 2016 
  18. ^ Puppy Linux May 2016 "Index of /puppylinux/pet-packages-lucid/" Retrieved May 14, 2016 
  19. ^ Kauler, Barry May 2013 "Announcement and release notes for Tahrpup 60 CE" iBiblioorg Retrieved May 14, 2016 
  20. ^ "Taking Puppy Linux for a Walk" 
  21. ^ "Reviving old computer" 
  22. ^ "ARM" PuppyLinux May 29, 2013 Retrieved August 12, 2013 
  23. ^ "Make your own Puppy-CD" Archived from the original on August 19, 2016 Retrieved August 19, 2016 
  24. ^ "Remastering" Puppy Linux Wiki Retrieved August 19, 2016 
  25. ^ Kauler, Barry September 9, 2006 "How Puppy Works" Archived from the original on August 19, 2016 Retrieved August 19, 2016 
  26. ^ "Puppy Multisession DVD/CD" 
  27. ^ "AutoFS" 
  28. ^ Eckstein, Keith July 2010 "And they call it Puppy Love…" Archived from the original on July 11, 2010 Retrieved 9 July 2010 
  29. ^ "JWM" PuppyLinuxorg 
  30. ^ "IceWM" PupWeborg 
  31. ^ "AboutPuppy - Puppy Linux" Archived from the original on 2008-06-21 Retrieved 2008-08-02 
  32. ^ Kauler, Barry October 2009 "Package management" Retrieved 23 January 2011 
  33. ^ Barry Kauler March 2010 "Woof: the "Puppy builder"" 
  34. ^ Barry Kauler March 2010 "Bones: version control" 
  35. ^ "PuppyLinux: Puplets" 
  36. ^ Quirky
  37. ^ "Puppy Linux Community - Home" Puppylinuxorg Retrieved 2012-04-12 
  38. ^ Kauler, Barry "Wary Puppy Linux" bkhomeorg Retrieved 26 August 2016 
  39. ^ Storey, Robert April 2011 "Puppy Linux 525 - taking a bite out of bloat" DistroWatch Retrieved 23 April 2011 
  40. ^ Fosdick, Howard May 2011 "Puppy Linux: Top Dog of the Lightweight Distros" OS News Retrieved 17 May 2011 
  41. ^ Smith, Jesse 12 December 2011 "Review: Puppy Linux 53 "Slacko"" DistroWatch Retrieved 12 December 2011 
  42. ^ Fosdick, Howard 17 December 2011 "Puppy Has A Litter" OS News Retrieved 17 December 2011 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Community website
  • Puppy Linux at DistroWatch

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