Puppy Linux

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Puppy Linux

Postby Crapaud » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:14 am

I'm totally sold on this lean Linux. Has anyone else tried it? I just can't understand why it's not more popular.

Currently running Slacko 5.7 (Slackware compatible, but there's also Lucid Puppy for Ubuntu devotees) on an old Toshiba NB100 (upgraded to 2Mb RAM) which struggles with Mint, Ubuntu and the like but flies like a brand new box now. If you're not too fussed about bells, whistles and eye candy (although you do get the occasional "Woof!") I see no better option out there.

Perhaps I'm missing something, having only been test-driving it for a couple of months, but I'm completely bowled over so far. Other experiences, please?

Perhaps a LF review is in order.
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Postby nelz » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:44 am

It was reviewed in LXF186, in the Round Up. You may not agree with its final placing though...
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Postby ajgreeny » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:12 pm

The biggest problem for me is that puppy runs by default as root, not as a normal user.

Though they say this is not a problem, it always leaves me with an uneasy feeling. Perhaps not such a problem if you always run it as they say it should be, ie as a live (sort of) OS, but if you install to hard drive, which I never have, I'm not so sure.
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Postby Crapaud » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:52 am

I run Puppy as a frugal install on a seperate ext2 partition on my HD. Running as root as such shouldn't be an issue as the entire OS runs in your RAM and if you screw up then you just don't save the session and it's as if it never happened once you re-boot.

However...

1) By default, Slacko Puppy (at least) auto-saves every 30 minutes, so to be on the safe side it's best to set this value to 0 (never auto-save) and just save the session yourself whenever expedient.

2) Again by default, you are not given the option to discard the session when you shut down. This, I agree, is a serious oversight and to fix it to prompt you whether or not to save when you shut down you need to edit a couple of files (details of which can be found on the Puppy Linux forum). But I guess anyone savvy enough to do something stupid on the command line will not find this a problem.

If you have security concerns about running programs as root, it is now pssible to run anything as a pseudo-user called Spot (cute, eh?) which does not have root priviledges.

Were you to run Puppy as a full install from your hard drive (which would only be advisable if you had insufficient RAM to run it frugally) then, yes, it could be a problem.

While on the subject of oversights, there is no automated update for Puppy; you have to go to the website and download patches, fixes etc. manually. For me, though, this is more of a feature than a bug as I normally use my net book on the move with a 3G dongle and I don't want to be prompted to download system stuff while I'm paying by the meg.

I hadn't spotted LF's assessment of Puppy. Naturally, I don't agree with it, but then it's all a matter of personal taste. Everyone seems to love Mint, for example, while I find it overblown, clunky and far too M$W-like.
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Postby Crapaud » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:37 am

A final caveat: if you run out of RAM while running Puppy frugally then you get the eqivalent of the old Windows BSD and the only option is to do a hard shut-down, thus losing the entire session.

Although Puppy doesn't create one automatically, it's vital to have a decent-sized swap partition if your RAM, like mine, is unduly limited.

That said, using swap I can even edit video files on my feeble Toshiba, something that would be unthinkable with, say, Windows Movie Maker or even Avidemux: if they didn't crash Windows entirely then they'd take forever and a year to render the thing.

And since Puppy makes so few demands on your system resources then you can run programs with a low-power machine that would be impossible with Windows or a more demanding Linux. Heck, I can even watch HD MPEGS on mine.

Sorry, guys, but I just love it!
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Postby nelz » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:36 am

Running is RAM is no protection. Root is root and still has access to everything available on your hard drive, even on unmounted partitions. It means the smallest security hole in any of the software can become a gaping chasm.
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Postby Crapaud » Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:17 pm

nelz wrote:Running is RAM is no protection. Root is root and still has access to everything available on your hard drive, even on unmounted partitions. It means the smallest security hole in any of the software can become a gaping chasm.


I didn't know that about unmounted partitions.

But wouldn't the same apply to using a Widows administrator account? (Besides its not having access to ext* partitions.)
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Postby nelz » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:25 pm

If you're root you can mount any partition. Not sure about widows though...

If you're saying that Puppy is no more insecure than Windows, well, that's hardly a glowing recommendation
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Postby roseway » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:05 am

nelz wrote:If you're root you can mount any partition. Not sure about widows though...


No, you can't mount widows... :roll:
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:54 am

roseway wrote:
nelz wrote:If you're root you can mount any partition. Not sure about widows though...


No, you can't mount widows... :roll:


Depends on the widow ;)
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:56 am

+1 for the opinion of Mint, I hate it almost as much as some XP refugees love it.
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Postby nelz » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:59 am

I thought Mint was for Ubuntu refugees?
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:23 pm

Those who renounce Ubuntu are apostates, not refugees.
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Postby Crapaud » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:48 am

OK, let's be practical here.

I use my netbook for word-crunching, email, webbing and editing multimedia on the road. So, yeah, I may occasionally use it to check my bank balance, but then the alternative would be to use a shared terminal in a library.

My point is, I really don't need it to be a digital fortress. I'm not running Apache here. For my purposes (and those of most users, I'd have thought) the security is Good Enough.

Let me woof! Puppy rocks. Period ;)




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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:16 am

Lubuntu works nicely on my Acer aspire one netbook, with 16gb ssd and 1.5gb ram.
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