I've used Puppy Linux off and on (mostly on) for several years and the latest official versions are very well done. However, although Puppy was originally designed for very old hardware I've had many difficulties getting it installed on my two old laptops - due to the install routine not liking my PCMCIA CD drive on one laptop and the install routine freezing on the other. If I removed the laptop batteries so nothing was left in memory when shut down, and kept trying to install using wubi and other contortions, I was eventually able to get it installed. Lately I've simply gotten pissed off, and that's why I turned to Lubuntu.
Once installed, Puppy is a great OS except for wireless support, which completely sucks. I found I needed to step through the wireless wizard every time a laptop was booted, and usually after about 8 hours of use. Puppy has been in development for many years but somehow the developers never thought the poor wireless support was important. This, despite many hundreds (thousands?) of posts in the user forums asking for assistance or simply complaining. User support in the forums is generally excellent. Perhaps with the new repositories available, including those for Ubuntu, WICD could be installed in Puppy. Not sure.
Aside from wireless issues, Puppy development is mired in anarchy. No apparent guidelines or goals and with so many release variations it gets very confusing. The anarchy is also reflected in their multiple websites and how the websites are (not) organized. I don't mean to bash Puppy - I like it a lot. But if you want to simply install and use Puppy, you're likely out of luck unless you're on a newer computer (5-6 years?) with an ethernet web connection. If you have the time to invest, Puppy is definitely worth checking out - even for a newbee. Among other things, you can easily install it on a memory stick and boot from that stick. And yes, it is very fast.
As for Lubuntu - I installed it with no issues on one of my old laptops and - wireless just works. It's not as fast as Puppy, but it's very impressive. I loaded the Seamonkey browser to compare with Chromium and it seemed a bit faster but not enough to force a decision. I like the layout of Chromium, but I also like the many available plugins for Seamonkey and the easy way they can be installed and managed. I have yet to decide which one I'll use.
You may want to try dual-booting Lubuntu and Puppy. Install Lubuntu first and then Puppy. Most of the Puppy ISOs are between 195 and 220MB is size, so disk space shouldn't be a concern. Puppy will install on the same partition as Lubuntu and then install or modify GRUB so you can dual-boot. Removing Puppy is as easy as deleting a few files and modifying the GRUB menu.
I suggest that if you just want something that works with a minimum amount of tweaking and research, go with Lubuntu.
between those 2, i'd go with lubuntu.
i find lubuntu is just so easy to tweak.
i'm using lubuntu now, just installed before i went to bed, so now i'm just setting it up.
i'm currently working on the lubuntu netbook session, i removed lxlauncher & put netbook-launcher-efl. now i'm just tweaking openbox & lxde to behave the netbook way.
Last edited by kerry_s; July 5th, 2010 at 11:02 PM.
Puppy has been okay the few times I've tried it, but I would probably go with Lubuntu. I'm ore familiar with the underlying system than I am Puppy.
Originally Posted by Lubutu
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
So puppy is lighter and can run completely in RAM; sounds like a win (plus, "Puppy" sounds a lot better than does "Lubuntu" ). If only one came in a 64-bit flavor so I could use all of my RAM...
"Meddle not with roos; thou art crunchy and grasshopper-like" ※The SABRFL※
Last edited by ubunterooster; 1 Minute ago
Puppy is probably quicker because it resides in RAM. But Lubuntu is super fast and being based on Ubuntu you would feel right at home with it. Plus you can still get answers to issues here with instructions that should work with either your Ubuntu install or Lubuntu.
Here's a quick overview of Puppy Linux:
The Lubuntu screenshot looks nice...the blue is great
Last edited by ParadoxBlue; June 20th, 2010 at 04:55 AM.
I recently have spent some time trying both distros on an old Dell laptop (about 6 years old).
Puppy is undeniably much faster -- it may have to do with the specs of my hardware, but I've never seen this computer run this fast. It's not as polished-looking as Lubuntu, but all the apps work well and are lightning fast, even on an underpowered old laptop.
As for configuration problems that some have noted, I had no difficulties whatsoever. There were two options for wireless config, and it took me about 3 minutes to figure out that one of them worked with my network and the other didn't. Everything else ran perfectly immediately -- within 10 minutes of booting up, I had it installed on my hard drive, with sound, monitor, etc. detected automatically. Network printer setup was a snap. And it's configured with flash and such things out of the box, so no hunting for non-free audio/video codecs (as in most canonical Ubuntu variants, including Lubuntu).
Honestly, Puppy was up and running much faster than any other Linux distro I've ever tried. Every single version of Ubuntu and even Mint has always had some weird config problem on install for me, but Puppy ran perfectly smooth.
That said, I'm no longer using it. First, the always run-as-root thing was just annoying. It's great for an emergency USB stick where you'll need to do system commands, but when running on a normal installed system, there's no need for it. I know security folks debate it (and I debated it with a hard-core network admin friend of mine for a while when I first tried Puppy), but it goes against standard industry practice, and I figure... why take the risk? Multiuser stuff is easy and lightweight, so I just don't understand the Puppy mentality there (even after reading a lot of debate on forums). It seems that they made the decision early on, and nobody really wants to do the major changes now. (There is a multiuser version of the previous Puppy version out there, but I haven't tried it.)
But the real deal-breaker is the trouble installing software. Basically, you have most common software installed in so-called PET packages, which are stripped down to be small and fast. Those are great. However, if you're using something beyond a couple dozen most common apps, you'll probably need to go outside the PET package world. One option Puppy offers is SFS files, which you can load at boot if you're not doing a standard HD install. Unfortunately, these are not always kept up-to-date, and I had difficulties with backward compatibility between a new Puppy version and an old SFS file.
Supposedly, the new version of Puppy should be able to deal with standard package managers, including DEB and RPM formats. This is true in theory, and I was able to install some things. But other things just ended up broken, because dependencies weren't handled correctly, etc. I really need LaTeX installed on this computer, and I just couldn't get it working in an easy way (and I didn't feel like compiling from source), so finally I just gave up.
I went to Lubuntu. As I already said, it's better looking, but nowhere near as fast on my computer. Still better than a heavier distro, but it's not really that light for an older computer. Unfortunately, there are still annoying bugs, which I didn't see with Puppy (at least not until I tried installing random software on Puppy). There's the missing terminal title bar, for example, and a few other weird things (slowdowns for no apparent reason, menus stop working sporadically, etc.). I tried the Mint version using the same window manager, and it was really buggy for whatever reason on my system.
Overall, with a few notable bug exceptions, Lubuntu works as well as most of the Ubuntu family. It's not perfect, but its package management is more stable than Puppy -- no random dependency errors when I install software now (which is just another thing I don't have to worry about). I'm willing to put up with a few random bugs and a slightly slower system for that right now.