22 Oct 2010

Meeting the Puppy, or Tux in canine skin

It is time now to talk a little about the cute little puppy.
Of course, I am not going to talk about animals here. We are talking about Puppy Linux.
I heard about it for the first time long before the first acquaintance. Many sites and articles about "pocket" Linux-systems, referred me to this animal.
My first meeting was with version 5.1.1, which had been released just days before this acquaintance.
Download the image of the CD-ROM. It is only about 130M. Burn it. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

Puppy wanted to have a walk walk right after start. To the Internet, of course. I am saying this because configuration of Internet connection, keyboard and other things appear, or very obviously offered, on the first run. That was friendly enough! Puppy found WiFi-card on my laptop with no problems. The network connection has been established almost immediately.
That's setting up the keyboard which was tricky. In the fact, configuration of Russian winkeys keyboard layouts was not clear process. Puppy defaults DOS-layout for some reason.  I have not seen keyboards with this layout for long time now! This is where the dot and comma are the keys 7 and 6 respectively, if you know what I mean. After several "approaches" I learned the proper methods of selecting winkeys-layout in the wizard. But for a start I had to put my hands on the configuration file. Fortunately, I had similar experience with SLAX, so learnt a little that time.
Network drive connection turned out to be much more difficult. I wrote little script for these purposes which works during X-server startup (…/Startup). But the script just would not work. I had to add check that network is alive at the time of connection to a network drive. It turned out that problem was with X-server which re-starts network and simultaneously runs scripts in Startup. In other words, network drive was attempted to connect when network was off.
But problem was resolved with joint efforts of myself and colleagues from the forum PuppyRus.Org.

  • What did I like in Puppy? As I've written before, Puppy runs from CD-ROM. But he knows how to keep your data: configuration files and so on  This can be done either on the same CD, if CD-RW, or on hard disk. Generally speaking, I used the second option. As a result, when running Puppy, kernel is loaded from CD, and the configuration details are picked up from the local disk.
  • What I did not like? Well, I have already written about a little problems with the keyboard and connection to network drive. But they are really small, and easy to solve problems. Same level of difficulty is dull appearance of the standard system in version 5.1.1. You do not have the bright and exciting colors of icons here that are visible in the screenshots from previous versions. But that can be easily "cured" by downloading and installing themes. A selection of them is huge!
Puppy, as many other Linux distributives, can be purchased on a CD if you have problems with downloading of image or CD burning. Please have a look at Buy Linux CDs! page!

More about Puppy:
http://bkhome.org/blog/ - blog of the author
http://www.puppylinux.com/news/ - official news
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy - forum of Puppy users
http://puppyrus.org - Russian localized fork of Puppy

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