Taking Puppy Linux for a walk

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I’ve got a good amount of old hardware laying around my house.  At one time, this hardware was hot stuff.  “The Cat’s Meow”, so to speak.  Now, it is barely usable.  Why is that?  The hardware hasn’t changed, just the load of the operating system and what it is trying to do.

I’ve been playing around with some light weight Linux Operating systems such as Xubuntu and Damn Small Linux (aka DSL).  I wouldn’t recommend Xubuntu on anything older than a PIII, but DSL works well on PIIs.  I was at my parent’s house and trying out these two distros on their old Celeron and neither were able to identify their hardware that well.  DSL worked okay, after some weird graphical flashing during the boot process.

Well, I was listening to the Linux Action Show the other day, and another listener sent in a audio file saying how great Puppy Linux was.   I’ve heard about Puppy Linux but I could never get past it’s name and never gave it a try.  Well, I was WRONG!  Very cool!

This distro doesn’t play off of the live CD without asking a couple of reasonable questions, but after that point, it just plain rocks on my old hardware.  It runs completely in 64M of RAM so once the Live CD is loaded, it is no longer needed.  Yes, this means that you can play CDs, etc.  The best part is that the applications start up quick as can be.

The applications are the big boys, remember that this is a small footprint distro, but the applications are reasonably easy to use!  (Some of the applications in DSL are rather esoteric.)  The spreadsheet works similar to Excel, the browser (Seamonkey) plays videos on YouTube.com, etc.  Bottom line: everything works as it should.  There’s even a connection wizard that steps you through connecting to the internet via network or dial-up.

I can’t wait to try this on my parents computer.  Two thumbs up.  Take Puppy out for a walk!

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